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The Jewish Report Editorial

The unfettered facts

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I find it astonishing that our government or minister of international affairs and cooperation is scoring points with Hamas, a vicious group known around the Western world as terrorists. Hamas makes no bones about its determination to rid the world of Israel and all those who live there.

So, cosying up to Hamas and being honoured by this band of terrorists for her stance on Israel is nothing less than intolerable.

You know, Dr Naledi Pandor is an extremely educated and smart woman who, in the past, I truly admired and thought was someone we needed in government. She made impressive moves as minister of education and home affairs. However, she may be smart, but she’s blinded by her hatred for Israel.

I find it so much more offensive when someone who I expect more of because of their education and wisdom comes out with blanket hatred for Israel.

She compares Israel with the worst of South Africa’s apartheid crimes. Clearly, she doesn’t have the full picture of what goes on in the Jewish State.

Comparing the funeral of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh with the Soweto Uprising is ridiculous. For starters, between 176 and 700 children died as a result of the Soweto Uprising. Nobody was actually harmed at the funeral of Abu Akleh. But Pandor’s rhetoric seems not to let the facts get in the way of an anti-Israel hate fest.

Unfortunately, her views are popular with the government and the circles in which she mixes. So, no real, unbiased research is being done about Israeli-Palestinian issues.

It’s so frustrating to sing this same refrain time and time again about unfettered, untested anti-Israel hatred in certain sectors of the government, the African National Congress, and political circles.

Frankly if it wasn’t so damaging and concerning, I would say it was downright boring. Same old, same old, only worse.

Just this week, a communal leader referred to us as a “BDS newspaper” because (I imagine) we write so many stories about anti-Israel sentiment.

What this person doesn’t realise is that we would much rather be writing stories that have nothing to do with Israel hatred, but as a responsible newspaper, we need to give you the facts.

We would be amiss if all we told you was the good news. Trust me, I love stories with happy endings. I love the human interest pieces that touch our hearts. And we jump on those stories with energy because we know that as a community, we need to feel love and be inspired. It’s also never a bad thing when a story inspires us to do something wonderful or to help a person or group of people.

We are a helping kind of community.

The fact is, in spite of all this anti-Israel nonsense, we truly live a blessed life in South Africa. We have flourished and continue to do so in this country and have every benefit of freedoms of religion, expression, media, and all the other freedoms we’re given in South Africa.

We don’t experience day-to-day antisemitism. We generally have an exceptional life here.

The only undercurrent to our existence is the blanket hatred by some groups towards Israel. And try as we might to wish it away or excuse it as disliking a certain style of government, there’s no mistaking that some hate Israel just for being Israel, the Jewish State.

As the SA Jewish Report, we believe we cannot ignore this hatred. We need to call it out for what it is, and let you decide how to deal with it.

However, we shouldn’t deny that it’s happening, ignore it, and act like ostriches.

Another comment that passed my desk this week had to do with last week’s lead story on how CAP, the police, and CSO rescued a man who had been kidnapped and held for ransom.

I was asked if CAP paid us for the publicity we gave it. I have to say, I giggled at this because of its absurdity.

Here we were telling you an amazing story about someone who could have disappeared for good. Instead, thanks to the incredible work of what was originally a communal organisation, he didn’t and is alive and well enough to tell the tale.

Instead of feeling chuffed and relieved that we have such a phenomenal body at our disposal, this person felt it was us giving free public relations to CAP.

I guess it takes all kinds of people to make up our community. Having said that, isn’t it astonishing how many South Africans have been honoured by the Queen of England?

I have to say that knowing the family of Andy Kuper, I could think of few people as deserving as him. This young social entrepreneur makes a living out of empowering people around the world who need it most. What an incredible way of life! As he earns his money, he’s making life better for others. Kol hakavod to him and all the other South Africans who were honoured.

Finally, I feel it’s necessary to mention the issue of Israelis in Turkey and the fact that they have been warned to steer clear of the country.

Again, there were people who felt we shouldn’t write this story because they believe it to be spreading fear, which is exactly what terrorist groups want us to experience.

So, do we ignore the fact that so many South Africans are flying via Turkey to Israel? Do we ignore the fact that this does have an impact on us? Are we fearmongering by telling you this story?

I think not. We’re simply giving you the information with which you can make up your own mind as to what to do.

We can’t tell you that you dare not go to or fly via Turkey. Who are we to do this? All we can do is give you the facts and people’s opinions so you can make up your own mind.

If any of this brings you food for thought or Shabbos dinner banter, we’ve done our job.

Shabbat Shalom!

Peta Krost

Editor

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