Although South Africa’s Department of Health denies that approval of an Israeli circumcision device has been delayed because of pressure to boycott Israel, BDS groups may be targeting individual nurses and health facilities and threatening them not to use the product. South African Trade Unions openly called for the boycott of Perpex, a non-surgical circumcision device produced in Israel. It was approved by the World Health Organization, and studies show it reduces the chances of contracting HIV by 60%.
While the Department of Health in South Africa said the hold-up in the product’s approval was not due to pressure from groups calling for the boycott, divestment and sanction of Israeli goods, Sizwe Plama, spokesman for the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union told Business Day Live that it would not permit the use of Israeli products.
“We have told the African National Congress and the government that our position is clear and unambiguous when it comes to Israel. We boycott every thing and every product that comes from that pariah and apartheid state.”
Earlier this week, former foreign minister of Israel, Avigdor Lieberman, urged South African Jews to emigrate to Israel and warned of pogroms in South Africa, given the mounting anti-semitism in the country. Leiberman was reacting to remarks from several South African officials that they would not visit Israel in protest over the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Lieberman said, “The South African government is creating an anti-Israel and an anti-Semitic atmosphere, which will result in a progrom against the country’s Jews. I call on all Jews living there to make aliyah (emigrate to Israel) before it is too late.”