Tshediso Mangope, an Ex-BDS South African sat down to share his story to our SSI group. From the beginning I had a close personal connection to his story because not only am I a Jew who supports Israel but also a South African. My parents grew up during the apartheid era so I knew the hardships that were placed on the people.
Tshediso said from a young age he joined numerous organizations that promoted the lives of black people and became an activist. He said at those organizations BDS also had a voice to support the organization and the people. BDS came to their meetings and events and told them that Israel is an Apartheid state and doing the same thing to the Palestinian people.
Tshediso knew what it was like to be part of an apartheid state so he joined the BDS movement. However, he was offered a trip to Israel to see the reality behind the BDS statements. He saw a country that is not an apartheid state and rather treats Arabs and people of other nations equally.
It was inspiring to see that someone who was on the BDS side could change their views once they saw the truth. Right now Tshediso states that he is not on either side but rather behind the truth. He says its our mission as Jewish people and people who know the truth to spread it and become as powerful and have as many members as BDS.