Jewish board lays charges over ‘eye for an eye’ comment

Cape Town - The SA Jewish Board of Deputies will lay charges against Western Cape Cosatu secretary general Tony Ehrenreich following a post on his Facebook page calling for an “eye for an eye against Zionist aggression”.

The board’s David Sacks confirmed to News24 that charges will be laid and a formal complaint will be lodged with the South African Human Rights Commission.

Ehrenreich wrote on his personal Facebook page: “Its time for an Eye for an Eye against Zionist aggression [sic]

He later writes: “We have seen in our own country that the [South African] Jewish Board of deputies have arranged gatherings to pledge their allegiance to the killing of Palestinians .

‘SAJBD complicit in murder of Gazans’

“We are aware that the Jewish Board of Deputies has been fascilitating and supporting the funding of the Isreali Army as well as getting SA youth to join the killings in Gaza [sic]. This makes the Jewish Board of Deputies complicit in the murder of the people in Gaza.

The time has come to say very clearly that if a woman or child is killed in Gaza , then the Jewish board of deputies, who are complicit, will feel the wrath of the people of SA with the age old biblical teaching of an eye for an eye. The time has come for the conflict to be waged everywhere the Zionist supporters fund and condone the war killing machine of Isreal [sic].”

The Cosatu leader told News24 that he was “completely against violence” but wanted “concomitant action” taken against the board. Ehrenreich also denied that he was anti-Semitic.

“There should be relative steps taken against Israel,” Ehrenreich said.

‘Inflammatory post’

He said that he meant that more “decisive action” must be taken against those who support Israel’s actions in the conflict.

But the board said the “inflammatory post” does indeed incite violence and foments hatred against the elected representative spokesbody for the South African Jewish community and all those associated with it.

“This is [a] flagrant violation of South African legislation prohibiting hate speech, particularly that which constitutes incitement to cause harm,” Sacks said.

Sacks also said allegations that the board was funding the Israeli army and sending South African youths to fight in the war are “baseless”.

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