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The Jewish Report Editorial

We are one

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As we move into Chanukah, the festival of miracles and victory, it’s not easy to find the joy to celebrate. Generally, at this time of year, the festival fits in perfectly with the excitement and fun of our annual holiday season. It’s mostly an enjoyable time of year as we wind down from work into relaxation, adventure, and fun.

But this year, we’re witnessing a rise in antisemitism that’s unprecedented in most of our lifetimes. In the opinion pieces written by world experts in this field, Yigal Palmor of the Jewish Agency and Kenneth Jacobson of the Anti-Defamation League (page 7), we get a clear picture of what’s happening in this world. And let’s be real, this hatred is not about people just challenging the way Israel treats Palestinians. And then adding their hatred to us because we support the state of Israel. All Jews who acknowledge their Judaism have a kinship with Israel. Every day, Israel and Jerusalem are in our prayers. How do you disassociate us from Israel? It cannot happen. We may not always agree with the Israeli government, but we’ll always believe in a Jewish state and Israel’s right to defend itself and its people. That makes us Zionists and to antisemites, this gives them another reason to hate us. Theirs is just age-old Jew-hatred in another uniform.

In the piece on page 4, we read about the antisemitism we’re facing right here. Though it’s certainly on a much smaller scale than around the world, it’s not something to ignore.

What I find quite astonishing are the Jews among us who join our haters in trying to pull down Israel. Jews who downplay – and even in some cases deny – the massacre of 7 October. They somehow find it unacceptable that Israel is fighting for its survival, and they can excuse a terrorist organisation that took pleasure in raping women to the point that they broke their hips, beheaded babies, and even cooked a baby in an oven. This they can either accept or disbelieve even though there’s clear evidence of it because Hamas filmed its hate-filled deeds and put it on social media.

I want to say to those people, consider what you are doing. You’re part of us, and this is a time for Jews to come together against an enemy that, for some unknown reason, hates us and will find any reason to destroy us. It’s not a time for Jew to go up against Jew. It’s not the time for us to take the side of our enemies against us.

I do understand that it’s not popular to side with Israel or Jews. And yes, it might have an impact on your career if you challenge people about what’s happening in Gaza and their support of Hamas. But so be it! We must have each other’s backs. We dare not go against each other!

During the Holocaust, there were capos. These were people who worked for the Nazis against Jewish prisoners. They, too, were prisoners, but they got privileges for being snitches, and sometimes they were as brutal towards Jews as the Nazis were. After the war, it wasn’t easy to know how to deal with these people, some of whom would have been killed quickly if they hadn’t collaborated with the Nazis.

What we have today isn’t a case of people being forced into siding with those who hate us. And at the end of the day, whether they like it or not, they are part of us and will never be accepted as part of those who hate us. Hence, our haters speak about “good Jews” and “bad Jews”, and at every opportunity, they throw out names of “good Jews” to justify the fact that their antisemitism isn’t antisemitism because they have the support of a few such Jews.

Who will those Jews, who support our haters, come to when the situation turns on them? Do those Jews still depend on Hatzolah, or is that only for “bad Jews” who support the organisation? If they fall on hard times, will they turn to the Chev for help? And if their children are harassed or harmed by antisemites, will they come to the South African Jewish Board of Deputies – which they claim doesn’t represent them – for help?

I believe everyone has a right to their opinion, and we all make choices. I just wish that those “good Jews” realised that when push comes to shove, they’re still part of us. It’s high time they recognised that, and the real war we’re facing.

Look at the numbers in the stories by our experts to see this isn’t about Zionism, but antisemitism.

Take a listen to our haters, who choose to call us “Zionists” as opposed to “Jews” in one sentence, but then lambast us by saying, “Gas the Jews” or “Hitler should have finished the job” in the next. The veil is so thin, it’s translucent and breaking and, whether you like it or not, we’re in this together.

This week, three Hamas leaders visited South Africa for a conference and, I understand, Hezbollah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad were also represented. They had the freedom of South Africa while here, even meeting with African National Congress bigwigs. Don’t forget that Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, Paraguay, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union have designated Hamas a terrorist organisation.

So, South Africa has a real soft spot for this terrorist organisation and welcomes it here. In fact, in Cape Town, Hamas has its own office – or at least there’s an office that flies the Hamas flag outside its window.

This country refused one of the most peaceful people in the world, the Dalai Lama, a visa to visit South Africa for a peace conference three times in five years, but it has no problem with welcoming these terrorist leaders, and so soon after they massacred our people.

This is once again a massive slap in the face of the Jewish community, but clearly our government doesn’t care about that.

The ruling party must do what it wants, but through Chanukah, I ask that as Jews, we band together and work with each other for our survival. This isn’t about politics, this is about being a community of people that the rest of the world sees as one, as Jews.

As it’s a time for miracles, I ask that the miracle of this Chanukah is that all of us set aside our differences and work together as the single community we are.

Chag sameach and happy holidays!

Peta Krost


The SA Jewish Report will not be publishing during the December holidays. We will resume on 18 January.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. M McL

    Dec 10, 2023 at 1:20 am

    Day 666 of Israeli refusal to join sanctions against Russia.
    I ask, do the world’s Jews even side with the Free World?

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