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The Jewish Report Editorial

Good riddance

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On reading that our not-so beloved minister of international relations and cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, would be terminating her career in public office after the national elections this year, I wondered if I had somehow misinterpreted or misread it. I mean, it was surely too good to be true. A miracle, maybe?

This minister has become the biggest thorn in the side of the Jewish community in South Africa because she’s clearly obsessed with hatred for Israel and anyone and anything somehow related to the Jewish state.

Her obsession has been exacerbated over the years, and is now at an all-time high, where apparently she can think of nothing else. And when she speaks about Israel or about the Jewish community, she has this irky smirk that appears like she’s looking down her nose at us, boasting about who holds the power.

I have no idea what she’s actually thinking, but I do know that she has made our relationship with the government so much harder than it ever needed to be or could be.

The upshot is that this week, her decision to leave public office was reiterated in the media, confirming that it’s true.

I felt like doing a victory dance when I read it a second time, not because her leaving will change our relationship with the African National Congress. That horse has bolted. However, her obsession has led the government down what looks like a rabbit hole of hatred that knows no bounds.

It’s astonishing that under Pandor’s lead, the government appears to have forgotten to govern South Africa and has become totally focused on spreading hatred towards Israel.

In fact, this last week, she, President Cyril Ramaphosa, Justice Minister Ronald “no-antisemitism-in-SA” Lamola, and two other government ministers apparently had nothing better to do than be sycophantic hosts to the Palestinian soccer team. How happy they all were to receive gifts of Palestinian keffiyehs. Clearly, our president and ministers don’t care that “From the river to the sea” is very clearly a chant to obliterate Israel and all who live there. Talk about supporting genocide!

Clearly, fixing all that’s wrong with our country isn’t as important as the top echelon of government making the Palestinian soccer team feel loved. Meanwhile, we were all dealing with Stage 6 loadshedding after our president promised that the government had handled this issue. So much for that!

To all extents, it appears that the other ministers are following Pandor’s lead in her Palestinian obsession.

I do accept that people may not agree with everything the Israeli government does, but look around us in Africa, there are governments that are doing horrific things to people and South Africa isn’t bothered by that. Am I suggesting it should perhaps worry about what is happening on its own continent? Heaven forbid!

Where was South Africa’s outrage when in Darfur from 2005 to 2006, more than 200 000 innocent civilians died because of brutal attacks, starvation, and disease as the result of a campaign of violence at the hands of the Sudanese government? It didn’t care for these fellow Africans. In fact, since last year, civilians in Sudan have once again been experiencing mass atrocities, to the point that Darfuri residents face a significant risk of genocide, but the South African government has totally ignored it.

In 2022, the deadliest state-based conflict in Africa was the war in the Tigray region in Ethiopia between the Ethiopian government and the rebel group the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front. It’s estimated that more than 100 000 people were killed in that conflict.

Do you know that there are violent armed conflicts happening in 35 African countries right now? These countries include Burkino Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, South Sudan, and Sudan. And has the South African government even commented on any of these conflicts, let alone taken a stand against them? Not a chance!

So, why on earth is it focusing on a war that has nothing whatsoever to do with it, taking a clearly biased and unfair stand against Israel as if Hamas, an organisation recognised all over the Western world as a terrorist organisation, has done nothing wrong?

This week, Israel managed to save the lives of two of the remaining 136 hostages who have been held by the barbaric Hamas in Gaza since the 7 October massacre. It was a brave and outstanding rescue in Rafah, the Gazan town closest to the border of Egypt.

And on Tuesday this week, Pandor and her cronies decided to run back to the International Court of Justice to stop Israel in its tracks in Rafah.

I don’t want to see any more bloodshed. I don’t want more innocent people to die, but I do want Hamas to return the hostages, and I do want Israel to be safe from this terrorist organisation in future.

I’m no military expert, and I cannot specifically say that every single Israeli soldier is angelic, but Israel cannot stop the war or agree to a ceasefire until all the hostages are back home. And the pain of continuing the war is also taking its toll on Israel, which is losing some of its best sons. Don’t for one minute think that the pain of this isn’t carried by the whole nation.

Israelis don’t want to fight an endless war, but they also don’t want to be vulnerable to another Hamas massacre.

So, I’ll celebrate when Pandor leaves government, and I’m assuming she’ll take up her rightful place as the leader of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement or a spot in the Iranian government. Suffice to say, she has done well as the number-one Israel hater in South Africa.

However, I’m astonished that she’s now claiming to be concerned about her safety at the hands of Israel. It seems obvious to me that Israel has its hands full with a war and doesn’t really have time to worry about smirky foreign ministers.

I’m sure, though, that we, the Jewish community of South Africa, will be very grateful when we don’t have to listen to her hateful prose about how devilish the Jewish state is. I look forward to that day. Truth is, we don’t know who will replace her and, whoever it is could potentially be worse – but I’m not sure that’s possible.

Here’s to many more miracles!

Shabbat Shalom!

Peta Krost


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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Errol Price

    Feb 15, 2024 at 11:16 pm

    Dear Ms Krost

    The is little reason to be pleased at the departure of Minister Pandor as your own article ultimately makes clear. The ANC in general is subject to an an ideological and cognitive sickness which divides the world into ” colonialists ” and ” anti- colonialists ” ” oppressors “and ” oppressed “.
    We know into which categories Israel and indeed Jews fall.
    The parties which will emerge from the forthcoming election as the victors are likely to be ANC, EFF and Zuma’s party.
    S. A Jews must start living with this reality.

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