Op-eds

    • JohnnySteinberg

    Writing a column is easier, but a book is better

    Feb 27, 2020 Go comment!
    In my working life, I have two regular writing responsibilities: a 700-word newspaper column to be delivered every fortnight, and a 120 000-or-so-word book to be delivered every three or four years. No prizes for guessing that these are two very different endeavours.
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    • AboveBoardShaunZagnoev (3)

    COP relationship top of board’s agenda

    Feb 27, 2020 Go comment!
    The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organisations (COP) is the umbrella organisation of the 50 most important Jewish organisations in the United States. Since its establishment in 1955, it has been one of the most effective advocates of strengthening American support for the state of Israel including working towards furthering peace and stability in the Middle East.
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    • Howard Feldman 2018

    If the coronavirus came to South Africa

    Feb 27, 2020 1 Comment
    Without intending to spread panic, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to imagine that if the coronavirus (Covid-19) hit South Africa, most of us would probably die. I’m not seeking to be alarmist, but there really is very little chance of us surviving this.
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    • Geoff

    Parliament – where words will truly harm us

    Feb 27, 2020 Go comment!
    A parliament can’t operate if its members don’t stick to etiquette. But nothing is perfect. The extreme emotions attached to politics frequently overrides protocol, as we’ve seen lately in this country.
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    • ZvikaOpEd

    Third time, I’ll scream

    Feb 20, 2020 Go comment!
    In Hebrew, when you meet someone coincidently for the second time the same day, you point at them and say, “Third time – ice cream”, meaning if you meet them unexpectedly again shortly thereafter, they owe you an ice cream.
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    • AboveBoardShaunZagnoev (3)

    SONA silver lining

    Feb 20, 2020 Go comment!
    I attended last week’s State of the Nation (SONA) address in Parliament together with the South African Jewish Board of Deputies’ (SAJBD’s) parliamentary liaison, Chaya Singer. Without underplaying the very formidable challenges that still need to be overcome, what we heard was cause for at least cautious optimism. Much of what President Cyril Ramaphosa said remained on the level of hopeful rhetoric rather than substantive action, but I was personally encouraged to learn about the genuine progress that is undeniably being made in certain crucial areas. Admittedly, this has been frustratingly slow, but we need to be realistic about what’s practically achievable, given the considerable constraints that state capture has placed on the ability of government to implement effective change.
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    • Howard Feldman 2018

    FW debacle a diversion from more important debate

    Feb 20, 2020 Go comment!
    The “FW de Klerk conversation” says a lot more about us than it does about him. It speaks to our attraction to the most basic of dialogue, and proves once again how much more comfortable we are with being outraged than we are with dealing with matters of complexity.
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    • Geoff

    Braaivleis, rugby, sunny skies, and hate crimes

    Feb 20, 2020 Go comment!
    Many white South Africans probably can’t imagine that they might have been perpetrators of a crime against humanity. It sounds like such a gigantic, malevolent, bloody concept. On the whole, they saw themselves as going about their ordinary lives, growing up, getting an education, raising their families, and mixing with relatives and friends, not necessarily as political activists.
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    • DrManfredGerstenfeld

    Anti-Semitism culmination of 1 000-year-old prejudice

    Feb 13, 2020 Go comment!
    Sometimes a new expression sheds fresh light on ancient ideas. One example is the phrase “confirmation bias,” which was coined only 60 years ago. It means that people are more receptive to information, even questionable information, that confirms their existing opinions.
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    • AboveBoardShaunZagnoev (3)

    Faith-based leaders meet president ahead of SONA

    Feb 13, 2020 Go comment!
    At the time of writing, the upcoming State of the Nation Address (SONA) on 13 February is the dominant issue on people’s minds. Last week, four representatives of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) together with Chief Rabbi Dr Warren Goldstein participated in a meeting of faith-based leaders at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
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    • Howard Feldman 2018

    Rabbi Berland story has wider ramifications

    Feb 13, 2020 Go comment!
    South African Jews are invested in the Rabbi Berland story. His arrival in the country a few years ago along with his supporters, divided the community. Some saw him as a person to be revered and lauded, while others viewed him as something of a cult leader who was in the country to evade the law. What everyone agreed on was that his followers were vulnerable and at risk even though they had made the choice to follow him around the world.
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    • Geoff

    Unlike statues, greatness isn’t fixed

    Feb 13, 2020 Go comment!
    When is the right time to build a memorial or erect a statue in honour of a great life, like Nelson Mandela’s, or an inspiring event, like freedom in South Africa? Two minutes after the event, everything is coloured by strong emotion, and people are, figuratively, dancing in the streets or mourning pitifully. Yet a couple of years down the line, the world may be a different place, and everything is seen differently.
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    • Peta low

    We need accountability. We need change even more

    Feb 06, 2020 Go comment!
    When a supreme court judge this week issued a warrant of arrest for former President Jacob Zuma, I felt a sense of relief. Whether Zuma will or won’t actually be arrested is yet to be seen, but it’s time for some action to be taken for all that he has done to this country.
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    • JTAOpEdAntiSemitism1

    Treat anti-Semitism like any other viral epidemic

    Feb 06, 2020 Go comment!
    (JTA) Some commentators have used the word “epidemic” to describe the recent spikes in anti-Semitism.
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    • Steven dave

    Death is an expensive exercise worth planning for

    Feb 06, 2020 Go comment!
    Very few people enjoy thinking about death. Even fewer wish to talk about it. So it’s hardly surprising that so many people die without a will – or even an up-to-date will.
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    • AnthonyChait

    Exchange control still exists – and it’s a bit of a minefield

    Feb 06, 2020 1 Comment
    What’s the future of exchange control in South Africa, and what impact does it have on offshore investment?
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    • AboveBoardShaunZagnoev (3)

    BDS sinks to lowest-level on peace-plan debate

    Feb 06, 2020 Go comment!
    It was to be expected that the newly-released United States peace plan for the Middle East would elicit vociferous opposition in certain quarters. Regrettably, it was also probably inevitable that at least occasionally, this would spill over into overt expressions of anti-Semitism.
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    • Howard Feldman 2018

    Leave my late mother out of it

    Feb 06, 2020 Go comment!
    It’s not unusual for people to express their dissatisfaction to me about something I wrote, said, did, didn’t do, or should have done. Often, my dead mother is invoked and called as witness to my behaviour. She wouldn’t be angry, they tell me, but she would have been very disappointed. It ends with, “May her memory always be for a blessing.” More often than not, the complainer had never met her – because if they had, they definitely would know better than to say that.
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    • Geoff

    Dershowitz lends weight to deal of the century

    Feb 06, 2020 Go comment!
    When noted American civil libertarian, Harvard law professor, and political commentator Alan Dershowitz gave his nod to United States President Donald Trump’s so-called “deal of the century” to solve the Israeli Palestinian conflict, he underlined what numerous players felt about the interminable diplomatic puzzle – an immense tiredness.
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    • MaryKluk

    Those children who died could have been ours

    Jan 30, 2020 Go comment!
    With the number of Holocaust survivors alive today dwindling, the poignancy of having more than 100 Auschwitz survivors and their families under the same roof will remain with me always. This was at the formal commemoration ceremony at Auschwitz in Poland of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the camp on 27 January.
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