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The Jewish Report Editorial

Jewish lives also matter

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How does one fully understand the horrific violence and degradation that our Israeli brothers and sisters endured last weekend? How do you forget the image of Hamas brutes celebrating on the back of a bakkie literally sitting on the damaged and almost naked body of a young woman who had hours before been a vibrant happy person?

How do you unsee the image of an elderly woman being hauled off into Gaza from her home in Israel, not knowing what terrible fate awaits her? Did they take her medication? Did these monsters see her as someone’s mother, grandmother, as a human being? Or was she just a trophy or collateral damage in their revolting, brutal hate fest against Jews?

How does one unhear the eyewitness who saw young Israeli women being raped en masse next to the bodies of their murdered friends at what was a peace festival?

How do you even try and comprehend the murder of 40 babies and little children at Kibbutz Kfar Aza, a kibbutz on the Gaza border? Many of them had been beheaded. Surely, no human could do that!

How does one absorb that these Hamas madmen murdered a mother and father and left their bodies with their living 10-month-old twins in a place it would take soldiers a long time to find?

These bloodthirsty monsters butchered whole families in their homes, some in their beds. They raped and brutalised young Jewish women, and paraded them in Gaza.

Seeing the footage of Israeli civilians being mowed down in their own street as they were peacefully walking or riding about town on Saturday morning is abhorrent. All this murder and mayhem took place against unarmed, innocent Jews on a day that wasn’t just Shabbat, it was Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah. Only, there was no simcha (joy) in Israel last weekend, only depravity, horror, and heartbreak.

At the time of going to print on Wednesday, more than 1 200 people had been massacred in Israel last weekend, and more than 2 900 wounded. G-d alone knows how many were abducted and dragged over the border to Gaza.

The fear we all have about what’s happening to those they hold hostage is immense.

As Israelis reel from this atrocity in which thousands of terrorists destroyed something deep inside of all of us, the Western world has been vocal in its horror.

The United States (US) has come out in full support of Israel retaliating against these monsters. President Joe Biden made it very clear that Hamas has one sole aim – to “destroy the state of Israel and annihilate the Jewish people”. He promised that the US would support Israel 100% in whatever way it needed to defend itself.

Most European countries also condemned Hamas for what it did, and supported Israel.

However, here on the southern tip of Africa, somehow Jewish lives don’t hold value for our government. In fact, it didn’t even acknowledge the massacre. It didn’t recognise that what Hamas did was wholesale slaughter. No, it didn’t acknowledge that Hamas broke, as Biden said, “every code of human morality”.

Our government didn’t even recognise that anything untoward was done to Israelis. In fact, on Monday, the portfolio committee on international relations and cooperation put out a statement saying instead that it was “greatly troubled by the grave atrocities that are perpetrated against the people of Palestine”. Not for one second did it recognise the bloodthirsty depraved acts of pure violence that Hamas perpetrated on the Jewish people, as if our lives don’t matter. Brutalising the Jewish people is clearly not even worth government mention. That’s despicable!

The day before that, on Sunday, the department of international relations and cooperation (Dirco) first acknowledged what it called “the new conflagration” in the Israeli-Palestinian situation. And lo and behold, it blamed Israel for what amounted to the most heinous war crimes since the Holocaust, perpetuated by Hamas. Dirco blamed “the continued illegal occupation of Palestine land, continued settlement expansion, desecration of the Al-Aqsa mosque and Christian holy sites, and ongoing oppression of the Palestinian people”.

Where on earth did it get that lie about the “desecration of the Al-Aqsa mosque and Christian holy sites”? As far as I know, Al-Aqsa is far from desecrated, but can we put any facts past a government that cannot recognise a massacre, and won’t condemn bloodthirsty butchers for mass murder?

What will it take for this government to acknowledge what the rest of the world does openly – that Hamas is out to annihilate the Jewish people and destroy Israel? How can our government side with terrorists?

As Biden and the Israeli leadership made very clear, if you don’t condemn what Hamas did, you support and endorse it.

Some have said when they heard my anger at the South African government’s response that I shouldn’t be surprised by its reaction – it’s just more of the same rhetoric. However, in a situation that has changed the face of the Jewish world in 24 hours, this is far worse than an all-time low. It’s abhorrent! This was the worst massacre in Israel’s history! More Jews were killed in one day than any day since the Holocaust, and our government didn’t even make mention of the actual atrocities let alone condemn it.

And as for most of the mainstream media in South Africa, I was equally astonished by their unbelievable ability to ignore a massacre. How is that done?

I guess they take their lead from the government and BDS (the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) group.

In our newspaper this week, we have chosen to dedicate the entire edition to the war in Israel. We, the South African Jewish community, like our Israeli family, are in mourning, and so we have chosen to have a black front page. No image or words could convey how this week has been for the Jewish world better than this.

We have done our best to bring you as broad a picture of the horror experienced by South Africans or former South Africans.

There are other South Africans whose lives were torn apart by Hamas this week, but they are in too much pain to speak to us at this point. We honour and respect them.

We’re journalists, and our aim is to make sure – unlike our counterparts in the local media – that we tell the story of this massacre and let the world know how horrifying it truly was. However, unlike Hamas, we do have hearts, and our aim isn’t to exacerbate the pain of those already in agony.

Our hearts go out to each and every person harmed in this tragedy. Baruch dayan ha’emet! We vow not to forget you, and we’ll make sure the world knows what happened.

Shabbat Shalom!

Peta Krost


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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. yitzchak

    Oct 14, 2023 at 9:17 am

    let’s create a dossier of photographs and send it to every MP(especially ANC and EFF), Church leaders,Labour leaders, ambassadors.and of course our home grown “Not in my Name” left wing Jews who at least take their shtum pills or will argue equivalence.

    This act of genocide wraps together Rwanda , Srebenica, Kishinev,Einsatzgruppen Babi Yar …

    I am still waiting for the Archbishop of Capetown and his ACSA and the SA Council of Churches to condemn this massacre….but unfortunately
    there is no christian love for Jews.

    Ramaphosa’s basic flaw is believing that hamas and all palestinians support a 2 state solution.
    As for Israel’s bombing of military targets in Gaza,they are Hamas and they voted in hamas with its jihadist ideology which in its ugly way has run its jihadist course.
    Anybody quoting humanitarian law especially Geneva Conventions III and IV need to have it shoved up their noses.

    DIRCO is nothing but a mouthpiece for hamas and the palestinians

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