JOHANNESBURG (Aug. 25)
Leaders of the Anti-Defamation League returned this week from a visit here, bearing witness to “the miracle” of the country’s post-apartheid society.
“We are now witnessing the miracle of transition and when we see the prevalent good will, we view South Africa as a model for resolving conflicts and disputes around the world,” ADL’s national director, Abraham Foxman, said at a news conference before the group’s departure.
At the invitation of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, a 27-member ADL delegation visited South Africa on a 10-day fact-finding and solidarity mission.
Foxman said there had been a “great deal of interest and anxiety” among his colleagues regarding the future of South Africa as it made the transition from apartheid to a multiracial democracy.
However, following meetings with government officials, including President Nelson Mandela, Foxman said, “We feel reassured that there is no problem with anti-Semitism in any institutionalized form.”
The delegation also met with Deputy Executive President F.W. de Klerk and several Cabinet ministers, including Defense Minister Joe Modise, whose remarks in July comparing Israeli policies toward Palestinians with the old apartheid regime had generated concern in Jewish circles here.
Modise assured the delegation that he was as opposed to all forms of racism and anti-Semitism as was his deputy minister, Ronnie Kasrils, who is Jewish, Foxman said.