Israel and South Africa


The 1985 General Assembly of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations reaffirmed our longstanding opposition to apartheid, and called for the United States and Canada to terminate military sales and to place economic pressure on South Africa to dismantle its system of apartheid. The Union of American Hebrew Congregations call for strong economic sanctions against South Africa was a reflection of a deep moral revulsion on the part of its members.

We believe that all nations, including Israel, who are dedicated to the principles of equality and justice should be guided by those same concerns in formulating their plans and actions with regard to South Africa.

The relationship between Israel and South Africa has been a source of considerable controversy during the past two decades. During that time, Israel has had an inconsistent record. While it has condemned apartheid, it has also maintained economic and military ties with South Africa.

We are heartened that during the past year, Israel has taken affirmative steps to reduce economic relationships with South Africa and to train Black labor leaders from South Africa.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Union of American Hebrew Congregations:

  1. Express gratification at Israel's announcement that it will not enter into new military or civilian contacts with South Africa.
  2. Commend the government of Israel for undertaking an expanding program for training Black labor leaders from South Africa in Israel.
  3. Urge government of Israel to:
    1. Expand its economic sanctions against South Africa in line with steps already adopted by the United States.
    2. Immediately halt all arms shipments to the apartheid government of South Africa.
    3. Institute a policy of disengagement in all areas of economic involvement including research and development.
    4. Institute the following specific steps to demonstrate Israel's disengagement from South Africa.
      1. End all relationships with the so-called "homelands", including those of an economic and military nature.
      2. Terminate the "twinning" of Israeli cities with South African cities (such as Haifa and Cape Town, Durban and Eilat) so that these arrangements do not provide a means of circumventing sanctions against South Africa.