The People’s Republic of Congo has apologized for remarks by its Foreign Minister alleging a resemblance between Israel and South Africa and Nazi Germany. The apology was sent to the U.S. Representative to the United Nations, Vernon Walters, who had lodged a strong protest against the analogy.
Walters reacted to a speech by Foreign Minister Antoine Ndinga Oba to the General Assembly last Wednesday, on South Africa’s continued occupation of Namibia (Southwest Africa), in the course of which he said South Africa resembled no other state of modern times unless it was Israel or Nazi Germany. Israel and Congo have no diplomatic relations.
The Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith also reacted sharply. ADL national chairman Burton Levinson protested in a cable to President Denis Sassou Nguesso of Congo. “By linking Israel to the true perpetrators of racism you undermine the necessary effort of all peoples to work together toward ending the systems of apartheid and creating a just society for all in South Africa,” Levinson said.
A spokesman for Israel’s UN Mission said Sunday that Oba had apologized and gave assurances that he had not intended to equate Israel with Nazi Germany.
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.