הכנסת הארבע עשרה
נוסה לא מתוקן
פרוטוקול מס' 207
מישיבת ועדת העליה והקליטה
שהתקיימה ביום די. די בטבת התשנ"ט. 23.12.1998. בשעה 09:00
ישיבת ועדה של הכנסת ה-14 מתאריך 23/12/1998
ישיבה עם סטודנטים מדרום -אפריקה
חברי הוועדה; היו"ר נעמי בלומנטל
אבנר חי שאקי
דייר שמשון שושני, מנכ"ל הסוכנות היהודית
זיו נבו, משרד החוץ
אברהם טולדו, משרד החוץ
גיורא משעול, המשרד לקליטת העליה
דוד סודרי, ראש מינהל הסטודנטים, המשרד לקליטת העליה
לאה גולן, מנהלת אגף חטיבה מערב, הסוכנות היהודית
נעמי נחנסון, מנהלת האגף להכשרות והשתלמויות, הסוכנות
יוחנן בן-יעקב, ראש הרשות לקליטת העליה
מלה תבורי, לשכת הקשר
אילנית ששון-מלכיאור, יו"ר התאחדות הסטודנטים היהודית
נטלי וקנין, גזברית התאהדות הסטודנטים היהודית העולמית
רבקה רוס, מנהלת מחלקת חינוך, התאחדות הסטודנטים היהודית
מיטל אזולאי, התאחדות הסטודנטים היהודית העולמית
דפנה כהן, דוברת התאחדות הסטודנטים היהודית העולמית
יוספינה כהן, התאחדות הסטודנטים היהודית העולמית
יחזקאל שירין, התאחדות הסטודנטים היהודית העולמית
דייר אבי בקר, מנכ"ל הקונגרס היהודי
ברנדה שטרן, הקונגרס היהודי בדרום-אפריקה
יהודה ויינשטיין, התאחדות עולי דרום-אפריקה
מרק קדם, סמנכ"ל הפדרציה, התאהדות עולי דרום-אפריקה
דוד קפלן, התאחדות עולי דרום-אפריקה
חבר המתרגמים בע"מ
השוואת הציונות ל"אפרטהייד" בדרום-אפריקה
ישיבה עם סטודנטים מדרום-אפריקה
ישיבה עם סטודנטים מדרום -אפריקה
אני מתכבדת לפתוח את ישיבת ועדת העליה והקליטה.
היום אנחנו יושבים יחד עם סטודנטים מדרום-אפריקה ולכן נקיים את הישיבה באנגלית..
Good monring. I think it will be easier if we have an
English session, otherwise I think it will take too long until we have all the
translations. Anyway, I want to welcome you here in the Absorption and Aliyah
Committee in the Knesset. As I think you might know, the Knesset functions, there is
a plenum; there are all members of parliament, of course, and the committees. We
have eleven standing committees, we have next to us the Budget Committee and we
have the Social and Welfare committee. the Inner Affairs.
Anyway this is a committee which functions about jRtfeen years and it is a committee
for new immigration and absorption. We deal also with the relations and the inter
relations between Israel and the Diaspora, Jews around the world, problems the world
Jewry has, and topics like that, issues like that.Of course, we deal with the problems
that new immigrants have here in Israel rfom all over the world. Mr. Avner Chai
Shaki is a Memberof Parliament for many years and he is heading a committee, Anti-
Semitism, like the fight against anti-Semitism in the Knesset. I am very glad that you
came to this meeting.
Just to give you abrief report about what is going on here in the committee, that we
deal with new immigrants that are in Israel, of course with a lotof problems. As you
can imagine, the majorityof new immigrants these days, it is about five or six years
already, maiybe a little more, that it is most the Jews who came from the Former
Soviet Union, and we pay a lot of attention as well to the Jews who came rfom
Ethiopian. The numbers much apart. I mean the Jews that came rfom the Former
Soviet Union, it is about 800,000, and 10% is the Jews that came rfom Ethiopia.
But I must say that we give a lot of attention to all the problems and to try to bring
them forward and to do much for them. On top of it we have the inter relations with
the Sochnut, with the UJA, as I said, there is a Jewish world around the world. This is
a Member of Parliament, Noami Chazan and she is also an expert Arfica in the
university, she was a professor in the Hebrew University her in Jerusalem.
This is more or less a brief report about what the committee is doing here, and as I
said before, we are very happy to have you here with us.Of course, we hope that you
will make aliyah. Whilst you are here you will see what a wonderful country we
have. You are in a very dramatic period, I would say, here in the Knesset. We are
also membersof parliament, in a way we just decided to send ourselves back, or to be
re-elected, it depends, you have heard about the crisis that we just had. We voted to
resolve this Knesset, it is the 14 Knesset and we intend to go to elections, we don't
yet know the date, and you can follow it in the papers.
Anjway, let us see what problems we want to deal with today, and how to make your
way to Israel in the very near future. I hope that you have a good time here in Israel,
and you will like it and you benefit rfom the time that you have. Of course you are
grownups, after you finish your time here in Israel, you can make your decision
whether to stay whether to go back or to bring the family. As I said, we will be very
happy if you make a decision to stay in Israel and to bring over the family. I really
don't think there is another country better for you than here. That I can promise.
Thank you very much.
First of all Naomi, I would take the opportunity to thank
you, as the head of the Aliyah and Klitah Committee that always when we come to
you with any kind of issue, even though the Knesset today is very hectic and we are
about to have an election, you always take the time and the opportunity and your heart
is really there for the Jews around the world. I have to say as chairperson of WUJS it
always my heart to see how seriously you takethose issues, and you are working to
promote the Knessetof Israel.
The issue that we wanted to raise here today, and I think I will be very short and brief,
because my colleagues, the students rfom South Arfica who came here under the
Jewish Agency, the Educational Department in Israel as part of a program, which they
brought one hundred students, and part of that is leadership program, came to Israel
and they spent here the last couple of weeks.
The issue that was brought up by the students rfom South Arfica was that, while they
are studying in different campuses in South Arfica, a lotof time they find that because
of some kind of a policy that the governmentof Israel or the Stateof Israel is acting
towards, they in a way have to defend that policy. It does not matterif they believe or
don't believe, but just because they are Jewish students, as a minority studying with
Moslems and other different parts of the population, they find themselves that they
have to protect the government of Israel, and it is not always that they have the tools
on how to do that.
Some of the examples that we brought here today shows very clearly that those
actions that are taking place in the different campuses are very anti-Israeli actions.
We are not talking about anti-Semitism here, but we are talking about pure activism,
which is anti Israeli and we have here three students today who would describe a little
bit form inside their campuses, the situation. I think that under those kind of
conditions, it is very important that two things should be taken care of, that members
of parliament, in a way visit those campuses in South Arfica, meet with the Jewish
students there, and help them to ifnd the way and to help students how to deal with
this situation. Also to continue in educational ways as well as other ways to give
them the tools and to find ways of sending to campuses and debating with their own
Moslem colleagues in campuses.
We have here Doron.
Firstly, I would like to thank you Naomi for meeting
with us today and with all the other membersof the knesset and all the other ladies
and gentlemen here today. This opportunity we feel is a privilege and we thank both
the Chinuch Department for allowing us to come here. We thank you for allowing us
to be here and for facilitating this debate.
Let me begin by saying that after my colleagues and myself have finished speaking, it
will be clear that the South Arfican Government has an intent to unofficially equate
Zionism with Apartheid. It will also be clear that they are taking a pro-Palestinian
stance, in spiteof their claims of neutrality regarding the peace process.
With the change of government in South Arfica, resulting in the 1994 elections, not
only was democracy brought to South Arfica, but also an entirely new political
attitude towards foreign policy. The previous government, under their apartheid
regime sought political allies and trading partners wherever they could find them, due
to their isolation amongst the international community.
This may have bided well for both Israel and South Arfica at the time, but with the
change in government, there has deifnitely been a backlash towards Israel, under the
current government. During the days of apartheid, the now majority ANC government
formed close links with the Palestinians and the Arab world as a whole. The ANC
and the PLO identified with each other, because of their common goal to liberate their
respective homelands rfom the supposed oppressor. As a result, any assistance, which
could be rendered to either party, was done so quite willfully.
With the ANC's coming to power after the 1994 elections, they were now in a stronger
position to assist their brothers in struggle, and to help the Palestinians liberate their
homeland. As a result, the ANC led government has while claiming a position of
neutrality towards the peace process, unofifcially formed policies which are blatant
These facts are supported by the recent visit in August of Mr. Arafat to South Africa.
Here Mr. Arafat deliberately, in the parliament misled the obviously uninformed
members of parliament in his address to them. Furthermore, the members of
parliament, namely, Guy Ebrahim stood up in the official capacity as members of
parliamenand said, "Zionism is racism."
In addition to this the government's pro Palestinian stance, the media in general, has
taken the same stance. They have on a regular basis attempted to vilify the Israeli
government by conveying it as the oppressed of the Palestinian Authority and making
the Palestinian Authority appear as the victims almost all the time. This is amplified
by the lack of mutual and objective media coverage rfom abroad. This has caused the
majority of the population to believe this information as facts.
Due to the majority of the population having been oppressed under the apartheid
regime, they now have developed a great sympathy for oppressed peoples around the
world. This factor. combined with the media's continual portrayal of the Israeli
government as oppressor of the Palestinian people, has forced the link between
apartheid and Zionism amongst the general populace.
This is deifnitely felt in the street. This is felt in campuses and this is very much a
reality. As students we experience this on a daily basis when we come into contact
with our fellow students, whether they be Arficans; whether they be black; whether
they be Moslem. This is very much a reality on campus life and in South Arfica as a
These allegations that are made by my colleagues and myself today are further
supported by the Israeli Ambassador to South Arfica, his criticism of the South
Arfican Deputy Minister of foreign Affairs, Mr. Aziz Pachad. Here Mr. Oren
criticized Mr. Pachad in a statement for Mr. Pachad's incorrect statements regarding
the conduct of the Israeli government towards the peace process.
Finally, what I feel, because the union on December 16 1991, under resolution 4684
revoked the evil determination of 1975, we stated that Zionism is equal to racism, our
government feels that on an official basis they cannot equate Zionism with racism,
because it has been revoked. It is for this reason that the government cannot on an
official level equate Zionism to apartheid, because apartheid blatantly stands for
racism. They cannot justify such a statement, so instead, they choose to take a
surreptitious route, and they use the media as a political tool to portray their views and
their policies to the mass populace.
Now, at this point in time, the South Arfican Jewish community is beginning to very
much feel these sentiments towards Israel as an offspill towards the Jewish
community in South Arfica. This is portrayed in groups such as PAGAD, which
stands for People Against Gangsterism and Drugs, but in essence they are slowly but
surely being seen as a Moslem run organization, which has the facade of fighting
drugs and ifghting gangsterism, but are incredibly anti-Semitic in their actions. In
marches they have been filmed, they have been photographed burning Israeli flags in
The South Arfican government, although they realize that this is a problem, have
neglected to take substantial and sufficient steps to actually counteract these measures.
The South Arfican government, when it suits them says, "Jews are Jews," but in other
times the say, "Jews are Zionists." This lack of cohesivity in their policy is very
disturbing for us and my other two colleagues will basically give us examples and
explain the issue further.
Naomi Blumenthal I would like to thank you for taking the time
to listen to us. Member of Knesset my name is Carly Lurie, I am studying a BA
psychology in English at the University of the Witwatersrand. I am media ofifcer of
SAUJS at the university.
Neutrality be definition implies a sense of unbiased and equal support or lack thereof
for both parties involved. The South Arfican government holds an official neutral
position in terms of relations between the Israeli government and the Palestinian
Authority. Unfortunately, in the case of our government neutrality holds no concrete
ideals. An example of a contradiction in terms of their neutral policy can be seen in a
public statement issue by vice president Tabu Mbeki. In his statement, Mbeki said
that blockages to the peace process airse out of the position taken by the Israeli
There are many occurrences, which have taken place in South Arfica duirng the term
of office of the present government, which illustrates a blatant contradiction in terms
of their ofifcial policy. One of the most prevalent examples was the ofifcial invitation
to PLO leader Yasser Arafat by the South Arfican government to visit South Arfica
and to address the South Arfican parliament. Yet, to the best of my knowledge, there
has been no invitation extended by our government to any Israeli leader.
This cannot only be seen as an insult, but also shows a contradiction in terms of the
ofifcial policy of the government. Our own President, Nelson Mandela stated "Essay
and the world cannot be rfee until the Palestinians are rfee." This pro Palestinian
attitude only serves to encourage fanatics to believe that their cause is justiifed, as
well as increasing anti Zionist activity.
The South Arfican government justiifes their unofficial support by saying that there is
a need to help all those who are oppressed. By equating the struggle for liberation
rfom apartheid, with the struggle of their Palestinian brothers, our government allows
themselves to form an unofficial obligation to help the so-called oppressed Palestinian
brothers. This alliance gives them the chance to equate Zionism with apartheid.
The South Arfican constitution guarantees every individual the chance for equal
rights. In theory, every South Arfican citizen is given the right to safety, security and
rfeedom. Unfortunately, in reality this is just not the case. They allow Hamas, a
recognized terrorist organization to exist in South Arfica, does not allow South
Arfican Jewry the right to either safety or security, thereby abrogating the basic rights
guaranteed by the constitution. The bombing of a Cape Town shul last Thursday is a
clear illustration of the dangers, which face the South Arfican Jewish community.
The unofifcial policy of the South Arfican government does not foster a mutual ideal,
but rather breeds an atmosphere where anti-Semitic marches, such as those
experienced by the University of Cape Town are not reprimanded or rfowned upon.
Furthermore, any criticism of an ideology such as Zionism is seen as rfeedom of
speech, although in reality it is nothing more than an emotional play to win sympathy
for a cause. The unofficial support given by our government can be seen as a blatant
indictment on supposed mutual policy. Thank you.
Madam chair. members of parliament, my name Liron
Meister,I am a law student at the Wits University. In addition to that,I am the
Zionist officer for the SAUJS, at my university.
The fact is that the majority of the population in South Arfica is ignorant of the true
events occurring in Israel. They rely solely on the media for information. The South
Arfican has villanized and continues to villanize the Israeli government with regard to
the peace process. The vast majority of the population identiifes oppression with
apartheid. Because Israel is constantly portrayed as the oppressor, there is no douht
that this provides a tangible link between Zionism and apartheid. As a South Arfican
Union of Jewish Students, our role is not only to educate the vast majority of South
Arfica, but also our own uninformed members of the Jewish community with regards
to this context issue.
It is important for the uninformed in our own constituency to understand the truth
behind the false allegation that Zionism equals racism. The reason for this is for the
Jews to be able to defend themselves and the true Zionist dream against such a false
propaganda. Being representatives of the Jewish students on all campuses throughout
South Arfica, thus far, SAUJS has undertaken an extensive poster campaign and
brought various relevant speakers to the campuses. Unfortunately, sensationalized
video footage depicting Palestinians suffering throughout the occupied territories
works far better than the truth. The bottom line is that more effectprograms are
needed. Our members need to see and understand the complexities of the Middle East
In the same way as the SAUJS leadership has been exposed to this dififcult situation
through programs provided by the Jewish Agency, JADE, LTS and the WUJS
Congress, it must also be made available to the present and future Jewish South
Arfican leadership. In order to be able to combat any anti-Zionist propaganda and
Although the Israeli Embassy in South Arfica has done much work to counter this
propaganda, it is but a lone soldier. The only way to be effective is to be increasingly
pro-active. Students are the best tools teaching this goal. In order to be effective
shlichim. we require substantial support and knowledge of the situation, which can
only be made a reality in Israel. We have the passion but we need the support.
In conclusion, whoever equate Zionism with apartheid, not only undermines the
struggle of the black people in South Arfica, but that ofHerzl's dream, thus I think in
summary, it suits us best to use the quote from Martin Luther k ing who said,
"Whoever criticizes Zionist actually means Jews." That is the situation we face today
in South Arfica. Thank you.
Thank you very much. Noami Chazan, a Member of
Parliament, would you like to comment now? We will let her recollect her thoughts.
Avner Chai Shaki, as I said before, he is chairing a committee here in the Knesset, a
kind of caucus which is fighting anti-Semitism around the world. Please Mr. Shaki.
First of all, bamch haba, beruchim habaim, welcome to
each and everyone of you. Unfortunately for all of us racism and anti-Semitism exists
in so many parts of the world, not for the first generation, not for the ifrst time. But
thank G-d there is Israel, and Israel is the answer, the best answer to this hatred.
Although no one, not even Herzl who really had in mind that to fight all the anti-
Semitism that started at the time ofEmil Zola and Dreifus and ail the stories that you
know certainly. Before a Jewish state is reestablished in this part of the world, either
racism will be abolished or will diminish. It certainly has diminished and the fact that
there are set groups, parliamentary groups in many parliaments in Europe and
America, that is encouraging.
But first of all, I would like each and every one of you of the delegation to know that
we certainly know that in 1975 it was the whole United Nations that has declared and
has equated Zionism with racism. It has taken twenty years to change it. It is
certainly the result of the great influence of the Arab world, the Moslem world, which
unfortunately still regardsitself hostile to Israel. It is our hope that the peace that one
day will come, and I am sure it will come, it takes a lot of time, there are many
difficulties, certainly these very days are of those days that not necessarily bring peace
nearer, but impedes a little bit the peace process. It will come one day.
But, ifrst of all, we have to come to a day when Judaism is recognized as a legitimate
religion and a legitimate nationhood in Israel, of course. When you spoke about
Hamas, I would like you to know there is a provision in the platform of Hamas which
"By order of our prophet, me and Mohamed, we are commanded
to ifght Jews and kill them wherever we can ifnd them." I have shown these terrible
provisions to my colleagues, Arab colleagues, Palestinian colleagues in the Knesset.
They of course. did not like it, but this is Hamas. This is the most anti-Israeli and you
can see not just anti-Israeli, anti-Jewish. They don't say there that you have to ifght
every Israeli, but every Jew, our Jewishness is the object of this terrible hatred.
So, the answer should be, first of all for our Ministry of Foreign Affairs to make it
clear to the South Aifican govemment that it is much beyond neutrality. They must
not accept this situation as a normal one, it is abnormal. It is illegitimate. It is against
human rights. We have just celebrated human rights like all the world in this Knesset,
and each and every one of us has declared himself committed to the equality of man.
For me as a Jew, I believe that all the human rights derive their power and their origin
rfom that eternal verse of Jenezus, which says, "G-d had created man to his image."
This is the basis, the ideological, the philosophical, the theological basis of human
equality. With this. you as students, to his Mends or unfortunately for the moment
enemies and tell them, "We don't consider ourselves your enemies. Israel has started
its way towards peace. We are in the middle of the process, there are problems, there
are dififculties, there are obstacles." There is still much of this hostility, but you must
make sure that Israel is on the path of peace. Try its best to bring peace.
It is the other side that has also to show that it has stopped hating Israel and hating
Jews. Unfortunately, one of the issues outstanding today between us and the PLO and
the Palestinian Authority is the instigation. They are all the time, and I get all this
stuff through the Foreign Office and others, where I read it almost weekly and almost
daily that, of course, Zionism is racism. That Israel has no legitimate right to exist.
That is w3hat existed until a few days in what is known as the Palestinian Covenant.
It says that the Jews are not a nation. They don't deserve being considered a nation.
They don't deserve a country of their own. They don't deserve independence and all
It is a big fight, it is too heavy for your young shoulders, but you have with all Israel.
You have with you all those who consider human rights to be the real human rights of
every human being, whatever his color, whatever his race, whatever is his nationhood.
Our Ministry should make it clear to the South African government that they should
not allow what I see here, all this terrible stuff of hatred.
May I just advise you to tell your rfiends there, those who are fighting you, that the
only hatred we are teaching our students in Israel, after iffty years of existence and of
hatred rfom the other side, the only hatred we teach our students to adopt is the hatred
of hatred. This is the one hatred that has a meaning; this is the one hatred that is
philosophically and morally well based. So, don't take as something that is
We have seen Nazism beaten. We have seen apartheid beaten. We have seen all the
isms, fascism was beaten, so this anti-Semitism one day will be beaten. It will be
beaten the moment where we come to a point where we can explain to all our
colleagues, whatever the nationality, that we mean peace. We do not hate anybody.
We feel in this part of the world a legitimate part of it. There are still some,
unfortunately, who do not recognize the legitimacy of Jews to have a State of their
own, to have a sovereign state. This is where it stands. Those who have not
recognized Israel so far, excepting Egypt and Jordan, it is because they do not
recognize the right of Jews to have a State of their own in this country.
Well, we are defending ourselves. We are there to make sure that one day each and
every Arab nation will do it. But it is only through information. You don't meet
hatred by hatred. The only answer to hatred is anti-hatred. Ahavat Chinam, what
Rabbi Cook, the greatest of the greatest of the leaders, of the spiritual leaders of the
Jewish people in the last hundred years, he used to say that sinat chinam, the hatred
without reason, the unfounded hatred is the reason for the destruction of the Second
Temple. To have the third Temple reconstructed. which means this new State is to
have ahavat chinam. Which means. to restmct each hatred by love, to tell them we do
not mean to hate you.
Unfortunately, someone is washing or brainwashing your minds, your ideas, but you
must know that Israel is on the path of peace. The Jews as such, throughout the world
would like to help this peace process. Please do not use this germ, they are against the
declaration of human rights. This is a udeclaration, it starts by saying, "We as a
human being is being equal" and so on.
The American constitution, Bill of Rights, speaks of G-d ahs created us equal, which
means that we have many ifriends on all rfonts who understand the importance of
human equality. Who know what is the result of terrible racism, we are only 55 years
atfer the Holocaust, so we should know that the only thing that could remedy to all
that, is by explaining more, informing more and making sure that we do not intend to
respond by hatred to hatred, but on the contrary, to be better understood, to tell them
that apartheid was based on unequality. Israel's basic laws, which are the equal of the
constitution, speak about equality.
The Arabs in Israel are equal. The Moslems are equal. All their leaders are
recognized. We recognize the rfeedom of conscience, rfeedom of cult, rfeedom of
religion, rfeedom of thought, rfeedom of press. We have all these rfeedoms, so such a
country cannot be racist cannot be apartheid, cannot be anything but a democratic,
humanistic country. It is basically so, it has driven all its power rfom the Bible, and
with this Bible we have succeeded so many years, we will succeed another hundreds
of generations to come, Be'ezrat Hashem. Thank you very much.
Boker tov, good morning. I think you have just learned
a lesson in Israeli parliamentary life, never give up your right to speak, because
sometimes it costs time. But as I say, it sometimes also gives additional thoughts that
have to be raised.
I listened very carefully to what you said, and I must admit I am extremely disturbed.
I am disturbed on two levels. I am disturbed about the developments that you
described and I am disturbed about your reactions. I have to be very rfank with you.
Now lest you think that I am talking just as elder politician, Israeli member of
parliament. I have been very closely involved in Israeli policy towards South Arfica, I
would say for over twenty years, much more even. Not because I have a South
Arfican connection, but because this was an area of my research in my poOlitical
activity for many years. If you look me up on the library Internet, you will see that
the major articles on Israeli South Arfican relations were authored by me during
I was also very directly involved in the fostering and nurturing of relations between
Israel and the ANC at the beginning of the transition period. I was sent by the Foreign
Ministry to South Arfican in 1993 to begin to mend out relations with the ANC and
the PAC. I am giving this history, not to talk about myself, but to give you an
indication of my involvement.I am the UN mission to the elections, and I was an
observer in the elections in 1994, and I have met with virtually every official rfom
South Arfica who has visited Israel in the last six and a half years, since I have been a
member of the knesset. So, I am really very closely involved and have watched the
development of these topics very carefully, and I like to think I have had a hand in
some of these matters.
I said I listened with a great deal of concern and also I was concerned by your
reactions, and I want to explain why. Firstof all. the equation of Zionism with racism
came in the UN almost indirect with France to the upgrading of Israeli relations with
South Arfica in 1974, after the big break in 1973. It is struggle, again I was deeply
involved with, because I am proud to say that I was a member of the Israeli delegation
to the UN decade of women conference in Nairobi, which was the first official UN
conference to delete, I emphasize to delete the equation of Zionism and racism. That
decision was supported by representatives of the ANC, who were official
representatives of South Arfica at the conference. So, I don't want us to get too
The situation is confusing and troubling, because once again there is an attempt to
equate Ziomsm with racism. Any attempt to equate Zionism with racism is obscene
and abominable. I want to make it absolutely clear, it is obscene and abominable. It
itself, is a manifestation of racism. But to confuse, an attempt to equate Zionist with
racism with support of the PLO, the Palestinians or of a certain very large group in
Israel, who support the creation of the Palestinian state, and I am one of those people,
is a mistake. It is not the same thing.
So, one has to separate very carefully between the Zionism racism accusation and
between suppotr for a political position which were the ofifcial positions of Israeli
government since the opening of the Oslo process. You have to decide where you
stand on the critical political issues on the Israeli agenda. Do you suppotr a
Palestinian state? It is perfectly Zionist, to suppotr a Palestinian state. My arguments
for a Palestinian state are entirely Zionist arguments. It is not betrayal. It is perfectly
acceptable in Israel. So you have to decide what your position is on the critical issues
of the peace process. People who don't agree with you, it is a legitimate argument and
not to confuse the policy positions with the struggle against racism in any form. That
is point number one.
Point number two, I asked in Hebrew if there were a representative of the Foreign
Ministry of the Political Department of the Foreign Ministry, because quite rfankly a
tremendous amount of work was done since the beginning of transition to mend
relations between Israel and South Arfica, atfer Israel was one of the only countries
that suppotred the apartheid regime. You know that as well as I do. I would have
expected you to raise that here. That too was to put it mildly a mistake, I think it was
absolutely anti ethical to raise the principles of Zionism. That unholy alliance
between Israel and the apatrheid South Arfica.
We spent an amazing time and effotr to mend the relations. In the past two and a half
years, and it has to be said, the Foreign Ministry of the State of Israel has
systematically unraveled a lot of the mending of the fences that took place in the
peace healing for years. There is no government policy towards South Arfica. We
have neglected our relations with South Arfica. It took nine months to appoint an
Ambassador to South Arfica. We letf the Embassy in Pretoria unmanned that was
gross neglect. South Arfica is ahead, it leads now the non-aligned group. It is one of
the most impotrant countries of the south. You know that as well as I do, and we have
had too many dififculties in our relationship in the last two and a half years, because
of the lack of a concept, the lack of a policy and the lack of the investment of
resources in our relations, very complicated relations with South Africa.
The Foreign Ministry should have sent somebody here today to explain what Israeli
policy is towards South Arfica, because I think South Arfican Jewish students have
the right to know what that policy is and where it is leading. What values it is based
on and what its objectives are. That is the second problem.
The third problem is that Israel, unfortunately, is in a period of growing international
isolation. It breeds some of the most horrible responses against Israel, against Jews,
against Zionism; they are not always the same thing. We have to be very carerfil. But
I repeat, I really appreciate your coming here, but you are in a sense the subjects or the
objects of a situation which is a function of changes in South Arfica, conrfision in
Israeli policy and a lack of parity within Israel and what its goals are, that is why are
going to elections.
But feel rfee to think, to criticize, to make up your own minds on the peace process
and we will all ifght together against any attempts to equate Zionism with racism,
because that is foolish. I am sorry I spoke for so long but believe you me, I could start
speaking now and give you a one down and probably end up after my primaries,
which would be a shame. Thank you.
Noami is one of the experts, no question about, as you
can imagine our political views are completely different and I think that we have to
look at it, there is a connection as we csee, between states that become inside the
states and in their inner policy and out policy towards Israel, that they equate, they
make instead of being like anti-Semitic or kind of anti-Semitic, they start to be anti-
Israeli. So we cannot make a clear definition between these two things, although we
would like to. This is one of the problems that these young people are facing.
I forgot a very important point. By the way, I was most
distressed by the fact that you intimated that this was ofifcial South Arfican policy. It
is not. You said it was unofifcial policy, will governments support it, but also Naomi,
I would like to question the Knesset on this matter. This is not South Aifican
government policy. Absolutely not.
The evidence we have gotten is ifrom the Moslem student association, as you know
well, which is no lover of Israel, and no lover of Zionism. But it is not government
policy, and I would like to really very clearly caution that anything said at this
committee does not intimate, suggest, hint that we are dealing here with governmental
policy. It is a gross error. The nature of our relations with South Arfica are very
delicate now. Israel has an interest in close relations with South Arfica, also to protect
South Aifican Jewry and to even suggest that there is a government policy in this
matter, I absolutely reject that. There is no evidence of that and I don't think we
should say that aloud. I am sorry to be so emphatic on that point, because tomorrow
morning,if there was a suggestion that the Knesset of Israel, even raised the idea that
south Aifican government policy is supporting what is going on in the campuses, I am
telling you we will create an unbelievable explosion. So, please let us not do it.
We have some problems that we have to deal with and
we would have expected that the South Aifican government would condemn more and
do more on that direction. We will continue to discuss it. This morning we have here
if-om the Jewish Congress Mr. Avi Baker, but before I give you the floor Avi,
I would just like really to congratulate and welcome Mr. Julius Weinstein, you were
the leader for many years in South Aifican Jewry of the Jewish Federation, the Jews
in South Aifica and you made aliyah and really we want to welcome you here in
Israel. I think it gave you some more gray hairs, but you are still very young and 1
hope that you will help us to encourage these young people with all the talking that we
are facing, and the problems and the good things to come to Israel and to follow your
Julius we are every happy to have you here with us and I hope that you will be helping
our committee here in the Knesset to make more and to be more direct and more
specific about the Jews in South Africa and the best way, on one hand to give them a
hand where they are and whatever they decide and on the other hand to try to bring as
many more here to Israel instead of some of them going to Australia and some other
countries. Would you like to add something at this stage?
JULIUS WEINSTEIN. Madam chair. members of the knesset, my dear Mends
from South Aifdca. Thank you very much for your warm welcome and the ifrst advice
I would like to give to the members of SAUJS, with whom I have had a long
association, don't wait until your hair grows as gray as mine before you decide to
come on aliyah. It does not do any harm, but it does not do you much good. So, don't
wait too long.
Let us deal with the situation as I see it. A lot has been said about the neutralityof the
South Aifrican government and the unofifcial stance of the South Aifrican government.
In a number of discussions that I have had with the leadership of the south African
government, and I refer to people like Mandela and Tabu Mbeki on behalf of the
Jewish community, seeking situations that we enjoyed in the past for the future, I
found a very clear and unequivocal stance taken by these two leaders and the
committees which sit around with them. When you see Tabu Mbeki you also see
Frenchie Kamie and you also see Parda Aziz and you also see a number of cabinet
ministers who formed the foreign policy of South Aifica. There is nothing neutral
about their policy. They have made it perfectly clear that they support Mr. Arafat and
the Palestinian State. They recently hosted the non-aligned nations to a conference in
Durban and refused entry to the Israeli Ambassador, who was invited. When he
presented himself at this function, he was refused entry.
So, there is nothing unofficial and there is nothing neutral. They have made it
perfectly clear that they support Arafat, who supported them in their cause for
rfeedom and emancipation or development of their situation, and they are fully behind
the peace process. For as long as Israel
So am I and so is over half or to put it very bluntly close
to 70% of Israeli citizens are in favor of the peace process and over 60% of
Palestinians, but it makes it sound as an anti-Israel policy. It is not an anti-policy to
support a Palestinian state.
But Shaki is right, he says, why be under Jewish.
75% for the Palestinian State, so why hate the Jews?
What I am saying is that the South Arfican government
wants what is happening to 75%of Israelis.
But they speak on Zionism as being equated to
The South Arfican policy I cautioned not to separate
between the Zionist issue and policy on a Palestinian state.
Mr. Weinstein says they are not neutral, and to put it as
if they are neutral is not the right
There is no country in the world today, let us wake up
that is not overt persuasion and position.
But Jews were there for many years like that around the
I said we do our selves a disservice by confusing anti-
Zionist remarks with remarks
Noami leave it now.
I really don't know what I said to create all this heat, but
I feel likeI am in the Knesset listening to the debate, had I have been speaking in
Hebrew, I can understand the outburst against my remarks, but I am speaking in
English, and I am stating to you the facts as the exist, whether you like them or you
don't like them, these are the things that the leaders of South Arfica are saying. I am
telling my colleagues and rfiends of South Arfica, of SAUJS that they must not be
surprised and they must not amazed and it is not an unofficial policy, and it is not a
neutral policy, it is a very clear policy of the South Arfican government to do what
they are doing.
Now they are doing the wrong thing. Instead of having a situation against Israel,
instead of forcing Israel or requiring Israel or dealing through the foreign offices, as
they should be doing, they are dealing with the Jewish community. They are not
separating the Jewish community rfom the State of Israel. To them is it the thing.
You are Jewish, you belong to a Jewish Zionist organization, therefore you are
responsible and part of this type of regime and part of this type of system. They are
helped by this, because very often and I know of two or three cases, of Israelis who
come to South Arfica, sometimes in high positions, and attack the government of
Israel, that they are entitled to do so, but I believe in Israel not in South Arfica. All
that they are doing is echoing some of these criticisms and some of these remarks that
they hear rfom Israeli leaders.
I don't want to go into too much detail. But I want to say one thing that we must not
be surpirsed at the attitude that we ifnd in South Arfica. We must not be surpirsed. It
is there and I want to agree with those members of SAUJS who have spoken, the
Jewish community needs more education, more hasbarah, more information. I agree
with those who say that more emissaires rfom Israel should come and meet with the
Jewish community of South Arfica and the government of South Arfica, and explain
its position, and explain its situation with regard to Oslo and with regard to Wye an
with regard to the agreement and whatlsrael is doing.
There is a lack of information. There is a lack of knowledge and those that are
coming are cirticizing. So, let those who will support the situation adopted by the
government of Israel, irrespective of what government of Israel. Let them adopt the
attitude of my government, irght or wrong, we support the government of the day.
When this goes wrong, then the Jewish community in South Arfica will pay the pirce.
And the Jewish community of South Arfica paying the pirce today. You have heard
rfom the students. They are being attacked, they are being maligned, and they are
being questioned in debate. Life is not as comfortable in South Arfica for Jews as it
used to be and yet Jews are not responsible for the policies of the government of
The government of Israel acts in its best interests. This has to be explained. All I can
say again tp SAUJS, please don't wait for your hair to get white. Take your measures,
take your actions, I am not the one to talk of aliyah, I have only been here a few
months. I have achieved everything that I have hoped to achieve. All the horror
stoires that I heard about, proteksia and bureaucracy and problems and dififculties, I
have managed to overcome. I even have a dirving license, as my good rfiend will tell
you, which I got first shot. I even have a Teudat oleh, Teudat Zehut, I have even
taken care of my health. They don't know what to do for me. Really if you were to
come, they would not know what to do for you.
So, I want you to give some hard thinking about what to do about aliyah, how to do it
and to do it as soon as possible, because it really is not terirbly painful at all, in fact it
is very pleasurable, and I am sure you will make a contirbution to this country,
because Telfed has made, and Telfed is the South Arfican Zionist Federation in Israel,
the Tel Aviv ofifce of the Zionist Federation has made a tremendous contirbution in
Israel. Naomi you know that contirbution, and we will talk about that a little later on.
If you would come, our contirbution would be greater. So thank you for allowing me
the few works. I don't know what the heat was all about, but these are my feelings
and these are my sentiments. Thank you for your welcome.
thank you mr. Weinstein for your warm heart, warming
to hear that you have a good absorption, a good klitah in Israel and we will look
forward to hear that you will have many very good days here in Israel.
Mr. Avi Bakor, I would very much like to hear rfom you because, not only that you
are the General Director of the World Jewish Congress it is very important for us,
even to ifnd out what you think would be the irght thing to do now, whether to cover
things up, as I would say that Noami is heading in such a direction, because of
responsibility, I would say, you are arfaid that it might deteirorate the relations
between Israel and the South Arfican government, which would not be good for both
You can disagree with me and that is perfectly
legitimate, it is not what I said. I said very clearly that there is virtually an accusation
that the South Arfican government is anti Israel, I say that is incorrect and it is
dangerous. That we must separate between South Arfican government's position and
policy and others related to the peace process and on issues related to groups in South
AMca that are once again raising the specter of the equation of Zionism and racism.
If we don't do that we are being thoroughly irresponsible. We are being thoroughly
irresponsible in terms of the nature of our relations with South Africa, which are
tremendously important for Israel and for South Arfican Jewry, and we are being
thoroughly irresponsible in terms of the kind of problems that the South Arfican
Union of Jewish Students brought to this table. Tierefore, I was very clear, I was
very explicit, I also admit that it is a complicated point, but I am insistent on that and I
want to clarify again and again if necessary.
We need the help of Mr.. Avi Bakor to try and clear up
the very delicate issues, because I think Avi is one of the international experts of
defining between relations that we have with countries and states around the world
and the facts of anti-Semitism and other Jewish problems that we have in these states.
I just want to add one sentence. Mr. Avi Bakor was my professor in Bar Ilan
University. I was a student, not like you Noami, I was an actress, and I was in a
The main subject that was issued at the time that I was your student was the equation
between Zionism and racism and I think you gave me a good mark in the exam. So
anyway, Avi toda rabba.
Thank you very much madam chairperson. As you
know, I am sure that you are following Israeli press, we don't have yet a date for
elections, but as you have witnessed just now we are already in an election campaign
and quite hot.
My worry is that sometimes internal differences here in Israel are really paralyzing
our efforts in establishing closer ties with Diaspora Jewish communities and secondly
sometimes we are making Diaspora communities as an arena for fighting Israeli
politics and it is not always something which is good for the Diaspora and also not a
good incentive for aliyah and I am very much encouraged by Mr. Weinstein,
We sometimes need people who are coming rfom the Diaspora to teach us Zionism,
what is real Zionism, day to day Zionism and I really welcome you here in Israel, and
you, I am sure, will serve a strong link with a community which is a sort of a crisis.
There is no doubt that the South Arfican commimity is in a crisis.
I will try to do something which is really impossible to bridge the gap between some
opposing views in Israel, which are legitimate and I think that we are entering into an
election campaign, in which Israelis will have to make some decision and great
decisions. So I will try really to find a middle way.
I support Professor a member of Knesset Noami Hazan, really it is not to mix together
the historic background of the relations between the PLO, Arafat and the ANC and
Mandela. I think that this is something which is at the background and this is a legacy
and the fact that Mandela is inviting Arafat, I think it is something very legitimate and
he is not alone and many other countries are doing it. As Professor Hazan said, many
Israelis would support it because of their views in the current political debate in Israel.
So we should not mix together this high policy matters, we should leave it really to
the Foreign Ministry and I agree with you that the Israeli Foreign Ministry and maybe
the Knesset should really pressure on the Israeli Foreign Ministry to run its Embassy
in South Arfica really as a place which is very sensitive, very complicated. We need
good Ambassadors, and by no means, we can desert this place as it was deserted for
such a long period.
On the other hand, I think that we should also come with the very strong statement on
really not linking anti-Zionism with racism, and I think that we can also be strong in
our request to the government and to the Mandela government there that they should
do something. Something more concrete in coming to the defense of the Jewish
community. Because this is not just pieces of paper as we know, which really are
making these links between Zionism and racism. We have heard the Arab story which
everybody knows, and we see that sometimes words, propaganda are ending in
A bomb and a bomb which is directed against a synagogue, and this is no longer a
matter of strictly Zionism or anti-Israeli act. This is anti-Semitism in its pure sense.
So,as far as Jewish communities in the Diaspora are concerned, anti-Zionism is anti-
Semitism. That is why also I think that WUJS should also be more blunt in it s report
in Hebrew here, I don't find the word anti-Semitism here. You are trying really to
make the impossible and speaking about anti-Zionism and anti-Israeli, but in this case,
and I know well, I was in South Arfica a few months ago, the South Arfican Jewish
community regards Zionism as something whiis at the very center of its identity. This
is part of their Judaism, and there is no doubt that for them, anti-Zionism tax even
words is really something which they would deifne as anti-Semitic act, particularly
when it really ends. So, this is a pretext. Sometimes anti-Israel propaganda and anti-
Zionist propaganda is just a pretext to be anti-Semitic and we see how it can end up
really in a synagogue.
So, I think that we should really say something to the government there, and I know it
is very sensitive and they are also entering now in an election campaign. Something
should be done really directly between the Israeli Foreign Ministry and South Arfican
government. In this respect, we in the World Jewish Congress, we are planning and
we had a discussion recently in our executive about the future of the Jewish
community inSouth Arfica. We have prominent members rfom South Arfica in our
executive, Mr. Mendel Kaplan and we hosted in the last meeting also Mrs. Bethlehem,
the Chairman of the Board, and we are planning to make an executive, a large
executive in South Africa, in order to show the solidairty of World Jewry with this
At the same time, I think that what we really should convey, a message to the
government is really that World Jewry for us, anti-Zionism and this kind of actions in
South Arfica are not really just a domestic matter. They should regard this also as a
foreign policy matter, namely, we World Jewry, we are sensitive, we regard these
attacks as something which is threatening the Jewish community. We have already
the concrete results of this kind of propaganda, and we should not enter, I agree with
Noami Hazan into this South Arfican Palestinian relations, which is really something
we should keep for the debate internally in Israel, and also among Jews. Thank you.
Thank you very much. The Foreign Ministry please.
Good morning I am rfom the Foreign Ministry, the
World Jewish Affairs Department. I want to relate to a few sentences by Mrs. Hazan.
I was invited here this morning like I am invited every week to the committee dealing
with Diaspora, Diaspora affairs. klitah, and absorption. I was here invited to meet
youngsters rfom South Arfica to discuss some of the issues that are bothering you and
the equation ofZionism with racism.
But, as you can see many of these issues are related to the political and hasbarah.
Basically the problems that you have brought up are related to political relations with
South Arfica and hasbarah. Now relating to Professor Hazan's remarks. You are
welcome to come and listen any time that you like to the very sensitive Israel South
Arfican relations. But I think this is not something that we discuss in this committee.
You are welcome to come.
Unfortunately I am not in the political desk in the
Foreign Ministry, which was not invited, did not arirve today. It is regretful. But you
are entitled to listen to their opinion. As you said, the Ambassador and the Embassy
do not stand alone, but you are part of the same of the struggle. You are also
ambassadors for this matter.
Now you are welcome, it is possible, I don't know till when you are here, you are
welcome to meet the high officials in the Foreign Ministry who are in charge of the
relations of South Arfica. This may be an excellent idea for you to meet them and to
listen.Of course, we have an Embassy in South Arfica and an Ambassador in South
Arfica, who is always there if you have any questions and you would like to hear the
I do n to agree with the remarks that were made here, that we have no policy or that
South Arfica is no important to Israeli and to the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
But I would like you to convey to the Foreign Ministry
that the feeling and idea that we get here is that these wonderful young students feel as
if they are neglected. They don't have any support form Israel as to the hasbarah, that
they have to get many more tools and what is the Israeli government doing to fight
the anti-Semitism, all kinds of expressions that are taking place in the campuses in
South Arfica. We would like to get your comments on that and I ask you to get your
answers to this committee as soon as possible, in the next week, I hope.
If you want, we can send you or to Ilanit we will convey to you what we get as a
response rfom the Foreign Ministry on the issues that we raised here and that were
just mentioned. Brenda Stem please.
Let me just introduce here, she used to be once the
chairperson of the Student Organization in South Arfica, and today she is a member of
the Board of Deputies and she is now in Israel.
Thank you for the opportunity and I am sorry chaver
knesset hazan is not here. I wanted to start by saying one thing, and Julius it is
really nice to see you here, I must tell you that what I heard around the table this
morning, I almost feel like I am sitting around the Zionist Federation table ten years
ago, and not necessarily in a nice way, but it is always good to see you, because really
nothing much has changed.
You have to understand two things, and I want to start off by saying one thing and
reiterating what Avi said and what Noami Hazan has said. It is very very dangerous
and irresponsible to start talking about South Arfican policy, South Arfican
government policy, in terms of anti-Semitism and support for the Palestinians in one
voice and in one message. There is not the policy.
What we don't need and we know it, because this happens the whole time, is some
headline in the Jerusalem Post tomorrow or in whatever newspaper of in the Star G-d
forbid saying exactly as quoted, the Knesset has said that basically the South Arfican
government is anti-Semitic. We need to be responsible about the way that we interact
and engage with our government and with the Israeli Foreign Ministry in terms of
Let me just say two things and part of it almost something that I would like to discuss
with SAUJS in-house, in termsof determining their policy. There is a saying that we
love using in South Arfica called "What was was." What was was ten years ago in
terms of relations between the Israeli government and the South Arfican government
is no more. For me particularly,I asa student leader grew up in a country and with a
Jewish community where the ties in Israel and South Arfica were an unholy alliance,
they were uncomfortably close and they were very dangerous. We warned ten years
ago that the chickens that have come home to roost today would come home to roost
and here they are.
This is not a surpirse that the South Arfican government and the anti-govemment is,
this is not a surpirse that Yasser Arafat is visiting the parliament and for me quite
honestly and for a lot of South Arficans, it is not a problem. These are not the issues,
the issues when it comes to blatant anti-Semitism, when it comes to Moslem
fundamentalism , what is the Israeli government doing about it? That is the issue. We
asked the South Arfican government to treat us as Jews, and then also to allow us to
make our comments about Israel and to treat us almost as Israeli South Arfican Jews.
We cannot have it every which way.
We have always as the leadership in the community said, that we support the
government of the day. For the ifrst time this year we have had people come to South
Arfica, for example, Oren, who was the Israeli Ambassador to South Arfica, coming
and giving a different perspective. It caused an entire ruckus in the community,
because we cannot have people cirticizing Israel in South Arfica. Julius I disagree
with you, I have always disagreed with you on this issue.
The bottom line is that there are differences of political opinion in Israel and that the
more that that kind of political pluralism is allowed to be reflected within South
Arfica in a constructive way, the more South Arfican is going to rule out, if there is
not only one message coming out rfom Israel, the more you are going to be able to
reinforce the message that Israel is a democracy, should be treated and respectedas a
democracy and that there are differences of opinion. Those differences of opinion are
not necessarily supported by the leadership of the day. Our position is, South Arfican
Jewish leadership is clear, we support Israel, Israel's irght to exist, not negotiable. Not
with insecure borders.
We are going in too much into the political problems
and I want to be more exact about what is going on in the campuses and to try to ifnd
a way how to help. If the Israeli govenrment can help and I think we can do
something, and maybe the question is, whether we should be more ifrm and do more,
and the Jewish world on the whole, and I think they should do something, to make it
clear to the South Arfican government that these equations are very dangerous and
that it is the equation between Zionism and racism comes out to be anti-Israeli. We
cannot make a complete definition between it because it is there.
So, I think it would be to close our eyes to say there is nothing in common with the
very pro-Palestinian approach of the government and there you have to be careful not
to do this equation.
That with respect I disagree with. The American
government has received Arafat, Clinton goes to the Palestinians
Yes, but it did not go together with the equation, when
they received Arafat and representatives coming out with the equation between
Zionism and racism then we have the burning of a synagogue in Cape Town. It brings
one to the other. They have to be careful. In America, it does not happen, and it might
happen. I think that to be too careful of this issue would not be the right policy.
Let me finish this point. I think that by not finishing
you don't understand what I am saying in one sense. I am not saying let us close our
eyes, I am not saying let us apologize, it has never been my style, not as a student
leader. not as a Jewish leader. What I am saying is let us not say, firstly let us
understand who has said Zionism equals apartheid, where does this come rfom? Has
it come out of the mouth, beside Verwoerd, had it come out of the mouths in express
terms rfom the South Arfican government? When that happens we know.
We are full citizens of the country and we need to start learning to be more pro-active
both as leadership and as student leadership. Being reactionary does not give us any
credibility. We need to actually determine what our policies and promote those
policies are. When those policies are being interfered with because of government
pronouncement because of this nonsense which has been the same as it has been for
ten years, we need to actually respond to it in a constructive way, with real
constructive, strategic intervention. It does not help us to come and say that because
the govenrment is pro-Palestinian, then shuls get bombed.
Because the government is not cracking down on Moslem fundamentalism, yes, I am
telling you shuls get bombed. That is a different issue. We need to be very very clear
I just to comment, it is not only we that have to be very
clear on that, they have to be very clear on that, and this we don't see. On that. we
have to work.
They are not going to be clear on it unless both the
South African leadership, whether it is student leadership, whether it is communal
leadership and the Israeli government starts asserting. Now, for example,
Ambassador Oren, when Yasser Arafat came to parliament and the members of
parliament made more anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist comments than he did,
Ambassador Oren wasvery clear, he wrote letters to both the President, the speaker of
the house and members of parliament concerned. Those letters were published in the
newspaper full things, then wrote op-ed editorials so people could read. There was
the position within. That is the kind of hasbarah and that is the strategic intervention
that has to happen.
Then I am not going to turn around and change their policy. It is up to us to get them
to change their policy and we have got to be strategic about it. With all dues respect
to the Foreign Ministry, you know we always hear rfom Israel and it has always been
the same thing rfom ten years. It is in some committee, but it is very hush hush and it
is very confidential, that is nonsense.
The Jewish community in South Arfica is the community that is living there, and it
not about speaking to people who represent the community, necessarily they will say
they do, and are living outside the country, and are just pulling strings here and there.
It is about coming into the community and it is about meeting with community
leadership and together determining a strategic proposal and strategic plan. That is
how it works.
Okay, Mrs. Stem we have to continue, we have to
conclude the session . Is there anybody who wants to add something on this point?
As a representative of the Student Authority in Israel,
where we speak about more than 10,000 students rfom abroad, including about 100
students, I believe rfom South Arfica, sorry 72, hopefUlly it will be more than one
100, I invite you to join the students to come and study here in Israel.
They did not come yet for this program? This is a short
one, I see.
I am the Chairman of the South Arfican Zionist
Federation in Israel. Firstly, I find it ironic that Zionism as an ideology is under
onslaught as a political ideology. When I see Zionism in South Arfica today really
having lost its weight. Today I don't think that Zionism is really part of the South
Arfican culture anymore. I mean these people are representative of Jewish leadership,
but in the main, if we see the quantity and the quality of the aliyah stemming rfom
South Arfica today, it really looks like it is on the way down. This I think might be
impacting on the lack of leadership in South Arfican in Jewish leaders today to really
be able and capable and be adept at tackling the kind of problems that we are hearing
My question really to the students is whether they are seeking counsel here today in
terms of substance, in other words, the ideas to go back and rebut the arguments, or
whether they are seeking counsel in terms of the mechanisms as to how ready to go
about it. From what I can gauge, the onslaughts that is appearing the former, I mean I
have not really given this thought, I am new to this, and I assume that the kind of
comments about it appearing in the S.A. press, how does one really effectively tackle
this? Are there Jewish journalists that are able to get counter arguments to appear in
the newspapers or to get on the TV, irrespective of their nature of the political domain.
I just want to know, is there a mechanism and do they have the ability and the
capability of getting arguments across to the South Arfican public? Are the students
in a position to get their arguments, whatever those arguments are, independent of
their peace debate across? So my question really to the students is, is it a question of
substance. because we have heard and you have heard different counter arguments and
they are all valid. I mean, I happen to share a lot of what Naomi was saying. But
whether that is the position, or whether really they are looking for counsel on the
We have another ifve minutes, so please make it very
I don't hold any ofifcial SAUJS position, I have just
ifnished school, I will be entering university next year. My views as a person entering
the student body, unfortunately, the fact that Zionism is being run down in South
Aifica through the press and through the media. Unfortunately Zionism is associated
with Israel and Israel is associated with the Jewish people and it is leading to a lot of
anti-Semitism, which is causing trouble, for example, shuls being blown up and flags
being bunrt and that sort of thing.
Professor Hazan mentioned earlier that it was the irght of the students to know. I
think it is more than the irght, I think it is a necessity for them to know the facts and to
know what thelsraeli policies are. Not only that, but through such programs, I mean
for myself,we just came on the SAUJS LTS the leadership program in Israel, and for
me it has been a fascinating program, we have learned a lot, so much by dealing
directly with the issues on a one to one basis. We have met people rfom all sides of
the conflict, and it has enabled us to really get an overview and a better view of what
is going on.
I mean for myself, I can now go back and share with my Mends and with the fellow
students the situation in Israel and allow them to understand what is going on.
The pages that you ifnd in rfont of them what they are
doing. This year it was round about Yom Kippur they were advertising this Zionism
equals racism and were going to have like an exhibition of this on Yom Kippur. Yom
Kippur is a day at university when there is not a single Jew there. So there was
absolutely nothing that we could do to rebut it. So what we basically did was we put
posters up all over the campus that was all we could do. It was a very passive
But, I understand what you are saying in terms of the government and in terms of
making a separation between the relations with the Palestinians and the relations in
terms with the peace process. But, there is nothing nobody else is doing, the only
people that are doing anything is us. Maybe they should just catch a wake up
sometime. Really and truly, they need to, it is just not fair, and it is not fair to allow
people like Hamas to have ofifces in South Arfica, because it takes away our irght. It
is not fair to do nothing about this bombing at the shuls.
I am very grateful that you speak about your expression
to NTS. I have just two words about the Jewish Agency, we brought the SAUJS
group. I think that whole idea is to expose Israel and democracy, is to expose the
different things and not just to build a bridge. I don't want just to build like
everything is the same and we have one just policy. If we really are like a sovereign
state, we are a living democracy, the very tool that we can give to the students and to
see that Israel is pluralist, that Israel has different ideas. That they see what happened
here and they take this with them, and they take with them that there is a difference
between a whole and absolute identification with the state and not necessary with each
one of the government, but with the State of Israel. In the State of Israel, we are a
very pluralistic society.
Now, with what you are saying now, I think that mechanism is there, we cannot
differentiate about how to do things and what we say. What we say in different ways.
What really bothers me, it is something that I want to convey to WUJS and not only to
South Africa, but in general. I think that the role of the students in the different
campuses in South AMca, is not to be reactive of things but to be proactive.
So, I don't think that the very issue, that we must think a lot how to act to Zionism and
racism, but what are the issues that we want to be active to have our presence in the
South Arfican campus.
I think there is a slight misconception. I think that in
Israel I think the biggest watched broadcasting is the news. In South Arfica,. The same
thing. The only way to get into the news is bring someone. PLO leader Yasser
Arafat came and no one is sajdng that he should not come. What we want is for
someone rfom Israel just as big to come to South Arfica to make just as big an
appearance for the Jews to feel that Israel is there.
We want to see that Israel. What happens behind closed doors we are not seeing. That
is the main concept. If we are not seeing, we are not believing. That is the main thing
in South Arfica. It is not that we don't believe that Israel is doing a lot, because we
know that Israel is doing a lot. The whole thing is that the Jewish population is not
seeing it on television and the whole reason is because Noami Hazan has been
numerous times to South Arfica, and I don't think thatmyself personally or any other
delegate here rfom the South Arfican Union of Jewish Students was aware of her
Okay, I would like to conclude this session. I must say
again to thank you very much. I think it was very interesting and I think for you as
well it was a good opportunity to watch Israeli parliamentarism as it works,. You can
go up as well, Ilanit are you taking them up to the plenum some of the voting, now we
are bringing up some ruling into the plenum, you will see a little how it works and
you saw also difference of opinion between like letf wing, which is Noami Hazan, I
am a right winger here in the Knesset, a Likud member of parliament and Avner Shaki
is a Mavdal member of parliament, and to see differences as we saw in the Jewish
world, I must say all over the years and the Jewish history as a whole.
There is a discussion whether to be more activist against the phenomenon of anti-
Semitism, of anti-Jewish or to sit still and not say anything and to wait till the bad
wave is going over, or to do something to ifght for our views and to fight against anti-
Semitism and other phenomenon that we4 have made us Jews for 2000 years and
But there should deifnitely be a big difference nowadays, once we have the State of
Israel. It has. I would say, two basic meanings. First of all that you should feel that
you have a backing. There is a State, a Jewish State in this world that is giving you
backing. You feel it in other parts of the world. I think we don't feel it enough in
South Africa and you expressed it and we should do more. I hope that the invitation
for the Prime Minister or the Foreign Minister of Israel will come rfom the South
Arfican government, so you will hear more rfom us and feel more the backing that
you have rfom Israel. We are not strong enough on that.
The other issue is, that we as Israel are interested that you as Jews will come to Israel,
because of Zionism, because this is a Jewish State, it is our interest and we want that it
will be your interest as well. This is your home, we want to give you the feeling that
this is your home and to come over here, because here it is secure, there is no anti-
Semitism and it is the Jewish State.
So we have these two issues that I will conclude it now. and to be more carerful with
1. ועדת העליה והקליטה קובעת כי המשטר בדרום-אפריקה אינו תומך והוא מעודד פעולות
אנטישמיות אנטי ישראליות בקמפוסים בדרום-אפריקה.
2. ועדת העליה והקליטה רושמת לפניה את תחושות החרדה, התסכול והמתיחות בקרב
הסטודנטים היהודים בקמפוסים בדרום-אפריקה לנוכח הפעולות העוינות של תא הסטודנטים
המוסלמי N.S.Aשם והשוואת הציונות לאפרטהייד.
3. הוועדה קוראת למשרד החוץ לנקוט בפעולות הסברה תרבות וחינוך בקרב הסטודנטים
היהודים בדרום-אפריקה שיענקו להם כלים להתמודד עם תופעות חמורות אלה.
4. הוועדה רושמת לפניה את בעיות האנטישמיות בקמפוסים בדרום-אפריקה ופונה לאירגונים
היהודים ברחבי תבל לעקוב אחר התופעות האלה ולהגיב בהתאם.
5. הוועדה קוראת ליהודים בדרום-אפריקה לראות במדינת ישראל תשובה הולמת גם, בין השאר,
לתופעות אנטישמיות ואנטי-ציוניות ולעלות למדינת ישראל.
הישיבה ננעלה בשעה 00;11