South Africa serving as Iran’s ‘useful idiots’, says chief rabbi

‘Those who oppose the state of Israel,’ he added, ‘those who are supporting Iran and Hamas, what in fact they are doing is supporting jihadism in Africa.’

By Shiryn Ghermezian, The Algemeiner

Chief Rabbi of South Africa Warren Goldstein lambasted the South African government in a new video for “betraying” Israel and being the “useful idiots” of Iran and its proxies, including the Palestinian terror group Hamas, following Pretoria’s decision to recall its diplomats from the Jewish state.

South Africa’s government has strongly opposed Israel’s military campaign against Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip and on Thursday called in Israeli Ambassador Eliav Belotsercovsky to formally reprimand him and discuss what the government described as his recent “unfortunate conduct” linked to the war in Gaza.

South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) has been steadfast in its support of the Palestinians, with President Cyril Ramaphosa recently comparing Hamas’ war on Israel with his own country’s struggle against an apartheid regime that ended in 1994. South Africa does not have an ambassador in Israel and does not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state. The African country has also repeatedly boycotted Israel over the years, including in sports and in the cultural sphere.

“The South African government and all of the global opponents of the state of Israel are on the wrong side of history,” Goldstein said in a 25-minute video address shared on YouTube on Thursday. “In its most recent actions, withdrawing South African diplomats from Israel and threatening the Israeli ambassador to South Africa with expulsion, this government is supporting Iran and its proxies, Hamas and Hezbollah, to destroy the State of Israel and spread global jihad.”

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Goldstein called the South African government and those marching against Israel around the world “the useful idiots of Iran.”

“In supporting Iran and Hamas … what the South African government is doing is not only betraying the State of Israel and the Jewish people, not only betraying democracies throughout the world, they are betraying black Christians in Africa,” he argued. “Because part of what Iran is doing is sponsoring global jihad, which is spreading in Africa and causing more human suffering and deaths in Africa than in any other place on the globe.”

“Those who oppose the state of Israel,” he added, “those who are supporting Iran and Hamas, what in fact they are doing is supporting jihadism in Africa.”

One by one, Goldstein slammed the various “absurd and bizarre” lies and “laughable” accusations made against Israel regarding occupation, colonialism, and apartheid, including what he called “the most grotesque allegation of all” — the claim that Israel is perpetrating genocide against Palestinians.

“It is bizarre beyond the realm of any reasonable discussion to even have to defend such an allegation,” he stated. “But … in our history we are used to people accusing us of the worst things. We’ve been accused of killing God. We’ve been accused of murdering babies to take their blood to make the unleavened bread for Passover … We’ve been accused of everything, and what we’ve learned from these lies is firstly they are very dangerous, and secondly, you have to speak out against them, because people start to believe them.” He further called theses claims “lies that are fabricated in a return to a Dark Age of irrationality and non-adherence to facts.”

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Throughout the 25-minute video, Goldstein not only defended the Jewish people’s presence in Israel but also the Israel Defense Force’s actions against Hamas, which launched the current war with its Oct. 7 terrorist onslaught against southern Israeli communities. The chief rabbi said Israel has a “moral legitimacy” to defend itself and that the Israeli army is doing everything in its power to minimize civilian casualties in Gaza.

At least two South African women are among the more than 200 hostages seized by Hamas during the pogrom unleashed by its terrorists on Oct. 7. Pro-Israel advocates in South Africa have slammed the South African government for its silence on the two hostages and not clearly condemning the Hamas atrocities.

Goldstein called on South Africans to voice support for Israel and said the South African government has “turned its back on the values of the Bible and is bringing a curse upon South Africa,” referring to a passage in Genesis where God says to Abraham, “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you.”

“This government has lost its moral right to govern this country. It has led our nation down a path of curse,” he added. “Its support of Iran and its proxies to destroy Israel, it’s turning its back on our brothers and sisters on this continent, leaving them vulnerable to the attacks of the jihadist terrorists.”
Goldstein last month amended the traditional prayer for the government of South Africa in light of South Africa’s conduct in recent weeks. The original prayer called for divine guidance for South Africa’s political leadership, but Goldstein’s amended version reads: “Lord we beseech You, bestow Your guidance and protection upon all the people of this country.”

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