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Desmond Tutu speaks at the conspicuously empty Jewish Voices for Just Peace event.

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.

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Tibbi Singer is a veteran contributor to publications such as Israel Shelanu and the US supplement of Yedioth, and Jewish Business News.