‘ANC’s obsession with Israel is deeply insulting’

ANC leaders have suggested Israel is an apartheid state because of the way it treats Palestinian people.

YouTube screengrab of Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein.

JOHANNESBURG - Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein says what he believes is the African National Congress' (ANC) obsession with Israel is deeply insulting and hurtful to the country's Jewish community.

On Monday, the head of the ANC's International Relations Commission Obed Bapela confirmed they were examining banning people from having dual citizenship to stop Jewish South Africans from fighting in the Israeli army.

ANC leaders have suggested that Israel is an apartheid state because of the way it treats Palestinian people.

In a video posted on YouTube this afternoon, Goldstein says this misunderstands what is happening in the Middle East.

"This is deeply hurtful and insulting for the ANC to come out and target the state of Israel. Let me explain why that is such a deep insult to the Jewish community of South Africa: we love South Africa, but we also love Israel."

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Earlier today, the Jewish Board of Deputies said plans by ANC leaders to stop people from having two passports were divisive and aimed at creating hatred against Jewish people.

The Inkatha Freedom Party, Afriforum and other organisations have all said the plans were unconstitutional.

South Africa Jewish Board of Deputies President Zev Krengel said Bapela's comments have a resonance with what happened in Germany before the World War II.

"What he's doing is exactly what the Nazi propaganda did in the 1930s where you're trying to show that your local Jewish community is not 100 percent loyal and they've got this dual loyalty, then you try and say that they're danger to your community and your country."

But Bapela said they must do something to stop South Africans from joining the Israeli army.

"And that then defeats the objective of the South Africa that say Palestine must be given its freedom."

Krengel said it was wrong to target the Jewish community.