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South Africa's Chief Rabbi Responds to ANC Threats Against Israel

JOHANNESBURG, In response to the African National Congress’s (ANC) proposed ban on dual citizenship, South Africa’s Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein released a strongly worded and heartfelt video calling out the move as posing a threat to Israel and to peace in the region.
Furthermore, stated Rabbi Goldstein, the proposal is “insulting” to the 175-year-old community, which has strong ties to Israel and has contributed greatly to South African society and culture.

In his video, the Chief Rabbi also staunchly rejected claims that Israel is an apartheid state, a belief that, he said, underlies the ANC’s proposed ban on dual citizenship. ”The apartheid accusation against Israel is a lie and without any foundation in reality,” said Rabbi Goldstein. In addition to the defamatory nature of this claim, the misuse of “apartheid” diminishes the true meaning of the word and dishonors the ordeal of those who lived under its rule.
"If everything is apartheid then nothing is apartheid," he stated.

The Jewish population of South Africa is currently 75,000 strong. While the citizenship ban would potentially affect millions of people living in South Africa, it is motivated by the ANC’s “obsession” with Israel, said Rabbi Goldstein. By targeting the local Jewish community, the ANC is ignoring the country’s ethic of tolerance and dishonoring the legacy of former president Nelson Mandela.

An official appointee, Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein holds a prominent and respected position within South Africa. He serves as a senior member of the National Religious Leaders Council and has collaborated on projects with the government. He had the honor being one of those clergy to eulogize President Mandela at his funeral. His Bill of Responsibilities has been adopted as part of the official South African school curriculum.

The time to act is now, said Rabbi Goldstein, who calls upon ANC to change its course and become a force for peace in the Middle East and the entire world. “That is the way forward: a dream of peace,” he declared.

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