Young Jewish cricket star suspended for supporting IDF

Captain of South Africa’s under-19 team is targeted after pro-Israel speech at Jewish awards ceremony


Mandy Yachad, one of South Africa’s handful of Jewish former international cricket players, will be boycotting the current series of one-day, T20 and test matches against India in protest at the “racist” persecution of a top Jewish schoolboy cricketer.

“Not only will I not accept invitations to the pavilion as a former national player, but I will refuse to enter any of the grounds where the matches are being played,” he told the JC. “I love watching our teams, especially at the Wanderers and at Newlands, but not after what’s just happened.”

The trouble erupted when David Teeger, 18, captain of the South African under-19 team and head boy of his prestigious multi-ethnic Johannesburg school, King Edward High, dedicated a Jewish Rising Star sporting award to the Israeli soldiers presently engaged in the battle against Hamas in Gaza. The youngster remarked: “I’m now the rising star, but the true rising stars are the young soldiers in Israel. And I’d like to dedicate it to the state of Israel and every single soldier fighting so that we can live and thrive in the diaspora.”

In response to a complaint by the Palestinian Solidarity Alliance, Cricket South Africa suspended Teeger and launched an inquiry by a leading barrister and former judge, Wim Tregrove.

He found that the teenager’s remarks were in his personal capacity and unrelated to cricket, and thus not “detrimental to the sport or inter-team relations”, the official grounds alleged by Cricket South Africa. But the Jewish community remains appalled that CSA ever launched the proceedings.

South Africa’s chief rabbi Warren Goldstein accused it of a “Maoist inquisition” which was in large part the responsibility of the country’s leader, President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The president, according to the chief rabbi, had launched blatantly one-sided attacks on Israel over the current war, stirring up antisemitism and opening the way to the targeting of, and potential violence against, the country’s small Jewish minority.

Goldstein said the Palestinian Solidarity Alliance was “An organisation with ties to Hamas and Iran whose supporters celebrated the killing of 1,200 Jews on October 7 [and] began a hateful campaign against Cricket South Africa”.

In a YouTube video posted by the Union of Orthodox Synagogues, he said: “Cricket South Africa should be ashamed of itself to subject a young schoolboy to a Maoist inquisition to test his ideological purity.”

Linking the cricket inquiry with anti-Jewish activities by militant groups, including protests outside the main Jewish school in Cape Town, Goldstein’s video directly addressed Ramaphosa: “Mr President, you have set the tone for all of this because the South African government’s targeting of Israel is in effect antisemitic.”

The South African parliament, dominated by the African National Congress (ANC), recently passed a motion demanding a complete break in relations with Israel. Ramaphosa has not yet ordered this move, but has taken to wearing a small Palestinian shawl around his neck. On a recent visit to Qatar, where Hamas’s top leadership is based, he accused Israel of genocide. He has also said he condemns antisemitism.

Goldstein has instructed the synagogues under his control to alter the prayer read out on Shabbat and festivals for the government of South Africa.

The new wording prays only for the welfare of the South African “people”, not its government.

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