JOHANNESBURG (Nov. 28)
Those who raise “the bogey of dual loyalty” in connection with South African Jewry’s Zionist sentiments were decried here by the chairman of the South African Board of Jewish Deputies who said that “the religious, historical and cultural bonds which bind us to Israel do not in any way impair or weaken our unqualified loyalty to the Republic of South Africa.”
Maurice Porter, addressing the Board’s 25th biennial congress, emphasized the “long and admirable record of sympathy and support for Jewish national aspirations in the Holy Land” manifested by the present government of South Africa as well as by previous governments. He referred specifically to the government’s permission to transmit substantial funds raised for Israel by South African Jews and non-Jews during the Six-Day War. “I have no doubt that in Israel too, this demonstration of friendliness and good will has been appreciated,” Mr. Porter said. He added, however, that “it is only realistic to recognize that in the complex world of today, Israel and South Africa have to pursue their own policies in the light of their own specific complex situations.”
Mr. Porter said that Jews are sometimes questioned on where they stand on their country’s racial problems. “There is no Jewish stand on such matters,” he explained. “We face the same dilemmas and problems that confront all who live in this country. We participate in the political life of the Republic, not as a group but as individuals. There is no uniformity of political viewpoint among Jews. They include in their ranks supporters of all the political parties. There is as much diversity of opinion among the Jewish community as among the South African population as a whole.”
Mr. Porter said there is not much overt anti-Semitic activity in South Africa today, but what there is requires vigilance. He said the Jewish community welcomed the Prime Minister’s recent statement denouncing anti-Semitism.