Menu JTA Search

So. Africa Jews Welcome Premier’s Call Against Anti-jewish Feelings

SIGN UP FOR THE JTA DAILY BRIEFING

The South African Jewish Board of Deputies expressed gratification here, at its regular monthly meeting yesterday, over the attitude of Prime Minister Hendrik F. Verwoerd, who assured the country in an address Saturday that he does not consider the Jews of South Africa responsible for Israel’s “rebuff” of this country’s Government.

The Premier criticized Israel sharply for recalling its Minister Plenipotentiary, Simcha Pratt, in pursuit of Israel’s policy of opposing South Africa’s apartheid policy at the United Nations.

The Board expressed “welcome” of the Premier’s warning that Israel’s latest move must not arouse resentment against South African Jews. Mr. Verwoerd told the country: “The Jews of South Africa are citizens of South Africa and have shown how deeply they resent Israel’s attitude. There must not be any anti-Jewish feeling in South Africa. The Government standpoint is this: If feelings were motivated here against Jews, we would commit the same injustice to them as the world is committing against us.”

At a meeting here last night, addressed by Leon Dultzin, chairman of the Jewish Agency’s economic department in Jerusalem, Joseph Dale ski, vice-chairman of the South African Zionist Federation, stated that “every Jew in South Africa welcomes Dr. Verwoerd’s reaffirmation that the Jewish community here must not be held responsible for the acts of Israel’s Government.

“Israel,” said the Zionist leader, “is a sovereign state, solely responsible for its own decisions. South African Jews are South African citizens whose loyalty to South Africa has been demonstrated in peace and in war. ” Clarifying the Zionist position further, Mr. Daleski added: “This does not exclude our ties with the Jewish peoples’ national restoration in the land of their fathers. Zionism is part of the Jewish hopes, dreams and faith.”

PREMIER CONSIDERS ISRAEL’S MOVE AS ‘SLAP’ TO SOUTH AFRICAN JEWRY

Prime Minister Verwoerd had declared in his address that “Israel’s decision not to replace her Minister in South Africa was not only a rebuff to South Africa but also a slap in the face of South African Jewry, which has done so much to help Israel and was principally served by Israel’s Minister here. They did not deserve this blow.”

Continuing, the Premier recalled that, “when Israel was born, and other nations stood aside, South Africa was among the first to recognize and to help the new State. New Israel is turning against South Africa, to curry the favor of the African states.”

“Israel, ” he said, “condemns South African apartheid, but herself exists on a form of apartheid which affirms the Jewish State’s separateness and the right to exclude Arab refugees. If the Israel Government should be in difficulties through choosing the wrong friends, South Africa would not easily help her again. If the present Israel opposition came to power, it would be a different matter. But the present Israel Government could not expect help after the way it has treated South Africa.”

NEXT STORY