The Cape Times
There is a perceived troubling trend that South African pro-Israel supporters and organisations are not quoted by the media in the interests of fairness and balance. For example there is not a single pro-Israel source quoted that would be able to point out how BDS serves only to stigmatise Israel, intimidate its supporters and demonise the Jewish state, and how BDS singles Israel out for exclusive censure while rogue human rights offending nations like Iran, are more than let off the hook, but are held up as examples for investment by South African businesses. (Cape Times May 12, 2015 – SA, – Iranian business communities must seize the moment.)
To add to the problem BDS is given free reign to spread its poison about Israel without fear of rebuttal. For example, BDS efforts against SodaStream, an Israeli company which produces products in an Israeli settlement, is suspected of having influenced the company to shut down the factory. No newspaper in South Africa reported that as a result 900 Palestinians who were gainfully employed at the factory were out of a job and not likely to find another.
There has been no report as to the failure of BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions), when even one of its most vocal anti-Israel adherents Professor Norman Finkelstein, has repudiated BDS calling it “silliness, childishness, and a lot of leftist posturing. …They don’t want to change Israel… [they] want to eliminate Israel.”
Even faced with calls and campaigns promoting BDS, Israel’s economy continues to experience immense economic growth, and locally, ties between South Africa and Israel, whether cultural, academic or business, continue to flourish.
Israel began as a doubt in the world’s eye. Surrounded by enemies, it had to fight six wars in six decades. With a territory about the size of the Kruger National Park and few resources, other than the ingenuity of its people, it transformed itself from a developing country into a high-tech economy, taking its place alongside other industrial nations of the OECD. Over the span of less than seven decades, it grew 10-fold in population and 50-fold in gross domestic product.
It has far more to offer the people of South Africa than some of the opportunists in government who seem to be operating to a different agenda and against the best interests of our country.