South Africa’s relationship with Israel has always been tenuous, in fact some might even say schizophrenic. A large part of my work in South Africa was spent working with Media Team Israel – a body under the auspices of the South Africa Zionist Federation. The Team’s mandate is to counter bias in the media, work deemed urgent and important.
In fact, one day a highly influential figure in Israeli media remarked that in his opinion, outside of Middle East Arab media, South Africa has the most hostile anti-Israel media worldwide.
The underlying message to the Jewish community has always been “Your Jewish traditions are welcome, your Zionism is not”. As if the two can be differentiated! This is reflected in the press coverage and editorial policies of major news providers.
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