South Africa

South African Chief Rabbi attacks Israel boycott minister

By Jennifer Lipman, August 17, 2012

The chief rabbi of South Africa has accused a government minister, who suggested people should not visit Israel, of repeating “the sins of the apartheid regime” and shunning dialogue. He called for him to step down.


South Africans told 'don't go to Israel'

By Jennifer Lipman, August 13, 2012

South Africans have been warned against visiting Israel by a government minister.

Speaking to the Mail and Guardian newspapers on Friday, the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ebrahim Ebrahim, said: "Because of the treatment and policies of Israel towards the Palestinian people, we strongly discourage South Africans from going there."


The billionaire who raised money for Nelson Mandela

By Simon Round, July 19, 2012

Things have changed dramatically in South Africa over the past couple of decades. Ivor Ichikowitz discovered just how much a few years ago when his son asked him for help with a school project. “He said to me: ‘Dad, we’re learning about apartheid at school; can you explain it to me’. My first reaction was anger.


Israeli envoy talk cancelled by South African university

By Jennifer Lipman, May 22, 2012

A South African university pulled the plug on a scheduled talk by an Israeli envoy at the last minute following a campaign by pro-Palestinian activists.

Yaakov Finkelstein was due to give a non-political lecture on Monday at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, which is in the east of the country.


Irish Israel boycott proposal 'cynical and hypocritical'

By Jennifer Lipman, May 22, 2012

Jewish leaders have criticised the Irish foreign minister for a "cynical" call to boycott some Israeli goods.

Eamon Gilmore said that he might push the European Union to block goods produced in the West Bank, in order to pressure the Israeli government into making policy changes.


How Israel's 1948 struggle inspired Nelson Mandela

By Simon Rocker, May 17, 2012

When Nelson Mandela was on the run from the South African authorities in the early 1960s, one of the safe houses he used belonged to a Jewish Communist called Wolfie Kodesh.

It was there that the great anti-apartheid leader read about other liberation struggles, among them The Revolt, Irgun head Menachem Begin's account of his war against the British in Palestine.


Women refuse singing ban

By Simon Rocker, May 3, 2012

A group of South African women are fighting to overturn a ban on them singing at community events.

They released a protest video on Friday to coincide with Freedom Day, which commemorates South Africa's first post-apartheid elections in 1994.

They say women used to sing at events to mark such events as Israel Independence Day or Holocaust Memorial Day until they were stopped in Johannesburg


Israel an apartheid state, says German party head

By Benjamin Weinthal, March 22, 2012

Sigmar Gabriel, the head of Germany's second largest party and a hopeful for Chancellor in the next federal election, last week called the Jewish state an "apartheid regime" after a visit to Hebron in the West Bank.

Writing on his Facebook page, the 52-year-old Social Democrat noted: "It's a zone without legal rights for Palestinians.


Arabs help Israel fight Apartheid Week cliches

By Nathan Jeffay, March 1, 2012

If it works out, it will be a stereotype-busting moment on a par with Susan Boyle's Britain's Got Talent audition.

Israeli student Leah Tegegne will go into the lion's den next week, appearing at university campuses in South Africa as they mark Israel Apartheid Week.


South Africa's Goldstein wows British rabbinate

By Simon Rocker, September 15, 2011

The Chief Rabbi of South Africa, Warren Goldstein, tipped as a possible successor to Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks, made a favourable impression on United Synagogue rabbis in a brief visit to the UK.

Rabbi Goldstein was here to deliver the keynote address at Lord Sacks's annual pre-High Holy Day conference for the rabbinate last week.

One US rabbi said: "He had everyone mesmerised.