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“Eye for an eye” threat to SA Jews on Gaza

A threat of physical violence – an “eye for an eye” – against Jewish South Africans for being “Zionist supporters” made by the Western Cape secretary of the largest trade union federation Cosatu, has prompted SA Jewish leaders to lay criminal and civil charges against him for hate speech and incitement to violence. Charges of incitement against Tony Ehrenreich are being lodged with the police and a formal complaint to the SA Human Rights Commission will be instituted.

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GEOFF SIFRIN
Ehrenreich stated on his Facebook page yesterday that, “The time has come to say very clearly that if a woman or child is killed in Gaza, then the Jewish Board of Deputies, who are complicit, will feel the wrath of the People of SA with the age old biblical teaching of an eye for an eye. The time has come for the conflict to be waged everywhere the Zionist supporters fund and condone the war killing machine of Israel.”

In a message to the community the SAJBD assured SA Jews that it would not stand idly by while such threats are made. An in a media statement, SAJBD Chairman Mary Kluk said that the post was a flagrant violation of South African law prohibiting hate speech and incitement to cause harm. 

“Ehrenreich’s inflammatory post incites violence and hatred against the representative body for South African Jewry. What makes it even worse is the fact that he holds a leadership position within COSATU, South Africa’s largest trade union organisation. It also comes at a time of heightened tension over the Israel-Gaza conflict, thereby enflaming an already volatile situation” she said.

“The latest post by Mr Ehrenreich comes in the wake of a recent statement issued by him in which the SAJBD was warned to cease its ‘Zionist propaganda’ in Cape Town by 7 August or face a COSATU-led campaign of strikes and boycotts against its members, supporting companies and organisations.

Kluk observed that this too posed an overt challenge to South Africa’s democratic culture.
 “It is unprecedented in a democracy for a political lobby to threaten violent reprisals against the SAJBD, or against any individual or group for that matter”.

UPDATED FRIDAY – SEE FULL STORY

The incident comes in a context of repeated protests against Israel in South African cities organized by BDS and including Palestinian solidarity groups, South African trade unions, and others. This week the Students Representative Council at the University of Cape Town formally adopted BDS as part of its policy framework. Last Saturday a protest against Israel in Cape Town drew over 50 000 people.

In response, the SA Zionist federation has organized solidarity rallies in support of Israel. A rally two weeks ago drew some 10 000 people, reputedly the largest pro-Israel rally ever held in Africa.

The rallies were also the subject of Ehrenreich’s focus. He said:  “We have seen in our own country that the Jewish Board of Deputies have arranged gatherings to pledge their allegiance to the killing of Palestinians.”

The public rhetoric in South Africa has become increasingly vitriolic against Israel as Operation Protective Edge has dragged on. The threat to violence in Ehrenreich’s comments, however, are now seen as having crossed the line into “hate speech” which is strictly prohibited in South Africa.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Choni

    Aug 14, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    ‘Whatever the outcome of this development, it is getting more and more difficult to be \”Proudly Jewish South African\”. As a matter of fact it is another strong signal that the worldwide anti-Israel/anti-Semetic  sentiment is becoming more entrenched in South Africa.

    No legislation against hate speech or any other kind of law is going to stop this rising tide.

    Bottom Line; Get our young people out of this exilic cemetery.’

  2. Gary Selikow

    Aug 14, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    ‘I am no longer in any way proud of being South African

    It is an accident of birth’

  3. Mervyn Basserabie

    Aug 15, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    ‘Ehrenreich is an idiot…. the last part of his surname is apt!

    Doesn’t he know that Hamas is a terrorist organisation who’s  charter calls for the destruction of Israel?

    There is no more moral defence force in the world than the IDF……Which other army sends SMS, makes calls , drops warnings before attacking?

    His moral outrage at the plight of Gazen citizens should be directed at its cause, and that is Hamas.

    By the way ,where is his outrage at the SYRIAN Government who has slaughtered over 160,000 of its own citizens?

    He is a liar, and an anti-Semite.

  4. faris

    Aug 16, 2014 at 8:45 am

    ‘Why Gary, is being Jewish not also being and accident of birth. That would not make you less proud to be a Jew, would it?’

  5. Anton kramer

    Aug 18, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    ‘Ok then, what about every time a Muslim kills a Christen in Iraq, we apply the same rule….

    G-d forbid to sink to this level.’

  6. Beinash Spaack

    Aug 20, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    ‘I Fully support BDS.

     Starnge!! Well Look  at it this way: Walk throught he Norwood Mall for example, pass all the Muslim owned shops, and when you think of entering PAUSE!! Take BDS in your hands and say \”NO\” damn you NO!!

    There are may such examples.’

  7. Alan

    Aug 21, 2014 at 12:44 am

    ‘To all the Jewish friends still living in South Africa. The writing is on the wall. It cannot and will not improve as the impoverished idiots and bigots continue to blame the Jewish nation for their shortcomings.

    I implore you to seriously consider your options, if not for yourself, then for your children… Get out of there before it is too late to do so. Your high walls and net wealth in South Africa is NOT an excuse to not migrate to counties where you would be welcomed.’

  8. Choni

    Aug 21, 2014 at 7:01 am

    ‘Alan, You are right, but at the end of the day only Israel will welcome a Jew.’

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SA Jewish Report is looking for a journalist

The SA Jewish Report is looking for a journalist, who is passionate about and hungry for news and who writes both news and features beautifully.

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The applicant must to be tech savvy, comfortable online, on social media and in a newsroom. The applicant must have at least five years’ experience as a journalist and a relevant degree. Please forward your CV and an introductory letter to the editor, Peta Krost Maunder on editor@sajewishreport.co.za.  

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Apologies

On the wrong page at the wrong time

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The SA Jewish Report wishes to apologise to Dr Yossi Unterslak, a specialist gynaecologist and reproductive medicine assistant at Vitalab, whose face and title was in an advert on the page three of our Rosh Hashanah edition this week. The advert just happened to be on the same page as “Johannesburg doctor guilty of unprofessional conduct”. I wish to place it on record that Dr Unterslak was on that page advertising his participation in Torah Talks and has absolutely nothing to do with the story about the doctor on the page.  The SA Jewish Report apologises to Dr Unterslak for any harm or unpleasantness that derived from the advert being on this page.  – Editor

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Jewish Guild Orchestra reaches out through sweet sound of music

A musical tour around the world was presented to residents of Golden Acres, Sandringham Gardens and members of Second Innings last Sunday by the Jewish Guild Orchestra.

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MARGOT COHEN

Jewis Guild Orchestra

Professor Brian Buch who conducts the orchestra and is also its musical director, had his appreciative audience clamouring for more. The Jewish Guild Orchestra, although founded in 1944, has still been able to retain its fresh sound. It okays a wide range of light classical pieces and its repertoire last Sunday ranged from the operetta Gypsy Baron by Johan Strauss to the all-time Neapolitan favourite, O Sole Mio.

Expenses of the orchestra are met by its 35 members themselves; they derive no income from its activities. The orchestra was named after its original sponsor, the Johannesburg Jewish Guild which no longer exists. Its founder was the late Dr Solly Aronowsky who served as musical director for 46 years. Its current leader is Dr Bernard Caplan.

The orchestra provides support for amateur musicians, irrespective of race or religion, to develop their skills to perform in public and to enhance their appreciation of music. It also plays to audiences who would not otherwise have access to light classical music, such as residents of old aged homes, the Red Cross, Hospice and the Cancer Association.

“One of our objectives is to provide performances through which we are able to assist various charities or to promote music appreciation among scholars,” says Buch.

“We welcome new players,” says Buch. “We need female vocalists, string and brass players. We need players who are at grade 6 level.”

* For further information, contact Dr Buch on (012) 348-8653 or 071-633-0869

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