PRESS STATEMENT: BDS SA to approach South African State Security over Israeli spy allegations

20 June 2019

A freedom of information request has revealed that Israel’s spy agency, Mossad, is involved in the war against BDS (the non-violent boycott, divestment and sanctions movement for Palestinian rights).

The human rights and Palestine solidarity organization BDS South Africa takes these reports seriously, especially in light of the fact that Israel’s Mossad is notorious for carrying out assassinations, kidnappings and other under-handed crimes against activists across the world. Consequently, BDS SA will be approaching the Ministry of State Security (SSA) to investigate this matter.

A few years back already, Al-Jazeera News, through leaked intelligence documents, reported how former Israeli spies reportedly hand-delivered a note to South Africa’s then Finance Minister threatening a cyber attack “against South Africa’s banking and financial sectors” if the SA government did not “discontinue” its support of the BDS campaign within 30 days. The ex Israeli spies also demanded the removal and prosecution of some individuals linked to the  BDS movement in South Africa. These dirty tricks, threats, smears and other tactics are unacceptable.

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Judy Maltz, writing for Israel’s Haaretz Newspaper states that: “BDS has arguably been more effective in South Africa than anywhere else. Many credit it with the recent decision by the South African government to downgrade diplomatic relations with Israel…”

The article also quotes Michael Bagraim, a South African Member of Parliament from the opposition party, the DA, advising his children to leave South Africa:  “Everyone is encouraging their children to leave. I’m encouraging mine as well…I know that if I have to run — and I’ve always got a bag packed — I’ll run to Israel.”

BDS SA, firstly, joins the majority of South Africans in rejecting this irresponsible statement by the DA Member of Parliament.

Secondly, we note the growing successes for the movement in our country and welcome the support that the movement receives. We reiterate our long standing position (since inception), that attempts by the Israeli lobby to falsely smear our principled opposition to Israeli Apartheid, occupation and state terrorism as anti-Semitism cannot be sustained and are therefore doomed to fail. The BDS movement is not against people of Jewish descent, to the contrary, the movement is often led and popularly supported by thousands of Jews in South Africa and across the world. These Jews, together with Christians, Muslims, Hindus and other faith and non faith based groups, individuals and communities from diverse political persuasions and nationalities across the world, are opposed to Israel as a regime of oppression and subjugation and work together to achieve freedom and dignity for Palestinians. In our diversity and activism for the Palestinian struggle we are more united – as a country and a global community of peace loving people.

ISSUED BY TISETSO MAGAMA ON BEHALF OF BDS SOUTH AFRICA

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