The South African Jewish Board of Deputies, the umbrella organization that leads that country’s Jewish community, has announced that it is filing charges at the South African Human Rights Commission against trade union leader Tony Ehrenreich for an anti-Israel Facebook post that called for attacks against Jews in retaliation for the death of Palestinians in Gaza–“an Eye for an Eye against Zionist aggression,” in his words.
Ehrenreich, who leads the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) in the Western Cape province, and who is also a local leader of the country’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), had called for attacks against Jews “everywhere” in a post on his personal Facebook page Wednesday. Reached by Breitbart News, Ehrenreich said that he wanted to “imprison” local Jewish leaders “and charge them with war crimes.”
The union leader apparently believes that Jewish leaders are “complicit in the murder of the people in Gaza” through their “funding of the Isreali Army” [sic] and “getting SA youth to join the killings in Gaza.” The Board of Deputies called both claims “baseless,” according to South African news website News24, and alleges that Ehrenreich has engaged in “flagrant” hate speech and incitement, both of which are constitutionally prohibited.
Ehrenreich’s Facebook post was first reported by Breitbart News, following numerous tips and after confirming with Ehrenreich himself that he was indeed the author. When asked what he meant, specifically, by “an eye for an eye,” Ehrenreich declined to explain and hung up the phone.
The ruling ANC has a recent history of allowing members to make inflammatory statements against Jews provided they are made in a personal capacity.