The so-called “Global Anti-Apartheid Conference on Palestine”, set to take place on 10 -12 May 2024 at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, is a continuation of the vile antisemitic hatred that was on display at the UN’s notorious 2001 “World Conference Against Racism” in Durban, South Africa. That discredited conference launched the global antisemitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which has worked tirelessly to delegitimise and demonise the world’s only Jewish state through the insidious “apartheid” slander.

This new conference doubles down on that bigoted strategy, while going even further by disingenuously trying to link Israel to the abhorrent crime of “genocide.” Outrageous descriptions of “Israeli occupation, colonialism, apartheid, and genocide” are nothing more than malicious antisemitic propaganda meant to falsely accuse Israel of committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. In reality, Palestinian populations in those territories have experienced robust growth, increasing from around 1 million in 1948 to over 5 million today.

Holding this conference in South Africa is a deliberate tactic to exploit our country’s painful history with apartheid as a symbolic cudgel to wield against the Jewish people’s indigenous homeland. It provides a platform for extremist pogromists who support the terrorist actions of Hamas and cheered on October 7 while slandering Israel as an “apartheid regime” committing “genocide.”

The South African Zionist Federation utterly rejects the nefarious agenda of this conference. Israel is a vibrant democracy with laws ensuring equal rights for all citizens, regardless of race or religion. Perverting the suffering of apartheid while embracing terrorists who endorse violence against civilians is the height of immoral hypocrisy. We call on all fair-minded people to denounce this thinly-veiled exhibition of anti-Jewish hatred cloaked in human rights language.