exploring issues related to Israel, israeli society & global Jewry
In this article, Bev Goldman suggests that the current political and social climate in South Africa has left the Jewish community feeling vulnerable. She explores what a Ramaphosa presidency might mean for South Africa-Israel relations and the future of the South African Jewish community.
AS we enter a Ramaphosa-presidency, there is little doubt that “we live in interesting times.” Tumultuous and tempestuous, yes, but riveting too. What will the future bring? How imminent and dramatic will change be? And, considering the ANC’s stance on Israel, will these changes include a dramatic reconfiguration of relations between South Africa and Israel?
"Local businesses that continue to seek alliances with Israeli enterprises seemingly pay little, if any, attention – on the surface at least – to the political noises emanating from those who hold power."
Our Jewish community is an intriguing one. Our public utterances present an outward picture that we are a united community, that we strive for the same goals and aims, that we traverse the same beat. For the disinterested, the uninformed and those who still have hope, there is some sort of safety in trotting out the tried and tested axiom that South Africa and Israel, for all the media hype, are in reality still good friends away from the glare of the public spotlight. To think otherwise would suggest that the Jewish community’s relationship with the national government is soon to enter a turbulent period.
Jewish communal leaders – and some members of the Jewish community – have been quick to label these moves as mortal threats to the relationship between the states, and to the local Jewish community. The evidence suggests otherwise.