Sashi Naidoo latest target of intimidation for supporting Israel

For hard-core haters of Israel, merely defaming and demonising the Jewish state is no longer enough.  Now, they are using blatant threats and intimidation to punish and silence anyone who dares to challenge their bigoted narrative.

Shashi Naidoo has become the latest victim of this thuggish vendetta. For tweeting comments expressing support for Israel and condemning its enemies, she has become the recipient of multiple death threats, in addition to being subjected to a flood online abuse. This hysterical invective continues unchecked, despite Naidoo having since apologised for at one point using an expression that she concedes was insulting.

The SA Jewish Board of Deputies is appalled by how flagrantly the right to freedom of expression is being abused when it comes to debating the Israeli-Palestinian question.  When it comes to Israel, it is a case of “anything goes”. Those who hate the Jewish state are permitted to express themselves in the most virulent, over-the-top terms, without fear of harassment.  It is a very different question for those who take a stand on Israel’s behalf, particularly when they are public figures.

One does not have to be a supporter of Israel to deplore how extremists on the other side are hijacking the conversation with a view to ensuring that their side only is heard. It is something that needs to be condemned across the board, not only as a threat to fundamental democratic freedom, but as an affront to common decency.      

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The SAJBD was heartened by an email we received from Mr Solly Hattia, a member of the Muslim community.

“My experiences living amongst a Jewish community.  My first engagement with Jewish people began when the company I worked for merged with a Jewish family-owned-business and to whom I was then to report to as my new CEO.  My first encounter with my new Boss, Ronnie Norwitz, was on a Friday when he came down to my office at around 12 looked at his watch and said “Solly aren't you going to be late for your Friday prayer?”  Never before in all my years of working, had I ever had this courtesy from a boss!  His other interesting comment on my return from the Mosque was all ways, "Friday's are good days ".  Ronnie would always say this with the gesture of a clenched fist swinging his arm through the air as if he was going to hit someone.  He always greeted me with a smile and a kind word.  Braai days at work you would find him at my fire naturally. 

THE REAL PROBLEM WITH IQBAL JASSAT’S LATEST SCREED

At the biennial conference of the SA Jewish Board of Deputies Gauteng Council next week, Gauteng Jewry will have the first opportunity of engaging directly with President Ramaphosa since his assumption of the presidency earlier this year. Rather than delivering the traditional keynote address, Mr Ramaphosa will be exchanging views with eminent business leader Stephen Koseff on challenges currently facing South Africa, what the Jewish community is (or could be) doing to help address them and how each sees the future of the country and its people. In other words, it is not about what this country should be doing to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian, or any other foreign policy issue, but is framed as being a South African conversation between fellow South Africans on South African issues.