South African Zionists call on Jews to vote for Christian party
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South African Zionists call on Jews to vote for Christian party

Zionist Federation puts out guide giving top rating to fundamentalist party, after ties with ruling ANC sour

Election workers prepare to give ballot papers to elderly and disabled South African voters to cast their ballots during early voting for special groups at the Nazareth House old-age home in Johannesburg, South Africa Monday, May 5, 2014. South Africa goes to the polls on Wednesday, May 7, 2014 in elections that are likely to see the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party return to power with a smaller majority due to voters disaffected by corruption in government and economic inequality. (photo credit: AP/Ben Curtis)
Election workers prepare to give ballot papers to elderly and disabled South African voters to cast their ballots during early voting for special groups at the Nazareth House old-age home in Johannesburg, South Africa Monday, May 5, 2014. South Africa goes to the polls on Wednesday, May 7, 2014 in elections that are likely to see the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party return to power with a smaller majority due to voters disaffected by corruption in government and economic inequality. (photo credit: AP/Ben Curtis)

A South African Zionist organization issued a voter guide in which it gave its highest score to a tiny fundamentalist Christian party.

In a posting on its Facebook page in advance of this week’s general election, as well as an email sent to supporters titled “Are you voting for a friend of Israel?,” the South African Zionist Federation rated the African Christian Democratic Party as the strongest supporter of Israel among the political parties. The ACDP on its website is described as standing for “Christian Democratic principles.” It earned 0.81 percent of the vote in the 2009 general elections.

The South African Jewish community historically has cultivated close ties with the African National Congress, South Africa’s dominant political party, and Jews have long played a prominent role in the Democratic Alliance, the primary opposition party.

However, South African Jewish Board of Deputies President Zev Krengel told the Israeli daily Haaretz that the ANC and the Democratic Alliance “have not been such good friends to Israel.”

Krengel and his brother Avrom, who leads the Zionist Federation, denied that they were endorsing any political party, describing the rating system as a guide for voters, according to The Jerusalem Post.

The Krengels did not respond to requests from the Times of Israel for comment.

A spokesperson for the South African Zionist Federation in Israel, which is known as Telfed and is unconnected with the federation in South Africa, said the group had nothing to do with the circular.

Relations between South Africa’s Jewish community and the ANC have been tense of late, particularly in regards to Israel. In 2012, the ANC passed a resolution to make boycotts, divestment and sanctions of Israel a part of its official policy, and several ANC government officials have harshly criticized Israel.

With reporting by Times of Israel staff

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