Dual citizenship saga: ANC slams Chief Rabbi's claims

Warren Goldstein released a video saying the ANC is an anti-Jewish party.

FILE: Palestinian children demonstrate near an Israeli check point in the centre of the West Bank city of Hebron after they couldn’t pass the checkpoint to get to school as it was closed off by Israeli security forces on 26 August, 2014. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC) says it's wrong for Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein to claim that the party is anti-Jewish, by referring to Israel as an apartheid state.

On Tuesday, Goldstein released a video on YouTube saying the ANC's obsession with Israel was dangerous and supported religious extremists in the Middle East.

Goldstein says what he believes is the ANC obsession with Israel is deeply insulting and hurtful to the country's Jewish community.

On Monday, the ANC confirmed it was considering preventing people from having two passports in a bid to stop South Africans from joining the Israeli Defence Force.

Rabbi Goldstein claimed the ANC was wrong to call Israel an apartheid state.

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

"The ANC's obsession with the state of Israel is insulting and I call it an obsession because here they are prepared and proposing to change the citizenship rule of South Africa because they're obsessed with the state of Israel."

On Monday, 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.

But the ANC's International Relations head Obed Bapela says Goldstein is not telling the whole story.

"The Chief Rabbi chose not to speak about the big wall that is now cutting through communities of Palestinians and we call that wall an apartheid wall. The Chief Rabbi doesn't talk anything about the search points."

He also says that the ANC is not acting against any group in South African society.

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.