(JTA) — A South African Zionist organization issued a voter guide in which it gave its highest score to a tiny fundamentalist Christian party.
In a posting on its Facebook page in advance of this week’s general election, as well as an email sent to supporters titled “Are you voting for a friend of Israel?,” the South African Zionist Federation rated the African Christian Democratic Party as the strongest supporter of Israel among the political parties. The ACDP on its website is described as standing for “Christian Democratic principles.” It earned 0.81 percent of the vote in the 2009 general elections.
The South African Jewish community historically has cultivated close ties with the African National Congress, South Africa’s dominant political party, and Jews have long played a prominent role in the Democratic Alliance, the primary opposition party. However, South African Jewish Board of Deputies President Zev Krengel told the Israeli daily Haaretz that the ANC and the Democratic Alliance “have not been such good friends to Israel.”
Krengel and his brother Avrom, who leads the Zionist Federation, denied that they were endorsing any political party, describing the rating system as a guide for voters, according to The Jerusalem Post.
Relations between South Africa’s Jewish community and the ANC have been tense of late, particularly in regards to Israel. In 2012, the ANC passed a resolution to make boycotts, divestment and sanctions of Israel a part of its official policy, and several ANC government officials have harshly criticized Israel.