The Jewish Report Editorial

The enemy of my enemy is my friend

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As we put our newspaper to bed on Wednesday evening, Jewish people around the world are revelling in and enjoying Purim. They are letting their proverbial hair down and celebrating how we survived the threat of Haman through the wisdom of Mordechai and Queen Esther.
by PETA KROST MAUNDER | Mar 01, 2018

Although this chag has undertones of anti-Semitism and the threat of genocide, it is a joyous holiday because we withstood and outwitted an evil and sinister threat.

To be honest, I wanted to bring you a newspaper this week that was full of fun, as well as some great religious and intellectual food for thought about Purim.

However, the news overtook us and it was a week in which we could not avoid bringing you some pretty hair-raising stories.

That is the life of a newspaper and it is incumbent on us to ensure that you know everything you need to know. I say that, knowing full well that sometimes we need to tell you things that we would rather weren’t true or weren’t happening. But we don’t do sunshine journalism.

Having said that, we still made sure you have some great food for thought, and we snuck in a wonderful Purim spiel to get you going. Please try and find it and let us know which one it is.

However, while people are revelling, I find myself very concerned about the situation we are in. While I am sure our new President Cyril Ramaphosa is going to do the best for this country, I am unhappy about the sinister forces that exist here and their potential impact.

In the past week, we had an ANC member of the Western Cape provincial legislature making ugly anti-Semitic statements in the legislature. (See story on page 5.) She later comes out denying she meant what she said and manages to blame it all on the DA. Really!

The ANC was very quiet about this.

Last week, we had Minister Naledi Pandor pushing for the government to cut ties with Israel in an apparently bizarre outburst in Parliament. Then, after the SA Jewish Board of Deputies sends a letter asking to meet her, she makes snide remarks directed at the board during a public address at the memorial for the late struggle veteran AnnMarie Wolpe. (See page 7.) What is that about?

Then we discover this week that our new Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu, has a clear anti-Israel agenda that she has already been pushing. Now that she is in this position, she will be setting the foreign affairs agenda. (See story on Page 4.)

There is clearly a strong force in the upper echelons of the party that is vehemently against anything to do with Israel. They are not open to debate or to seeing all sides of the situation. They apparently are not even concerned about the dire state of the people in other Arab states. No, they are single-minded. This has to impact on us.

And while those running the country are desperate to uplift the plight of the Palestinians, they are not taking care to keep the horror of Islamic fundamentalism out of our country.

So, we see infiltration of Hezbollah, Hamas, people linked with Islamic State and other terror-related fundamentalist groups here. In fact, the government invited and welcomed Hamas leaders to the ANC electoral conference at the end of last year. Hamas, like Hezbollah, unapologetically calls for the destruction of Israel to be replaced by a Palestinian state. Its rhetoric and its original charter – whitewashed by its revised one in May last year – is horribly anti-Semitic and speaks of the destruction of the Jews. Leaders of this organisation were welcomed to this conference, while the Israeli ambassador was not. There is no hiding the message that this sends out to the fundamentalist world.

Now it seems these terror groups feel welcome in South Africa. Why shouldn’t they be? The enemy of my enemy is my friend – not so?

So far, we have been spared terrorist attacks in this country, but the experts are clear: we shouldn’t be naïve in believing this will continue indefinitely.

I find this all extremely worrying. I am not sure that the ANC is doing this on purpose. The governing party cannot possibly want terror organisations in the country. It cannot be blind to the terror that these organisations wreak around the world.

Coming back to Purim, we are reminded of how we need to be mindful of what is happening around us, ensuring that we stop the evil that could negatively impact the country and us.

Having said that, I would like to think we can celebrate the fact that there is a new lease on life in the government, one in which moral and ethical leadership should prevail. We also have a strong community with brave leadership.

Chag Sameach and Shabbat Shalom!


1 Comment

  1. 1 Choni 02 Mar
    Brilliant op-ed! In a nutshell ; Young Jews get  out of this exilic cemetery and make Aliyah.


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