South African Jews condemn alarming recent antisemitic attacks

South African Jewish leaders condemned the “alarming” amount of antisemitic attacks last week.

According to the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, there has been a flurry of antisemitic and threatening attacks made against South African Jews both on social media and in face-to-face encounters in recent days.

On Thursday, a video showed passengers awaiting their luggage from an El Al flight into South Africa being verbally abused, and called “wicked Jews.”

A mural with a Germany flag, with a swastika inserted in it, also appeared in Johannesburg.
“While it was unfortunately common to find antisemitic content online, it was rare for it to take so virulent and inflammatory a form as the latest reported comments,” SAJBD Chairman Shaun Zagnoev said in a statement.

“The posts show how easily radical anti-Israel sentiment can spill over into hateful slurs and threats against Jewish people in general. We are being told that we are ‘scum’, ‘rats’, ‘bastards’, ‘pigs’, ‘swine’ and ‘fat-nosed f***ks. We are further being warned that “our time is coming” and that “the Holocaust will be a picnic after we are done with you.”

The Jewish group said that it was “no coincidence” that these antisemitic incidents were coming out after South African supermodel Shashi Naidoo sparked controversy after calling the Gaza Strip a “shithole” on social media. The supermodel received several death threats from the remarks and later apologised. Naidoo had been defending popular South African DJ Black Coffee who had been attacked by pro-BDS groups for performing in Israel earlier this year.

There has been increasing pressure from pro-Palestinian organisations pushing the BDS movement in the country, as well as from the ruling African National Congress Party, which has long been hostile to Israel.

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