PHILADELPHIA (Jun. 24)
The growing rapprochement between Israel and South Africa is based purely on pragmatic considerations on both sides, Helen Suzman, leader of the struggle against South Africa’s apartheid policies, said here yesterday. The new relationship, however, does not necessarily mean that the two nations condone each other’s policies, she added, according to a report by Frank Wundohl and David Gross of the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent.
Mrs. Suzman, who is Jewish, was here to receive a special Civil Liberties Medallion at the annual open board meeting of the Philadelphia chapter of the American Jewish Committee. A leader of the opposition Progressive Reform Party in the South African Parliament, Mrs. Suzman maintained that most South African Jews, especially the younger Jews, do not support apartheid. However, she cautioned, Jews do not vote as a bloc and the South African vote is not analyzed by ethnic groups, as it is here in the United States.
Turning to the recent riots in South Africa which left more than 100 dead and thousands wounded, in the Black townships near Johannesburg and Pretoria, Mrs. Suzman noted that the recently appointed government commission would not search very far for their cause.
“The immediate cause of the rioting is the daily dosage of severe discomfort that is imposed on South African Blacks,” she said, To prevent further outbreaks of violence, Mrs. Suzman said she felt the government must act at once to alleviate some of the just grievances of the Black population.
Mrs. Suzman said American business should continue to invest in South Africa. She noted. however, that these businesses must improve conditions for their Black workers, adding that some already have.