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August 27, 2014 / 1 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘South Africa’

South African Jew’s Anti-Israel Facebook Post Stirs Outrage

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

A Facebook picture of a South African Jewish high school student wearing a traditional Palestinian scarf has triggered outrage and a petition calling for his removal from an honorary position, as well as a dueling petition in his defense.

Joshua Broomberg, deputy head boy of the King David Victory Park High School, a Jewish day school, and the captain of the South African national debate team, was tagged in a Facebook photograph wearing a traditional Palestinian scarf and a badge of the Palestinian flag, according to the Independent Online, a South African news website.

The caption of the photo stated: “Team South Africa wearing Palestinian badges and Keffiyehs to show our opposition to the human rights violations carried out against the people of Palestine.” Broomberg and the debate team were in Thailand competing in the World Schools Debating Championship.

In response to the posting, a petition was posted online at change.org calling for Broomberg’s removal as deputy head boy, an honorary student post. The petition quickly garnered 2,000 online signatures. In response, an opposing petition was also posted at change.org, opposing Broomberg’s removal. That petition has garnered more than 4,000 signatures.

Rabbi Craig Kacev, general director of the South African Board of Jewish Education, which oversees King David Victory Park, said that Broomberg would not be suspended and defended the student’s right to free speech, telling South Africa’s Eyewitness News, “We encourage critical thinking, we encourage our learners to debate and there’s no censorship in our school.”

In a post on Facebook, Broomberg apologized for creating an “uproar,” which he said he did not intend, but defended himself as a proud Jew and as a Zionist, and stated, “While I apologize for the hurt we seem to have caused, I do not apologize for standing with Palestine on this issue.”

Anti-Israel Speakers and Jewish Self-Hatred

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Cape Town, South Africa – The global center of the world BDS movement is, when you think about it, South Africa. BDS, in an attempt to sound more reasonable and less hateful, rarely compares Israel to Nazi, Germany, the way, say, arch-anti-Semite Roger Waters of Pink Floyd does. No, BDS argues that Israel practices apartheid the way that pre-Nelson Mandela South Africa did.

You can imagine, therefore, that it’s not all that easy being a proud lover of Israel in South Africa. That the Jewish community here pulls it off, remaining staunch Zionists, is impressive. But there are fissures in the support. Israel is under constant assault by some ANC ministers who make the false and erroneous comparison of Israel’s existential war against Islamic terrorists to the ANC’s struggle against white apartheid rule. Last week I responded to this ridiculous comparison. This week I want to focus on what it’s like to be subject to it.

It’s impossible for world Jewry to be the brunt of so much hatred, and to constantly be on the defensive about Israel, without some of that bile and poison seeping in. The constant attacks start playing with your head. Maybe there is something wrong with us Jews. With Christianity saying for 2000 years that Jesus is loving while the God of the Old Testament is vengeful, maybe Judaism is too rigid. Maybe in Israel we’re overdoing it. With the Palestinians saying they’re humiliated by checkpoints, perhaps Israel is purposely trying to degrade them as opposed to instituting security measures to stop buses filled with children from being blown up. And maybe, just maybe, we Jews who live outside of Israel are simply giving Israel too much mindless support.

I remember twice visiting Dakar, Senegal, one of the poorest countries on earth, and being struck by the advertisements all over the city for skin bleaching agents. But maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised. Gorie island in the city is where millions of African slaves departed through ‘the gate of no return’ to a life of chains in the Americas and Caribbean. When you’re brutalized with that kind of hatred just for the color of your skin you don’t always see beauty when you peer in the mirror.

The gradual trickle of self-hatred into the Jewish soul is evidencing itself in the growing American Jewish call for Israel-hating speakers to be hosted by Jewish organizations at Jewish venues in order to demonstrate our open-mindedness. We first saw this with Swarthmore Hillel when it bizarrely announced its “Open Hillel” policy, opening their doors to anti-Zionist speakers. Asking people who wish to destroy Israel to come and address Jewish audiences – and make no mistake about it, BDS is only about destroying Israel – would be the equivalent of the ANC inviting white bigots to argue that apartheid should be reinstated. I am all for inviting Israel’s opponents to open, rules-based debates, where they are forced to rationally defend their positions in the marketplace of ideas, and indeed, our organization, This World: The Values Network, will be sponsoring debates along these lines across the United States, beginning at Columbia University on 31 March. I believe strongly in freedom of speech and fair and intelligent exchange. And if it’s a credible opponent but who has the intention of obliterating your very home it can only be a debate format and on neutral ground. But what fool would allow poisonous, anti-Israel, anti-Semitic propaganda offered to impressionable Jewish minds without a retort? To invite people who want to malign and defame Israel to address Jewish audiences is proof of the old adage that there is no hatred like Jewish self-hatred.

The latest example was Ramaz High School students in New York inviting Columbia Professor Rashid Khalidi to lecture to them. The New York Times reported that Khalidi had been suggested to the students by Peter Beinart and that did not surprise me. Peter, whom I was kind to and hosted several times 20 years ago at the University of Oxford, has become the Jewish legitimizer of BDS. Peter feels he can get away with joining the calls for boycotts against Israel because, he says, he only wants to boycott all goods from Judea and Samaria in the West Bank. Of course, this would destroy mainstream Israeli companies that provide jobs for thousands of Israelis and Palestinians like Soda Stream, Ahava cosmetics, and even Victoria’s Secret, to name but a few. Peter claims to be a Zionist but by being not just in league but a leader of those seeking to destroy Israel economically he is clearly pushing the term to its absolute limit.

My reward for my friendship to Peter was his column last summer where he libeled me with the nauseating and revolting claim that my stances on the Israeli-Arab conflict “borders on racism”. Personal insults and name-calling are what often passed for journalism on Open Zion, and it’s not surprising that The Daily Beast canceled it, though whether the cause was widespread disinterest or shoddy journalism was never made clear.

I immediately challenged Peter on Twitter and he took the cowardly route of blaming a low-level editor of inserting the racism charge, even though he was the editor-in-Chief of Open Zion and clearly the buck stopped with him. I have invited Peter into our 31 March debate and he has accepted.

Khalidi is a respected academic. But in the PBS documentary, “Anti-Semitism in the 21st Century: The Resurgence,” he throws out a blood libel against Israel, accusing it of “killing children” and “old people.” He does not mention that Israel has lost thousands of civilians to Palestinian terror attack. He also makes the absurd claim that peace between Israel and the Palestinians will end the virulent anti-Semitism so often seen in the Islamic world. One can only surmise that Iran’s calls for the extermination of Israel and its holocaust denial will magically cease just as soon as Israel signs away Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Martin Solomon pointed out that in a 2006 appearance on PBS’s “NewsHour with Margaret Warner,” Khalidi claimed that neither Hezbollah nor Hamas is a “direct threat to the United States.” This was an astonishing claim given Hezbollah’s 1983 Beirut bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut which murdered 241 American marines. Khalidi seemed to believe that that U.S. peacekeeping forces, as an army of occupation, were fair game.

Of Khalidi’s book The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood,” New York Times columnist Clyde Haberman wrote, “When he talks about repressive Israeli measures having been ‘sometimes imposed on the pretext of security,’ critics are bound to ask: What pretext? How many suicide bombings of cafes and pizza shops does it take before a country has a right to end them by any method that seems to work?”

But while Khalidi’s opposition to Israel is not appropriate for High School students, it is perfectly appropriate for our Columbia University debate, to which I publicly invited him and where I can assure him he will be treated with the respect and courtesy he deserves.

South African U. Suspends Students Who Broke up Concert by Israeli

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

The University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg has given a suspended sentence of a one-year ouster to 11 students charged with disrupting a concert last march by Israeli-born pianist Yosef Reshef on the university campus.

The students and other Muslims and BDS extremists broke into the auditorium and forced the cancellation of a performance the world-renowned Reshef before a full house.

Ten students were found guilty of misconduct for disrupting or inciting others to disrupt the piano recital. The order to exclude them from the university was suspended on condition that the students are not found guilty of any other form of misconduct for a period of two years.

They also will not be allowed to hold any office in any student governance structure for a period of one year and will each have to perform 80 hours of community service. One student  was found guilty of not obeying a lawful instruction issued by a University employee, and will be required to perform an additional 50 hours of community service for this offence.

Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of the Israel Law Center (Shurat HaDin) commented, “This is a small but important victory over the BDS extremist in South Africa. Hopefully, it will deter future violent protests that attempt to bar Jewish artists from performing there.”

Nelson Mandela Friendly to Jews But Not to Israel

Friday, December 13th, 2013

The Israeli Left, which is chareidi extremist in its worship of all Leftist projects and issues has been bombarding the media, which they actually run, with what they call the disgraceful lack of “a senior delegation” to “Memorial Ceremony” or whatever has been going on is South Africa.

On Thursday evening, Channel 10′s Or Heller, reporting from Johannesburg, expressed disappointment “as an Israeli” that neither Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nor President Shimon Peres would be attending Tuesday’s memorial service for Nelson Mandela or Sunday’s funeral.He also stressed that the South African Jewish community was angry and ashamed that only a second-tier delegation (Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and MKs Pnina Tamano-Shata, Dov Lipman, Nitzan Horowitz, Gila Gamliel and Hilik Bar) would be representing Israel at the events. Ruthie Blum, Israel Hayom

Actually, Israel did send an impressive delegation, but it didn’t include Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Considering Mandela’s anti-Israel policies and statements, there was no reason for Netanyahu to go.  The media has been parading various Jews who had very good personal relationships with Mandela, but that didn’t make Mandela a friend of the State of Israel.

Mandela was very old; he was of my father’s generation, born just a year before him.  Mandela’s contacts with the Arabs were from very early on.  Mandela was obviously an intelligent man, and I found via professor google a very interesting public letter he had written to Thomas Friedman:

Perhaps it is strange for you to observe the situation in Palestine or more specifically, the structure of political and cultural relationships between Palestinians and Israelis, as an Apartheid system. This is because you incorrectly think that the problem of Palestine began in 1967. This was demonstrated in your recent column “Bush’s First Memo” in the New York Times on March 27, 2001.

You seem to be surprised to hear that there are still problems of 1948 to be solved, the most important component of which is the right to return of Palestinian refugees. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is not just an issue of military occupation and Israel is not a country that was established “normally” and happened to occupy another country in 1967. Palestinians are not struggling for a “state” but for freedom, liberation and equality, just like we were struggling for freedom in South Africa.

In the letter to Friedman, he wrote that he didn’t see the Arabs as demanding a state. I have no doubt that was the case fifty years ago, before the Left, international and Israeli, convinced the Arabs here that they are “Palestinian” and needed their own state Mandela brings up one of the points which I use to prove that Israel’s victory in the 1967 Six Days War and the land we thereby liberated is not the cause of the “problem” between us and the Arabs.

This so-called “Palestinian nation” is something very new, and it doesn’t have a long history. It was invented by those who wanted to delegitimize Israel.  And unfortunately the “cause” has been adopted even by Israelis who refuse to see that such a  state would cause the destruction of the State of Israel, God forbid.

Visit Shiloh Musings.

The Day Mandela Went to Shul and Preached against Aliyah

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

One of the first things that Nelson Mandela did after being elected president of South Africa in 1994 was visit a synagogue and preach against aliyah at Cape Town’s Green and Sea Point Hebrew Congregation on the Shabbat after his election.

Here is an excerpt from JTA’s report:

“The congregants heard Mandela make an appeal from the pulpit for Jewish expatriates to return to South Africa.

“Pointedly excluding aliyah by saying he understands the Jewish community’s commitment to Israel, Mandela said, ‘We want those who left (for other countries) because of insecurity to come back and to help us to build our country.’

“He added that those who do not return should contribute their money and skills to South Africa.

“Mandela thanked the Jewish community for its contribution toward the development of South Africa and assured Jews they have nothing to fear from a government of national unity.

“He said he felt an affinity with the Jewish community, since it was a Jewish firm that gave him an apprenticeship in the early days of his law career, when discrimination was rife.

“He also said that he had befriended his Jewish defense counsel during the treason trial which led to his imprisonment in the 1950s and that he was still in contact with the lawyer.

“He stated that he recognizes the right to existence of the State of Israel, along with the right of Palestinians to live in their own homeland.

“He noted that he considered it significant that Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat last week signed an agreement in Cairo implementing Palestinian self-rule — the same week that South Africa elected its new leadership.

“At the reception following the service, some of the younger members of the congregation raised clenched fists in solidarity with the ANC, while the shul choir led in the singing of the country’s new national anthem, “Nkosi Sikelel’ IAfrika.”

Mandela often said Israel should be a “secure“ state, but on the other hand, his citing the Palestinian-Israel conflict as dating back to 1948 clearing showed his definition of “secure” as twisted.

He wrote Thomas Friedman of The New York Times in 1991, “You incorrectly think that the problem of Palestine began in 1967…. You seem to be surprised to hear that there are still problems of 1948 to be solved, the most important component of which is the right to return of Palestinian refugees. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is not just an issue of military occupation and Israel is not a country that was established ‘normally’ and happened to occupy another country in 1967.

“Palestinians are not struggling for a ‘state’ but for freedom, liberation and equality, just like we were struggling for freedom in South Africa.”

Arabs in Judea and Samaria, who did not refer themselves as “Palestinians,” never ”struggled” for freedom under the Ottoman Empire, under the British Mandate and under the Jordanian occupation.

It was only when Jews re-established the modern State of Israel that they “struggled,” not for freedom but rather for the annihilation of Israel.

That explains how Mandela, more blind than the blindest American Secretary of State, could proclaim that Iran had no aggressive aims towards Israel. “We are indebted to the Islamic Revolution,” he one said while laying a wreath at the grave of the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, whose idea of freedom meant a world free of Israel.

Mandela not only called Israel an “apartheid state” but also asserted that the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) was not a terrorist group.

He publicly supported violence against Israel during a visit to Yasser Arafat in Gaza in 1999, when he declared. “All men and women with vision choose peace rather than confrontation, except in cases where we cannot proceed, where we cannot move forward. Then if the only alternative is violence, we will use violence.”

Flu Grounds Peres from Attending Funeral for Mandela

Monday, December 9th, 2013

President Shimon Peres is under the weather with the flu and will not be able to attend the memorial for Nelson Mandela in South Africa. His absence will make even more obvious the non-appearance of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, whose spokesmen said that complicated and expensive security arrangements are the reasons he will not be attending.

Nevertheless, one local newspaper headlined Monday that the Prime Minister “snubs” the memorial.

Peres reportedly has been weak lately because he was sick during his recent trip to Mexico and was caught napping on another official occasion. His office denied reports that his health is failing.

Approximately 70 heads of stated will be at the memorial for Mandela.

The Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, also will be there. The church is infamous for its protests of Sandy Hook victims, fallen soldiers, and “Fast and the Furious” star Paul Walker. The members; problems with Mandela is that he divorced and remarried. The church alleged that Mandela “pursued every lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life; he loved the praise of man more than the praise of God.”

Truth and Evil Dance on Mandela’s Grave

Monday, December 9th, 2013

It is a necessary but sad evil when leaders like President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas have to cry over Nelson Mandela’s death even though both leaders, in their own ways, exploited or ignored him for their own causes, however justified in their own eyes.

Abbas and Peres should not be mentioned in the same breath, but the truth is that both are masters of manipulation whose mourning for Mandela to a certain extent is a mask for an uglier truth.

Abbas undoubtedly has proven himself to be a chess master par excellence in the diplomatic field, convincing virtually the entire world that the Palestinian Authority is some poor, hapless victim of apartheid and not a regime that was born out of terror and breathes and lives on the threat to kill Jews.

Abbas also is just another hapless Arab whose definition of helping his constituents is to create the right conditions for the destruction of Israel as Jewish state. For this, he rewrote the history of Mandela’s support for the Palestinian Authority as a country but on condition that Israel remain secure.

President Peres has turned his constant failure to be elected Prime Minister in his own right into a worldwide success as the Preacher of Peace and the naïve if not foolish pawn of anti-Zionists who have played on his vanity and weighed him down with every decoration and medal on earth so long as he keeps playing “nice Jew.”

So what if Jonathan Pollard still is in jail? Peres perhaps figures that his being awarded the Freedom Medal by President Barack Obama gives him more leverage to win Pollard’s freedom, just like he was sure that expelling Jews and pulling the IDF out of Gaza would guarantee peace and quiet for Israel.

But to Peres’ eternal credit, he also led the secret and not-so-secret effort to make Israel an undeclared nuclear power.

As a man of peace, it is only natural that Peres eulogize Mandela, who is not around to remind Peres that while the president was carrying out his duty to Israel to help its nuclear development, he did so while Mandela was suffering in his prison cell.

Abbas has served his cause faithfully, regardless of it being based on some of the biggest lies since Hitler and the Holocaust, which Abbas honored in his doctoral thesis that the Shoah really didn’t happen.

In short, yes, Abbas is a liar and a louse, but he is masterful at it.

He hailed Mandela as  a “symbol of freedom from colonialism and occupation,” whose death “is a great loss for all the peoples of the world, and for Palestine.”

Even Hamas chipped in and called Mandela “one of the most important symbols of freedom and one of the most important supporters of the Palestinian people’s cause.”

Using the African apartheid to describe the Israeli “occupation” and security fence along Judea and Samaria is one of those gross and obscene propaganda tactics that historians will correct at some time in the future, on the assumption that “the truth will out.”

For anyone writing history now, refer to Mandela’s tour of the Middle East in 1999.

He indeed supported the idea of a Palestinian Authority state and that “talk of peace remains hollow if Israel continues to occupy Arab lands, but he said in the same breath, “I cannot conceive of Israel withdrawing if Arab states do not recognize Israel, within secure borders.”

He made no mention of the “Green Line” or the 1949 “Temporary Armistice Lines.”

Mandela, like Peres, viewed the world through his own dreams and experiences, no matter how foreign from the Middle East. He saw Israel as practicing apartheid, and he also viewed Iran as a country that has no evil intentions towards Israel.

So much for his prowess in world affairs outside South Africa.

Lots of people kissed Mandela. One of them was Yasser Arafat. Comparing the two men as freedom-fighters is something out of a science fiction horror movie, and historians will have a hard time justifying that equation.

Another man who kissed Mandela was Peres.

“The world has lost a great leader who changed the face of history,” said Peres. “Nelson Mandela was a human rights fighter who made his mark on the war against discrimination and racism.”

The Israeli president said the right words at the right time in the name of the country. For all of Peres’ illusions, historians might remember him not so much for his peace preaching as for his leading Israel into the nuclear era.

Peres must be praised and complimented, but his contribution towards helping Israel be able to defend itself against even the worst imagineable threat does not remove the warts.

NBC News investigative journalist Robert Windrem reported Sunday that in the 1970s, while Mandela “was languishing in a damp prison cell on Robben Island, Peres was making deals with South Africa’s apartheid regime to trade missiles for money and the uranium needed for atomic bombs.”

Peres was defense minister at the time, and Yitzchak Rabin was Prime Minister. An agreement was made, according to NBC, to help South Africa carry out a propaganda campaign to brighten its image. South Africa paid handsomely for Israel’s help, and the close relationship between the two countries flourished to the point that they cooperated on military and nuclear development.

One of the key players in convincing South Africa to enter the agreement was a man names Eshel Rhoodie, according to NBC, which based its report on interviews and documents, including a book based on Israeli and South African government documents.

Another key person was Arnon Milchan, a Hollywood billionaire who two weeks ago confided that he was instrumental in helping Peres to advance Israel’s nuclear development.

“Israel certainly developed its own nuclear weapons, apparently with the help of South Africa” NBC reported. “Rhoodie and another high-ranking South African official told NBC of an arrangement between the two countries in the late 1970s in which South Africa supplied 600 tons of uranium to Israel in return for 30 grams of tritium, used to detonate nuclear weapons. The uranium was codenamed ‘mutton,’ the tritium ‘tea leaves and the overall exchange was called ‘Project Mint.’”

Peres was far from trying to back Mandela’s fight against apartheid. Rightfully putting Israel’s security above everything, the Israeli government provided the apartheid regime with Jericho missiles or at least Jericho technology.

This is known from computer imagery from U.S. spy satellites that tracked a missile launch east of Cape Town and discovered the images to be identical to Israel’s launch of the Jericho. With the Jericho, the South Africa regime was in a better position to win leverage in the region.

Mandela became president of South Africa in 1994, when relations with Israel were poor, to say the least.

A book in 2010 included previous nuclear sharing between South Africa and Israel, claims which Peres denied, although Milchan’s comments two weeks ago categorically state otherwise.

“I did it for my country and I’m proud of it,” Milchan said.

Peres cannot dare tell the truth. That is the price he has to pay for having been loyal to Israel’s security needs.

Abbas also cannot tell the truth about Mandela’s clarification of his support for a Palestinian Authority state. That is the price he pays for being loyal to the Arab religion of hate.

Mandela’s legacy can live without any reminders from Abbas and Peres, but both played their parts masterfully.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/truth-and-evil-dance-on-mandelas-grave/2013/12/09/

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