• The SAZF is a constituent body of the World Zionist Organisation; and the representative in South Africa of the World Zionist Organisation. Read More


Dear Community member

The current visit of a Hamas Central Committee delegation has understandably created much anger and concern in the Jewish community.

The Hamas delegation is here at the invitation of the ANC, and has also met with President Jacob Zuma. The ANC has signed a letter of intent, with the intention on building a long-term relationship. In the coming days the delegation will have a range of meetings with the ANC, SACP and Cosatu. During these meetings, they are likely to continue to portray themselves as a liberation struggle, similar to that of the ANC, while at the same time portraying Israel as a tyrannical nation that purposefully targets innocent women and children.

The manipulation of facts is particularly distressing in light of the current wave of terrorism plaguing Israel. During these past few weeks of deadly violence in Israel, Hamas has enthusiastically endorsed the cold-blooded murder of Jewish civilians and instigated dozens of lethal attacks against them. Hamas has also congratulated those who have carried out barbarous attacks on Israeli citizens.

The core ideology of Hamas is underpinned by a rabid hatred of the Jewish people. According to its twisted world view, Jews are depicted as a treacherous, under-handed, manipulative and destructive element in society, and of being guilty of the worst calamities to have befallen humankind. It stands to reason that Hamas does not support the creation of an independent Palestinian state co-existing in peace alongside Israel. It seeks the destruction of the Jewish state.

The SAJBD and SAZF will be engaging closely with President Zuma and the ANC to bring these facts to their attention. We will seek to explain the blatant racism and antisemitism of Hamas, expose the distortion and lies of Hamas and its warped portrayal of Israel, as well as the difference between terrorism (as represented by Hamas) versus the right to self-defence (as practiced by Israel). While we recognise the ANC’s willingness to meet all parties in this conflict with the aim of bringing about peace, we will explain how Hamas' core principles are in direct opposition to the ANC's values as expressed in the Freedom Charter and the principles on which our democracy is based.

We have met with the Parliamentary Chairperson of the International Relations Portfolio Committee, and we will continue to engage on this important matter.

A statement was issued to the media yesterday condemning this visit, and is included below. It was covered extensively in the national and international media.

We will report back to the community on this issue.

SAZF condemns Hamas visit to South Africa in the strongest terms possible

During these past few weeks of barbaric violence targeting Israel, Hamas has enthusiastically endorsed the cold-blooded murder of Israeli civilians and instigated dozens of lethal attacks against them. The SA Zionist Federation (SAZF) condemns in the strongest terms possible the fact that a delegation representing the Hamas Central Committee will be visiting South Africa as the honoured guests of the ruling party.

Contrary to what is claimed, the ideology, values, aims and strategies of Hamas are diametrically opposed to the principles of the ANC, as embodied in the Freedom Charter. At its recent National General Council, the ANC reaffirmed its support for a negotiated, two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Hamas, by contrast, does not support, nor has it ever supported, the creation of an independent Palestinian state co-existing in peace alongside Israel. Instead, its charter explicitly stipulates that no negotiated settlement is possible in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians with Jihad being the only solution. Simply speaking, Hamas wishes to destroy Israel altogether and seeks to establish an Islamist dictatorship in its place.

Hamas, no less than Boko Haram and Al Shabab, is an Islamist extremist movement committed to extending the global Islamic Caliphate through radical violent means to every inch of Israel and beyond. In the kind of state it envisages, there would be no room for the human values of democracy, freedom of religion and gender equality.

Unless the purpose of the ANC meeting with Hamas is aimed at radically moderating and aligning Hamas with the position of the South African Government then any such engagement will simply prove both futile and counter-productive to genuine efforts aimed at the peaceful resolution of the conflict.

Natan Sharansky