Jewish Board of Deputies lodges hate speech complaint with SAHRC

(Picture via Facebook)
(Picture via Facebook)

Johannesburg – The SA Jewish Board of Deputies [SAJBD] has lodged a complaint of hate speech with the SA Human Rights Commission [SAHRC] against a Port Elizabeth attorney, accusing her of posting anti-Semitic comments on Facebook.

According to the SAJBD, Maureen Jansen posted a news article in December on her Facebook page titled 'Israel caught receiving stolen oil from Isis militants' with the comment, "Bloody Israelis should be exterminated along with all the 'Jews' everywhere who support Israel by action or silence. The Semites of the Torah are long gone. These monsters are Jewish converts not Semites".

There were allegedly a number of anti-Semitic posts on her profile.

When contacted for comment, Jansen told News24 she did not want to comment on the matter but would issue a media statement at a later stage.

The SAHRC confirmed that it had received the SAJBD's complaint on Wednesday morning. Spokesperson Isaac Mangena said it would investigate.

News24 was unable to find Jansen's Facebook profile and were sent screengrabs of her posts by the SAJBD.

The SAJBD said it was informed of the posts by members of the community. The organisation has not been in contact with Jansen.

There was a closed support group for Jansen on Facebook as well as a group calling for a "boycott" of Jansen, who is a practicing attorney.

A description on the support group, which had 863 members, read: "This group was created to counter the negative and defamatory propaganda that has and still is being spread by the Zionist lobby that wants Maureen [Aadiela] Jansen taken off the roll as an attorney, destroyed financially and the lives of her son, Likhona and herself ended because she airs her views regarding the merciless killings of Palestinians in Gaza and elsewhere by Israel, its IDF and the huge settler population. Please do support this group and voice your disapproval of the Zionist threat to the lives of her son and herself."

Racist comments

The support group called "Boycott Jansen – attorney", which had 54 members, posted Jansen's contact details and office address in its description and called for people to protest.

"Maureen Jansen, a lawyer based in Port Elizabeth, recently spewed the following vitriol on her Facebook page – Bloody Israelis should be exterminated along with the Jews everywhere who support Israel by action or silence. How can you help – phone her workplace, inform the community of PE. Organise protests outside her offices," the group wrote in its description. 

SAJBD national chairperson, Jeff Katz, said Jansen's comments were another instance showing how certain hate-filled individuals "confidently propagated virulent racism against their fellow citizens".

"Such hate-mongering goes beyond defaming and threatening any particular group of people; they go against the culture of non-racialism on which our democracy is founded, and as such are an attack on all South Africans," he said.

The SAJBD condemned Jansen's "racist" comments, and included those made by Penny Sparrow, Velaphi Khumalo and Nicole de Klerk in recent days.

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