FOR some it was merely a ‘gaffe’, an awkward ‘statement that many regard as anti-Israel’, for others it was a ‘river too far’, a red line in the sand marked Antisemitism.

In many countries such as the UK and Germany, the phrase ‘from the River to the Sea’, is banned outright due to its falling within working definitions of Antisemitism proposed by the IHRA.

‘The River’ chants association with a listed jihadist terror group Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiya aka HAMAS, merely bolsters this view. The organization long stated ambition, before the liberation of the City they refer to as Quds, is the total annihilation of the state of Israel — the replacement of the Jewish State by an Islamic state ‘from the River to the Sea.’ .

For a country, South Africa whose stated policy has traditionally been one of tolerance and support for a two-state solution, President Ramaphosa appeared to be signalling a shift away from the bipartisanship associated with the Mandela era —  towards the hard-liners in his party, who by implication favour the imposition of an authoritarian, clerical regime under Sharia law. 

Mandela who is often misquoted on the subject, had long recognised the rights of both states to coexist, stating in 1990: “Support for Yasser Arafat and his struggle does not mean that the ANC has ever doubted the right of Israel to exist as a state, legally.”

It is near impossible to see how any of the ruling parties current stated policies square up nor even coincide with the policies espoused by the  Jihadists in Gaza.

Abolition of independent trade unions, limitation of women’s rights, jailtime for LGBTQ, a ‘final battle between Muslims and Jews’, are certainly not policies one would wish to see on a party-political platform in the week before a national election, but the ANC has been going down this annhiliationist road for decades.  It is a partner in a coalition in Johannesburg whose far-right anchor party Al Jam-ah, represents precisely such values — an undermining and eventual replacement of progressive ideas which underpin our constitution with Sharia law.

The reality of the conflict in which so-called moderates rank as impossible conservatives who would probably turn a blind eye to public beheadings, and stonings,  as is the case in Iran, leaves one at a loss as to the way forward?

Holding out for a Fatah victory when Hamas have turned into the political movers and shakers on the world stage appears to be a losing proposition.

Hamas have shown that not only are they able to eliminate  their opposition, but are able to absorb many of the elements which make Fatah the more palatable side of Palestinianism. Yesterday they were able to launch a salvo of rockets at Tel Aviv at the same time as they lured the IDF into Rafah with an associating cost on civilian life.

While some may see South Africa’s case before the ICJ (ostensibly brought to limit casualties) as truly heroic, the attempt to intervene politically may yet backfire, at least if our government fails to draw any guidance from the ICC chief prosecutor Karim Khan’s recent indictment of Hamas leaders Sinwar, Deif, Haniyeh (see here)

South Africa’s presumed policy of non-alignment is also dangerously beginning to resemble all out partisan support of any terror group associated with the conflict, which risks further antagonising the West.

I think readers know well what needs to be stated here: if you still believe Jews and Palestinians to be ‘separate and distinct race groups’,  you may yet be correct in your analysis of the parallels between our own struggle and the struggle for Palestinian Statehood, but if like me, you reject the entire notion that nations can ever be considered ‘races’, then you may suffer from a wrong diagnosis, and be dispensing the wrong medication to the wrong patient?

Note: Read my earlier pieces debunking the apartheid analogy here, or traverse a page debunking many of the myths associated with the Jerusalem conflict. If that doesn’t get your goat, then read my defense of Secularism in preceding posts.

READ: Salman Rushdie says a Palestinian state formed today would be ‘Taliban-like’

President Raisi is dead, long live the people of Iran

Iranian parliamentary leader, President Raisi, has died in a helicopter crash over the weekend. The head of the ‘Combatant Clergy Association’ was active in a theocracy run by Ayatollahs following the 1979 revolution.

Raisi ran for president in 2017 as the candidate of the conservative ‘Popular Front of Islamic Revolution Forces’, losing to moderate incumbent president Hassan Rouhani, 57% to 38.3%. He successfully ran for president a second time in 2021 with 62.9% of the votes, succeeding Hassan Rouhani.

Raisi’s presidency oversaw a massive clampdown on women’s rights following the Hijab Revolts spurred by the death of 22-year-old Mahsi Amini in custody.

Between November 2022 and March 2023, up to 7,000 schoolgirls were poisoned at dozens of schools in at least 28 of Iran’s 31 provinces, according to human rights groups and government officials. ‘Hundreds were hospitalized with symptoms that included respiratory distress, numbness in limbs, heart palpitations, headaches, nausea, and vomiting. The outbreak at schools for girls, first reported in the holy city of Qom, generated new protests against the government.’

As a religious scholar in Iran’s theocratic government and a protégé of Ayatollah Khamenei, Raisi climbed the ranks of the judiciary, serving as a prosecutor in several cities.

After being named Iran’s top judge, he is believed to have been part of a small committee that ordered the executions of thousands of political dissidents in 1988.

Raisi oversaw a general clampdown on independent trade union activity with the banning of independent unions. At the same time he promoted the inclusion of Iran in a group of nation’s known as BRICS, whose members are drawn from autocracies as well as democracies.

Execution of LGBTIQ individuals also ramped up under Raisi, who actively promoted the death penalty for homosexuality and other ‘moral offenses’.

It is not surprising that South Africa’s Naledi Pandor, whose government is in a coalition with far-right Al Jama-ah party in Johanessburg is a big fan.

Courts are promoting unlawful occupation of rental property

THE so-called 'Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act 19 of 1998' has turned into the "Promotion of Unlawful Occupation of Land Act" under the machinations of my country's woke judiciary.  Here I relate my experience with a civil court proceeding held April 11, 2024 in which the respondent to an eviction proceeding didn't appear, hasn't entered 'notice of intention to defend" against the application, yet received extraordinary protection from the court, a court seized with feminist ideology and critical race theory to the detriment of my own black household and black children. What an absolute joke, I have less rights as a law-abiding citizen than a foreigner scoffing at the law and gaming the system. I am now facing having to place my own belongings in storage, splitting up the kids and not having a home, because my only property has been hijacked with the assistance of our courts, affecting my own ability to pay rent.

UPDATE: Eviction order was handed down on 2 May, respondent once again absent from proceedings. Wholly unnecessary hearing where the matter could have been simply placed on the unopposed roll. Am still gobsmacked that the court even deliberated on the matter without the other party being present and/or filing notice of intention to defend. Something needs to be done to avoid wasteful, unnecessary duplication of legal services which seem to have become the bread and butter of a corrupt profession

New edition of ‘Media Activist Handbook’ released

In an era defined by interconnectedness and information overload, the media wields an unparalleled influence over our lives. It shapes our perspectives, molds public opinion, and shapes the narrative of our collective consciousness. Yet, as the saying goes, “With great power comes great responsibility.” The immense potential of media to foster positive change has never been more apparent. It is in this context that the Media Activist Handbook emerges as a guiding light, illuminating the path towards harnessing the transformative power of media for the betterment of society.

A new edition of the venerable Media Activist Handbook has been released, you can find it on our jump page, or download it directly from Gumroad.

Media24 gets into a hissy fit over loss of revenue

Media24 the company which destroyed several articles on South African jazz history whilst unlawfully misappropriating my own byline and corruptly rigging proceedings before the Labour Court of SA in 2010, is having a cadenza about the dominance of Google and Meta in the online advertising and search industry.

Last time I checked, Media24 did not have a search engine nor any social media of its own. Their online portal is behind a paywall (read Boere-Mafia Laager), and the loss of advertising revenue has absolutely nothing to do with Alphabet (the parent company behind Google) nor Meta and everything to do with the changing habits of its readers, many of whom have dumped the site’s partisan editorial and its “Kerk bazaar” for greener pastures.

With pay television falling prey to Internet streaming companies like Netflix, and Media24’s Multichoice spun off more than two years ago, (now the subject of a takeover by Canal+), executives at the company must be feeling the pinch, with very little left after tax — a sum of the parts analysis of the company might just provide an astonishing headline: Boetie, where are the parts?

The easy answer is Media24 is Takealot, South Africa’s number one online retailer, but with Amazon, Shein and Temu competing with the platform, executives must have had a groot skrik looking at projected revenues, seeing what is coming at them?

I suspect none of this verdriet impacts upon holding company Naspers and its ‘Jekyl & Hyde’ shenanigans at Prosus, both behemoths who collectively control billions of revenue from Tencent (and the Chinese certainly aren’t complaining about SA ownership of Wechat?) — that ancient bastion of Afrikaner kragdadigheid at the Heerengracht must be sensing they either need to throw in the towel, or buy into the new Web3 economy ?

That would be too easy, instead they have become the eternal whining aunties feasting on scalped whales harpooned by their parent company, so accurately portrayed by Daniel Defoe in his epic tail of capitalism, Moby Dick?

Anyone care to spear a whale?

The media company that refused to participate in the Truth & Reconciliation Commission, disputing the outcome and status of the special report on the role of the media during apartheid, apparently told the Competition Commission that ‘Google is abusing its “dominance” and threatening the viability of the Fourth Estate in South Africa,’ what a joke.

Since when did they ever care about the “Fourth Estate”?

Ishmet Davidson the self-same liar who claimed the company had been given ‘a clean bill of health at the TRC’, is reported to have told the Competition Commission on Tuesday that “Google is sucking advertising revenue out of South Africa, making it increasingly difficult for local publications to survive. He said even News24, despite its size, is loss-making – and he pointed the finger at Google and rival Meta Platforms, the owner of Facebook, for the dire situation facing local publishers.”

Davidson said News24 was “forced” in 2020 to implement a paywall around much of its content, but even though more than 100 000 paying subscribers have signed up, the revenue from subscriptions “has not nearly been sufficient to offset the decline in advertising revenue”.

If this sounds like the man is angling for another bail-out from government, in much the same manner as the sole pay-channel license awarded by former director PW Botha during the 1980s, they suck and you probably on track.

You can read the full story on Tech Central

Anti-Semitism & its political adherents in Parliament

​THERE is officially ‘no antisemitism’ in South Africa. No sooner had Justice Minister Ronald Lamola kicked up a storm after making bizarre statements on a BBC hardtalk interview, the country was being entertained by two incidents from inside the country’s various legislatures.

A tie-episode involving the wearing of a ‘Star of David’ by a member of the Johannesburg City Council was soon followed by threats inside the National House of Assembly: “We won’t allow you make this a Jewish state. The City of Cape Town would be a bloodbath,” ranted Member of Parliament Munzoor Shaik Emam, who proceeded to threaten Jews living in South Africa.

It was Sartre who once remarked: “If the Jew did not exist, the Anti-Semite would invent him”. ” In his seminal Anti-Semite & Jew, written after the author had noticed the absence of the Jews living in Paris before the war, deported to the Nazi death camps, he wrote: “The anti-Semite convinces himself of beliefs that he knows to be spurious at best.”

The latest debacle is redolent of ANC MP Marius Fransman’s invention of ‘Jewish property tycoons in Woodstock”, and other statements for which he was ordered to apologise. A suburb that had once seen an influx of Jews from the Shtetls of Czarist Russia, but which like District Six has lost its Jewish population, a factor of immigration and structural discrimination.

Lamola’s claim: “There is no antisemitism in South Africa against the Jewish People“ is not only a blatant lie, similarly debunked, with a demonstrable increase of 631% over the past three months, but it reminds one of equally perverse statements made by the likes of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who once proclaimed: “In Iran, we do not have homosexuals. Or apartheid’s own PW Botha who explained to the world’s press:”Most Blacks are happy” and “we treat our Blacks well.”

Sartre explained the tendency towards the objectification of Jews, who before the creation of the state of Israel, had become the ‘objects of history’ instead of the ‘subjects of humans rights’.

“A Jew is a person that others look at and say, “look, he/she is a Jew”. Just as a chair is a chair by virtue of our considering it a chair, so is a Jew a person whom others consider to be a Jew. Therefore, a Jew’s Jewishness exists only to the extent they are considered Jewish by those around them.

A 2010 hearing presided over by ANC apparatchik Halton Cheadle involving his own client, found inter alia, I was not Jewish enough to possess rights commonly afforded other Jews, and therefore could not claim anti-Semitism on the basis of an outrageous inquiry into my identity by an apartheid media firm — an entity that pathetically denied their role in the regime, and proceeded to pillory the findings of the TRC during the kangaroo ‘trial’.

So yes Minister Lamola, there is ‘Anti-Semitism’ or Jew-hatred in my country — a disgraceful, ugly history harking all the way back to the dark days of the National Party, whose swastikas adorned membership cards, whose laws actively discriminated on the basis of religion and cultural identity.

Minister Pandora: South Africa is sleepwalking into a catastrophe

NOT content with promoting human rights (an objective which seems to change from country to country), South Africa has taken it upon itself to interdict a single party to a conflict whose seeming binary nature is the source of major global tensions. On the one side, a group of Jihadists whose charter outlines a ‘battle against the Jews’ over the final status of Jerusalem. On the other side, an embattled ‘democratic state’ whose claims of Jewishness and democracy is subject to dispute even amongst Jews.

It should not matter on which side one is here if the end goal is secularism, universal suffrage and human rights for all, but in this conflict nothing is as it appears. Take Gaza’s Anti-Secular allies — Iran is an Islamic Republic which prohibits trade unions (not to mention women’s rights and the death penalty for LGBT):

“Trade unions are not recognized in Iran.” says Kemal Özkan of IndustriALL Global Union

“The Iranian labour law currently forbids and prevents the formation of trade unions. In Iran only Islamic labour councils are accepted but they are not trade unions – they are tripartite organizations bringing together the Ministry of Labour, the employers and some selected workers based on their loyalties and religious affiliations to the government. As a result they are inappropriate and ill-equipped to deal with the demands and needs of Iranian workers.”

Or how about the real elephant in the room? Houthi Yemen, armed to the teeth, already participating in a regional conflict via its ongoing attacks against shipping in the Red Sea, ostensibly to effect a blockade of Israel. If the ongoing firing of rockets by either Houthis or the Gazans themselves isn’t something that gets newspaper headlines these days, then you will probably wonder why you missed this news item, the 2019 re-establishment of Slavery by the Houthis?

“Since their coup, the Houthis have sought to turn back the hands of time and take back Yemen to the era of the oppressive Imamate and all forms of slavery.

A civilian, who works for a pro-Houthi tribal leader in Saada, told Turkey’s Asharq Al-Awsat news outlet: “I have been working for years at the sheikh’s house without pay. I cannot go back to my family or do anything out of my own free will.”

“I do not know the meaning of freedom,” he said.

The United States literally fought a civil war over the issue of slavery without much objection to the loss of life on the Confederate side. This week the country tabled a bill to review its relationship with Pretoria.

Article 13 of South Africa’s Bill of Rights expressly forbids slavery, servitude and forced labour, Ours is one of the few constitutions in the world to declaim on this important issue, (not that we ever enforce such prohibitions, nor care about labour rights in the face of a seven day work week?)

Yet such are the blinkers provided by the likes of Minister Naledi Pandor, whose speech to a rousing audience of Pro-Palestine congregants at the Masjid al-Quds this week, painted a rather different picture. Wearing a hijab she claimed to not know who ISIS is despite the fact the SANDF are currently engaged in a SADC operation against ISIS in Mocambique? Later at SONA she claimed anyone opposing her views is an “Israeli agent”. She may as well be living on Pluto, since becoming a roving plutocrat?

I’ve written extensively about her many dropped narratives, half-truths, redacted quotations, outright lies and failure to defend the non-aligned movement of which Mandela, a bipartisan on the conflict, and founder of our country was very much a part. If you are not yet familiar, take a tour of this page: Everything You Know about Palestine is Wrong. Or read my unanswered letters here, and here.

The idea that South African solidarity transforms the intractable religious conflict into the 21 century equivalent of the anti-apartheid movement is magical-thinking at best.

Take any metric associated with human rights under Gaza’s Hamas regime: whether the rights of women, LGBT or the disabled, and one can only come to the conclusion — if the Jihadists were to win the war, the entire region would be universally, an area governed by autocrats, dictators, religious police and clerical militia. In short MENA would be bereft of Jews (as it already is) but without any of the necessary conditions for a sustainable, or moral existence as many at St Georges Cathedral would like to call it.

And let’s not neglect to consider what a future Pandora-sponsored, ICJ legal determination may bring, especially one that delivers us all the paradox of a “Protected Jihad” for a “Protected People” ?

In this situation under the general abrogation of religious freedom (freedom from the religion of others) effected via martyrdom and self-sacrifice, alongside the removal of core rights and fundamental freedoms we take for granted, (Yes those Zionists deserve their liberty as much as Palestinians) nobody will be allowed to oppose Houthi slavery, nor the Hamasist fantasy, that Palestinians (former citizens of British Palestine) are the ‘Chosen People’, in a weird inversion of the ancient texts associated with the Judeo-Christian canon?

That many contemporaries are rewriting the Holy Book, as if the Canaanites (who occupied all of what is now modern Syria) or the Philistines (who once occupied Gaza), having long since exited history, are the victors is abundantly clear. We would be better off if all religious texts were simple abolished and ‘G-d did not exist’ or ‘G-d is dead’, for all intents and purposes.

In such a battle of competing monotheisms, competing definitions of who is entitled to be a Jew or a Christian or a Muslim, and who is not under Pandora’s Grand Inquisition, there is only one winner, and that will be the group which succeeds in winning the battle over narrative.

Take note: I have merely the fate of my own humble byline to consider, rendered as it has been, by a Marxist Pretoria in ways that make the apartheid regime seem like quaint liberals compared to the machinations of the current bureaucrats in office. Freedom of the press in my country has long been ripped asunder by the Independent Group and its opposition to the outcome of WW2.

READ: Quo Vadis, whither South Africa’s Religious Freedom?

Quo Vadis: Whither South Africa’s religious freedom?

SOUTH AFRICA has a troubled history of religious freedom going back to the Protestant Reformation and the plight of Huguenot refugees fleeing religious persecution under Catholic France. ‘God Is Not a Christian’ claimed the late Desmond Tutu, who also said: “When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said ‘Let us pray. ‘ We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.”

It was thus colonialism which brought religion to the continent, and for the better part of the 20th Century, the struggle was between theocrats in Pretoria — those who believed the Afrikaners were Africa’s equivalent of “God’s Chosen People”, armed with a Covenant literally signed in blood (at Blood river) — and those who believed in a more inclusive, secular national identity, one based upon the universal declaration of Human Rights, as illustrated by our Freedom Charter.

My own family history which spans the Huguenots, the Scottish Celts, and Jewish refugees from Czarist Russia (and even Basotho who fled Zulu militarism), struggled with these conflicts, based as they are on competing theologies, traditions, beliefs and practices. For the most part, the Latviks and Litvaks of Eastern Europe were socialists who practiced their religion in the face of the Enlightenment and Haskalah.

Persons such as Eli Weinberg, Esther & Hymie Barsel, Yetta Barenblatt and Baruch Hirson, were acknowledged for their contribution to the anti-apartheid movement on 1st March 2011, with a series of stamps released by members the African Union — the postal services of Liberia, Gambia and Sierra Leone

Zionism for these individuals had appeared wholly unnecessary until the events of the Holocaust and Farhud, the forced dispossession of Jews from MENA which preceded it. The trend of Medieval persecution and Czarist & Ottoman-Arab pogroms, resulting in wholesale slaughter, only got worse, effectively negating the emancipation of the Jews of Europe which had occurred under Napoleon.

In 1917 a mass expulsion of the Jews of Jerusalem was ordered by Djemal Pasha, though the outcome was narrowly averted due to the influence of the Prussian government, the eight thousand Jews of Jaffa nevertheless suffered deportation, and their property was seized as the region’s Jewish population was affected by the events of WW1, which included the Armenian Genocide. A report by a United States consul describing the Jaffa deportation was published in the June 3, 1917 edition of The New York Times.

A series of laws introduced by then Minister of the Interior D F Malan under the Smuts government during the 1930s was aimed at preventing Jewish immigration to our country, and introduction of the Nuremberg Laws created pseudo-scientific, racial and legal distinctions between Jews and Germans of ‘pure blood’ in Nazi Germany.

South Africa under the Nationalist government whose membership cards carried the Swastika, was soon to follow with its own system of race classification. (You can read my earlier writing on the subject here and here). Having gained the franchise, denied them under the Boer Republics, South African Jews were in danger of having their citizenship revoked by the Nationalists, as Malan’s brown shirts met boatloads of refugees fleeing Nazi Germany in Table Bay Harbour with force.

Celebrated Weekly Mail editor Irwin Manoim in his book ‘Mavericks Inside the Tent, a history of the Progressive Jewish movement in South Africa and its impact on the wider community’ outlines many of the predicaments faced by South Africa’s Jewish community during the tragic period of apartheid: “Jews were disproportionately strongly represented among anti-apartheid activists, a point frequently made by hostile authorities,” he writes. “But the most outspoken, committed and courageous of the Jewish anti-apartheid activists were largely secular, operating outside the organised Jewish community.”

Manoim narrates the role played by Jewish clerics such as Rabbi Andre Ungar (deported by Min TE Donges) and Chief Rabbi Cyril Harris in opposing the regime. Donge’s order read: “I have to inform you that … you are hereby ordered to leave the Union of South Africa not later than the 15th of January 1957 … If you fail to comply with this notice, you will be guilty of an offense and liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding £100, or in default of payment of the fine, to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months.”

Both individuals are air-brushed out of history by the likes of Naledi Pandor, whose followers on social media enjoy raising the issue of Percy Yutar the chief prosecutor at the Rivonia Trial. It is important to note that Mandela, a bipartisan on the Israel/Palestine issue, was arraigned alongside fellow Zionist Arthur Goldreich, and that Denis Goldberg, Lionel Bernstein, Robert Hepple, Harold Wolpe and James Kantor were all Jews.

It was thus that the issue of the Star of David became a point of order in the Johannesburg City Council this week. EFF councilors objected to city councilor Daniel Schay wearing a ‘Star of David’ on his tie.

“If they have issues with Jewish religious symbols they must come out and say it,” responded Schay.

“Freedom of religion is protected by the constitution. It is the first time in this Council’s chambers that somebody’s religion and expression of their religion is being questioned…This is unacceptable,” charged another councilor.

Paradox of the Gatekeepers of War

THE WORLD is embroiled in a conflict over the meaning of war, the right of self-defense, non-aggression and armed struggle, the very institutions of peace, justice and global harmony. Having taken Israel to the ICJ and gained interim measures, none of which involve a direct ceasefire order (the only tangible step, an order for the release of hostages — for Israel to report and abide by the convention), we are all stuck kicking a can of worms down the road.

Our country has failed to extract any compliance with the ICJ order from Hamas. Though Naledi Pandor has been robust in her criticism of Israel, urging the Security Council to enforce the convention, and South Africa may have some influence with the Palestinians, it has delivered nothing solid from any of the organizations whose beleaguered citizens it champions.

As Hamas leaders fly to Cairo to discuss a possible truce, and UN aid agency UNWRA is embroiled in a controversy surrounding the documented participation of its members in the tragic events of 7/10, we all become entangled in a power-play with Israel over the terms of the ‘Genocide Convention’ with world media attention turning to the plight of Jews within South Africa. Since the preliminary hearing, there have been several controversies involving a cricket captain, utterances by the Chief Rabbi, and even a debacle involving the wearing of a Star of David by a City of Johannesburg councilor.

If Pandor’s interpretation of the ICJ interim order means the Palestinian people are now a ‘protected group’, does it follow that their ongoing Jihad against Israel is similarly protected? Is the global Inquisition of Jewish Identity under the rubric of ‘Zionism vs Anti-Zionism’ even lawful, and is South Africa protecting its own citizens from religious-motivated attack?

The woke left have certainly not risen up to defend secular rights and freedoms for all, those who claim like the Proctors of Salem, to be able to tell a ‘Zionist from a Non-Zionist’, or a Witch from a Non-Witch, have not been forthcoming when it comes to protecting the universal rights of those under their immediate purview. To paraphrase, Sartre (after Voltaire), if the Zionist did not exist, the Anti-Zionist would have created him.

Any one of these subjects would ordinarily elicit a response, deserving of an essay or two. I hope they do. But for now, let me address this nugget:

An Almighty Rabble: Rabbi and Counter-Rabbi?

An organisation calling itself ‘South African Jews for a Free Palestine‘ released a statement this morning on Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein’s utterances throwing shade on the ANC, alleging ‘Iran is funding South Africa’s case and SA banks may be acting as conduits for terrorism’.

Jo Bluen posted “Rabbi Goldstein has acted as a gatekeeper of Judaism in South Africa. He has rejected the Jewish identity of people who belong to non-Orthodox Jewish communities and has been known to “encourage the institutionalisation of certain Ultra Orthodox customs within the community”.

The statement goes on to list a number of issues to do with language, colonialism and allegations of ‘lack of pluralism’. Is the Chief Rabbi whistling while Gaza is burning?

Unfortunately it is not simply the Chief Rabbi, but South Africa’s legal system which has issued similar determinations that otherise and exclude Jews outside the fold.

I for my part have been anathematized by a racist 2010 finding that since I am a “Jew in breach of my religion” I cannot claim anti-Semitism on the basis of an outrageous inquisition of identity by a party whose disciples see fit to define ‘who is and who is not a Jew’, who is authentically Jewish and who is not. Both Spinoza and Trotsky received similar treatment.

JFP claim: “Not only has Rabbi Goldstein himself refused to attend events that have platformed non-Orthodox rabbis and leaders but he has also implored other Orthodox Jewish leaders to do the same in the spirit of rejecting pluralistic attitudes. These include events with talks and panels on topics including Progressive Judaism, LGBTQ+ belonging in the context of Torah, and gender egalitarianism – which might be considered among the “liberal values” he claims that Apartheid Israel defends. Rabbi Goldstein’s reluctance to engage with these issues within the context of Orthodox Judaism, and his support for the active suppression of this engagement, only serves to uphold the legacy in many Orthodox Jewish communities of exclusion, queerphobia and misogyny. This environment has led to many queer Orthodox Jews having to leave their families to find belonging, and at least one recent case of death by suicide.

The criticism is certainly justified, but I suggest it would be better directed at our Judge President, the same justice system which upheld a 2009 order banning the Dalai Lama.

‘Moenie vir jouself dink nie, dink soos ons’

IN THE WAKE of South Africa’s decontextualisation of the events of 7 October 2023, a case which depends upon a tragic chain of dropped narratives and outright denial of reality (No 1941 Farhud, No Holocaust, No UN181, everything ‘All Palestine’), there has been a plethora of news pieces purporting to expose ‘Israeli propaganda’ and even an SABC segment in which guests trot out Jihad-denial.

One piece by Nathan Geffen published by the Vrye Weekblad, is directed at ” Jewish people brought up to believe Israeli propaganda but who are having doubts about what they have been taught.”

While I encourage anyone with any sense of self-worth to engage with the necessary intellectual scrutiny of inherited beliefs and imposed opinions, it is worth noting here that our secular country could have interdicted both parties to the conflict, instead it chose to take up the cudgels of one of the belligerents, whose charter is a genocidal tract promoting ethnic cleansing in the Middle East.

I therefore encourage readers to examine my own secular journey, one which began with similar doubts as Geffen — moved towards an unquestioning adoption of the ‘Anti-Zionist ideologies of organisations such as Fatah’ — before the wheels came off the bus following a racist religious inquisition of my identity in 2010, all documented here. You can find a list of debunked claims here. Please note, secularism is not the absence of religion, but rather ‘the absence of religious rule’.

Geffen asserts: “I too went through a period of doubt before realising I had been taught myths unsupported by evidence, and to apply different standards to Palestinians and Israeli Jews in order to ignore uncomfortable facts. I hope this will help others come to the same realisation.”

The problem with these all-to-familiar counter-factual fables (repudiated cant which once flowed easily from my own lips) is that they too involve a set of adopted ideas and unproven imperatives. For instance:”Supersessionism, also called replacement theology or fulfillment theology, is a theological doctrine which describes the theological conviction that the Christian Church has superseded the nation of Israel assuming their role as God’s covenanted people.”

In its modern form, replacement theology seeks to both supplant and overrun any opposition, in its quest to supersede the narrative of the Hebrews. Thus successive Crusades and Jihads are both normalised and forgiven, whilst any attempt to defend against the tragic result, which has seen a litany of massacres both in Europe and MENA all the way back to the 1033 Fez Massacre, are immediately discounted.

At the risk of sounding callous to the ‘woke’ mob prancing around in Keffiyahs and Birkenstocks, Israel and the Secular West could slay a million journalists alongside their families, aunts and cousins in Gaza (as they already have in Syria) and it should not challenge one’s commitment to secularism an iota, nor alter our long-standing opposition to theocracy and religious dictatorship.

Yet this is exactly what Hamas hope to achieve via martyrdom and sacrifice of all and sundry. That our country is debasing its own history of secular struggle against apartheid theocrats in Pretoria, by disabusing its citizens of their natural rights which stem from the lay Freedom Charter and its secular expression under a “We, the People” constitution is appalling. I refer readers to the latest debacle involving a cricket captain.

Need I mention that Nelson Mandela was a Zionist and bipartisan on the matter, arraigned for treason alongside fellow Zionists such as Arthur Goldreich at Rivonia?

Instead of defending pacifism and democracy, with a considered commitment to religious coexistence, we have instead chosen the path of Jihad-denial & Replacement theology, taking sides on behalf of a Hamas Genocidal Charter that translates into “I, Mohammad, decree, all the land from the River to the Sea is exclusively the domain of the Arabs” and ‘Kill all the Jews’.

Decades of gaslighting, decontextualisation and dropped narrative (especially denial of UN181 from which UK abstained) has led us into a religious conflict with blinkers on. The sooner we extricate ourselves from the quagmire the better.

SABC Not Topical

Making comparisons with the Warsaw Ghetto upraising in the light of Gaza is admittedly awkward, but instead of coming right out with a comparison, an attorney on ‘Its Topical,’ has the audacity to trot out an argument once deployed by Adolf Hitler himself who claimed of the Jews in Warsaw: ‘They have no right to self-defense.’

Another obviously Muslim guest, attempted to silence and cancel Zionist Federation’s Zev Krengel who barely got a few words in on Jeremy Corbyn, by essentially claiming ‘Zionism is Haraam’. Need one point out these religious Fatwas have no basis in law, and Corbyn was actually found guilty of Anti-Semitism by the UK Equality & Human Rights Commission?

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