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 statement calling the move a threat to Israel and peace in the region.
Goldstein said the proposal was “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 rejected claims that Israel is an “apartheid” state, an accusation often aimed at the Jewish State by BDS protesters and pro-Palestinian Arab foreign provocateurs.
”The apartheid accusation against Israel is a lie and without any foundation in reality,” said 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, he noted. “If everything is apartheid then nothing is apartheid,” he stated. The Jewish population of South Africa currently stands at 75,000, according to the Chief Rabbi’s office.
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 chosen to eulogize the late 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 called 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 at the conclusion of the video.