ADL Calls on South African President to Speak Out Against Anti-Semitism
New York, NY, January 30, 2009 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called on President Kgalema Motlanthe of South Africa to speak out against rising anti-Semitism in his country, including the statements of a foreign ministry official who claimed that "Jewish money" controls America.
"We are deeply concerned about the increasingly anti-Semitic environment in South Africa, with alarming anti-Jewish rhetoric and calls to action against Jews," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "For the government to remain silent in the face of prejudiced sentiments directed against the Jewish community in South Africa enables an environment of intimidation and hate to become socially acceptable."
At a recent anti-Israel rally, Deputy Foreign Minister Fatima Hajaig charged, "Jewish money controls America and most Western countries." Some grassroots anti-Israel organizations are calling for the boycotting of ostensibly Jewish owned South African businesses.
In a letter to President Motlanthe, the League noted that, "Since its emergence from apartheid, South Africa has held itself up to the world as a beacon of equality and tolerance." The letter continued, "We urge you to make a statement firmly denouncing anti-Semitism and making clear that such hate and prejudice has no place in South Africa."
"While individuals and governments may disagree with Israel's action in Gaza against Hamas, directing this criticism and hostility towards the Jewish people as a whole, and using the situation to propagate age-old anti-Semitic stereotypes is unacceptable," Mr. Foxman added.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.