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Op-eds

    • RichardPoplak

    Taking the poetic route to seeing our way forward

    Sep 06, 2018 Go comment!
    There were many odd and terrible moments that emerged from the Jacob Zuma rape trial, but one in particular has always struck me as quintessentially, ludicrously South African. On the final day of the proceedings, when Judge Willem van der Merwe delivered his verdict in that sing-song voice many of us have tattooed on our cortexes, he paraphrased a line from Rudyard Kipling’s poem, If.
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    • EfraimZuroff

    Netanyahu’s silence helps to hide Lithuanian Jewish genocide

    Sep 06, 2018 Go comment!
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to address the dangerous issue of Holocaust distortion during his recent visit to Lithuania. To best understand the severity of this, we need to clarify the terms and potential hazards.
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    • AboveBoardShaunZagnoev

    A time of spiritual growth and renewal

    Sep 06, 2018 Go comment!
    The Jewish festive season, commencing this Sunday evening with Rosh Hashanah and ending three weeks later with Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah, is almost upon us. From the sober, solemn introspection of the Aseret Yemei Teshuva – the ten days of repentance that culminate with Yom Kippur – through to the special joyousness that characterises Sukkot, it is a time of spiritual growth, celebration and mutual goodwill. This is the time for the proverbial “wiping of the slate” preparatory to embarking on a new stage of life in a spirit of hope and positivity.
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    • WIZO

    Mazaltov to female achievers who broke every glass ceiling

    Sep 06, 2018 Go comment!
    WIZO would like to wish a hearty mazaltov to all the achievers at the ABSA Jewish Achiever Awards who have contributed so greatly to the development and building of our country. In particular, the young women who made us proud as we witnessed so many of them breaking through every glass ceiling, something we encourage in all our facilities in Israel.
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    • Howard Feldman 2018

    Our cup is half full, not half empty

    Sep 06, 2018 Go comment!
    To my much beloved South African community, This letter is for you, as much as it is about me.
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    • Geoff

    Just can’t take Jews out of Europe

    Sep 06, 2018 Go comment!
    In spite of all the filth in world politics today, at this time of the year, it is not only appropriate but necessary to see some of the positive things happening in Europe, the ancient home of major Jewish populations.
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    • STEVEN GRUZD ex SAJBD

    Will Israel’s African odyssey pay off?

    Aug 30, 2018 Go comment!
    Just 3% of Israelis feel that the country should prioritise relations with African countries, according to the 2017 Israeli Foreign Policy Index, an opinion poll produced by Mitvim, the Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policy Studies. The figure was unchanged from 2016.
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    • OPINION-4

    In shunning speakers, community mimics worst behaviour of BDS

    Aug 30, 2018 3 Comments
    The recent coercion of Limmud Cape Town to disinvite three presenters with links to the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement raises serious questions about the commitment of some members of our community and institutional leadership to democratic modes of engagement.
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    • AboveBoardShaunZagnoev

    SAJBD’s 100-year ‘communal CV’ puts it on the map

    Aug 30, 2018 Go comment!
    The political and social environment in South Africa is constantly shifting, hence the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) must adapt to meet challenges as they arise. However things were done in the past, we must consider whether our methods remain effective in dealing with the issues facing us in our own time. But, because we focus on the present, we often forget how long the SAJBD has been part of Jewish communal life in South Africa.
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    • Geoff

    Lessons from Fukuyama: history is never boring

    Aug 30, 2018 Go comment!
    One historical marker in the South African mind is the iconic King Kong musical. It was a rebellion against apartheid which took the nation by storm in 1959, when the racist regime was tightening its grip.
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    • Howard Feldman 2018

    Calm down to a mild panic

    Aug 30, 2018 Go comment!
    Seriously, can we just stop with all the Zimbabwe comparisons – unless they are accurate? Just like not everything is apartheid, and not everything is the holocaust, so not everything is Zimbabwe. And we actually need to get a grip before we all die from anxiety.
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    • GavinRome

    McCarthyist intolerance still a bad idea

    Aug 23, 2018 Go comment!
    In 1947, during the McCarthy era of anti-communist hysteria and early Cold War paranoia, the so-called Hollywood Ten were subpoenaed to appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee to testify about their political beliefs. They were an intrepid band of independent-minded screenwriters and movie directors brought in as alleged communist sympathisers.
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    • AboveBoardShaunZagnoev (3)

    Ramaphosa to deliver keynote address at SAJBD conference

    Aug 23, 2018 Go comment!
    We were delighted to learn last week that President Cyril Ramaphosa has agreed to speak at the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD’s) upcoming biennial Gauteng Council conference. It will be the first occasion that Ramaphosa will address the Jewish community since becoming President earlier this year.
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    • Geoff

    The tightrope of being Jewish ‘enough’ in this world

    Aug 23, 2018 Go comment!
    Warnings of alarming schisms threatening the Jewish people’s future have come in the past two months from two international Jewish heavyweights: Ronald Lauder, right-wing billionaire, Donald Trump supporter, and President of the World Jewish Congress; and Naomi Chazan, left-wing professor of politics at the Hebrew University, and former Speaker of the Knesset. Their views also challenge South African Jewry.
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    • Howard Feldman 2018

    Let’s move away from being Elul Jews

    Aug 23, 2018 Go comment!
    I was at the gym in Melrose Arch, talking to a friend on my cellphone while ordering a (double) espresso. With one hand, I picked up the cup, squeezed the phone between my ear and my shoulder, bent down to pick up my gym bag, and started to walk towards the exit. Just as I got to the turnstile, I realised that I hadn’t paid for the (double) espresso, so I turned around and walked back in order to do so.
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    • Mandy-Wiener-author-photo

    NPA head cannot be political acolyte

    Aug 16, 2018 Go comment!
    As Shaun Abrahams was effectively sent out to pasture by the Constitutional Court this week, the bottleneck that had been obstructing the rehabilitation of the country’s criminal justice system was finally released. And with that, the country breathed a collective sigh of relief. The decision has given President Cyril Ramaphosa what he so desperately needs, the ability to appoint a National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) of his own choosing.
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    • STEVEN GRUZD ex SAJBD

    Don’t mention the war? Towards better Jewish-Muslim relations

    Aug 16, 2018 2 Comments
    In the 1975 BBC TV comedy series, Fawlty Towers, hapless hotelier Basil Fawlty (played by John Cleese) whispers to Polly, the maid, “Don’t mention the war!” right before he does just that, upsetting his German guests with outrageous comments, and goose stepping around the dining room.
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    • AboveBoardShaunZagnoev (3)

    No contradiction in being fully Jewish and fully South African

    Aug 16, 2018 Go comment!
    One of the Limmud sessions that attracted the most interest was the one addressing the complex, indeed fraught, question of how Jews (and whites in general) have adapted to the post-apartheid order in South Africa, and how they should relate to and interact with the greater society.
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    • Geoff

    Here comes a curveball for our leaders

    Aug 16, 2018 Go comment!
    Pervasive negativity towards Israel in the ANC and elsewhere has meant that South African Jews have long had a hard time defending it in the public domain.
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    • Howard Feldman 2018

    The way to a Jewish person’s heart

    Aug 16, 2018 Go comment!
    We spent the past weekend on the idyllic island of Mauritius, where we took part in a family celebration. Thirty of us had gathered from all over the world to enjoy a rare and very precious few days together.
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