Israel–South Africa relations
Israeli relations with apartheid South Africa 
South Africa was among the 33 states that voted in favour of the 1947 UN partition resolution, which led to the creation of the State of Israel, and was one of only four Commonwealth nations to do so. On 24 May 1948, nine days after Israel's declaration of independence, the South African government of Jan Smuts, a long-time supporter of Zionism, granted de facto recognition to the State of Israel, just two days before his United Party was voted out of office and replaced by the pro-apartheid National Party. South Africa was the seventh nation to recognise the new Jewish state. On 14 May 1949, South Africa granted de jure recognition to the State of Israel.
Diplomatic relations between Israel and South Africa began in 1949, when Israel established a consulate-general in Pretoria, which was raised to the status of a legation in November 1950. However, South Africa had no direct diplomatic representation in Israel (it being represented by the United Kingdom) until South Africa withdrew from the Commonwealth in 1961, whereupon it sent a consul-general to Tel Aviv.
In the 1950s and 1960s, Israel prioritized building relations with the newly independent states of sub-Saharan Africa; this, in turn, led it to take a critical stance on the question of apartheid. On October 11, 1961, Israel voted for the General Assembly censure of Eric Louw's speech defending apartheid. Israel became one of a few nations to have strong relations with apartheid South Africa. However in 1963, Israel informed the United Nations Special Committee on Apartheid that it had taken steps to comply with the military boycott of apartheid South Africa and had recalled its ambassador to South Africa.  Israel was openly critical of apartheid through the 1950s and 60s as it allied itself with post-colonial African states. In 1971, Israel offered $2,850 in aid to the Organization of African Unity, which was rejected, but not before causing tension between South African Jews and their government.
Most African states broke ties after the 1973 Yom Kippur War, and Israel once again began to take a more cordial view of the similarly-isolated regime in Pretoria. Ethan A. Nadelmann has claimed that the relationship developed due to the fact that many African countries broke diplomatic ties with Israel during the 1970s following Israeli occupation of Arab land during the Arab-Israeli wars, causing Israel to deepen relations with other isolated countries.
By the mid 1970s, Israel's relations with South Africa had warmed. In 1975, the Israel–South Africa Agreement was signed, and increasing economic co-operation between Israel and South Africa was reported, including the construction of a major new railway in Israel, and the building of a desalination plant in South Africa. In April 1976 South African Prime Minister John Vorster was invited to make a state visit, meeting Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.  Later in 1976, the 5th Conference of Non-Aligned Nations in Colombo, Sri Lanka, adopted a resolution calling for an oil embargo against France and Israel because of their arms sales to South Africa. In 1977, South African Foreign Minister Pik Botha visited Israel to discuss South African issues with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan.
The Israeli interest in South Africa in 1980s sprang in part from the presence of about 110,000 Jews in South Africa, a figure which included more than 15,000 Israeli citizens.
Severing of ties 
By 1987 Israel found itself alone among the developed nations in still maintaining strong, even strategic relations with apartheid South Africa. (Among African nations, only Malawi maintained diplomatic relations with South Africa throughout the Apartheid era.) On March 18, 1987 the Inner Cabinet of the Israeli government denounced the Apartheid policy of South Africa and limited Israel's security ties with Pretoria. On September 16, 1987 the Israeli Cabinet approved a series of measures designed to limit economic, sports and cultural ties with South Africa. Among them was a clause in the "measures" package stating that effective immediately, only colored, Indian and black students would be allowed to attend leadership courses held in Israel.
As part of the change of attitude, Israel banned new military sales contracts with South Africa, reduced cultural and tourism ties, and established educational programs in Israel for black South Africans.
Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi wrote in 1988 that the alliance between South Africa and Israel was one of the most underreported news stories of the past four decades and that Israel played a crucial role in the survival of the apartheid regime. Israel's collaboration with Apartheid South Africa was mentioned and condemned by various international organizations like the UN General assembly (several times since 1974).
Alleged Nuclear collaboration 
U.S. Intelligence believed that Israel participated in South African nuclear research projects and supplied advanced non-nuclear weapons technology to South Africa during the 1970s, while South Africa was developing its own atomic bombs. According to David Albright, "Faced with sanctions, South Africa began to organize clandestine procurement networks in Europe and the United States, and it began a long, secret collaboration with Israel." He goes on to say "A common question is whether Israel provided South Africa with weapons design assistance, although available evidence argues against significant cooperation."
Chris McGreal has written that "Israel provided expertise and technology that was central to South Africa's development of its nuclear bombs". In 2000, Dieter Gerhardt, Soviet spy and former commander in the South African Navy, stated that Israel agreed in 1974 to arm eight Jericho II missiles with "special warheads" for South Africa.
In 2010, The Guardian released South African government documents, until now classified, apparently showing details of a meeting on 31 March 1975 between the two countries defence ministers at the time South African PW Botha and Israeli Shimon Peres. This new found information brings clarity to a previously released 'top secret' memo written by the then South African military chief of staff Lieutenant General RF Armstrong, again dated 31 March 1975,in which he writes: "In considering the merits of a weapon system such as the one being offered, certain assumptions have been made: a) That the missiles will be armed with nuclear warheads manufactured in RSA (Republic of South Africa) or acquired elsewhere". On 4 June 1975, Peres and Botha met in Zurich. The 'top secret' minutes of the meeting recorded that: "Minister Botha expressed interest in a limited number of units of Chalet subject to the correct payload being available." and that "Minister Peres said the correct payload was available in three sizes. Minister Botha expressed his appreciation and said that he would ask for advice."
The article ends quoting the American academic, Sasha Polakow-Suransky, who obtained the documents "The Israeli defence ministry tried to block my access to the Secment agreement on the grounds it was sensitive material, especially the signature and the date," he said. "The South Africans didn't seem to care; they blacked out a few lines and handed it over to me. The ANC government is not so worried about protecting the dirty laundry of the apartheid regime's old allies." 
Israel categorically denied these allegations and said that the documents were minutes from a meeting which did not indicate any offer for a sale of nuclear weapons. Avner Cohen, author of Israel and the Bomb and the forthcoming The Worst-Kept Secret: Israel's Bargain with the Bomb, said "Nothing in the documents suggests there was an actual offer by Israel to sell nuclear weapons to the regime in Pretoria." 
Relations Between Israel and post apartheid South Africa 
Former ANC leader Nelson Mandela first visited Israel in 1999. Mandela said: "To the many people who have questioned why I came, I say: Israel worked very closely with the apartheid regime. I say: I've made peace with many men who slaughtered our people like animals. Israel cooperated with the apartheid regime, but it did not participate in any atrocities". Then Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert visited South Africa in 2004, meeting with South African President Thabo Mbeki, the first visit by an Israeli leader since the end of apartheid.
Some prominent South African figures, such as Desmond Tutu and Ronnie Kasrils have criticized Israel's treatment of the Palestinians, drawing parallels between apartheid South Africa and modern-day Israel.
The Congress of South African Trade Unions, which represents 1.2 million South African workers, has also accused Israel of practicing apartheid and supported the boycott of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, as well as all Israeli products.
However, South African ambassador to Israel Major General Fumanekile Gqiba generally did not agree with the analogy, saying about his time in Israel
before I came here. I regarded Jews as whites. Purely whites. But when I came here I discovered that, no, these guys are not purely whites. ...You've got Indian Jews, you've got African Jews, and you've got even Chinese Jews, right? I began to say to our comrades, No, Israel is not a white country... Perhaps we would say there are those who came from Poland, who happened to be white-i.e. Ashkenazi their culture still dominates. It's difficult to say Israel is racist, in a classic sense.
Annual trade between Israel and South Africa totaled $500 million USD as of 2003.
According to the Pew Global Attitudes Project in 2007 86% of South Africans both in a rural and urban spread had an opinion on the Israel-Palestine conflict. One of the few relevant questions with data from South Africa asked "Now thinking about the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians, which side do you sympathize with more, Israel or the Palestinians?"
Of those asked; 28% said they sympathized more with Israel,19% more with Palestine, 19% Sympathized with both parties equally and 20% sympathized with neither. 14% didn't know or didn't answer .
Following the Gaza flotilla raid, South Africa recalled its ambassador from Israel and summoned the Israeli ambassador for a reprimand.
The movement for an Academic boycott of Israel, within the broader Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, grew in South Africa after the end of apartheid. Following an academic petition supported by more than 250 academics, including Breyten Breytenbach, John Dugard, Antjie Krog, Mahmood Mamdani and Achille Mbembe., the Senate of the University of Johannesburg decided to end its ties with Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in March 2011. The University denied that the decision amounted to an academic boycott of Israel. Others have claimed it as a “a landmark moment in the growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of Israel campaign” Jewish and Israeli groups have criticised the decision. The South African government may increasingly be exposed to popular pressure for a stronger defence of Palestinian human rights.
See also 
- UN General Assembly Resolution 181, Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- American Jewish Year Book, 1950, page 394 ("Recognition of Israel").
- Beit-Hallahmi, Benjamin. The Israeli Connection: Whom Israel Arms and Why, 1988. Pages 109-111.
- Shimoni, Gideon. Community and conscience: the Jews in apartheid South Africa, page 23.
- Beit-Hallahmi, Benjamin (1988). The Israeli Connection: Whom Israel Arms and Why. p. 110.
- American Jewish Year Book, 1952 Page 390 (South Africa)
- Political Dictionary of the State of Israel, S. Hattis Rolef, 1987 & 1993, Macmillan Publishing Co. ISBN 0-02-897193-0
- Shimoni, Gideon (June 1, 2003). "Coping with Israel’s intrusion" (Googlebooks account required). Community and conscience : the Jews in apartheid South Africa. Lebanon, New Hampshire: Brandeis University Press, published by University Press of New England. pp. 46–47. ISBN 1-58465-329-9. LCCN 20034623. Retrieved 2006-08-23.
- "1960s". Chronology. South African History Online. Archived from the original on 2007-11-12. Retrieved 2007-12-03.
- "Israel calls envoy from South Africa". New York Times. September 26, 1963.
- Paul Hoffman (1971-07-05). "Israel's Offer to Aid Blacks Irks South Africa". New York Times.
- Chris McGreal (2006-02-07). "Brothers in arms — Israel's secret pact with Pretoria". London: The Guardian.
- Israel and Black Africa: A Rapprochement? Ethan A. Nadelmann. Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol. 19, No. 2 (Jun., 1981), pp. 183-219
- "1970s". Chronology. South African History Online. Archived from the original on 2007-11-01. Retrieved 2007-12-03.
- "Missile Chronology (South Africa)". Nuclear Threat Initiative. May 2003.
- Rita M. Byrnes, ed. South Africa: A Country Study. Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress, 1996.
- Drew Middleton (December 14, 1981). "SOUTH AFRICA NEEDS MORE ARMS, ISRAELI SAYS". New York Times.
- "1980s". Chronology. South African History Online. Archived from the original on 2007-11-10. Retrieved 2007-12-03.
- "P.W. Botha felt Israel had betrayed him". Jerusalem Post. 2006-11-02. Retrieved 2006-11-02.
- Israel's Foreign Relations since 1947 1984-1988 (MFA)
- Beit-Hallahmi, Benjamin (1988). The Israeli Connection: Whom Israel Arms and Why. pp. 108-109.
- Beit-Hallahmi, Benjamin (1988). The Israeli Connection: Whom Israel Arms and Why. p. 114.
- "The 22 September 1979 Event" (PDF). Interagency Intelligence Memorandum. National Security Archive. December 1979. pp. 10 (paragraph 30). MORI DocID: 1108245. Retrieved 2006-11-01.
- Unknown author. "RSA Nuclear Weapons Program". Federation of American Scientists.
- Albright, David (July 1995). South Africa and the affordable bomb 50 (4). "Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists". pp. 37–47. Retrieved 2009-08-04..
- "Tracking Nuclear Proliferation". PBS Newshour. May 2, 2005.
- Revealed: how Israel offered to sell South Africa nuclear weapons, The Guardian, May 24, 2010
- The memos and minutes that confirm Israel's nuclear stockpile, The Guardian, May 24, 2010
- Kershner, Isabel (2010-05-24). "Israel Denies It Offered South Africa Warheads". The New York Times.
- "Avner Cohen: Yitzhak Rabin would have opposed sale of nuclear weapons". The Independent (London). 2010-05-25.
- Belling, Susan (1999-10-02). "Mandela bears message of peace in first visit to Israel". The Jewish News Weekly of Northern California.
- "South African President Mbeki meets with Deputy PM Olmert". Haaretz. 2004-10-22.
- Desmond Tutu (April 29, 2002). "Apartheid in the Holy Land". London: The Guardian.
- Tutu, D., and Urbina, I. (2002). "Against Israeli apartheid.". The Nation.
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/1957644.stm Tutu condemns Israeli apartheid.
- "South African union joins boycott of Israel". ynetnews.com. [2006-08-06].
- http://media.www.hlrecord.org/media/storage/paper609/news/2007/09/20/Opinion/An.Interview.With.Major.General.Gqiba-2985111.shtml Harvard Law Record
- "Pew Global Attitudes Project: Spring 2007 Survey- Survey of 47 Publics FINAL 2007 COMPARATIVE TOPLINE" (PDF). 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-02. p. 14
- Rawoot, Ilham. "More universities to query Israeli links as UJ severs ties". Mail & Guardian Online. Retrieved 6 April 2011.
- "No UJ academic boycott of Israel". UJ Newsroom. Retrieved 6 April 2011.
- "UJ severs links with Israel university". SowetanLIVE. Retrieved 6 April 2011.
- Lipmann, Jennifer. "Johannesburg university condemned for 'brutal' Israel boycott". THE JEWISH CHRONICLE ONLINE. Retrieved 6 April 2011.
- ANC backs anti-Israel protest
- South Africa and Hamas
- New Book Documents Nuclear Ties Between Israel and Apartheid South Africa - video report by Democracy Now!
- Israel's 'unspoken alliance'