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SAJR’s retraction of front-page report disingenuous

  • Letter3
South African Jews for a Free Palestine (SAJFP) was pleased to see the SA Jewish Report’s retraction of its front-page report which falsely claimed that the UN (United Nations) found BDS (the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement) to be “fundamentally anti-Semitic”. But after running this report so prominently, the retraction seemed disingenuous, and failed to address some of the bigger issues at play.
by Allan Kolski Horwitz on behalf of SAJFP | Jan 23, 2020

For example, the SA Jewish Report did not reckon with the damage its report did to BDS supporters within our Jewish community. Nor did the publication mention the support that BDS receives from tens of thousands of committed Jews across the world. The SA Jewish Report also failed to outline the moral and legal complexities of this issue as noted in the UN report, and the special rapporteur’s acknowledgement that well-grounded concerns have been raised with the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) definition of anti-Semitism.

In general, SAJFP is concerned about the reporting bias of the SA Jewish Report, and the publication’s attempts to stoke misplaced fear. In doing so, the SA Jewish Report runs the danger of distracting our Jewish community from real instances of anti-Semitism, of which, as the UN’s special rapporteur notes, there are many. Where, for example, is the reporting on the blatant anti-Semitism that Boris Johnson has espoused? Where is the reporting on Donald Trump’s recent suggestion that Jews will vote for him to protect their wealth?

SAJFP has absolutely no tolerance for anti-Semitism. In fact, when the SA Jewish Report ran Rabbi Yossy Goldman’s article on 12 September titled “Anti-Semitism has its benefits”, we wrote a letter registering our serious concern about the piece. As active members of the South African Jewish community, we expect the SA Jewish Report to alert us to real anti-Semitism in the spaces we occupy.

As 2020 opens, we hope that the SA Jewish Report will commit to accurate, fair, and unbiased reporting, representing the views and concerns of our diverse Jewish community. 

In our correction, to which we gave prominence on page one, we clearly stated what wasn’t 100% correct. However, we stand by the essence and substance of the story.

Any organisation that focuses on the downfall of Israel is essentially anti-Semitic, and anyone that believes in such an organisation supports anti-Semitism. We also acknowledge that SAJFP is a tiny group of people with virtually no support from the community. – Editor



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