After calling for attacks on Jews in retaliation for the deaths of Palestinians in Gaza, and being charged with hate speech and incitement by local Jewish leaders, South African trade union boss Tony Ehrenreich is not backing down. The Western Cape provincial leader of the Congress of South African Trade Unions issued a press release Thursday–through the union–standing by his inflammatory Facebook post and vowing tocounter-sue the South African Jewish Board of Deputies for “crimes against humanity” for supporting Israel.
Ehrenreich stated that “The killings in Gaza by the Israeli army have never been condemned by the Jewish Board of Deputies. They have in the face of overwhelming rejection of South Africans of the genocide in Palestine, arranged events to support the right to kill Palestinians.” He added that his only aim in calling for “an eye for an eye” against Israel’s supporters had been to bring about “more decisive actions in South Africa, that would force the Jewish Board of Deputies to promote justice”–i.e. to force Jews to share his anti-Israel views.
Many of Ehrenreich’s fellow anti-Israel critics have denounced his statements, but no word has yet been forthcoming from Ehrenreich’s political party, the ruling African Congress Congress (ANC), which in the past has declined to take action against its members for antisemitic statements made in their personal capacity.