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David Teeger

The Jewish captain of South Africa’s under-19 cricket team, David Teeger, lost his captaincy one week before the World Cup, supposedly for concerns for his safety following comments he made supporting IDF soldiers in the Gaza war. The South African Cricket Association said it was afraid of protests at the games, which are due to start on January 19, saying the protests could “result in conflict or even violence, including between rival groups of protestors.”

Teeger is an observant Jew who keeps Shabbat and kashrut. Last October 22, Teeger was named the Rising Star at the ABSA Jewish Achiever Awards ceremony and in his acceptance speech said, “But more importantly, yes, I’ve been awarded this award, and yes, I am now the rising star, but the true rising stars are the young soldiers in Israel… So I’d like to dedicate this award to the South African family that married off one son whilst the other is still missing. And I’d like to dedicate it to the state of Israel and to every single soldier fighting so that we can live and thrive in the diaspora.”


This enraged a South African group calling itself Palestine Solidarity Alliance, which lodged a complaint against him. A Cricket South Africa independent committee of inquiry established that Teeger had not breached the code of conduct of either the CSA or his Central Gauteng Lions cricket team.

In accordance with his acquittal, in December, Teeger was appointed the captain of the South Africa national under-19 cricket team by Cricket South Africa. But in January 2024, one week before the start of the 2024 Under-19 Cricket World Cup, Cricket South Africa took away Teeger’s captaincy while keeping him in the World Cup squad.

CSA explained, “We have been advised that protests related to the war in Gaza can be anticipated at the venues for the tournament. We have also been advised that they are likely to focus on the position of the SA Under-19 captain, David Teeger and that there is a risk that they could result in conflict or even violence, including between rival groups of protestors. CSA has a primary duty to safeguard the interests and safety of all those involved in the World Cup and must accordingly respect the expert advice of those responsible for the safety of participants and spectators. In all the circumstances, CSA has decided that David should be relieved of the captaincy for the tournament. This is in the best interests of all the players, the SA U19 team, and David himself.”

The degradation of Captain Alfred Dreyfus. / Henri Meyer (1841–1899)

Now, I’m becoming convinced that history enjoys repeating itself, seeing as on January 5, 1895, another Jewish Captain, Alfred Dreyfus, was summarily convicted in a secret court martial, publicly stripped of his army rank, and sentenced to life imprisonment on Devil’s Island in French Guiana for a crime he did not commit. Dreyfus was formally degraded by having the rank insignia, buttons, and braid cut from his uniform and his sword broken, all in the courtyard of the École Militaire before silent ranks of soldiers, while a large crowd of onlookers shouted abuses at him. Throughout the humiliating ceremony, Dreyfus cried out: “I swear that I am innocent. I remain worthy of serving in the Army. Long live France! Long live the Army!”

A young Jewish correspondent for a Viennese newspaper, one Theodor Herzl, was so impressed by this outrageous event that he decided to devote all his powers to the establishment of a new state for the Jews.


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