Stabbed in the Back

2015-11-08 11:57

A few years ago I went through a difficult time. It involved all sorts of life altering events that seemed to conspire together to create the perfect storm. The chips were down and I stumbled and floundered. As I struggled to regain composure it became very clear to me who would walk alongside me on this journey and who would not. Clear as to who would abandon the relationship when it was not as convenient to maintain it. For a few, given the revised circumstances, I had outlived my usefulness.

The South African Jewish community seems to be finding itself in the very same position. Long time contributors to the struggle towards democracy, many Jews fought alongside their then friends in the ANC in order to bring about the changes so desperately needed. Of course there were those who did not take up the fight, but those that did were significant in their contribution to the dismantling of apartheid. Jews have continued to transform South Africa and have contributed medically, economically, and judicially and have been responsible for the formation of iconic South African companies who comfortably stand shoulder to shoulder with their global counterparts.

Anti Semitism is at its highest level since prior to the European holocaust that wiped out six million Jews. The scale in Europe, the Middle East, the USA and in South Africa is almost unprecedented and it has become not only acceptable to be a racist with regards to Jews, but fairly attractive. University campuses throughout the world have made it “cool” to turn on the Jew, with Israel being the comfortable excuse utilised to legitimise the practice. Jews are currently caught in the perfect storm and it is at times like this, that one learns who ones friends really are.

And it’s not the ANC. The lack of loyalty and friendship exhibited by the South African government towards their Jewish citizens has been a disgrace. Attacks from members of the governing party have been relentless with the community constantly on the back foot and required to manage crises after crises as each arise. From challenging their loyalty in a dual nationality debacle that causes the government more damage than it could have imagined, to inviting Hamas, an organisation sworn to the destruction of Jews without so much as warning the community, giving them a chance to engage, to ANC spokesman writing articles in the Sunday Times that lauds Hamas, and compares themselves to the movement, the ANC has made it very clear that their citizens who are Jewish have outlived their usefulness.

The message that South African Jews no longer count is audible as like the schoolyard bully, the ANC attacks its citizens again and again and again. Instead of standing up to a moral code that it has set for itself in its own magnificent Freedom Charter, the ANC has made the decision to abandon what is left of that high ground and descend into the muck of racism and bigotry.

In order to do so it has to intentionally ignore so many of the aspects of the Middle East conflict, like the daily stabbing innocent people, like the daily rocket fired into civilian areas, like the fact that Hamas persecutes gays and Christian and woman. But to note these inconvenient truths would mean to acknowledge that perhaps there is more to this story. And to acknowledge that would mean that it would need to be fair and measured and an honest broker to all its citizens. And clearly no one wants that.

It hurts when you look around and realise that those who you thought were your friends are no longer there. It’s painful when you finally see that that you have outlived your usefulness and that loyalty doesn’t always last. Especially when it is the government of your country that has left you abandoned. The Jewish community have been loyal and devoted citizens. It’s a crying shame that the ANC government refuses to return the favour.

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AB praises selfless skipper

2010-11-21 18:15

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