saflag.jpegIt’s always interesting to be in a country with at least 11 officially recognized African tribal communities, and a number of other ethno-cultural tribes including the Jewish community.
As in Australia, there is the problem of take-no prisoners in the South African Jewish community when it comes to criticism of Israel. Based on what I have seen over the past couple of years, rhetoric is even stronger than in Australia and it is not just rhetoric but organized protest on the right against Jewish critics of Israel, including a no-holds barred attempt to discredit Justice Goldstone not only for the Gaza report, but his other judicially-related activity in the past–a reflexive response akin to what happened under the old-regime in South Africa, where people were ‘banned’ and anathemized.
As part of the follow-up to the Goldstone scandal (where dominant elements of the SA Jewish establishment threatened protests at a family Barmitvah, there’s been debate in the South African press about the isolationist trend in the Jewish community. There is an interesting article this week in the widely-circulated Mail and Guardian by Dennis Davis, and I am sure, after the close of the Sabbath, there will be vigorous comment from SA Zionists, anti-Zionist Africans who have a strong antipathy to Israel, and others . There is also a strong letter from some Jewish leftists condemening the ‘official’ leadership in the Mail and Guardian, but I am sure they will also be condemned as marginal, political Jews etc. The letter is not available online.
The death of a communal mind: http://www.mg.co.za/article/2010-05-14-the-death-of-a-communal-mind