SWC Denounces South African Politician’s Call for Jewish School to be Deregistered Over Graduating Students Going to Israel to join the IDF

June 27, 2023

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is denouncing the call by a South African politician who has called for Herzlia High, a Jewish community school in Cape Town, to be deregistered after it emerged that up to 22% of the school’s pupils go to Israel the year after school to join the IDF.

Wearing a Palestinian keffiyeh, EFF [Economic Freedom Fighters] Member of the Provincial Legislature (MPL) Aishah Cassiem made the call during a recent debate in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament.

Cassiem said: “It is insulting for the DA [Democratic Alliance] provincial government to condemn the war in Ukraine but do nothing with regard to this school which is aligned to the apartheid state of Israel and encouraging learners to partake in apartheid.”

According to a Herzlia High School spokesperson, this incident follows on the heels of a number of unwarranted Muslim anti-Israel verbal attacks harassing and threatening Cape Town Jewish institutions and leaders on the allegation of association with Israel.

“Another bigot who tries to hide her anti-Semitism under the banner of anti-Zionism. What’s next, a demand to purge Jewish prayer books of age-old prayers chanted daily for 2,000 years that emphasizes the dream of a People yearning to return to Zion and Jerusalem? Every nation has the right to pursue its dreams and destiny. We are proud that in 2023, some 7 million Jews are citizens of the democratic Jewish State of Israel, and for all of those who are building their future in the ancient homeland of their forefathers,” declared SWC Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action Agenda, Rabbi Abraham Cooper. 

For further information, please email Michele Alkin, Director of Global Communications at malkin@wiesenthal.com or Shawn Rodgers at srodgers@wiesenthal.com, join the Center on Facebook, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent directly to your Twitter feed.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is an international Jewish human rights organization. It holds consultative status at the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the OAS, and the Latin American Parliament (PARLATINO).

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