Supporters of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement threatened to slaughter Jews as they protested outside an Israeli expo in South Africa on Sunday, The Jewish Daily Forward reported.
“You think this is Israel, we are going to kill you,” protesters from the BDS movement screamed outside the Zionist Federation SA-Israel Expo in Sandton, a suburb of Johannesburg. They also yelled, “You Jews do not belong in South Africa” and “no Zionist conference be held on our soil.”
The expo showcases Israeli products such as wine, food and medicine.
Among the picketers was Government Deputy Minister Obed Bapela who serves as head of the ruling African National Congress (ANC)’s International Relations and who accused Israel of oppressing Palestinians.
“How can Israel say they are not aggressors, when they are building homes and annexing Palestinian lands,” he said amid a wave of cheers from the crowd, which carried Palestinian flags and signs calling on South Africa to end trade with the Jewish state. “The apartheid wall should go down.”
Bapela urged South African Jews to join in and condemn the Israeli government and its treatment of Palestinians. He claimed, “We don’t hate Jews, but the ideology of Zionism.”
“The ANC remains steadfast in supporting the Palestinian cause,” he added. “Our relations with Palestine did not start today. If we abandon the Palestinian cause Mandela will be upset with us.”
In response to the event, the South African Jewish Board of Deputies said in a statement that it is “every South African citizen’s constitutional right to attend events of our choosing without fear of intimidation.”
The incident comes after Palestinian human rights activist Bassem Eid was forced to end his speech early last week at the University of Johannesburg because of BDS protesters, according to the board of deputies. Eid’s address was organized by SA Union of Jewish Students.