A Silver Lining to South Africa Rugby BDS Incident
South Africa Rugby has caved in to the haters, withdrawing an invitation to the Tel Aviv Heat team to play in South Africa.
SA Rugby has come under fire for withdrawing an invitation to the Tel Aviv Heat to play in the Mzansi Challenge.
The Israel-based team were scheduled to compete in the Mzansi Challenge, a new competition with four other international teams and six South African provinces set to commence next month. However, the team was advised on Friday that the invitation had been withdrawn.
The Mexican Rhinos have been earmarked to replace the Heat, pending approval by the General Council.
“We have listened to the opinions of important stakeholder groups and have taken this decision to avoid the likelihood of the competition becoming a source of division, notwithstanding the fact that Israel is a full member of World Rugby and the IOC,” said Mark Alexander, president of the South African Rugby Union.
In a response to SA Rugby’s decision, the South African Friends of Israel said that they would be taking action against the governing body for ‘political interference’.
“SARU have shamelessly succumbed to the political pressure of the BDS crowd, and are amending fixtures for the sporting competition as such,” said SAFI spokesperson Pam Ngubane.
“This is in direct violation of Section 5.3 of the SARU constitution, which clearly states a mandate to pursue ‘policies and programmes, at national and all other levels, aimed at redressing imbalances of the past and creating a genuinely non-racial, non-sexist, non-political and democratic dispensation for rugby in South Africa’.
“SAFI will be taking action against SARU for allowing political interference in our sporting events and will communicate these steps in due course.”
While the report does not mention the “opinions of “important stakeholder groups” whose opinions were sought, one seems to have been the South African BDS Coalition. Not that there is a shortage of Israel-haters and antisemites in more official circles (hat tip: Uri).
Meanwhile, something interesting (at least to me) occurred in the comments to the Facebook post of the New Arab report of this travesty.
A majority of the commenters – with non-Jewish names and many with African profile photos – strongly oppose the decision.
It is especially satisfying to see more and more people seeing the antisemitism and hypocrisy of the BDS BS.
Hat tip: Jeremy