(JTA) – Representatives of South Africa’s Jewish community said they are seeing an uptick in anti-Semitic rhetoric in real life and on social media.
The South Africa Jewish Board of Deputies, or SAJBD, said this in a statement Thursday, warning that, “Over the past 24 hours, a flurry of viciously anti-Semitic and threatening attacks have been made against South African Jews, both on social media and in direct face-to-face encounters.”
Passengers awaiting their suitcases from an El Al flight into South Africa were called “wicked Jews” at the airport by a man who ranted against them from across a luggage belt at O. R. Tambo International Airport near Johannesburg.
A mural with a German flag and a swastika inserted in it was painted this week on a wall in Hamilton Street in Johannesburg.
These incidents occurred amid a flood of hate speech online against South African Jews, SAJBD Chair Shaun Zagnoev said in the statement.
“The incidents, which are being followed up by SAJBD, have generated great anxiety and anger in the Jewish community,” the statement read.
“The posts show how easily radical anti-Israel sentiment can spill over into hateful slurs and threats against Jewish people in general. We are being told that we are ‘scum,’ ‘rats,’ ‘bastards,’ ‘pigs,’ ‘swine’ and ‘fat-nosed f***ks.’ We are further being warned that ‘our time is coming’ and that ‘the Holocaust will be a picnic after we are done with you,’” the statement read.