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South African president vows to fight anti-Semitism

Jewish community praises Jacob Zuma’s commitment after steep rise in incidents during Operation Protective Edge

Israeli Ambassador to South Africa Arthur Lenk, right, hands his letter of credence to South African President Jacob Zuma, October 16, 2013 (photo credit: Ilana Lenk)
Israeli Ambassador to South Africa Arthur Lenk, right, hands his letter of credence to South African President Jacob Zuma, October 16, 2013 (photo credit: Ilana Lenk)

Representatives of South Africa’s Jewish community commended President Jacob Zuma’s pledge to combat anti-Semitism.

Zuma of the African National Congress party made the pledge during a meeting Thursday with the leadership of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, or SAJBD, the board said in a statement Friday.

“In the course of the meeting, President Zuma rejected unequivocally all forms of antisemitism and intolerance, and stressed that his government remained committed to combating such prejudice,” read the statement.

During the meeting, the Jewish representatives spoke with Zuma and members of his cabinet “on the sharp rise in anti-Semitic activity in South Africa, including threats and intimidation against the Jewish community and its leadership,” according to the statement.

Anti-Semitic incidents proliferated in South Africa during Israel’s was on Hamas in Gaza this summer.

Earlier this month, African National Congress Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe cosigned a letter that called Israel’s establishment a “crime against humanity.”

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