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We far too glibly call people we disagree with, Nazis

Comparing Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu to a Nazi was just plain stupid and disgusting; not every anti-Zionist is an anti-Semite, though most probably are.



Letters/Discussion Forums

Rabbi Yoni Isaacson

Not every anti-Semite is a Nazi and most are in fact not.

There is a famous picture of Tutu wearing a kippah and praying for an end to apartheid with my father (Rabbi Ben Isaacson) in the eighties.

Unlike most anti-Zionists, he has taken the moral high ground on many issues, even against China and his once beloved ANC.

His views on Israel are certainly one-sided and largely misinformed and his relative silence on Islamist violence is deafening.

However, I do not believe he is an anti-Semite  and a Nazi –  he couldn’t be further from it.

We abuse the Nazi metaphor by calling each other Nazis: chareidim, settlers, left-wingers, right-wingers and Palestinians call police, government , their opponents and one another Nazis when they don’t like what they do. And our detractors call us Nazis.

Just like comparing Israel to apartheid is an insult to those who suffered under apartheid, calling anyone who doesn’t share the Nazi philosophy a Nazi is an insult to the memory of the six million.

There are plenty today – even a few Jews – who could justifiably be called fascists, or perhaps even Nazis, but the archbishop is not one of those.

I couldn’t care about political correctness, but I do care about the truth.




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  1. Myron Robinson

    Sep 19, 2014 at 8:29 am

    ‘Nazi no. An anti-Semite yes. The very existence of being Jewish in the diaspora is connected to there

    being a Jewish State viz. Israel. While Tutu is entitled to criticize Israel, his criticism of Hamas is deafening by his Silence. For Tutu to call for a 1 State solution will result in there being no Jewish State of Israel. For a person in Tutu’s position to in every respect take such an anti-Israeli stance in my opinion means that he is anti-Semitic. In terms of International Law Israel has the rights as victor to the West Bank. Unfortunately the West Bank settlements are the excuse the world is looking for to condemn Israel & therefore this situation should be reviewed by Israel. Hamas will never live in peace with Israel unless they change their view whether Israel moves out of the West Bank and/or lifts every blockade against Hamas which blockades have been caused by Hamas’ continual attacks on Israel

  2. Gary Selikow

    Sep 19, 2014 at 8:56 am

    ‘To deny Israel’s  Israel’s right to exist and call for a ‘unitary’ Arab dominated ‘Palestine’ to replace Israel, in which Jews would be a helpless minority at the mercy and whim of HAMAS , as the Jews in Europe and the Arab countries (from which 800 000 Jews where expelled in 1948.) were at the mercy of their persecutors. If Tutu demand became a reality, Jews would wait, huddled in their ghettos, to be massacred by the Arabs.

    Tutu and others who call for Israel’s replacement by a ‘unitary Palestine’ know full well that this would lead to a second Holocaust of Israel’s five million Jews.

    Those insulated academics who refer to the nation-state as an anachronism are ignoring the message of recent history, which has seen the birth (or rebirth) of a plethora of nation-sates, from the ruins of enforced multi-national artificial entities : Hence in the last 18 years we have seen the independence of nation-states including the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Eritrea and East Timor.

    The meaning of Israel is clear. The Jew has experienced too much death, and a portion of the Jewish people decided that they would die quietly no more (especially after Hitler’s Holocaust). So it is: and no argument, no clever political talk, no logic and no parading of right and wrong can change this fact.The Jews returned to Israel because it was their ancient land. From 1810 onwards, Jews in the Land of Israel have been murdered by Arabs. The pious Jews of Safed, who would raise no hand in their defense, were robbed and murdered and burned out again and again by Arabs – as where the Jews in Jerusalem and Tiberias. Bedouin Arabs passed through Land of Israel at will-and robbed and killed Jews for profit. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Arab feudal lords in the Land of Israel organized pogroms precisely as the Tsar had organized pogroms.

    In 1920 Jews where massacred by Arabs in Jerusalem, in 1921 in Jaffa and in 1929 in Hebron. Thousands of Jews where murdered in 1936 to 1939 in the Nazi inspired Arab Revolt. Since 1948 Arabs have launched wars against Israel to try to drive Jews into the sea and since Arafat launched the latest war in 2000, after rejecting a peace deal, thousands of Jewish men women and children have died in Israel by bomb, bullet and knife. Jews will never again be put into a position where they can be subjected to another Holocaust (particularly in the ancient Jewish homeland).

  3. Choni Davidowitz

    Sep 19, 2014 at 11:44 am

    ‘Mr. Editor, As you well know, I have written hundreds of comments in the past five years. I have probably forgotten 95% of them, those that you have printed and censored.
    \nHowever, one set of comments remain in my memory that concern the subject of Nazism comparisons.
    \nRabbi Isaacson’s article above refer.
    \nAbout two and a half years ago, the subject of Dr. Baruch Goldstein hy’d was discussed in MyShtetl. For supporting the actions of Dr. Goldstein, my wife and I were likened to that of a Gestapo (Nazi) officer and  his wife, by none other than Rabbi Yoni Isaacson. (I have all the correspondence related to that matter in my possession).
    \nTo this day this comparison by Rabbi Isaacson is very hard to forgive, and we now feel, in light of the above article, an apology by Rabbi Isaacson, and Ant. Katz would be welcomed.
    \nI too feel there is no justification for comparing TuTu with Hitler or Nazism. Only one entity at this time can be compared to Nazism, and that is Hamas.

    \nHi Choni,
    \n1) You neglect to mention the background to that utterance against you
    \n 2) Why Mr Reich was upset with Tutu was due to the latter’s support of Hamas and the many statements he has made in that regard – most recently during Protective Edge

  4. Choni Davidowitz

    Sep 20, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    ‘Choni. Get over it. The matter had and has nothing to do with the SAJR, end of story   -ED’

  5. Choni and Miriam

    Sep 21, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    ‘So Rabbi Isaacson, It is disgusting and stupid to compare Bishop Tutu to Nazism; but it was O.K. to compare an old Jewish couple to a Gestapo officer and  his wife, merely because they supported the actions of Dr. Baruch Goldstein hy’d. Do you recall the incident?  I’m sure you do.

    If not, being ‘erev’ Yom Kippur, and since you have brought up the subject, my wife and I will forgive you for the hurt you caused us.

    Choni and Miriam Davidowitz.’

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Letters/Discussion Forums

Golden Acres yom tov services a shining light



I’m sure we speak for scores of Golden Acres residents who attended the recent yom tov services in expressing our deepest appreciation to Rabbi Jonathan Fox and the management of the Chev for the most inspiring services.

Although Fox wasn’t physically present, his designated officials were outstanding. Thanks to Rabbi Gideon Waks, Rabbi/Cantor Hilly Chrysler, and Spencer Schwartz (your shofar blowing was superb) for leading the services so professionally. Rabbi Fox, the venture served as a perfect substitute for a live drosha. Thanks also to our resident kohen, Tony Damelin, for administering the priestly blessings.

A special thanks to Golden Acres residents Selwyn and Helen Meyers for their usual tireless efforts in making this operation a fulfilling success. Also to Denise Rubin and her dedicated staff for arranging seating under trying circumstances, and for all the paperwork involved.

Once again, sincere thanks to all concerned and to our fellow residents. Thanks also to the Chev for the beautiful flowers and delicious chocolates sent to every resident.

– Norman, Brenda, Choni, and Miriam

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Letters/Discussion Forums

Tribute to a man who embodies Judaism at its best



As the Torah observant manager of a busy food establishment and as a member of the Jewish community, I wish to give thanks and recognition to a pillar of righteousness.

Rabbi Yossi Baumgarten joined the United Orthodox Synagogues (UOS) kashrut department more than 40 years ago, and gave the prime of his life to serve the community.

No factory was too far. No mashgiach question was turned away, even if called at 01:00.

Baumgarten addressed kashrut matters with integrity and honesty, and with a zest and energy that motivated and inspired all those who had the privilege and honour to work with him.

I once had the privilege of going on a trip with Baumgarten. The man is utter Judaism. From the way he treats others, to the way he ties his shoes and walks. His greatness is in his kindness, humility, and truthfulness.

The UOS kashrut department has been internationally recognised for decades as a result of the sterling input of Baumgarten, and this is evident by the many calls and messages he would field throughout the day from people all over the world. Whether it be a call from the Orthodox Union or the OK or Star K certification agencies, or a mashgiach or local housewife, the Jewish local community and the kosher world at large owe Baumgarten a debt of gratitude.

On behalf of the Mashgiach Association, we wish Baumgarten much strength and success in all his future endeavours.

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Letters/Discussion Forums

Deafening silence about Afghanistan, hue and cry about Israel



Tali Feinberg’s excellent piece in the SA Jewish Report (2 September) titled Africa4Palestine Compares Israel to Nazi Germany, offers sufficient expert academic opinion to totally discredit this narrative that is the backbone of the organisation’s campaign. That crusade together with the continuous use of the apartheid canard has one goal only: the total destruction and delegitimisation of Israel. Both apartheid and Nazi myths carry powerful emotive connotations.

While these falsehoods are somewhat over-played and over-used, Israel’s defensive operations are what elevates the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions organisation’s attack to a crescendo. Just months ago, the world erupted in a show of anger, with hordes filling the streets of capital cities, admonishing only Israel during a conflict with the Hamas terror group.

Contrast that to the recent get together in which Hamas and Islamic Jihad poured congratulations on the Taliban for the takeover of Afghanistan and broke bread together. These Sunni terror groups, including Al-Qaeda, share an ideology of gender violence and misogyny, and support each other in multiple ways. Of course, the Taliban’s unmentionable barbaric treatment of women has been well documented and condemned by most of the world.

Those throngs of protesters voicing thunderous support for Hamas, the blood brothers of the Taliban, now manifest a deafening silence. Where is “the squad” – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib? Not forgetting Jewish college students on the left, who all had much to say in their condemnation of the only country in the region able to stand up to terrorism of this kind.

Are those protesters oblivious to the plight of Afghan girls and women?

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