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July 1, 2015 / 14 Tammuz, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘South Africa’

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.

Gambling Chicago Reform Rabbi Loses Pulpit

Monday, September 16th, 2013

Back in 2011, Reform Rabbi Michael Sternfield, spiritual leader of Chicago’s Sinai congregation, was charged with trespassing and identity deception at an Indiana casino, after scoring a video poker royal flush and $10,000 jackpot, the Chicago Tribune reports. But soon after the bells started ringing and the lights flashing, it turned out that Sternfield was a persona non grata at the casino.

In fact, six years earlier, Sternfield himself had asked to be banished from the casino because of a longtime but secret gambling problem.

According to the Tribune, the incident—prominent rabbi kicked out of casino—coupled with Sternfield’s denial after leaders of his Chicago Sinai Congregation asked about it, resulted in said leaders insisting that he resign quietly a month ago, without the benefit of explaining himself to the congregation.

Apparently, his explanation came in the form of a good bye letter saying it was “time to retire.”

“The bottom line is my heart wasn’t in it any more,” Sternfield told the Tribune back in August, adding that he has begun to question the value of organized religion in recent years.

On the eve of the high holiday? seriously?

Temple President Michael Mannis said Sternfield’s resignation was a big loss for Chicago Sinai, but refused to discuss this “confidential matter,” says the Tribune. But rank and file folks would not buy any of it.

Back in August, the same Michael Mannis told the Tribune: “The method of saying farewell is being decided. We’ll have a way to accomplish that. We’d like to work together to make it meaningful for all.”

Departure is such a crapshoot, isn’t it?

“No one retires right before the High Holy Days,” Rick Fizdale, 74, told the Tribune, “I found that excuse absurd.” Then he added with the hint of a threat: “We feel slightly less of a gravitational pull toward the synagogue because he’s not there.”

Do you really dump your rabbi—of 20 years—because he’s had a relapse? Public life is nasty, brutish and short over at the Reform rabbinate…

Sternfield’s life of service has been colorful, to say the least. In 1993, Sternfield confessed to a brief affair with a younger rabbi while serving at a prominent synagogue in San Diego. he told the LA Times: “I am here to confess to the worst sin I ever committed in my life. This, for me, is Yom Kippur.”

The Central Conference of American Rabbis temporarily suspended Sternfield from working in the U.S., so in 1994 he was hired by a Reform congregation in Durban, South Africa. And there, in Durban, is where he picked up the gambling habit, he told the Tribune.

The Tribune also reports that Sternfield was a champion of interfaith weddings, and—possibly as a result—the Sinai congregation in Chicago grew from 200 to 900 members under his leadership. No idea how many of them are Jewish. They also moved from the Hyde Park neighborhood to a new spot on the Near North Side. And Sinai was a pioneer of Sunday worship services, catering to such celebrities as the late Sears, Roebuck president Julius Rosenwald and former Illinois Gov. Henry Horner.

The synagogue website lists David Levinsky, an Associate Rabbi, as the current spiritual leader. He has a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Stanford University, and used to work as the director of the Interfaith Program at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco.

The torch has been passed.

Cancer Imagery and Jew Hatred

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Rowhani’s comment about Israel being a ‘sore’ (whether or not he added that it should be removed) expresses a popular meme in the Muslim world. The idea is expressed explicitly in the Hamas covenant, and it often appears in PLO media. Palestinian Journalist Khalid Amayreh published an article in 2010 on an Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood website in which he called  Jews “an abomination, a cancer upon the world.” Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Friday called Israel a “cancerous gland” which must be “excised,” echoing Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Other Iranian officials also use this language on a regular basis.

rowhaniqudsday

The idea persists, despite the fact that — by any objective standard — the behavior of Israel is anything but expansionist and invasive. Although Israel ‘grew’ at the expense of the Arab nations in 1967, it has eagerly abandoned most of the territory conquered in the name of ‘peace’, even when that goal proved illusory. It would probably have given it all up if the Arabs had been more focused on strategic advantage than honor and vengeance.

Since 1948, the Arabs (and from 1979, the Iranian regime) have persisted in trying to ‘cure’ the Jewish ‘cancer’, sometimes by war, sometimes by diplomacy and often by both at once. The Arabs seem to have learned by successive humiliations (which only deepen their hatred) that direct means will not be successful. Now they have adopted a multi-pronged strategy of military pressure combined with delegitimization to reduce Western support for Israel, along with diplomatic offensives at the UN and with the US to obtain a solid territorial base. Once this is achieved, they expect to finish the job in another regional war.

The Arabs in particular have never been terribly original. First they borrowed the anti-Jewish ideology of the Nazis, exemplified by Palestinian Arab leader al-Husseini’s relationship with Hitler and the Nazi scientists and war criminals who found sanctuary in Egypt, Iraq and Syria after the war.

The rest of the world was understandably repelled by Nazi ideology, but in the late 1960′s Yasser Arafat was instructed by the KGB to present his gang as a movement of national liberation for a distinct ‘Palestinian people’, and Zionism as a form of imperialism. The international Left followed the KGB’s lead, and this marked the beginning of the Left’s fanatic anti-Zionism.

In 2001, a new element was added with the development of the Durban Strategy by anti-Israel NGOs. Gerald Steinberg explained it thus in 2005:

The Durban conference crystallized the strategy of delegitimizing Israel as “an apartheid regime” through international isolation based on the South African model. This plan is driven by UN-based groups as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs) which exploit the funds, slogans and rhetoric of the human rights movement.

On this basis a series of political battles have been fought in the UN and in the media. These include the myth of the Jenin “massacre,” the separation barrier, the academic boycott, and, currently, the church-based anti-Israel divestment campaign.

Each of these fronts reflected the Durban strategy of labeling Israel as the new South Africa.

Since then the campaign has expanded greatly, despite the complete absence of parallels between Israel and apartheid South Africa.

It’s important to understand — and the cancer imagery makes this clear — that despite the various guises that the Arab-Muslim-Palestinian cause affects, there is one basic element that underlies it: an extreme hatred of the Jewish people and the desire for another genocide against it.

Jewish Doctor Acquitted but Hasn’t Left UAE

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

South African newspapers have been reporting for some days that Prof. Cyril Karabus, 77, whose involuntary detention by the people who run the United Arab Emirates has been going on now for seven months in defiance of basic principles of due process, has been clearedacquittedfound not guiltyfreed to go home and so on. The spokesperson for South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Co-operation broadcast a tweet a week ago exulting (after the earlier intervention of the department’s minister) that “He is free!”

However, South Africa’s Eyewitness News website reports that:

CAPE TOWN – Prosecutors in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have told Professor Cyril Karabus’ legal team they intend appealing the decision to find him not guilty of manslaughter. Last week, an Abu Dhabi court found the elderly professor not guilty of manslaughter and forgery. A medical committee cleared the paediatric oncologist of all blame for the death of a young cancer patient he treated there more than a decade ago. The latest development means Karabus will remain in the UAE indefinitely

We have not yet seen any reports originating in the UAE that confirm this, but we will keep looking. And if there is anyone out there still thinking the man’s own government is willing to do what ought to be done, think again:

“Professor Cyril Karabus has no choice but to submit to the UAE’s legal process, the dept of international relations said on Thursday, after it emerged that he will not be allowed to come back to South Africa yet.” [SAPA]

We have posted numerous times here about the Kafkaesque ordeal that this distinguished medico has suffered at the hands of the authorities in the UAE. For a quick overview, we suggest these: “21-Mar-13: Is Prof Karabus finally being released and going home?“; and “29-Jan-13: UAE “Justice” officials fiddle: The scandalous treatment of Prof. Karabus goes on and on“.

May we suggest again that anyone planning to travel to or through Dubai should carefully review what we posted here yesterday? (See “27-Mar-13: Final call for Australian travelers to London with Qantas“). And for the record, the advice is not meant only for Australians.

This outrageous affair is barely known outside South Africa. It’s time to change that.

Visit This Ongoing War.

Why Israel is NOT an Apartheid State

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

As we speak, anti-Israel activists across the globe are gearing up for or hosting Israel Apartheid Week (IAW) events on various college campuses, with the goal of delegitimizing the State of Israel.  As an anti-Israel student group at American University announced, “The aim of IAW is to educate people about the nature of Israel as an apartheid system and to build support for the growing Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.”  While anti-Israel student groups like the Students for Justice in Palestine frequently make such statements, it is critical to remember that such assertions are nothing more than slander designed to harm Israel.

Many of the young anti-Israel activists who claim that Israel is an apartheid state don’t understand what the definition of apartheid truly is.  According to Merriam Webster’s English dictionary, apartheid is “racial segregation: specifically, a former policy of segregation and political and economic discrimination against non-European groups in the Republic of South Africa.”

According to a report published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs on the subject, among the policies that were implemented in apartheid South Africa were legal prohibitions on sexual relations between different races; forced physical separations between races, in restaurants, neighborhoods, swimming pools, public transport, etc.; restricting members of the black community to unskilled labor in urban areas; forbidding blacks from voting; educational restrictions for blacks, etc.

Benjamin Pogrund is a former deputy editor of the South African Rand Daily who reported on apartheid for 26 years and was an anti-apartheid activist himself.  After his newspaper was shut down because its owners were under pressure by the apartheid government, he made Aliyah to Israel.  Pogrund, as someone who is familiar with both South African apartheid and Israel, claimed that these conditions listed above do not exist in Israel.   He asserted in the Guardian that “Arabs have the vote, which in itself makes them fundamentally different from South Africa’s black population under apartheid. And even the current rightwing government says that it wants to overcome Arab disadvantage and promises action to upgrade education and housing and increase job opportunities.”

Upon witnessing how both Arabs and Jews worked and were treated in Israeli hospitals, in another instance, Pogrund claimed, “What I saw in the Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospital was inconceivable in South Africa where I spent most of my life, growing up then and working as a journalist who specialized in apartheid.”   Yet the existence of Arab voting rights, government initiatives to decrease the gap between Jews and Arabs, and coexistence in hospitals are not the only aspects of Israeli society that prove that Israel is not an apartheid state. Incitement to racism is a criminal offense in Israel, as is discrimination based on race or religion, implying that the Israeli legal system fundamentally rejects apartheid ideology.

In fact, Israel is a liberal democracy, where the Arab minority actively participates in the political process.   Arabs like Major General Hussain Fares, Major General Yosef Mishlav, and Lieutenant Colonel Amos Yarkoni have served prominently in the IDF, while Arabs such as Ali Yahya, Walid Mansour, and Reda Mansour served as Israeli Ambassadors.  Salim Joubran sits on the Israeli Supreme Court, while Nawwaf Massalha and Raleb Majadele were members of the Israeli Cabinet.   Arabs have also served as university professors, heads of hospital departments, management level positions in various businesses, and in senior level positions in the Israeli Police.  Indeed, Israeli Arabs have reached positions that blacks in apartheid South Africa could only dream of. Thus, Israel is the polar opposite of being an apartheid state.

Visit United with Israel.

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