President Ramaphosa Makes His Government a Proxy for Iran by Joining Hamas War on Israel
Chief Rabbi Goldstein Warns of Consequences as South Africa Takes Stance Against Israel in Gaza Conflict
In the aftermath of a fatal Hamas attack on Israel, the South African government’s fervent pro-Palestinian stance has reverberated within South Africa’s active Jewish community. President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to refer Israel to the International Criminal Court for investigation into war crimes and genocide has elicited strong reactions from various Jewish organizations, including the Jewish Board of Deputies and the South African Zionist Federation.
Recent actions by the South African government, including the recall of its ambassador and diplomats from Israel on November 6th, and the passing of a motion to shut down the Israeli Embassy and sever diplomatic ties until a Gaza cease-fire is agreed upon, further exemplify the growing divide between the two nations.
Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein has emerged as a vocal critic of the government’s response since the tragic attack. He recently uploaded a response to YouTube to President Ramaphosa’s accusation of genocide, vehemently denouncing it as “defamatory lies against the Jewish state,” and raising concerns about antisemitism within the government.
Rabbi Goldstein explains how the Israeli government has committed the IDF to comply with the international law of armed conflict as set out in the Geneva Conventions, together with customary international law. Specifically, he underscores that IDF actively works to minimize civilian casualties, implementing strict protocols to ensure military objectives are proportionate to any unintended harm to civilians.
He highlights how Hamas’ tactics includes the strategic use of civilian infrastructure in Gaza for military purposes, which not only violates international law but also endangers innocent lives. Rabbi Goldstein argues that Hamas cynically employs these tactics to incite international condemnation against Israel.
Significantly, South Africa did not refer Hamas to the International Criminal Court, despite the undeniable evidence of war crimes committed by the group. Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor engaged in a phone call with the leader of Hamas just ten days after the Palestinian militant group launched the deadly attack on Israel.
Rabbi Goldstein asserts that the accusations of war crimes and genocide leveled against Israel are not only unfounded but also serve as a deliberate attempt to undermine its existence. He emphasizes that these allegations implicitly deny Israel its rightful self-defense, thus jeopardizing its security and exacerbating an already precarious struggle for survival.
He warns President Ramaphosa that his “message has real-world consequences,” pointing to the global surge in antisemitism, and highlighting disturbing instances of Jews being stigmatized in South Africa following the Hamas attack.
“It is crucial to recognize that supporting Israel does not equate to supporting apartheid, genocide, or war crimes. Jews who proudly support Israel are contributing members of society who deserve protection and respect, not stigmatization and isolation.”
The issue of antisemitism within National Congress (ANC) government is not new, they have faced allegations of antisemitism in the past, with one ANC official, Gabriella Farber, resigning from the party and accusing it of “supporting Hamas.”
Although the ANC government initially condemned the Hamas attack, a recent leaked video from a BDS SA meeting could shed light on widespread ANC sentiment that informs ANC policy. In the video, former ANC Minister of Intelligence Ronnie Kasrils enthusiastically applauds the atrocities conducted by Hamas, stating “They swept on them, and they killed them and damn good.” Given Kasrils longstanding prominence within the ANC, it raises concerns about the deep-rooted presence of antisemitism within the party.
Lastly, Rabbi Goldstein warns that the destruction of the free world hinges on the outcome of the Israel-Hamas conflict.
“If a war in self-defense may not be fought within the rule of law and no civilian casualties are tolerated at all, then the free world, with its respect for law and human rights, will ultimately be destroyed by barbaric regimes who do not adhere to any laws of armed conflict. If the arguments of today’s enemies of Israel had been applied during the Second World War, Nazi Germany would have defeated the Allied forces, and we would all be living under the Third Reich.”
The situation between South Africa and Israel continues to evolve, with profound consequences for the local Jewish community. It remains to be seen how these developments will shape future discourse on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and impact relations between the two nations.