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SACP denounces ‘attack’ by SA Jewish Board on Sisulu over Israel Embassy

This follows an article by the 'Daily Maverick' on Friday which quoted the board’s vice-president Zev Krengel who said Sisulu was a threat to the Jewish community in South Africa.

FILE:  Human Settlement Minister Lindiwe Sisulu. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Communist Party (SACP) denounced what it believed was an attack by the South African Jewish Board of Deputies and Zionist Federation on International Relations Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.

This follows an article by the Daily Maverick on Friday which quoted the board’s vice-president Zev Krengel who said Sisulu was a threat to the Jewish community in South Africa.

The Daily Maverick was quoted from an article in the South African Jewish Report, a community publication, which was published after the 8 May elections

In the report, Krengel criticised Sisulu's move to downgrade the South African Embassy in Israel to a liaison office.

The SACP’s Alex Mashilo blasted Krengel for his comments about Sisulu.

“That attack is nothing but rubbish and it is also racist because it seeks to racialise the country and divide it along the lines of ethnic groups and blame the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation,” he said.

Meanwhile, the board's director Wendy Kahn said the organisation had a right to criticise government.

She said: “…I think the Jewish community, as with all citizens of South Africa have got a right to criticise and condemn statements and actions of government.”

The SACP called for the Israeli Embassy to be downgraded to a liaison office, a move the South African Jewish Board labelled as divisive.

Mashilo added: “We are now in the time for action. The party reiterates its unwavering support for the decision taken by our government to downgrade the status of the South African Embassy in Israel to that of a mere liaison office.”

However, Kahn said the government needed to facilitate peace in Israel.

“We believe that South Africa has so much to share and instead of shutting doors and downgrading embassies they should be rather engaging and try to find peaceful solutions going forward.”

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