Tony Ehrenreich’s Kristallnacht
Andrew Donaldson on the Cosatu Western Cape leader’s “eye-for-an-eye” call against the SA Jewish Board of Deputies and other Jewish South Africans supporting Israel which caused consternation, civil and criminal charges and a referral to the SA Human Rights Commission last Friday.
By: ANDREW DONALDSON (originally published in Weekend Argus 16 and Politicsweb 17 Aug)
Photomontages by: ANT KATZ
Tony “Third” Ehrenreich, Cosatu’s Western Cape provincial secretary, has announced that his pursuit of a final solution to the conflict in Gaza will be carried out in his personal capacity and not on behalf of the trade union federation.
Cosatu had – at least at the time of writing – yet to comment on the matter. But here at the Mahogany Ridge we can imagine the gratitude at not being roped into a campaign of violence against the South African Jewish Board of Deputies and “Zionist supporters” in response to events in the Middle East.
Ehrenreich made the call on his Facebook page on Wednesday afternoon. Noting the “terrible destruction and killing and maimings” in Gaza, he wrote:
“We have seen in our own country that the Jewish Board of Deputies have arranged gatherings to pledge their allegiance to the killing of Palestinians. We are aware that the JBD has been facilitating and supporting the funding of the Israeli Army as well as getting SA youth to join the killings in Gaza. This makes the JBD complicit in the murder of the people in Gaza.
PIC RIGHT: Is Tony Ehrenreich becoming the standard-bearer for his erstwhile political principal Marius Fransman?
“The time has come to say very clearly that if a woman or child is killed in Gaza, then the JBD, who are complicit, will feel the wrath of the people of SA with the age old biblical teaching of an eye for an eye.
“The time has come for the conflict to be waged everywhere the Zionist supporters fund and condone the war killing machine of Israel.”
There followed pronto a chorus of disapproval. The Treatment Action Campaign’s Zackie Achmat, for example, tweeted: “‘An eye for an eye’ @TonyEhrenreich is that really you? Unlawful, wrong & harms”. Another critic of the occupation of Palestinian territory, Equal Education deputy secretary general Doron Isaacs, described Ehrenreich’s call as “idiotic and against the traditions of Cosatu”.
Unsurprisingly, the JBD has accused Ehrenreich of hate speech, and announced that it would lay charges of incitement to violence with the police and lodge a formal complaint with the SA Human Rights Commission.
Not to be outdone, Ehrenreich was soon bothering the Facebook community once more with counter-offensive details; he would be laying his own complaint with the SAHRC, accusing the JBD of, among other things, “supporting crimes against humanity in Gaza, and for being complicit through their actions or inactions, in the killing of women and children in Gaza”.
Embarrassingly, he attempted to explain that, at heart, he really was a bit of a mensch. “At the outset let me state it clearly that I am not anti-Semitic and am not calling for violence against Jews.” Not only that, but folks apparently just didn’t get the subtle drift of what he was banging on about when he suggested “in my private capacity” that the JBD should feel the wrath of the people.
“The reference,” he said, “to an eye for an eye, is to ensure that we take actions that are commensurate with the atrocities. . . This however is not a call to violence, it is a call for more decisive actions in SA, that would force the JBD to promote justice.”
Perhaps we’d better leave it there. He did rail on further in an alarming manner about principles and genocide and what have you, but most of it was sloppy and emotional, and besides, I’m tired of correcting the spelling and grammar mistakes in his spew.
Let me just say, though, that there was some opinion among the Ridge regulars that Ehrenreich was spending too much time on Facebook, and this could be retarding his social development.
Others however argued that, in his case, it may well be that apartheid was to blame, and not social media, and that it was separate development that has left him alone and loveless, filled with a curious need to bother others.
Elsewhere and away from the Jew-baiting, Ehrenreich has, in his role as a city councillor, announced that the ANC would be opposing Cape Town’s plans to rename Table Bay Boulevard after former president FW de Klerk.
As he put it, “I mean, naming of streets must be a matter considered by due process. They cannot be just a few whities who want to honour their heroes who were among the architects of apartheid.”
Ehrenreich was referring to the 27 prominent Capetonians who wrote to Mayor Patricia de Lille about the renaming, suggesting it take place on or close to February 2 next year – the 25th anniversary of De Klerk’s announcement that the ANC was to be unbanned.
That one of those whities was Archbishop Desmond Tutu was neither here nor there.
Still, if it’s any consolation, Table Bay Boulevard is quite an ugly stretch of the N1.
SA Jewish Report is looking for a journalist
The SA Jewish Report is looking for a journalist, who is passionate about and hungry for news and who writes both news and features beautifully.
The applicant must to be tech savvy, comfortable online, on social media and in a newsroom. The applicant must have at least five years’ experience as a journalist and a relevant degree. Please forward your CV and an introductory letter to the editor, Peta Krost Maunder on email@example.com.
On the wrong page at the wrong time
The SA Jewish Report wishes to apologise to Dr Yossi Unterslak, a specialist gynaecologist and reproductive medicine assistant at Vitalab, whose face and title was in an advert on the page three of our Rosh Hashanah edition this week. The advert just happened to be on the same page as “Johannesburg doctor guilty of unprofessional conduct”. I wish to place it on record that Dr Unterslak was on that page advertising his participation in Torah Talks and has absolutely nothing to do with the story about the doctor on the page. The SA Jewish Report apologises to Dr Unterslak for any harm or unpleasantness that derived from the advert being on this page. – Editor
Jewish Guild Orchestra reaches out through sweet sound of music
A musical tour around the world was presented to residents of Golden Acres, Sandringham Gardens and members of Second Innings last Sunday by the Jewish Guild Orchestra.
Professor Brian Buch who conducts the orchestra and is also its musical director, had his appreciative audience clamouring for more. The Jewish Guild Orchestra, although founded in 1944, has still been able to retain its fresh sound. It okays a wide range of light classical pieces and its repertoire last Sunday ranged from the operetta Gypsy Baron by Johan Strauss to the all-time Neapolitan favourite, O Sole Mio.
Expenses of the orchestra are met by its 35 members themselves; they derive no income from its activities. The orchestra was named after its original sponsor, the Johannesburg Jewish Guild which no longer exists. Its founder was the late Dr Solly Aronowsky who served as musical director for 46 years. Its current leader is Dr Bernard Caplan.
The orchestra provides support for amateur musicians, irrespective of race or religion, to develop their skills to perform in public and to enhance their appreciation of music. It also plays to audiences who would not otherwise have access to light classical music, such as residents of old aged homes, the Red Cross, Hospice and the Cancer Association.
“One of our objectives is to provide performances through which we are able to assist various charities or to promote music appreciation among scholars,” says Buch.
“We welcome new players,” says Buch. “We need female vocalists, string and brass players. We need players who are at grade 6 level.”
* For further information, contact Dr Buch on (012) 348-8653 or 071-633-0869
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