4 August 2014

South Africa: Israel in Linksfield - Security, Solidarity, Security


Palestinian groups planned and instigated the war against the democratic and peace-loving Israel, which will always survive despite attacks and criticism from those who support terrorists. That was the message from Israeli supporters at a rally in Johannesburg on Sunday. Not everyone agrees, to say the least. By GREG NICOLSON.

The hassle was probably my fault. I didn't register for the event in Linksfield and was told to turn back. After some pleading, I pulled over and the car was searched, a bomb squad did its thing. ID and press documents were checked.

Then the questions: Why was I there? Where do I live? What do I plan to report on? What are my views on the conflict? Security, police on the outskirts, a huge private security presence inside, was intense. "Don't incite our people," said the security officer as I was waved into the Israel solidarity event.

Attended by over 10,000 people, according to organisers, Sunday's event was prompted by the ongoing criticism in South Africa of Israel, and speakers were on the defensive. A counter-rally against the "celebration of death and destruction", held by Jewish Voices for a Just Peace, was held outside the park where the event ...

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