Hajaig 'hate speech' upsets DA

2009-01-29 00:00

Cape Town - "Apologise, or be dismissed," the Democratic Alliance told deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Fatima Hajaig yesterday after she allegedly made anti-semitic comments at a rally held last month in solidarity with Palestine.

The SA Jewish Board of Deputies yesterday made a formal complaint to the SA Human Rights Commission about Hajaig's allegedly anti-Jewish hate speech. A number of individuals have taken independent action against her.

Hajaig is accused of telling a gathering in Lenasia on January 14 that "They (Jews) in fact control (America), no matter which government comes to power, whether Republican or Democratic, whether Barack Obama or George Bush.

"Their control of America, just like the control of most Western countries, is in the hands of Jewish money and if Jewish money controls their country, then you cannot expect anything else.''

The comments were broadcast by Channel Islam International, a radio station, and David Saks of the Board of Deputies obtained a recording.

Board of Deputies director Wendy Kahn strongly condemned what she termed "classic anti-Jewish stereotyping and conspiracy-theory mongering", which were, she said, typically used by those seeking to portray Jews as scheming, manipulative and disloyal to the countries in which they lived.

"The Jewish community is outraged by such a public display of bigotry by a senior government representative.

As South African citizens, we cannot allow this kind of comment," she said.

Board of Deputies chairman Zev Krengel said the decision to lodge the complaint was not taken lightly, but there was not any realistic alternative.

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