No-one immune from terrorist threat

  • Jeff
As has been widely reported, earlier this week four individuals in Johannesburg were arrested in an anti-terror raid. On Monday, two of the suspects appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court, where they were charged with three counts of contravening the Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorist and Related Activities Act.
by JEFF KATZ | Jul 13, 2016

According to the provisional charge sheet, the suspects allegedly planned to carry out bombing attacks against a US mission and unspecified “Jewish institutions” in South Africa.

Reports of alleged terrorist plots within our society are deeply concerning, particularly when, as in this case, our own community has been named as a target. We must however always bear in mind that this is a global, not a specifically South African problem.

As SAJBD Vice-President Zev Krengel put it when approached for comment by the media: “We know and we’ve always known, that no one is safe anywhere,” adding that we worked closely with South African authorities and would continue to do so.

In many other countries, reports of planned terrorist attacks, including ones explicitly aimed at Jewish institutions, being discovered and thwarted, have been a regular occurrence.

Among the countries with sizable Jewish populations where this has occurred are the US, France, Belgium, Germany, the UK and Australia. This is in addition to the continual atrocities being carried out in various African countries, including Nigeria, Kenya, Cameroon and Somalia.

In view of these realities, it was reasonable to anticipate that a terrorist threat might one day surface in South Africa as well. In this case, thankfully, the potential danger has so far been successfully averted and we fully commend the South African authorities on their decisive action.    

In addition to what the national security establishment is doing, our community itself must do all that it can to ensure our own safety. I urge all community members to continue their vigilance and report any suspicious activity to the CSO immediately on 086 1800 018. Should you require any advice in improving the security of your installation, please e-mail [email protected].


Kudos for Memorial Foundation’s Marlene Bethlehem


Warmest congratulations to SAJBD Past President Marlene Bethlehem, who was confirmed as the new president of the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture at its recent meeting in Mexico.

That one of our own has been elected to head up this prestigious organisation is a signal honour not just for Marlene, but for the whole of South African Jewry.

The MFJC was established after the Second World War with the primary purpose of rebuilding Jewish life in post-Holocaust Europe. It has since become a dynamic vehicle for grooming future Jewish leaders in all parts of the world, largely through its flagship Nahum Goldmann Fellowship Programme project.

Graduates of the latter include a number of senior SAJBD professional staff members and lay leaders. The close fruitful relationship that exists between the Board and the Foundation has very largely been due to Marlene’s dedicated efforts over many years.


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1 Comment

  1. 1 nat cheiman 13 Jul
    I disagree that this is a global problem. Many countries do not have this threat.
    However, it is a threat in SA and with respect, that is our problem as Jews. Whether or not Belgium/France Sweden etc have this problem is irrelevant in the scheme of things.
    That is also one of the reasons I commented that it was unwise to have non Jews, more especially, those of the Islamic faith, pray in our shuls, orthodox or reform.It remains hazardous.


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