The South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) has reportedly had a change of heart in its stance on the Israel-Palestine conflict, following statements by its president on the ENCA channel. SAJBD head, Zev Krengel, is reported to have said that the body’s views were “in line with those of the ANC”. The ANC has been outspoken it its support for the Palestinian cause, often labeling Israel as an Apartheid State.
The reports have been welcomed by both the National Coalition for Palestine (NC4P) and the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement. In a joint statement released on Friday, they supported the apparent “updated position” of SAJBD, noting that the body had a long running history of support both the Israeli, and South African Apartheid regimes.
“If what was reported by the ENCA is correct, then today’s endorsement and support for the ANC’s position on Palestine by the President of the SA Jewish Board of Deputies is welcomed,” read the statement.
The ANC stance on the brutal Middle Eastern conflict has always been pro-Palestinian, with the political organisation regularly reiterating its calls for an increasing boycott of Palestine. In contrast, SAJBD have been opposed to any such boycotts, preferring to take a stance leaning towards a ‘two-state solution’.
The joint release also noted recent statements from the ANC’s highest decision making body, which amongst other things said that “companies that do business in the Israeli occupied territories should not be allowed to business with the state.”
The release further noted that the BDS had written to SAJBD requesting a meeting, in which they would try to discuss the way forward in terms of the BDS campaign.
“We are glad that the SA Jewish Board of Deputies has now realized that the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel is a non-violent form of pressure to bring about negotiations for a just peace between Palestinians and Israelis,” read the statement. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)