‘Fight Racism, Not Jews’: Pro-Israel South Africans Demonstrate on 20th Anniversary of UN’s Durban Conference
A group of South African pro-Israel activists have held a demonstration against antisemitism in Durban to mark the twentieth anniversary in that city of the UN’s World Conference Against Racism — a multi-day event that was distinguished by repeated antisemitic attacks on Israel and Zionism.
Carrying placards reading, “No to Durban IV, no to racism, no to antisemitism,” the demonstrators from South African Friends of Israel (SAFI), a local advocacy group, conducted prayers for “an end to racism and antisemitism, and in support of the Jewish people and the State of Israel.”
In a statement, the group pledged “We will never stop fighting against racism and antisemitism!”
As well as highlighting the antisemitism that plagued the original UN anti-racism conference in 2001, the demonstrators condemned the follow-up process, including this week’s “Durban IV” conference at the UN’s Headquarters in New York. The conference was boycotted by 37 countries — including the United States, Canada and several European and Latin American nations — in recognition of the antisemitic nature of the 2001 event.
In a video posted to YouTube, SAFI spokesperson Bafana Modise said his group had taken a stand in support of those countries that skipped this week’s conference.
The parley in Durban “was the only conference in the whole wide world that seeks the destruction of the State of Israel,” Modise said.
“Israel is not apartheid state, it is the only democracy in the Middle East,” Modise added. “Jews are indigenous to that land.” He called on Christians in South Africa to “rise up and defend our apartheid history … our history has been used to demonize and to declare war against the God of Israel.”