South Africa’s Chief Rabbi bashes government for giving Israel observer status

Chief Rabbi of South Africa Dr. Warren Goldstein harshly criticizes the ANC government for recently giving Israel observer status.

Rabbi Warren Goldstein explains that the African National Congress government has recently given Israel observer status in the African Union institution, even though the South African government tried to convince them otherwise.

The country’s Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor said on July 26 that Israel should be classified as an apartheid state and that the United Nations General Assembly should establish a committee to verify whether it satisfied its requirements, justifying her opinion by claiming that “the Palestinian narrative evokes experiences of South Africa’s own history of racial segregation and oppression”.

According to Goldstein’s remarks, this is a false understanding of reality and the allegation is a disgrace “intellectually, legally and morally”. “It is a complete distortion of the facts,” he said.

Goldstein also explained that the African Union has given Israel the observer status despite of the efforts of the South African government to persuade them otherwise, and hence it is “also out of step with Africa.”

“The views of the ANC government are well known,” Goldstein said. “I think that firstly, the accusation is offensive to the victims of the real apartheid, because if everything is apartheid, nothing is apartheid.”

Goldstein also explained that the AU, as a majority body representing the entire continent does not agree with Israel being labelled as an apartheid state, noting that the ANC today is not the ANC of Nelson Mandela anymore. He also accused his government of aligning itself with non-democratic countries within the UN like China, Russia and Iran.

Goldstein asked for people around the world to criticize this charge of apartheid.

“It’s important whenever this allegation is made, that not only South African Jews, but all decent people in the world come out against it, so that this false allegation doesn’t convince uneducated people to believe it.”