Relations between the Republic of South Africa and Israel have been strained by the recent votes of the Israeli delegation at the United Nations on the charges of racial discrimination here under the Government’s Apartheid policy, it was stressed today by Prime Minister Hendrik F. Verwoerd.
Premier Verwoerd had received a letter from A.S. East, a Jewish former member of the City Council at Capetown, who had deplored Israel’s anti-South Africa voting in the United Nations. In his reply, the Premier made these points:
1. Israel’s voting at the United Nations could have had a disadvantageous influence on group relations here, had not South African Jews expressed criticism of Israel’s attitude.
2. South Africa always felt disposed toward and did help Israel, but now Israel is aligning itself against South Africa for selfish reasons.
3. Israel itself follows a policy of separate development, yet it attacked South Africa for a similar policy; People are beginning to ask: If Israel is really against separate development, why she and the surrounding Arab states did not become one larger state, even if this were to mean the absorption of one group by another.
4. South Africa is unjustly accused of wanting to oppress people. South Africa does not want to oppress–it wants to differentiate; and, for that reason, she believed in Israel.
“Now,” Premier Verwoerd stated in his letter, “we begin to wonder whether that support should not be withdrawn if, according to their own conviction, the ideal of separate development is fundamentally wrong;” He added that “this act of Israel, coming at the same time as other attacks on the policy of separate development, is a tragedy.”
The Premier also remarked that, during the recent parliamentary elections here, many Jews favored the Progressive Party while few Jews voted for the National Party. “This fact” stated the Premier, “did not go unnoticed.”
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.