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The Jewish Report Editorial

Facts are harsh, but stick with them

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Driving home on Monday, 13 May, after being at the Israeli embassy to commemorate the most distressing and heartbreaking Yom Hazikaron in my history, I heard a news bulletin on the radio that made me mad.

It was President Cyril – whom I now call “Brutus” because of his betrayal – Ramaphosa, going on about how angry he was about Israel still fighting and destroying Rafah in Gaza. The newsreader spoke about him being accompanied by Sinn Féin (Irish Republican Party) guests, and some other Israel-hating foreigners.

It was Yom Hazikaron, and they were oblivious to the fact that around the world, Jews were mourning the soldiers who died in defence of Israel and civilians killed in terrorist attacks. I guess, much like they have forgotten or chosen to ignore the massacre on 7 October 2023 in Israel.

How easy it must be to obliterate in their minds the devastation wrought in a country in which 1 200 people were brutally murdered, children burnt alive, women raped so violently their hips broke, and so it goes on. But to our government, or our president and his Iranian and Hamas cronies, this was irrelevant, and it left them cold.

However, the pain of hearing him go on about this after being at a commemoration of those who were killed was bad. I wanted to shout, but nobody was listening. I wanted to swear, but there would be no impact because those who can change things choose not to hear me.

This has been a tough week for us, the Jewish community here and around the world, but also one of intensified bonding with Israel and the Jewish world.

There’s deep irony in the fact that as the government was involved in an anti-Israel antisemitic hate fest at the Sandton Convention Centre, we were commemorating the fallen soldiers and those killed in terror attacks. As they build their hatred towards us and plan our downfall, we remember the pain of what that hatred has done to us.

But instead of cowering and hiding our lights under a bushel, we’re saying, “You’re wrong! We have every right to hold our heads up high as Jews and as those who support the only Jewish state in the world. We won’t cower. We’ll stand proud!”

While Ramaphosa and his henchmen continue their revolting rhetoric about Israel, they ignore the correction that the former president of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Judge Joan Donoghue, has pointed out in the findings of the ICJ. They refuse to recognise the truth that the court didn’t say that genocide was plausible in Gaza, and so they go on as if it was.

They also ignore the fact that the United Nations (UN) has corrected the numbers of women and children who were killed in Gaza since 7 October to almost half of the number bandied about.

Now we – those of us who stick with the facts – are aware of how expert Hamas is at psychological torture and spreading fake information so that the world somehow believes it. Remember when it blamed Israel for bombing the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital, killing about 500 people in Gaza? Later, it was uncovered that it was a failed rocket launch from within Gaza by Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and it hit the hospital’s car park not the hospital. Our government ignored the truth, not to mention the number of deaths that didn’t happen. It still claims Israel is responsible.

This week, the UN quietly took the number of women and children claimed to have been killed by Israel and corrected it, effectively bringing back to life 11 000 people. The UN admits it over-estimated the number it received and accepted from Hamas. The recorded number bandied around of women killed by Israel was 9 500 and the real number given now was 4 959. As for Gazan children, the number thrown about in the world media was 14 500, but the UN’s new number is 7 797 children.

Now, I believe that any death is too many, and even the corrected numbers are huge and devastating. I also believe civilians should be protected from death in war, wherever possible. I do also believe that the Israel Defense Forces is doing everything in its power not to harm civilians. Hamas doesn’t make this easy, though, using women and children as human shields.

However, the vast difference in UN numbers is astonishing and proof positive of the lies being fed to the world by Hamas. Unfortunately, our government, like much of the world is picking up on what this terrorist organisation is saying, and passing it on as the truth.

Surely, just this information should be enough for intelligent people to do a double take, and question whether they are being lied to and used in this war of words. Somehow, this isn’t happening. Unfortunately, it boils down to how people feel about Jews and the Jewish state, not necessarily facts and who is or isn’t believable.

It’s astonishing that Hamas leaders are hanging around in Sandton as dignitaries. However, despite this, I still find it disconcerting that Israelis are afraid to come here, believing it is hugely dangerous being in South Africa (See page 13).

When I first heard this, I thought it was a joke, because we have a great life here in South Africa. Yes, we know the present government has made its feelings clear, but we still live in a democracy. Nobody is being lynched in the streets, Israeli or otherwise, no matter what International Relations Minister Dr Naledi Pandor, says. Having her spew vitriol is horrible, but it is what it is. For the most part, we live a wonderful life here among people who are good, and happy to live side by side with us.

We were free to celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut and celebrate we certainly did. We celebrated the fact that we could hold our heads up high as Jews because we’re a part of a bigger world view.

Yes, we would like the war to be over, and in fact, if Moshiach came, it would be wonderful, but we carry on living a good life in this country no matter what the government feels towards us.

Shabbat Shalom!

Peta Krost


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  1. rafaelli

    May 17, 2024 at 7:31 am

    1. TheICJ case this week barely mentioned Hamas or our hostages who are held despite “Humanitarian Law” there to protect them not to mention the supposed protection that innocents should enjoy.and failed us on 7.10.2023 and continues to fail us.
    The UNSC resolution 2728 calls for a ceasefire and “unconditional release” of our hostages held now in the caverns and dungeons below Rafah. The emphasis on the Rafiach operation taken up by South Africa clearly points to the final epilogue here and they know it’s the endgame.

    2) But what is the accord between SA govt and Hamas? Clearly any direct communication is dangerous and suspicious. So They have a found a g0-between which is the “Media Review Network” members who don’t hide their Hamas affiliation. A recent picture at one conference show Naledi Pandor greeting MRN operatives (Ozman and Jassat)…they looked like old acquaintances and needed no introductions. I think this is the most reasonable conclusion about what’s going on.Another picture shows Dr Firoz Ozman meeting with Hanieh in Turkey recently.

    3) Now that Hamas is on the backfoot they call for a ceasefire and 2 state solution…never happened before 7.10.2023

    4)one of the adverts shows a spice shop and date importer ….avoid them!

    5) A Yemenite arrived in south africa on a visit. At ORTIA how did they know where he was from without looking at his passport? He went through the qat scanner!(Yemen voted against the Palestinians’ right of return in 1948! UNGA 194)

    6) It seems to me that the anti Israel belligerents in SA are always the same people popping up and yes mostly from the Muslim community for whom Israeel is an obstacle in their march to the Califate.

    7) BBC reported this week that Cubans were fighting on Rushia’s side in its attacks on Ukraine.

    Shouldn’t we also apply the international agreements against mercenaries also apply to them and will they be arrested if they set foot in RSA?

    8) Ambassador Madonsela put his foot into it yesterday denying Israel’s independence and right to self determination.

  2. rafaelli

    May 17, 2024 at 12:34 pm

    our lawyers in the Hague today were brilliant

    Mr Noa and Ms Kaplan Turgeman.

    From the river to the sea, the south african lawyers were all bluster and froth.
    (Touw’s River to the Indian Ocean…..phew don’t forget to bring your soap with.

    Now I know why the Univerity protestors broke up camp….No soap to wash off days of dirt and shmek.
    and so much H20 in the river and the sea. Like bogotted politics you cannot soap yourself in salty sea h20

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