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March 11, 2015 7:35 am

South Africa’s Shameful BDS Protest

avatar by Howard Feldman

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BDS supporters threatened to kill Jews as they protested outside of an Israeli expo in South Africa. Photo: Mohamed Ouda via Wikimedia Commons.

The dance card had been completed before the ball began. Outside of the South Africa-Israel Expo, which took place in Johannesburg on Monday, everyone knew they were going to see protests and picketing, demeaning and denial, and the well-worn toasts to hatred, racism, and anti-Semitism. So no one was surprised or even disappointed. It was pretty much business as usual.

Except for one startling aspect. Mainstream South African press outlets are now reporting that the BDS movement “bussed in” protestors who had no idea as to why they were there. They quote a woman from an impoverished area with a prettier name than it warrants – Orange Farm – saying that she was not aware as to why she was there or whom she was supporting or even protesting against. And she was not the only one.

The irony of this should not be allowed to go unnoticed. Orange Farm has a population of around 100,000 people. It is an “informal settlement” with few paved roads and most people living in shacks. Only small areas of Orange Farm have been electrified. Access to clean water is limited and when it rains, the dongas on the roads fill with muddy water that makes living there almost impossible. It is poverty stricken, with more than 40% of the population being unemployed. It is a stain on South Africa’s record of transformation. Its people are desperate, but they have done nothing to deserve being exploited, being paraded, and being used to further a political and racial goal of an organization that claims to support human rights but ignores their plight.

The rhetoric of the BDS protests outside the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg was desperate and ill-concealed. In many ways, we have been spoiled by the slick pretense that tries to separate Jews from Zionists, and  BDS has tried for some time to convince us that it is not all Jews they detest. Despite the famous “Kill the Jew” and other priceless humanitarian comments, BDS has spent a lot of energy trying to sell a concept that no one has bought. Sunday’s protest, perhaps due to lack of success dissolved very quickly, and real agendas and racism quickly were exposed. “You Jews don’t belong in South Africa!” “This is not Israel, we will kill you!” were some of the poisonous comments recorded from the ranks of the BDS protestors.

The atmosphere inside the conference facility was a completely different matter. Multiple exhibitors, attendees, and delegates such as Jewish Agency’s Natan Sharansky and Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barakat mingled with the crowds, allowed photos and debated concepts and gave support to those contemplating aliyah, those wanting to invest, and those who were just checking out the options for some time in the future.

The last item on the well-worn dance card is always the review. And one can’t look at the day without wondering; when the sun sets and the bus had silently transported the residents of Orange Farm back to their shacks that are unlikely to have electricity or water or security. Back to a place where it is best to be indoors after dark and back to a place where lack of education and of employment makes the future precarious and fragile. How could the BDS groups have been so cruel and so cold and so uncaring to the people of their own country? And one has to indeed wonder, if their agenda is not humanitarian, then what is it really?

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  • Robert Davis

    S.A. govt. is accomplice of the international anti-Israel pr and plot to destroy Israel which they hope will end up in another genocide of Jews as those Jew haters always refer to hitler’s nazi socialists. However they are too stupid to understand 21st century’s genocides will not succeed against Israel or Jews but against arab nations and left wing governments mainly in europe but the R.S.A. is on the agenda too. Whenever an Israeli soldier defends himself killing an arab terrorist is not a genocide as left wing pr claims but when 99% of european populations and some others such as RSA’s population will be killed that will be one due to their own pr and plots and they will have deserved it.

  • Monty Lasovsky

    I guess you are right because most readers of your article will know you are right but will sweep it under the carpet of expediency.
    As for your predictions, not so much for the Jews of South Africa, concerning the fate of South Africa and Africa in general., “a country gets the government it deserves”applies only to well here.
    As for your comment in the last line, that’s a certainty!

  • Sue

    The above commenters are very bright and do speak the truth. Unfortunately playing to a jewish only audience doesn’t get the word out. There is so much Jew hatred, Israel hatred. It’s only getting worse. It’s centuries old.. The New York Times and the Times of London work hard to promote Jew and Israel hatred. The world s is a sorry state of affairs. We are going back to pre 1930’s thinking. We need bright young people to pick up the fight

  • Leo Toystory

    Screw the bloody Africans.

    • roy henley


  • Ilya Lavrenti

    I remember when the South African Rand was trading at $1.46.
    Today, you can buy Rands on foreign exchanges for 12 cents.
    That tells you something about the handling of their economy. This is a country rich in gold, diamonds, “clean” coal and other minerals, but is plunging into poverty coupled with a high HIV rate.

  • Eric R.

    Apparently the Communist Jew-haters who run South Africa care more about killing Jews than they care about black South Africans dying from AIDS, poverty, hunger and violent crime.

    There are only 60,000 Jews left in South Africa. They will soon be gone. Most other whites will soon follow. Then South Africa will turn into Sierra Leone on a grand scale — a hopeless mix of poverty, disease, war and death with no hope of recovery. Eternal hell on earth for tens of millions.

    • Robert Davis

      Eric : Amen,they will have deserved it. Goddam and satanic left wing governments deserve to have 99% of their populations devastated and vanish from the face of earth!

  • shloime

    this is no different than the bds campaign against sodastream, a company which employs arab (so-called “palestinians”) workers at the same pay and benefits as its jewish workers (about double what arab employers pay), just because it’s an israeli company.

    they don’t care that a boycott of sodastream will hurt its arab workers first and foremost, because despite their rhetoric, their objective is not some fictitious “social justice”, but only to damage israel and “the jooz”.

  • Lynne T

    BDS in South Africa is pretty much a pet project of the ANC government, isn’t it? It is a cruel circus put on for the purpose of misdirecting anger away from the incompetent and increasingly corrupt government that has ended up as Mandala’s legacy and toward Israel.