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Op-eds

    • terence corrigan

    Why pick on Israel?

    Mar 14, 2019 Go comment!
    President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed in parliament last week that South Africa intended to downgrade its diplomatic presence in Israel. The foreign affairs bureaucracy was working “feverishly” on the matter. “The decision to downgrade the embassy in Israel is informed precisely by the violation of the rights of Palestinians and we are therefore putting pressure on Israel. But at the same time, we are saying we are willing to play a role and ensure there is peace,” said Ramaphosa.
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    • Geoff

    What happens when ladies don’t play ‘nice’

    Mar 14, 2019 Go comment!
    When thousands of ultra-Orthodox women swarmed to the Western Wall (Kotel) in Jerusalem last Friday to harass women belonging to the feminist Women of the Wall organisation who were attempting to pray there, it created shock when looked at from afar. But both sides were doing the right thing.
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    • AboveBoardShaunZagnoev (3)

    IEC extends voting hours for expatriates

    Mar 14, 2019 Go comment!
    This week, the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) was working with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to resolve a problem that has arisen regarding the date on which South Africans who will be abroad at the time of the upcoming elections will be able to vote. The designated date for this vote (provided those who intend voting have registered to do so beforehand) is 27 April, which falls on Shabbat, as well as the final day of Pesach. It therefore precludes a substantial number of Jewish community members from participating.
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    • Howard Feldman 2018

    Embassy downgrade is South Africa’s loss

    Mar 14, 2019 Go comment!
    It’s a strange thing. The news that South Africa will be downgrading its embassy in Israel upset me for reasons I hardly expected. As a vocal supporter and advocate of Israel, I expected to be hurt by the injustice and the hypocrisy and the unfairness of it all.
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    • GavinRome

    Corruption: a tale of two countries

    Mar 07, 2019 Go comment!
    In Israel, the corrupt occupants of high public office have been subjected to the full brunt of a criminal justice system being applied without fear or favour.
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    • Steven Gruzd

    Will Israel policy impact on Western Cape vote?

    Mar 07, 2019 Go comment!
    If the South African government were to downgrade its Tel Aviv embassy before the elections on 8 May – not seen as likely – could the African National Congress (ANC) be punished at the polls by pro-Israel Christian voters in the Western Cape?
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    • AubreyKatzef

    Countdown to the Israeli elections

    Mar 07, 2019 Go comment!
    There have been dramatic changes in Israeli politics as the elections draw near. On announcement of the elections last year, there didn’t seem much to write about the right-wing parties, and it looked like a repeat of the last election was going to take place. The Likud party had 30 seats, and a number of smaller parties – HaBayit HaYehudi (the religious Orthodox Zionist party), Yisrael Beiteinu (secular right-wing nationalist party) and Kulanu (viewed by many as centre-right) – garnered another 24 seats.
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    • Howard Feldman 2018

    Please pass the potatoes

    Mar 07, 2019 Go comment!
    I’ve tried to be offended the whole week, but to date, it hasn’t happened. And now I am worried. Genuinely so.
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    • Geoff

    The thick skin of men in power

    Mar 07, 2019 Go comment!
    Former South African President Jacob Zuma and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have something in common: no matter how much damning proof of wrongdoing piles up against them, they continue to behave without batting an eyelid.
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    • AboveBoardShaunZagnoev (3)

    Parties must prioritise the tech revolution

    Mar 07, 2019 Go comment!
    The first major public event on the South African Jewish Board of Deputies’ (SAJBD’s) Make Us Count pre-election campaign was held in Sandton on Monday evening. By all accounts, it was a rousing success with capacity attendance, thought-provoking addresses from the two speakers, and plenty of lively participation.
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    • Steven Gruzd

    How parties pile up on Israel policy

    Feb 28, 2019 Go comment!
    As election day approaches on 8 May, what do the three major South African political parties say about foreign policy in the Middle East, and could it have an impact on our vote? Or, should South Africa’s Jewish voters rather support smaller, more pro-Israel parties?
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    • Howard Feldman 2018

    Trying to understand Angelo Agrizzi

    Feb 28, 2019 Go comment!
    One of my favourite books, But – He Was Good To His Mother by Robert A Rockaway, details the “life and crimes” of Jewish mobsters in the 1920s to 1940s in the United States. Moral contradictions abound, and it is almost impossible to settle into a singular understanding of some of the greatest hooligans that country has produced. They were ruthless in their “business practices”, but when it came to their families, in some cases to community and to Israel, they were devoted and supportive. Model citizens.
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    • AboveBoardShaunZagnoev (3)

    Taking an active role in our democracy

    Feb 28, 2019 Go comment!
    When the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) first introduced a pre-election education and awareness campaign for the Jewish community back in 2009, the name we chose for the initiative was Make Us Count. The underlying message was that in a democracy, citizens should not be passive onlookers, but should strive to be an active, identifying part of the democratic process. The name has been retained for all subsequent pre-election campaigns, including the present one.
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    • Geoff

    The Knesset: is it open to racists?

    Feb 28, 2019 Go comment!
    A democracy cannot be judged by the nature of every party in its government. Its power is its ability to encompass widely different viewpoints. Even in extreme cases such as apartheid South Africa, where democracy existed only among whites, every white South African could not be classified as racist. Now it is Israel’s turn to be tested.
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    • HaafizahBhamjee

    Why Israel and apartheid can never be the same thing

    Feb 21, 2019 1 Comment
    We have all heard the term before, and either flinched, cringed, or nodded our heads. The words “apartheid Israel” have become a term so often used in the discourse around Israeli-Palestinian conflict that we have somewhat lost our ability to think critically about its use.
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    • AnthonyChait1

    Mboweni rings the changes with ‘aloesterity’

    Feb 21, 2019 Go comment!
    Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni presented a bitter-sweet budget to Parliament on Wednesday that will have an impact on every one of us, not least in increased fuel levies.
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    • JudithAncer

    When the lights go out, and you can’t look on the bright side

    Feb 21, 2019 1 Comment
    The first night our power went, we made the best of the experience. My family gathered around the braai, my husband prodded the meat, I sipped a glass of wine, and we reminisced by firelight. We went to bed early, and I woke up refreshed the next morning.
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    • AubreyKatzef

    The Israeli elections and the politics of the individual

    Feb 21, 2019 Go comment!
    In just eight weeks, Israeli voters head for the polls. Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu will be seeking re-election for the fifth time. However this election will be like no other election in the history of the state. The Labour Party, once the major political party and still a dominant player right up to the last election, is predicted to be on the brink of a meltdown. In the last election, it won 24 seats in the Knesset, but now polls predict only five to eight seats.
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    • AboveBoardShaunZagnoev (3)

    Growing ties in Africa

    Feb 21, 2019 Go comment!
    South African Jewish Board of Deputies National Director Wendy Kahn last week accompanied a delegation from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organisations (COP) on a visit to Kenya and Uganda. Among others, the delegation met with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda. Wendy also gave a presentation on the South African situation to the COP.
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    • Howard Feldman 2018

    Spitting in the well

    Feb 21, 2019 1 Comment
    It has always amazed me that South African expats around the world refer to themselves as “ex-South Africans”. Meet a Brit living in New York or an American living in Tel Aviv and ask them their nationality, and they will most likely answer “British” or “American”. And yet, South Africans add a prefix that is more appropriate to use when referring to a divorced spouse than a country and place of origin.
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