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Who’s calling SA’s Mideast policy shots?

“SA does not subscribe to BDS ideology,” writes online editor Ant Katz in a new blog today. Finish and Klaar! “It does from Luthuli House,” Katz says, asking: “But is this by design to placate Muslim voters and donors?” Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has made it quite clear to government on more than one visit to SA that the PA does not support BDS policies.

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STAFF REPORTER

 


SA does not subscribe to BDS ideology

Sixteen of the ANC’s most senior young academics and business leaders from around SA, visited Israel and Palestine in their personal capacities on an educational tour this month which has resulted in so much consternation that it again begs the question: Who sets SA’s political policy towards the Middle East?

So much panic did this cause in the anti-Israel ranks when they found out about the trip shortly before their departure, that a US-based NGO reportedly offered an inducement of R640 000 to get these future SA leaders not to go. None accepted – and now they face the wrath of ANC-aligned structures.

Needless to say, BDS yesterday denied they had made this offer – and then proceeded to blame the misunderstanding on the Zionists. But make it they did, say the sixteen rebels.

The apparent disconnect over SA/Israel policy between (ANC Secretary-General) Gwede Mantashe’s ideologists at ANC headquarters, Luthuli House and Jacob Zuma’s ANC-led government’s pragmatic approach has had every reason to widen over the past five years.

Yet, clearly, any discomfort between the two centres of power has been well-managed. The meteoric growth of trade and tourism with Israel, largely in SA’s favour, is clearly indicative of this.

While the ideologues have pacified groups like BDS-SA, the local arm of the US-based NGO Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (Israel) campaign, by assuring them that the ANC and SA will adopt their anti-Israel policies as their own, the governing pragmatists haven’t bothered one iota with it.

This begs the question whether these internal differences are well-disciplined and managed, or whether they don’t exist and are merely stage-managed to placate as many voters as possible.


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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. nat cheiman

    Jul 29, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    ‘Mantashe is living on another planet. He says that unemployment is the private sectors problem. This chap still believes that the earth is flat and that the stork brings babies to their mommies. He is an infant and is a disgrace to this country along with his cadres in the ANC’

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Letters/Discussion Forums

Disparaging image contributes to stigma about weight

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The article by Mirah Langer, “How COVID-19 lockdown turned eating upside down”, SA Jewish Report, 29 April, was well written, highlighting how people are struggling to maintain a healthy relationship with food and their bodies since the lockdown.

Unfortunately, the original online and print versions were accompanied by an awful image – one that perpetuates weight bias and weight stigma. I was relieved to see that the online image had already been changed by Friday, 30 April, however, the awful image made it to print.

I’m therefore writing this letter to educate those working in media and healthcare about the dangers of using images that depict people in larger bodies in a disparaging way as it contributes to weight bias and stigma. Weight bias is defined as negative, prejudiced attitudes about weight, with overt manifestations of weight stigma and discrimination.

Unfortunately, weight bias and stigma have a psychological and physical impact on health, contributing directly to anxiety, depression, disordered eating behaviours, high blood pressure, high cortisol levels, and systemic inflammation. To the person responsible for changing the image online so quickly, thank you for a job well done! – Gayle Landau, Registered non-diet dietician and certified intuitive eating counsellor, and member of Non-Diet South Africa for healthcare professionals

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Looking for descendants of Lithuanian great-grandfather

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I would be grateful for any information a reader may have as I search for descendants of my great-grandfather, Eliahu Zvi Bloch, a Kohen who lived in Anassisic/Anusshishok, Lithuania, near the Latvian border, from roughly 1820 to 1900.

My grandfather, Elchanon, the son of Eliahu Zvi and his third wife, Sarah Oralowich, who grew up in an orphanage, is the only one of the family who emigrated to the United States. I recall hearing that some of Elchanon’s siblings or half-siblings emigrated to South Africa in the first half of the last century.

I know very little else. I believe the family migrated to Lithuania from Germany around 1750 or 1800, that Eliahu Zvi’s father lived to be 100, and that Eliahu Zvi was 66 years old when my grandfather was born. It’s possible that some family members migrated to Israel, either prior to statehood or after living in South Africa. I would welcome any information, even if marginally related to my family, such as knowledge of life in Anassisic/Anusshishok. I live in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States, and can be reached at farrellbloch@aol.com

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Only those on the frontline should be vaccinated

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I read in dismay of doctors, often in private practice who never see a COVID-19-positive patient, who are rushing off with their wives and administration clerks to get to the front of the queue to be vaccinated. I see psychologists and other allied professionals flaunting the fact that they have been vaccinated or elbowing their way to the vaccine table.

While this happens, nearly a million health workers in the public sector who are actually dealing with COVID-19-positive patients in surgery, anaesthetics, intensive-care units, and emergency departments, treating patients with hands-on care, haven’t yet received their vaccinations. These are the frontline workers who are at risk. These are the doctors, nurses, and allied professionals who are dying. They aren’t there for the glory or the large salary but because they are committed to making a difference, to healing, and to contributing to a better world. I urge all of you who aren’t dealing directly with patients who breathe, cough, or spit at you, who can treat patients while maintaining a social distance and wearing masks, not to rush to the front of the queue. Leave the limited supply of vaccines for the real frontline workers. Everyone will get a vaccine. You may have to wait a few more months, but in the meantime, you can take precautions and be safe.

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