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September 30, 2016 / 27 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘South Africa’

Boycotters Call Trips to Israel ‘Apartheid-Day Propaganda Tricks’

Friday, June 12th, 2015

South African anti-Israel groups have proven their agenda that freedom belongs to anyone who agrees with them but is a sin if anyone thinks differently.

Several groups , including the Young Communist League of South Africa and the youth wing of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress party complained on Friday that the pro-Israel lobby is sponsoring trips to Israel. An e-mail from the groups stated Friday:

The Israeli lobby in South Africa is increasingly turning to old Apartheid-Day tricks to entice young South Africans and distract us from our solidarity with the Palestinian people and their progressive Israeli comrades.

The Israeli lobby is throwing free holiday propaganda trips and other gifts at young South Africans trying to undermine solidarity with the Palestinian people. One such holiday propaganda trip is planned for July 2015.

We view these holiday propaganda trips to Israel…as nothing more than ‘sanctions-busting propaganda trips.’

The statement singled out the South Africa Israel Forum, one of the organizers of trips to Israel, which it said were barred in 2012 from taking local mayors and officials to Israel.

“They now seem to be targeting students after having failed at a government level,” the groups said, obviously upset that private citizens are exposed to anyone having a different opinion.

Instead of countering with an argument, the Israeli boycotters are resorting to thought control.

A senior body of the ANC decided last December to “join the call for a cultural, academic and education boycott of Israel including travel bans for members and leaders of the ANC.”

The South African groups on Friday maintained that even a private citizen flying to Israel on a “holiday propaganda trip” is in “violation of the policies and positions of Palestinian civil society [who] call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel.”

It sounded like the old Soviet Bolsheviks or the Gestapo with a stern warning:

Participation in these holiday propaganda trips to Israel, like participation in holiday propaganda trips to Apartheid South Africa, will be viewed as the crossing of a picket line, and will be met with disciplinary action….

As students and young people we should take it upon ourselves to look for un-biased opinions in order to avoid being misled by organizations geared towards spreading Israeli propaganda.

The funniest, if not saddest, line is:

The organizers of the holiday propaganda trips to Israel try to suggest, like Apartheid South Africa apologists used to claim in the 1980s, that the issue of Palestine-Israel is complicated. We maintain that the issue is simple: Israel must end its violations of international law and oppression of the Palestinian people.

The issue is so simple because it has nothing to do with reality.

It brings to mind a story of a widely-known South African woman, now deceased, who received the Nobel Prize for Literature and was part of the anti-Israel movement.

When she wanted to visit Israel for an arts festival, her colleagues berated her and rejected her argument that “she wanted to see things for herself.” Gordimer stood her ground, visited Israel and told Israeli author and leftist Amos Oz that she wanted to meet a “real-life settler.”

Oz called on me because I live near his home in Arad.

After hearing the “settler” telling her about Jewish-owned land in Judea, Gaza and Samaria, and after hearing about the largely false claims of “Palestinian ownership,” she concluded the conversation by stating:

I must say I am confused.

The South African boycotters are cordially invited to our house in the southern Hebron Hills, but I doubt if they are brave enough to hear a different opinion.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

S. African Anti-Israel Jews Say Hackers Killed Tutu Plaque Unveiling

Monday, October 27th, 2014

This article first appeared in Jewish Business News

The plot thickens on the story of last Wednesday’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s unveiling of a plaque commemorating the victim of the 51-day Gaza war this summer.

An article published in Cape Times Friday suggested somebody sent a bogus email to discourage all the many hundreds of thousands of Jews who were planning to attend the unveiling ceremony. The email told them the event had been cancelled.

Ah, Mossad, have you no scruples?

JBN wrote on Friday that the event, which included an international celebrity, was attended by about 25 people – ten or so on the improvised dais, in the middle of a field outside Cape Town, and 15 or so media folks with their cameras. Missing from the evnt were South Africa’s Jews who, by media accounts, were all up in arms against Israel’s cruelty to the Palestinians who only wanted to shoot their rockets into Tel Aviv in peace.

But over the weekend we received an email from the event organizer, Leonard Shapiro, who first made an effort to educate us regarding the difference between his organization, South African Jewish Voices for a Just Peace (JVJP), and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), which is an entirely different, American organization.

So, before we go any further, we must embed here that unforgettable clip fro “Life of Brian,” because all of you are thinking about it, so we might as well.

OK. Now that that’s out of your system, let’s go back to the bogus email story.

According to Cape Town, “a day prior to his attending a special event honoring the lives of Palestinians and Israelis who had died in the military conflict in Gaza, Anglican Archbishop Emeritus (that’s Tutu) says his laptop was hacked and an e-mail sent out to all those invited that the event had in fact been cancelled.”

Tutu said: “Now I don’t know how they (the hackers) thought I could postpone it when it was something that was not put together by me.”

So that’s why hundreds of thousands of pro-Palestinian South African Jews didn’t show up – they were going to – in fact, many had already reserved baby sitters and everything, but then they received that email, and, well, what are you going to do.

It couldn’t possibly have to do with the fact that there are only six pro-Palestinian South African Jews, nine at most.

There’s a problem, though, with the email story, as it was reported in the Cape Tim. The article reports. It quotes Tutu as saying: “Now I don’t know how they (the hackers) thought I could postpone it when it was something that was not put together by me.”

Tutu later told the Cape Times that “a message had been sent from his computer on Wednesday, which said the unveiling of the event was cancelled and went on to list the contact number ‘or what purported to be (the contact number),’ of one of the event’s organizers, Leonard Shapiro.”

Question: Out of the hundreds of thousands of South African Jews who received the email cancellation, not one called up Leonard Shapiro to ask what’s going on? Would there be a later date for the unveiling? Is everything all right with the elderly Archbishop?

I’ll admit the email hacking thing is brilliant – you don’t have to admit your insignificance, because the bad guys did their hacking thing to stop you in your tracks. Otherwise, that cabbage field outside Cape Town would have been smashed right through by a million pro-Hamas Jews.

Tibbi Singer

Woolworths Hits Back at BDS with Lawsuit Threat

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

The South Africa-based Woolworths retail chain is threatening to sue the Boycott, Divest and Sanction group over customer and staff safety.

“Our employees, of all faiths and cultures, are telling us that they are feeling increasingly threatened by the protests,” Woolworths spokesman Babs Diamini said this week, according to South Africa’s Times Live.

“What’s more, the families of our employees have reported being abused and sworn at by BDS. If this continues we will consider taking further precautions, including legal action against the individuals involved,” Diamini said.

Just as BDS has the right to protest, said Diamini, the chain’s employees have the right to work, and its customers have the right to shop without being intimidated.

She added that it is not clear why Woolworths is being targeted and other major corporations are not, because “more than 95 percent of our food is sourced locally [and] the government continues to authorize trade with Israel.”

Other companies with ties to Israel include Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Danone, Nestle and Motorola. But BDS activist Mohammed Desai made it clear the movement would stay focused on Woolworths, acknowledging the group could not tackle every target at once.

“For now, Woolworths is our target. They are making a grave mistake by ignoring us and if we go to all those retailers our campaign will be diluted.”

BDS activists have demonstrated at more than 40 protests targeting Woolworths around South Africa. The group says it plans to raise the pressure at the retail giant’s annual general meeting on November 26.

Woolworths Holdings Limited is a South African chain of retail stores and one of the largest in the country, modeled on Marks & Spencer of the United Kingdom. The Woolworths brand incorporates a series of food stores, some of which are attached to department stores, while others stand alone or are attached to Engen petrol stations in prosperous urban areas. Some branches include an in-store restaurant, branded as “Cafe W”. Woolworths goods are sold at 149 corporate stores, 51 international franchise stores throughout the rest of Africa and the Middle East and 69 South African franchise stores nationwide. The chain was named after the United States chain F. W. Woolworth Company but, because of the contemporary trademark laws, the name was legally used without permission. No financial connection ever existed between the companies.

Hana Levi Julian

South African Leader Incites for Death to Jews

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

Incitement and anti-Semitic hate have reached new depths in South Africa, where a union leader wrote a Facebook post calling for “eye for an eye” attacks on Jewish communal officials in retribution for civilian deaths in Gaza.

Tony Ehrenreich, a trade union official and the 2011 Cape Town mayoral candidate for the African National Congress party, condemned the “killings and maimings that have been taking place in Gaza.”

He accused the Israel Defense Forces of “attempts to steal the Palestinian lands.”

Ehrenreich wrote that South Africa’s Jewish Board of Deputies, the national Jewish communal organization, should suffer for its support of Israel.

“This makes the Jewish Board of Deputies complicit in the murder of the people in Gaza,” Ehrenreich wrote. “The time has come to say very clearly that if a woman or child is killed in Gaza, then the Jewish board of deputies, who are complicit, will feel the wrath of the People of SA with the age old biblical teaching of an eye for an eye.”

Got it?

If you support Israel you are an accomplice to what Ehrenreich considers a crime and better run for your life.

That’s called liberalism.

The JTA contributed to this report.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

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.”

JTA

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.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

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.”

Jewish Press News Briefs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/south-african-u-suspends-students-who-broke-up-concert-by-israeli/2014/01/21/

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