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Anti-Zionism the result of anti-Semitism, not vice versa



Michele Engelberg

It was to show camaraderie and support for Israel and Jews who were being fired upon and terrorised, and their lives threatened. It is a pity that some people did not understand this point.

JVJP must please explain one of their points in last week’s letter in the Jewish Report: They say the “the best way to counter anti-Semitic sentiment is to pressure Israel… into negotiating a just peace with the Palestinians”. 

This implies that if Israel would “negotiate a just peace with the Palestinians” then there would be no anti-Semitism or it would be greatly reduced.

I want them to please consider Jewish history: Centuries of pogroms, expulsions, exiles, inquisitions, and of course the Holocaust. These all occurred BEFORE the modern State of Israel. To me this means that actually anti-Semitism has nothing to do with Israel. It has to do with people hating Jews. 

Therefore, anti-Zionism is a result of anti-Semitism, not the other way around.

President Jacob Zuma spoke at last weekend’s SAJBD conference in Johannesburg. Some members of our community did not support this, but I feel that firstly we should respect the office of the president of our country, even if we don’t always agree.

Secondly, if we distance ourselves from the powers-that-be, then a vacuum will be created that will be filled with something that won’t have our interests at heart.

President Zuma said the ANC “noted” the dissatisfaction our community had with the reception Hamas received. It was a positive gesture that he presented to us. Perhaps more consideration will be given to our community in the future.

Lastly, Zev Krengel commented that President Zuma had an open door policy to the SAJBD and also said he recognised that sometimes it’s not easy for the president to make certain decisions, especially because other forces try to pressurise him to make different decisions.

Events go on behind the scenes that the public is not privy to and we may never know about. I believe in giving credit where credit is due and acknowledging the positive there is between the Jews of this country and the ruling party. Gestures of goodwill and acknowledgment usually lead to better relationships.



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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. nat cheiman

    Nov 26, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    ‘Nicely said’

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