The African National Congress is considering a move to outlaw dual citizenship, drawing sharp protest from Jewish groups in South Africa, The Jerusalem Post reported on Monday.
While the proposal is aimed at Jews holding both Israeli and South African citizenship, it would also affect many others in the country with dual citizenship.
South Africa’s Sunday Times said that the ANC’s general council will meet in October to discuss the issue.
The initiative to prevent Jewish South Africans from also being Israeli citizens and possibly serving in the IDF came from the head of the ANC’s National Executive Committee on International Relations, Obed Bapela.
The South African Jewish Board of Deputies and the South African Zionist Federations issued a joint statement of condemnation.
They accused Bapela of having “undermined the very core value of South Africa’s democracy by proposing a change to our law purely to prevent one sector of our society, in this case, South African Jews, from having a relationship with Israel.”
“This unfortunate political grandstanding by Bapela is motivated by his own narrow understanding of the Middle East conflict, which is based on religious fundamentalism and the BDS lobby within the ANC, and we would hope that it in no way reflects the views of the ANC. This is not the first time that Bapela has attacked the Jewish community and its leadership,” the Board of Deputies and Zionist Federations stated.
However, they warned that they will not passively accept such treatment. “The South African Jewish community will not be bullied or intimidated by his threats and have sought a meeting with President Jacob Zuma and will request further meetings to clarify Bapela’s statement,” they stated.