The South African Jewish Board of Deputies springs to Black Coffee’s defence

The South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) has sprung to the defence of musician Nkosinathi Maphumulo, better known as Black Coffee, for staging a music concert in Israel early last month.

Black Coffee came under a barrage of criticism from the ANC which prompted the Jewish board to spring to the defence of the musician, saying in a statement it deplored the divisive statement of the ANC international relations subcommittee which had reiterated the call for a cultural boycott of Israel.

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“Imposing a boycott against Israel over and above every other country in the world is itself immoral and inconsistent with how South Africa normally conducts its foreign policy,” read the statement.

“Prejudice rather than any genuine concern for human rights is what appears to be behind this decision. Why, when it comes to this particular issue, is the ANC allowing its foreign policy to be hijacked by radicals who are quite happy to compromise South Africa’s objective interests for the sake of making empty anti-Israel propaganda gestures?

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“The SAJBD gives its full support to Black Coffee, who is one of our most talented artists and has worked incredibly hard to be where he is today.”

It added that Black Coffee had every right under the country’s democratic dispensation to travel where he liked. The board urged the ANC to move away from the politics of boycotts and rejectionism when it came to the Israeli-Palestinian question and instead pursue a policy of even-handed engagement with all sides to bring about a peaceful, negotiated two-state solution to the current conflict.

Details: Charisse Zeifert 011 645 2547; charisse@sajbd.org

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