During Apartheid, in the 1950s, the IUA (which later became the IUA-UCF) was launched in South Africa by Israel’s then foreign Minister Moshe Sharett (http://archive.jta.org/1950/06/05/archive/foreign-minister-sharett-lauinches-south-african-israel-united-appeal-at-dinner-meeting)

The primary aim of the IUA-UCF (other than some local initiatives) is to fundraise for the State of Israel as well as defend and advance the interests of the Israeli Government. The IUA-UCF website boasts regular propaganda trips to Israel, support of the Israeli Defence Forces, “fighting” the non-violent BDS movement, fundraising for the Israeli Government amongst other activities.

The IUA-UCF forms part of, and sends funds to, Keren Hayesod – the global and official fundraising organization for Israel. The work of Keren Hayesod is carried out in accordance with Israel’s Keren haYesod Law-5716, passed by the Israeli parliament (Knesset) in January 1956, granting the organization a unique and official fundraising status and forming one of Israel’s three “National Institutions”. On their wesbite the Keren Hayesod (which the IUA-UCF, that Madonsela spoke at, send funds to) claims that it was “founded as the fundraising arm of the Zionist movement [and that] its history has been inextricably intertwined with that of the State of Israel. Today…in close coordination with the Office of the Prime Minister of Israel and the Jewish Agency, Keren Hayesod, a non-profit corporation, continues to work to further the national priorities of the State of Israel”. The Karen Haeysod is also invovled in illegal Israeli settlments, including those in East Jerusalem (https://www.haaretz.com/settlementdollars/.premium-1.707158)

On their website the IUA-UCF state that they send “funds to support special projects in Israel. Through our many exciting activities, including Missions to Israel […] we have been able to continue our support of our beneficiaries and engage the community and strengthen bonds between our community and Israel.” The IUA-UCF also boasts that, through their beneficiaries, they “fight” the BDS boycott of Israel movement. (www.iuaucf.org.za/index.html and www.iuaucf.org.za/about.html)

The IUA-UCF lists the SA Zionist Federation, the Israel Centre and the CSO as beneficiaries of their funds. The CSO, one of the IUA-UCF beneficiaries, is the controversial security organisation accused of racial profiling and violent assault against South African human rights activists.  (www.groundup.org.za/article/jewish-security-organisation-plays-fast-and-loose-law/)

According to their website, the IUA-UCF’s youth structure, the YAD Leadership group, has visited Israel and “met with decision-makers and people of the highest calibre in Israel including Knesset (Parliament) members and military personnel. It was a very well received visit and enjoyed by all the participants.”

The IUA-UCF itself boasts of carrying out “missions to Israel” and meeting Israeli decision makers and Israeli ministers to forge closer bonds with Israel. They claim on their website that some of those they met with are accused Israeli war-criminal Tzippi Livni, right-wing foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, racist Israeli leader Yuli Edelstein, Rav Shai Piron, Naphtali Bennett, Ze’ev Elkin, Israeli President Ruby Rivlin, Mickey Levy, Tzachi Hanegbi, Bougie Herzog and senior advisor to the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, Dr Yonatan Schachter

In 2014 the IUA-UCF hosted Israeli parliamentarian Tzagi Hanegbi and in 2016 the IUA-UCF hosted former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres – an event that was opposed by the progressive South African Jewish organisation, the SAJFP, because of Peres’ collusion with Apartheid South Africa and involvement in alleged Israeli war crimes (http://www.polity.org.za/article/sajfp-sa-jews-to-protest-former-israeli-prime-minster-shimon-peres-visit-2016-02-19)

Also in 2014, during the Israeli attacks on the Palestinian Gaza Strip that resulted in the killing of over 2500 Palestinians the IUA-UCF, at which the Public Protector spoke at, “took a solidarity Mission to Israel”. On their return the IUA-UCF wrote: “our group was the first and only group to come to Israel during the war and to show solidarity with the people of Israel.”

In November 2014 the IUA-UCF was hosted at an event in London organised by Nathan Kirsh – the controversial businessman with close links the Swaziland’s King and who also owns an Israeli company involved in the construction of Israel’s illegal Apartheid Wall. The IUA-UCF also lists other pro-Israeli personalities including Professor Michael Katz, Judge Meyer Joffe, former trade unionist Johnny Coplyn, Gerald Leissner, Avrom Krengel, Leor Atie, Gary Kaplan, Cecil Wulfsohn, Lawrie Brozin and Ivan Saltzman of Dischem as being close to the organisation.