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Op-eds

    • Howard Feldman 2018

    How long can you go without your cell phone?

    May 16, 2019 Go comment!
    Last week, I nervously proposed an idea to the family. I suggested that for one hour from when we sat down to dinner, we would all set aside our cell phones. I discussed it with my wife, who obviously endorsed the idea as phones have long been a bug-bear of hers. So much so that she can go for four days without remembering to check her WhatsApp messages and missed calls. It was our teenagers that I was worried about. And in all honesty, I wasn’t sure exactly how I would cope.
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    • AboveBoardShaunZagnoev (3)

    Democracy the real winner of 2019 elections

    May 16, 2019 Go comment!
    However one interprets the results, last week’s national and provincial elections undoubtedly ushered in a new era in the history of our democracy, one that hopefully will result in the country getting back on course after what has been a troubled decade.
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    • Geoff

    Did I vote right?

    May 16, 2019 Go comment!
    Amidst the complicated post-election analyses going on in South Africa and Israel, ordinary people are often confused. And, notwithstanding the intellectual analyses, most people actually voted on a “tribal” basis. By this, I mean that when they got into the voting booth, their emotions dominated their intellect – that’s where they placed their cross.
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    • ZvikaOpEd

    Seventy one is the ‘new thirty’ for Israel

    May 09, 2019 Go comment!
    Four Israelis were killed this week as about 700 rockets were fired from Gaza. These victims represent the mosaic of the different tribes of Israeli society today: haredi, religious, and secular Jews, and a Bedouin Arab.
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    • Geoff

    Does nothing shock us anymore?

    May 09, 2019 Go comment!
    What has the power to shock us so deeply today that we sit up and take notice? Could it be the increase of right-wing demagoguery and nationalism in America that has peaked under United States President Donald Trump’s reign? Neo-Nazis, fascists, anti-migrant and anti-Semitic groups are on the rise in countries all over the world.
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    • AboveBoardShaunZagnoev (3)

    Pride in our team, pride in our democracy

    May 09, 2019 Go comment!
    At the time of writing, we are less than a day away from South Africa’s sixth national and provincial elections since the transition to democracy, which means that by the time this week’s issue comes out, vote counting will already be taking place.
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    • Howard Feldman 2018

    Having an opinion

    May 09, 2019 Go comment!
    An accurate barometer of our collective mood is the communication that I receive. When we are in a more positive and less anxious space, I either hear little from readers or might get a few positive words of encouragement.
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    • PowayShooting

    Poway shooting exposes the fractured state of communal discourse

    May 02, 2019 Go comment!
    (JTA) Here’s what we know about the shooter who took the life of a worshipper at a San Diego area Chabad and wounded three others: he was a white, 19-year-old college student who grew up in an Orthodox Presbyterian church, and he may or may not have tried to set fire to a nearby mosque last month, perhaps inspired by the terrorist attacks at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
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    • Howard Feldman 2018

    A step too far, and a paper-thin apology

    May 02, 2019 Go comment!
    By now, you have most likely read about the cartoon that the New York Times published last week. It depicted a Dachshund with the face of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, wearing a blue dog’s collar and a dangling Star of David necklace – in case one was not clear as to the religious nature of the animal. The dog’s leash, also an Israeli blue, was held by a rather rotund Donald Trump, who wore sunglasses for the visually impaired, and seemed to have had a yarmulke placed on his head. The Jewish dog was clearly leading the “Judised” president.
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    • Geoff

    Has freedom failed in SA?

    May 02, 2019 Go comment!
    Freedom is intoxicating. When Freedom Day was established in 1994 as an annual holiday for post-apartheid South Africa, it was amidst the euphoria of the victory of the struggle.
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    • AboveBoardShaunZagnoev (3)

    What special voting says about South Africa

    May 02, 2019 Go comment!
    Last Shabbat, appropriately enough on Freedom Day, South Africans living abroad cast their votes at 121 South African foreign missions around the world. When the day ended, most of those embassies closed, but four – in Tel Aviv, London, New York, and Los Angeles – remained open for a few hours longer. This was to enable shomer Shabbat (Shabbat observant) Jewish citizens to vote after Shabbat was out.
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    • AboveBoardShaunZagnoev (3)

    Great Debates make us count

    Apr 18, 2019 Go comment!
    Since 2009, the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) has been holding multi-party “Great Debates” as part of our #MakeUsCount pre-election awareness and education campaigns. These events help to recapture the spirit of the “town hall” public meetings of yesteryear, when democracy was much more of a consultative, grass roots affair than it tends to be today. They also provide a vehicle for our community to make a meaningful contribution to debate and political awareness in the wider society.
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    • Howard Feldman 2018

    Don’t break the chain that is Pesach

    Apr 18, 2019 1 Comment
    As a child, I loved Pesach. I loved changing over to the weird, outdated crockery and mismatched cutlery. I loved my new clothes that signalled the start of winter, that were too hot to wear in April, but worth enduring in any event. That is, just because it was Pesach. And I loved my new shoes that would blister my feet, but I knew would improve by the end of the festival.
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    • Geoff

    Is your democracy more flawed than mine?

    Apr 18, 2019 Go comment!
    In spite of the doom and gloom which characterises South Africans’ mood these days following the catastrophe of former President Jacob Zuma’s tenure, South Africa’s democracy is still relatively healthy, although with shortcomings.
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    • AboveBoardShaunZagnoev (3)

    How IAW travesty became ‘Israel Awareness Week’

    Apr 11, 2019 Go comment!
    Jewish students are at the coalface of defending Israel, particularly during the infamous Israel Apartheid Week (IAW).
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    • Howard Feldman 2018

    Appreciate each step towards the ballot box

    Apr 11, 2019 Go comment!
    It’s Tuesday, 9 April 2019, and as I write this, Israelis are casting their vote. They have from 07:00 this morning until 22:00 this evening to do so. Already, my social media feeds are flooded with photos of families celebrating the right to choose the future direction of the country.
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    • florence melton logo

    ‘Star and Crescent’ sheds light on ancient co-existence

    Apr 11, 2019 Go comment!
    From the early 600s CE, Jews and Muslims have co-existed, at times peacefully and at other times contentiously. Historical perspective is important to understand what we have in common and what sets us apart. It helps us to minimise conflict and forge closer ties.
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    • Geoff

    Cry the beloved SA Jewry

    Apr 11, 2019 Go comment!
    The African National Congress (ANC)-led government does not kowtow to Jewish interests nearly as much as South African governments once did, particularly in relation to Israel.
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    • Milton

    UCT’s lack of principle

    Apr 04, 2019 Go comment!
    In much the same way as University of Cape Town (UCT) academics took Karl Marx seriously in the 1970s and 1980s, so they have now heeded the advice of the less famous Marx. “These are my principles and if you don’t like them… well, I have others,” said Groucho.
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    • AubreyKatzef

    Just one week before the elections, and nothing is foolproof

    Apr 04, 2019 Go comment!
    By this time next week, Israel’s election will be over, but the winner at this point is not 100% certain. Though the polls are now more or less consistent, their accuracy is not foolproof.
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