South Africa's Chief Rabbi Dr. Warren Goldstein has issued a stinging response to the "deeply insulting and hurtful" decision to review the country's dual citizenship laws to prevent South African Jews from serving in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
Rabbi Goldstein described his "very deep sense of outrage and in fact insult" upon hearing of the plans, and called out the ruling ANC party on its hypocritical and "obsessive" stance vis-a-vis the State of Israel.
Israel is an integral part of Jewish identity, he emphasized, and said that such a move was therefore an attack on the core values of the Jewish community itself.
"The ANC, which claims to be a national party which represents all South Africans, has now taken a stand that is deeply insulting to a very important community of people in South Africa, the Jewish community."
South African Jews "love South Africa, but we also love Israel," Rabbi Goldstein continued. "Israel is part of Jewish identity.
"Abraham and Sarah our forefather and mother walked on the Land of Israel almost 4,000 years ago – they are the founding father and mother of the Jewish people… for almost 4,000 years the Jewish people have had a connection to the holy Land of Israel and… the holy city of Jerusalem."
Rabbi Goldstein also said he was speaking on behalf of "millions of Christians in this country, who also love and feel connected to the holy land because of their religious heritage."
The ANC is "targeting Israel with an obsession," he charged.
Rabbi Goldstein slammed the ostensible justification for the review of the law – with the ANC parroting claims by anti-Zionist groups that Israel is somehow an "apartheid state."
Apart from the accusation being manifestly untrue, he argued that the overuse of the term "apartheid" by anti-Israel groups cheapens its meaning and essentially minimizes the suffering of those who experienced the real thing.
"To accuse Israel of apartheid is a lie and a defamation of the Jewish state, and it is an insuilt to real victims of the true apartheid, because if everything is apartheid then nothing is apartheid."