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People of colour should be more sensitive about anti-Semitism



Michele Engelberg, Johannesburg

It’s very disappointing that there are native African people, people of colour, whether they are in government or not, who are anti-Jewish. White supremacists put black people and Jewish people in a similar category, and hate us both.

Racist Jews are criticised for their beliefs. We Jews were victims of the Holocaust; we were hated based on being Jewish by birth, something that cannot be changed (regardless of how hard some tried). Of all people, we Jews should know that discriminating against someone based on their race, or some other category, is wrong.

If this is so, then we must also criticise people of colour who are anti-Jewish. They, too, have suffered through colonialism, slavery, and apartheid, which discriminated against their race. They must be held to account for the anti-Jewish sentiment that some of them express.

We have a lot more in common than most people in either of these two groups would think. Perhaps we could help each other if we tried.

On another note, there was a letter commending the SA Jewish Report for raising funds for rape survivors. I have said it before, and I’ll say it again: women should take self-defence classes. Take them before a life threatening situation arises. Take them so that you learn how to prevent becoming a victim of rape and other crime. Be proactive. Don’t wait until something horrible happens, and then react by taking a self-defence class. Because if you survive the assault, you will need therapy as well as self-defence skills. 

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