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By Marizka Coetzer

Journalist


Watch: ‘CTRL + ALT + DELETE Israel’ – Tense standoff at Joburg rally 

The rally followed recent violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Interest groups in SA took to the streets to show their support.


It was anything but a slow Sunday when the South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) headquarters in Johannesburg hosted a rally in support of Israel that quickly turned tense, after members of the pro-Palestinian movement showed up and a standoff ensued. The rally followed the recent violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which saw interest groups in South Africa take to the streets to show their support. [caption id="attachment_2495900" align="aligncenter" width="1400"] Supporters hold Israeli placards, flags and sing songs in solidarity with Israel as they take part in a demonstration organised by the South Africa Zionist Federation at the Israel Centre in…

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It was anything but a slow Sunday when the South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) headquarters in Johannesburg hosted a rally in support of Israel that quickly turned tense, after members of the pro-Palestinian movement showed up and a standoff ensued.

The rally followed the recent violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which saw interest groups in South Africa take to the streets to show their support.

israel-supporters

Supporters hold Israeli placards, flags and sing songs in solidarity with Israel as they take part in a demonstration organised by the South Africa Zionist Federation at the Israel Centre in Johannesburg, 23 May 2021. Picture: Michel Bega

Security was tight at the SAZF headquarters, with strict access control and only approved guests let into the building, which was cordoned off with steel fencing with police patrolling the area.

Inside the SAZF, Israeli flags – with the distinctive Star of David – flapped in the air as the members of the Jewish community prayed for peace in Israel.

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“This is a prophecy fulfilled. We stand with Israel, Amandla,” said Bafana Modise, president of South Africa Friends of Israel.

Outside the SAZF, three pro-Palestinian protesters dressed in keffiyeh stood on the street corner and waved red, green, black and white Palestinian flags.

palestine-supporters

Palestinian supporters take part in a demonstration outside the Israel Centre where Israel supporters gathered in Johannesburg, 23 May 2021. Picture: Michel Bega

“They are all covered, don’t worry,” a security guard said a moment before the convoy of more than 60 vehicles drove past the SAZF, provoking the Jewish group with singing and chanting from the other side of the wall.

Suddenly emergency sirens went off as security vehicles with their emergency lights led the convoy of luxury vehicles honking their hooters and flying Palestinian flags as they drove past the SAZF.

palestine-supporters

Palestinian supporters take part in a demonstration outside the Israel Centre where Israel supporters gathered in Johannesburg, 23 May 2021. Picture: Michel Bega

“Come out from behind the walls,” the Palestine protesters shouted.

The pro-Palestinian supporters in the luxury cars were made up of old to very young, and families who came in their numbers to support the rally.

After the convoy made their way around the SAZF, they met at the entrance where they chanted “My soul and my blood are for Palestine”.

“Israel you b****,” they shouted while throwing middle fingers at the Jewish community.

“Zionionst = terrorist” and “CTRL + ALT + DELETE Israel” was on some placards paraded as they made their way around the SAZF.

– marizkac@citizen.co.za

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