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Op-eds

    • DavidBilchitz

    Creating a different future for Israelis and Palestinians

    Mar 22, 2019 Go comment!
    As elections approach in Israel, many who care deeply for its future hope for positive change in the status quo. Sadly, in South Africa, the current discussion on Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) is caught in a disturbing polarity.
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    • AboveBoardShaunZagnoev (3)

    #MakeUsCount set to deliver great debates

    Mar 22, 2019 Go comment!
    Last week, two further events were held under the auspices of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) as part of our #MakeUsCount election awareness campaign. On Tuesday, together with national director Wendy Kahn, I joined the SAJBD KZN council in honouring Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and former ANC treasurer Zweli Mkhize for his many years of support for the board and the Jewish community. It was indicative of this warm friendship that Mkhize attended despite the recent passing of his brother.
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    • Howard Feldman 2018

    Don’t immigrate in the dark

    Mar 22, 2019 Go comment!
    There are few experiences that encourage immigration quite like load shedding does. The dark is depressing, frustrating, infuriating and disempowering, all at once. It forces us to assess whether it is worth staying here, and whether we truly believe that things will get better.
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    • Geoff

    Youth as leaders

    Mar 22, 2019 Go comment!
    When a teenager smashed an egg over the head of Australian Senator Fraser Anning last week, it was a potent act of protest which will rightly be spoken about, and probably imitated, for many years to come.
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    • terence corrigan

    Why pick on Israel?

    Mar 14, 2019 Go comment!
    President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed in parliament last week that South Africa intended to downgrade its diplomatic presence in Israel. The foreign affairs bureaucracy was working “feverishly” on the matter. “The decision to downgrade the embassy in Israel is informed precisely by the violation of the rights of Palestinians and we are therefore putting pressure on Israel. But at the same time, we are saying we are willing to play a role and ensure there is peace,” said Ramaphosa.
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    • Geoff

    What happens when ladies don’t play ‘nice’

    Mar 14, 2019 Go comment!
    When thousands of ultra-Orthodox women swarmed to the Western Wall (Kotel) in Jerusalem last Friday to harass women belonging to the feminist Women of the Wall organisation who were attempting to pray there, it created shock when looked at from afar. But both sides were doing the right thing.
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    • AboveBoardShaunZagnoev (3)

    IEC extends voting hours for expatriates

    Mar 14, 2019 Go comment!
    This week, the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) was working with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to resolve a problem that has arisen regarding the date on which South Africans who will be abroad at the time of the upcoming elections will be able to vote. The designated date for this vote (provided those who intend voting have registered to do so beforehand) is 27 April, which falls on Shabbat, as well as the final day of Pesach. It therefore precludes a substantial number of Jewish community members from participating.
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    • Howard Feldman 2018

    Embassy downgrade is South Africa’s loss

    Mar 14, 2019 Go comment!
    It’s a strange thing. The news that South Africa will be downgrading its embassy in Israel upset me for reasons I hardly expected. As a vocal supporter and advocate of Israel, I expected to be hurt by the injustice and the hypocrisy and the unfairness of it all.
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    • GavinRome

    Corruption: a tale of two countries

    Mar 07, 2019 Go comment!
    In Israel, the corrupt occupants of high public office have been subjected to the full brunt of a criminal justice system being applied without fear or favour.
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    • Steven Gruzd

    Will Israel policy impact on Western Cape vote?

    Mar 07, 2019 Go comment!
    If the South African government were to downgrade its Tel Aviv embassy before the elections on 8 May – not seen as likely – could the African National Congress (ANC) be punished at the polls by pro-Israel Christian voters in the Western Cape?
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    • AubreyKatzef

    Countdown to the Israeli elections

    Mar 07, 2019 Go comment!
    There have been dramatic changes in Israeli politics as the elections draw near. On announcement of the elections last year, there didn’t seem much to write about the right-wing parties, and it looked like a repeat of the last election was going to take place. The Likud party had 30 seats, and a number of smaller parties – HaBayit HaYehudi (the religious Orthodox Zionist party), Yisrael Beiteinu (secular right-wing nationalist party) and Kulanu (viewed by many as centre-right) – garnered another 24 seats.
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    • Howard Feldman 2018

    Please pass the potatoes

    Mar 07, 2019 Go comment!
    I’ve tried to be offended the whole week, but to date, it hasn’t happened. And now I am worried. Genuinely so.
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    • Geoff

    The thick skin of men in power

    Mar 07, 2019 Go comment!
    Former South African President Jacob Zuma and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have something in common: no matter how much damning proof of wrongdoing piles up against them, they continue to behave without batting an eyelid.
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    • AboveBoardShaunZagnoev (3)

    Parties must prioritise the tech revolution

    Mar 07, 2019 Go comment!
    The first major public event on the South African Jewish Board of Deputies’ (SAJBD’s) Make Us Count pre-election campaign was held in Sandton on Monday evening. By all accounts, it was a rousing success with capacity attendance, thought-provoking addresses from the two speakers, and plenty of lively participation.
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    • Steven Gruzd

    How parties pile up on Israel policy

    Feb 28, 2019 Go comment!
    As election day approaches on 8 May, what do the three major South African political parties say about foreign policy in the Middle East, and could it have an impact on our vote? Or, should South Africa’s Jewish voters rather support smaller, more pro-Israel parties?
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    • Howard Feldman 2018

    Trying to understand Angelo Agrizzi

    Feb 28, 2019 Go comment!
    One of my favourite books, But – He Was Good To His Mother by Robert A Rockaway, details the “life and crimes” of Jewish mobsters in the 1920s to 1940s in the United States. Moral contradictions abound, and it is almost impossible to settle into a singular understanding of some of the greatest hooligans that country has produced. They were ruthless in their “business practices”, but when it came to their families, in some cases to community and to Israel, they were devoted and supportive. Model citizens.
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    • AboveBoardShaunZagnoev (3)

    Taking an active role in our democracy

    Feb 28, 2019 Go comment!
    When the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) first introduced a pre-election education and awareness campaign for the Jewish community back in 2009, the name we chose for the initiative was Make Us Count. The underlying message was that in a democracy, citizens should not be passive onlookers, but should strive to be an active, identifying part of the democratic process. The name has been retained for all subsequent pre-election campaigns, including the present one.
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    • Geoff

    The Knesset: is it open to racists?

    Feb 28, 2019 Go comment!
    A democracy cannot be judged by the nature of every party in its government. Its power is its ability to encompass widely different viewpoints. Even in extreme cases such as apartheid South Africa, where democracy existed only among whites, every white South African could not be classified as racist. Now it is Israel’s turn to be tested.
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    • HaafizahBhamjee

    Why Israel and apartheid can never be the same thing

    Feb 21, 2019 1 Comment
    We have all heard the term before, and either flinched, cringed, or nodded our heads. The words “apartheid Israel” have become a term so often used in the discourse around Israeli-Palestinian conflict that we have somewhat lost our ability to think critically about its use.
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    • AnthonyChait1

    Mboweni rings the changes with ‘aloesterity’

    Feb 21, 2019 Go comment!
    Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni presented a bitter-sweet budget to Parliament on Wednesday that will have an impact on every one of us, not least in increased fuel levies.
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