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Government’s Failure To Acknowledge Acts Of Antisemitism Emboldening Discrimination – SAJBD

The South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) said that the South African government’s failure to acknowledge acts of antisemitism was fostering an environment that emboldens acts of violence and discrimination.
Earlier this week, Justice Minister Ronald Lamola defended South Africa against claims of prejudice and hostility towards Jewish people in the country in an interview on BBC’s Hard Talk.

Lamola dismissed as imaginary the complaints by some in the Jewish community that South Africa no longer feels safe.

“Our action is not on the basis of antisemitism, it’s on the basis of our obligation as a nation believing in human rights,” the minister said.
Reacting to the interview, the board’s Karen Miller said that antisemitic incidents in the country had surged, with more than 139 incidents recorded between October and December last year.
A stark contrast to the 19 incidents reported during the same period in 2022.

“Grafitti on a synagogue or in a Jewish cemetery to actual acts of physical violence. For example, a rabbi being forced off the road, antisemitic abuse being hurled at him.”
Miller said that Lamola’s remarks were concerning and disregarded those affected.
“To hear him deny this is a grave concern and I have to say the dismissal of what are clear antisemitic incidents, you have to recognise how disconcerting those statements were to the Jewish community.”