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Reversing Israel hatred starts with young minds

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Letters/Discussion Forums

There’s a solution to the problem of Israel haters. It’s long term, but successful. Let me give you an example.

In the late 1950s, Prime Minister David Ben Gurion met Chancellor Konrad Adenauer of Germany somewhere in Europe. It was a secret meeting. The two statesmen had decided that the Jews and Germans somehow had to overcome the tragedy of the Holocaust. Various ideas were discussed, and they parted with the understanding that they would meet again and come up with the solution.

After Ben Gurion returned to Israel, the story broke that he had met Adenauer, and there was widespread unhappiness among survivors of the concentration camps. Demonstrations were held and demands were made that Ben Gurion should resign.

So, Ben Gurion went back to Adenauer, and told him there was much unhappiness among many Israelis, and there was a generation of Jews who would never forgive nor forget. It was decided then to start reconciliation with young children who had no knowledge of the past. There was an ongoing exchange of young people and over the years, the system had been so successful, that by the mid-1970s there were more tourists in Israel from Germany than from any other country. Lufthansa became the airline of choice for Israelis. Israeli companies bought German machinery and technology. The system which started with small children became very successful.

We have to implement a carbon copy of the successful Israel/German experiment in South Africa. We need to influence young minds. We should have exhibitions at black schools about how Israel helps Africa and the world at large. Let children see for themselves what Israel does. They don’t know anything about Israel. Top matric students should be offered bursaries/scholarships to study at Israeli institutions. Let South African black students get Israeli degrees or diplomas. We have to invest in the youth. It’s a long term proposition, but the current generation, particularly of grown-ups, is a lost cause. We need to control the narrative, and give the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement a free pass.

We need as many people as possible on Israel’s side. We have enough enemies.

Another idea is to print a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly advert in a local newspaper telling all the readers about the latest inventions/innovations and good-news stories coming out of Israel.

At the moment, we don’t control the narrative. Let’s do something about it.

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Letters/Discussion Forums

“Clearly you’re a Zionist, going around demanding shit”

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I’m so sad that I came across this terrible article (“Professor of propaganda” by Howard Sackstein, SA Jewish Report, 3 June 2021).

First, I’m a Wits-trained doctor, and I admire doctors like Professor Shabir Moosa who are able to step outside their comfort zones and challenge the minds and beliefs of their younger doctors. South Africa needs more doctors that stand up for what’s right. Israel is an apartheid state. Please stop denying it! You’re basically killing Arabs and jailing innocent kids. You have no humanity as a Zionist.

Second, he posted his article on this group, and that made interns feel uncomfortable! Oh please, grow up! It’s a bunch of white men trying to bully us into acting in a way suitable for them. Imagine, a bunch of privileged white men felt uncomfortable for the first time in their life!

Third, screw the author! That he thinks he has any authority to report and demand “action”. Who do you think you are? Clearly, you’re a Zionist. Going around demanding shit. When you deserve nothing.

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Letters/Discussion Forums

Why seek citizenship of murderous Lithuania?

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“Most of our ancestors were forced to flee Lithuania in terrible circumstances, and restoring our citizenship will go a long way to address the wrongs of the past.” I find these words by the national vice-president of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies to be shameful and incomprehensible. To claim, as Zev Krengel does, that ex-Lithuanian Jews have an ancestral right to citizenship is an insult to the G-d of Israel. The only country to which any Jew has an ancestral right is the land of Israel.

When the Nazis marched into Lithuania in 1941, the government and people (with a handful of exceptions) didn’t lift a finger as Jews in more than 200 shtetls were humiliated, tortured, and ultimately murdered by Lithuanian collaborators. Which Jew with pure emotions would now wish to seek citizenship of that country, or any European country which willingly aided and abetted Nazi murderers?

The yizkor (remembrance) prayer that Jews recite in synagogues four times a year includes one for martyrs: “May G-d remember the souls of the holy and pure ones who were murdered, gassed, burned, strangled for the sanctification of the name through the hands of the German oppressors and their collaborators. (Yemach s’hmom v’zichron – may their name and memory be obliterated.) No, Mr Krengel, no amount of time will “restore the wrongs of the past”.

The most tragic event in Jewish history – the Holocaust – has taught the Jewish people that it’s forbidden for us to derive any benefit from countries that persecuted our people. (Hilchot Sanhedrin 15:9). How can any Jew with pure emotions associate with these places, much less seek citizenship?

With all due respect to Krengel and all those who seek citizenship of these murderous countries, may I humbly suggest that you rather seek citizenship in your one and only true ancestral homeland – the land of Israel. Seeking citizenship anywhere but Israel, after 2 000 years of bitter exile, is scorning G-d’s most precious gift to His people.

Further, I believe that to fulfil the commandment of “may their name and memory be obliterated”, no Jew should ever set foot in or associate with these countries in any way. It’s with dismay that one sees influential Orthodox groups spending money on resurrecting Judaism in these murderous countries instead of obliterating their names.

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Letters/Discussion Forums

None of us are angels, but condemnation of Israel is truly sick

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I’m appalled by prominent members of our government, even one of our own – Ronnie Kasrils – who has the gall to speak out against Israel, Zionism, and the Jews for what happened recently in Gaza, even to the extent of mentioning a Jewish policeman or soldier with his knee on a dead Palestinian child. This isn’t the way Jews behave. We are very conscious of our Judaism and families, and kindness is in our genetic make-up.

The photo I’m referring to was taken years ago, in a completely foreign country, and it incites hate where it doesn’t belong.

Sick people have caused anxiety and fear during the pandemic by publishing pictures of COVID-19-related crimes and other lies on Facebook and WhatsApp, and by publishing old photos and leading us to believe that they are fresh situations.

None of us are angels who never sin. But can anyone truly believe that no action should be taken against 4 000 rockets fired at a country indiscriminately? Does any other army in the world advise the perpetrators that they should evacuate because they don’t want to hurt or kill innocent people when they retaliate?

Well, Israel does.

In conclusion, Israel isn’t fighting Gazans, it’s fighting Hamas. The people who run Gaza are Hamas, not the Palestinians. They made the fatal mistake of allowing Hamas to run their country. It uses them as shields and doesn’t give a damn about their safety or well-being.

So, wake up South Africa, and all who condemn Israel for defending its citizens – you would do the same!

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