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Op-eds

    • GeoffEditorial

    Walls, walls, walls: the spirit of the day

    May 18, 2017 1 Comment
    Two presidents who excel in shamelessness, loom over South African Jews’ minds: the United States’ Donald Trump and South Africa’s Jacob Zuma. Both are unpredictable, of questionable ethics, arrogant and cannot admit they are wrong; neither are very intelligent and both are damaging their countries.
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    • Jeff

    Sticking to our guns on Israel

    May 18, 2017 1 Comment
    We are currently experiencing one of those waves of anti-Israel commentary that occur from time to time in our media. One of the topics that have gained a fair amount of traction is the hunger strike by convicted Palestinian terrorists in Israeli jails.
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    • marine-le-pen-afp

    ‘Anyone but Marine Le Pen’

    May 11, 2017 Go comment!
    During Israel’s last parliamentary elections in March 2015 there was a popular slogan in the country - “anyone but Bibi” - referring to Benjamin Netanyahu who, as Israeli prime minister, has served the longest consecutive term in Israel's history.
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    • Wagner1

    Playing Wagner with a clear conscience

    May 11, 2017 Go comment!
    Richard Wagner. The name ignites animated debate in the Jewish and music worlds - a debate which can evoke anger and angst when those worlds collide.
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    • GeoffEditorial

    Macron’s French win: Viva la dance!

    May 11, 2017 Go comment!
    Among the people relieved at political centrist Emmanuel Macron’s victory in the French presidential election on Sunday, are arguably South African artists - including many Jews - who have benefited over the years from French support.
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    • Jeff

    ‘Goldene Medina also gives voice to ‘ordinary’ Jews

    May 11, 2017 Go comment!
    There was a time in South Africa’s history when there was strong opposition to Jewish immigration throughout society and across the political spectrum. In the 1930s, this led to the passing of legislation with the primary aim - subsequently achieved - of substantially reducing the number of Jews allowed to enter the country.
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    • ChevColumn

    Walking in the light of G-d

    May 11, 2017 Go comment!
    I have just returned to my desk after attending an annual event celebrating International Nurse’s Day. The highlight is always the moving ceremonial signing of the Nurse’s Oath, when each nurse reaffirms her (or his - there was one male nurse) commitment to this noble profession.
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    • BenitaLevin

    Aliyah - the good, the bad and the meshuga.

    May 11, 2017 Go comment!
    “The biggest challenge for you is going to be the culture shock,” a wise Israeli diplomat warned me, when he heard we were making aliyah. Our paths had crossed in the working world in South Africa, and I knew him to be professional, charismatic and trustworthy.
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    • Jeff

    Terror plot challenges

    May 04, 2017 Go comment!
    When the Thulsie brothers were arrested last July on charges of planning to carry out Islamic State-inspired terrorist attacks in South Africa, it was reported at the time that Jewish individuals and institutions were among those considered for possible attack. Last week, in the indictment submitted to the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court, further details were released regarding potential targets.
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    • GeoffEditorial

    The ultra-nationalists and John Lennon’s broken dreams

    May 04, 2017 2 Comments
    A piece of popular history which throws light on today’s confusing world is the release 50 years ago in 1967 in England of The Beatles’ album “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” - soon to be re-released.
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    • abbas

    Middle East peace - is it action replay?

    Apr 28, 2017 Go comment!
    When I moved to the Middle East more than a decade ago, I was excited to cover my first round of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. There were demands from both sides.
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    • GiladSternKolIsha

    So, a woman sang

    Apr 28, 2017 2 Comments
    A woman sang solo at Cape Town’s annual Yom Hashoah Holocaust Memorial ceremony last week.
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    • MarkOppenheimer

    Enabling artistic freedom and tolerance

    Apr 28, 2017 Go comment!
    Prominent artists, cartoonist Jonathon Shapiro (Zapiro) and painter Ayanda Mabula, have come under fire for depicting rape in their work. The word carries a double meaning, referring to the sexual violation of a person and the plundering of place.
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    • RabbiWidmonteSAJewryinPolitics

    The voice of protest is the voice of Jacob

    Apr 28, 2017 Go comment!
    Whoever has the ability to protest against the members of his household, and doesn’t, is caught up with the members of his household. Whoever has the ability to protest against the members of his city, and doesn’t, is caught up with the members of his city. Whoever has the ability to protest against the whole world, and doesn’t, is caught up with the whole world. Talmud, Shabbat 54b
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    • Sifrin Geoff HOME
    • Sifrin Geoff HOME

    Does ‘Never Again’ apply only to Jewish loss?

    Apr 28, 2017 Go comment!
    When Holocaust survivor Don Krausz talked movingly on Yom Hashoah on Sunday to a packed audience at West Park Cemetery in Johannesburg, about his experiences as a boy in Nazi camps, an uneasy question hung in the air about what Israel’s former Chief Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, a survivor of the Holocaust who was in the Buchenwald camp, said in a recent interview on Israel’s Army Radio - that another “shoah” was taking place on Israel’s northern border in the six-year Syrian war.
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    • Jeff

    Changed Yom Hashoah format adds valuable new dimension

    Apr 28, 2017 Go comment!
    There were again excellent attendances at the Yom Hashoah gatherings organised by the Board in the various centres around the country.
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    • MichaelSieff

    The thing about money

    Apr 28, 2017 Go comment!
    After love, money is possibly the most talked about subject in the world. Acquiring it, owning it, spending it and sharing it, occupies an enormous amount of our time as adults and dictates much of our behaviour.
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    • Taking Issue Geoff Sifrin Home

    Would the real journalist please stand up

    Apr 19, 2017 1 Comment
    Can the media be trusted? The New York Times this week criticised its own editors for sloppy journalism regarding how they dealt with an op-ed last Sunday by a Palestinian leader jailed in Israel. It coincided with a well-known South African online paper, Huffington Post SA, being slammed for a racist blog post headlined “Could It Be Time To Deny White Men The Franchise?” written by someone who it was later shown did not exist.
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    • Sifrin Geoff HOME
    • Sifrin Geoff HOME

    Deafened by the dark laughter of our times

    Apr 13, 2017 Go comment!
    As anxious South Africans take sides for or against President Jacob Zuma and his clinging to power, it is often artists who show the true nature of the dilemmas. Ever since the worst days of apartheid, one of the best of these has been Pieter-Dirk Uys, who lampooned and enraged apartheid leaders such as PW Botha. His latest show at Montecasino last week, Echo of a Noise, shines a light on the torment of having to choose who you are and what you believe in as an individual or society.
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    • Sifrin Geoff HOME
    • Sifrin Geoff HOME

    Killarney to fortress Gupta: a walk to save SA

    Apr 06, 2017 Go comment!
    It is only three minutes’ walk from the intersection of Oxford and Riviera Roads in Johannesburg’s Killarney neighbourhood, where beggars hold cardboard signs saying “No food, no job, please help”, to the Gupta family’s estate in the adjoining, elite Saxonwold neighbourhood, where menacing security guards and expensive cars are always present at the high walls.
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