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The Jewish Report Editorial

    • Geoff mugshot

    The minefield of pulpit politics

    Nov 12, 2014 6 Comments
    Should a synagogue be for Jewish worship alone? Or also for politics? Can one separate them?
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    • GeoffEditorial

    Would Rabin & Mandela agree

    Nov 05, 2014 Go comment!
    In South Africa, the cynical placing of pigs’ heads in kosher shelves in Woolworths by anti-Israel groups makes us wonder what visionary reconciler Nelson Mandela would have said. Turning to Israel, the despair of Jews and Palestinians about ever reaching peace makes one think of Yitzhak Rabin, who believed the two peoples could find a way to live peacefully as neighbours and who was assassinated 19 years ago. People with diverse political agendas claim both as their inspiration.
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    • Sifrin Geoff HOME
    • Sifrin Geoff HOME

    The dangerous politics of pigs’ heads

    Oct 29, 2014 1 Comment
    Is there a place for decency in politics, or does anything go when you’re pushing a political point? asks editor Geoff Sifrin in his weekly editorial comment
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    Are BDS billboards on SA roads acceptable?

    Oct 22, 2014 2 Comments
    When BDS places a huge billboard “advert” along the busy highway between Johannesburg and Pretoria presenting an inaccurate or simplistic view of the complicated Israeli-Palestinian conflict, showing Israel to be the guilty party alone, is it an example of the free speech South Africans fought for in the Struggle, or the propagation of false and potentially defamatory information?
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    Do BDS flashmobs in Woolworths matter?

    Oct 02, 2014 2 Comments
    Some Israel supporters tend to downplay the impact of BDS as a small group who make a lot of noise, but with little major impact. This is a mistaken attitude: In South African society, where most people know almost nothing about Israel and Palestine, the ground is fertile for uninformed people to become inherently anti-Israel without even realising it.
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    Free speech - or free-for-all?

    Sep 17, 2014 3 Comments
    After former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination in November 1995, Talia Sasson, a lawyer in Israel’s state attorney’s office, headed up a government team to investigate the legal approach to incitement and hate crimes.
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    • GeoffEditorial

    SA Muslims and Jews must keep talking

    Sep 10, 2014 1 Comment
    For the average Jewish South African, it’s hard visualising the cruelties he is told are being committed around the world these days by people saying they are doing it for Islam, compared with his daily experiences here, including friendly encounters with most Muslim South Africans.
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    • GeoffEditorial

    Limmud - an event for all seasons

    Sep 03, 2014 1 Comment
    A presenter at Limmud last weekend, Gidi Grinstein - president of Israel’s respected leadership think-tank, the Reut Institute - called Jews the “ever-dying people”. Jews possessed, he said, a sophisticated “architecture” of adaptability which ensured that if one part dies - as has happened many times in history through expulsion, persecution or otherwise - other parts adapt and thrive.
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    Achievers to astound and delight

    Aug 27, 2014 Go comment!
    When you invite an eminent person to be honoured for excellence at a high-profile function like the Absa Jewish Achiever awards, and ask him to say a few words to the 600-strong audience, implicit in the invitation is that he is free to talk about things he feels strongly about, whether pleasing to the crowd or not.
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    • GeoffEditorial

    Concerning the chasm among SA Jews

    Aug 20, 2014 1 Comment
    Most South African Jews who read last Sunday’s biggest mass-circulation paper - which reaches hundreds of thousands of people and has an illustrious history as a crusading, gutsy paper in the SA media - were left with no doubts about how differently Israel and the SA Jewish community are perceived by many South Africans compared to how they perceive themselves.
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    • Sifrin Geoff HOME
    • Sifrin Geoff HOME

    Online rage versus cool heads

    Aug 14, 2014 1 Comment
    It’s oh-so-easy to join things on social media. One click and you’re in - a member of a club or group with any number of other members, most of whom you’ll never meet, and whose message - hateful, loving or anything else - can go viral in seconds. Thus also with online petitions and the special sites where one can create them.
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    • GeoffEditorial

    Good for morale, but with many questions

    Aug 09, 2014 3 Comments
    The euphoria of the organisers of arguably the biggest pro-Israel rally ever in Africa, which last Sunday attracted some 10 per cent of South Africa’s Jewish population to Huddle Park, should not be allowed to conceal the reality on the ground: that in the broad context, Israel’s name is still pretty bleak. The rally won’t change that.
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    Which battles and weapons?

    Jul 31, 2014 2 Comments
    A prominent Jewish businessman gives generously to organisations supporting Israel and travels there frequently. But his company has many Muslim clients, and for the sake of his business he refrains from taking a prominent public position on the Israel-Palestinian imbroglio.
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    • Sifrin Geoff HOME
    • Sifrin Geoff HOME

    SAJR Editorial: The statement Pres Zuma hasn’t made - but should:

    Jul 23, 2014 Go comment!
    "Fellow South Africans: On behalf of the government and the ANC, I want to say to you: There are shocking things happening in the Middle East, in Gaza and Israel. There are protests going on all over the world, some turning violent, between supporters and opponents of Israel and the Palestinians."
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    • GeoffEditorial

    Your reality and mine

    Jul 16, 2014 Go comment!
    The age-old saying that the first casualty in any war is the truth, applies equally today. One victim of the past two weeks in Israel is the sense that we actually understand what is going on - that our perception of reality is close to the truth.
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    • GeoffEditorial

    A vicious merry-go-round

    Jul 09, 2014 Go comment!
    There’s not much we can do from the bottom of Africa about the new spin of the deadly Middle East merry-go-round taking off in Israel and Gaza, except worry.
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  • The worst neighbourhood in the world

    Jun 18, 2014 1 Comment
    “So? What’s new?” is the instinctive response to a talk by an Israeli security expert about how dangerous the situation in the Middle East is for Israel. That refrain has been heard a thousand times in the 66 years since its birth.
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  • Beggars and blankets

    Jun 11, 2014 Go comment!
    The barefooted beggars staring glumly into car windows at traffic lights, trying to catch the eyes of the driver, and the homeless people sleeping under bridges or on pavements in Johannesburg, faced extra hardship this week - freezing weather. So did the squatter population and shack-dwellers in townships around the city. Some have electricity; a significant proportion don’t.
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  • Stop shouting from across the oceans

    May 28, 2014 Go comment!
    With President Jacob Zuma’s new Cabinet in place and the electioneering hype over, we can return to pragmatism and the country’s best interests. ​
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  • The youth should challenge rigid views

    May 21, 2014 2 Comments
    Our opinions on what Israel should do don’t matter as much as they did a few decades ago. Israel is a strong, thriving country today.
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