South African Public Life Free of Jewish Issues, Report Says

Despite the changed political atmosphere which has existed in the Union of South Africa during the last few years, the country’s public life has been substantially free of any Jewish issues, according to the annual report of the executive council of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies. The report was published today in connection with the opening on Friday of the Board’s twentieth congress in which some 400 delegates of South African Jewish communities will participate.

The report noted that Jews continued to play a part in political and civic matters and commented that “it is a satisfactory feature of the position that, for the most part, there is a realization that they act in these spheres as individual citizens, not in any sense as spokesmen of the Jewish community.”

The report added that “generally there has been an understanding of the relationship of the Jewish community to the State of Israel and of the interest displayed by South African Jewry in the welfare of the Jewish State. This has been in line with the government policy which has shown a practical sympathy for Israel in many concrete forms.”

Referring to the fact that “overseas newspapers of some standing published articles charging the present government with pursuing policies unfriendly to the Jewish community,” the report said that “we deem it our duty to controvert these false reports.”

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