Out of South Africa

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Last month I was invited to South Africa by the South African Zionist Federation. The visit, my first to the country, opened my eyes to the daunting challenges facing the country and its dwindling Jewish community of 70,000 16 years after the end of the apartheid regime.


South Africa is a country of paradoxes. On the one hand, it is exhilarating to see the blacks now in charge after their long struggle. On the other, the ruling African National Congress’ record of governance is at best a mixed bag.


On the positive side, in 2008 it peacefully and democratically replaced the failed former president Thabo Mbeki with his opponent, President Jacob Zuma.


But the negatives are glaring. Corruption is endemic. Rather than punishing officials for criminal behavior, the ANC is going after the messenger. South Africa’s ruling party intends to pass a draconian media law to bar journalists from reporting on governmental corruption. The ANC has dismissed opposition to the bill as racist, accusing opponents of attempting to advance a “white agenda.”


Auguring particularly ill for the future is the fact that ANC’s Youth League is one of the most illiberal bodies in the party. Aside from being among the most enthusiastic supporters of the move to end press freedom, the Youth League is also one of the primary forces driving foreign investors away from the country. Its leader Julius Malema’s signature policy is his demand to nationalize the country’s mines.


This has been a great year for South Africa. Throngs of tourists visited during the World Cup soccer championship, and the international press coverage was fantastic. Unfortunately, the relative safety enjoyed by World Cup tourists was a striking deviation from the norm. The ANC has failed to provide personal security for South Africans. According to the UN, South Africa has the second highest per capita murder rate in the world. South African sources place the annual murder rate at 23,000.


South Africa is the rape capital of the world. In a 1998-2000 UN survey, one in three women said they had been raped in the past year. One in four men admitted that he was a rapist. Carjackings are a commonplace.


Even more devastating is South Africa’s AIDS epidemic. Nearly 20 percent of South Africans are infected with the HIV virus.


One of the impetuses for removing Mbeki from office was that he denied that AIDS is caused by the HIV virus, claiming instead that AIDS is caused by poverty and the legacy of white oppression. Owing to this view, Mbeki refused to allow South Africa to participate in international programs to distribute anti-retroviral drugs which stem the development of AIDS.


Two years ago a team of Harvard scientists published a paper alleging that Mbeki’s actions had caused the preventable deaths of some 300,000 South Africans. They also alleged that his refusal to provide HIV-positive pregnant women with access to anti-retroviral drugs caused 35,000 babies to be born with HIV.


Neighboring Zimbabwe also suffers from South African neglect. With its international cachet and relative military might, the ANC could put an end to Robert Mugabe’s reign of terror in Zimbabwe if it desired. But Mugabe aided ANC fighters during their struggle against apartheid, and the ANC refuses to act against him.


According to the UN and other international organizations, more than two million Zimbabwean refugees have streamed across the border since 2000. But since the ANC effectively sides with Mugabe, these refugees are denied basic services like housing and health care.


Unprotected by the government, refugees are victimized by xenophobic violence. Countrywide xenophobic riots in 2008 in which some 62 people were reported killed and thousands injured have been followed by sporadic, often murderous violence against foreign refugees. Rather than protect the refugees, the ANC just announced a new visa policy that will likely see the deportation of millions of them.


ON A per capita basis, South Africa’s Jewish community was more active in the struggle against apartheid than any other nonblack group. This fact has not won the community any gratitude or friendship from the government, however. In part due to the ANC’s close ties to the PLO, the post-apartheid government has favored the country’s large Muslim community and distanced itself from the Jews. Muslims hold most of the senior positions in the civil service.


The vast majority of South African Jewry resides in crime-ridden Johannesburg. The physical insecurity of the community is palpable at all times. The Jews live behind walls and electric fences. It seems that everyone has either been the victim of a violent crime or knows someone who has. Even inside of Jewish neighborhoods, it is too dangerous for children to play in the streets.


Partly because the state schools are horrible, partly because of community cohesion and religious commitment, 80 percent of Jewish children in South Africa study in Jewish schools. With the children in Jewish schools, community involvement is higher than in most Diaspora communities.


But the schools are at risk. Some years ago Jewish school buses were stoned. The community responded by unmarking the buses. Everyone entering or leaving Jewish campuses must pass through security posts.


Community security is handled by the Community Security Organization. The day I arrived in Johannesburg, the community’s radio station received a bomb threat and the group’s representatives arrived on the scene within moments. Guards from the organization are present at all community events.


The future of the CSO is an open question. The government just passed a strict gun control law that will make it difficult for its guards to bear arms. Without guns, it is hard to see how the CSO will be able to provide protection.


Crime levels are much lower in Cape Town, and it is safe to wander around the city. But Cape Town’s Jews face other challenges, not the least of which is that whereas there are some 15,000 Jews in Cape Town, the city is home to 750,000 Muslims.


Ignoring the Jewish community’s deep involvement in the anti-apartheid struggle, the ANC berates it for Israel’s economic and military ties to the apartheid regime. The fact that the Arabs – and particularly Saudi Arabia – had much stronger and longer economic and military ties to the apartheid regime than Israel is never mentioned.


The ANC is one of the most anti-Israel governments in the world today. After the Mavi Marmara incident, aside from Turkey, South Africa was the only country to recall its ambassador from Israel. 


Whereas the media and the government are in a virtual state of war over goveremental corruption, they see eye to on on Israel. As Beverley Goldman from the South African Zionist Federation explained at a Zionist conference in Cape Town two weeks ago, the anti-Israel bias of the South African media is overwhelming.


The boycott, divest and sanction Israel campaign was arguably born in South Africa at the UN’s anti- Semitic hate fest in Durban in August 2001. It enjoys the support of South African notables like retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who just called for the Cape Town Opera to cancel its visit to Israel.


Last month the University of Johannesburg narrowly defeated a motion to cancel its water desalination research agreement with Ben-Gurion University. However, the motion will likely be passed in the future, because while rejecting the motion, the university demanded that BGU end ties with the IDF.


A movement to ban Israeli products from the shelves of South African stores is gaining steam.


A Jewish-owned grocery store chain was recently picketed.


Last month a firm that produces logo briefcases refused a contract with the South African Zionist Federation to produce briefcases for the Federation’s upcoming conference.


THE JEWISH community’s responses to the challenges it faces are varied. Emigration rates are high and rising. Australia is the preferred destination, but aliya rates are also relatively high and rising. The Jewish Agency’s representatives are energetic and committed. It would be helpful if Bnei Akiva sent more representatives to South Africa in light of the religiousness of many members of the community.


Most Jews leaving South Africa are young. Israel must adopt measures to help older Jews come here.


On the other side of the spectrum, the number of Jews who have joined the anti-Israel chorus is growing. Jews were among the founders of an anti-Zionist, pro-boycott group called Open Shuhada Street.


The option of turning on Israel and their community is an attractive one for many young Jews. Since the end of apartheid, with the rise in influence of the Muslim community and the ANC’s hostility toward Israel, the only way Jews can achieve sure notoriety is by joining forces with Israel’s enemies.


For its part, the organized Jewish leadership struggles to remain relevant. It excels at its primary task of caring for the welfare needs of an aging community. But defending Israel and Zionism in the face of a vocal Jewish anti-Israel minority is becoming increasingly difficult. Cultivating good ties with a government hostile to Israel and committed to economic policies that hurt most members of the community is also growing more challenging.


Sadly, it seems that despite the best efforts of many committed Jewish leaders, the organized community is breaking under the burden of these Sisyphean tasks. For instance, rather than attacking anti-Semites like Tutu, who among other things claims that Israel uses the Holocaust to justify its oppression of Arabs, South African Jews have honored him by making him a patron of their Holocaust foundation. Richard Goldstone is also a patron.


In the hopes of bringing blacks to the Holocaust museum in Cape Town, the museum’s exhibition begins with a remembrance of apartheid. By doing so, the museum equates the discrimination against blacks with the genocide of Jewry.


The community’s fear of Jewish turncoats has prevented it from discrediting them. For example, at last month’s Zionist Federation conference in Cape Town, the organizers invited a self-proclaimed non-Zionist attorney named Hayley Galgut to participate in a panel titled “South African Zionism Today.” Galgut used her time to explain why she is not a Zionist, and why the audience should abandon Zionism.


Organizers defended their decision to invite her by noting Galgut’s plan to move to Israel. But the fact that she wishes to move to the front line of the war against Israel does not make hers a legitimate voice. Galgut’s presence on the panel was evidence of the community leadership’s unwillingness to take measures to maintain a coherent Zionist message.


THE PHYSICAL beauty of South Africa is arresting, particularly along the coast. And the material standard of living that South African Jews enjoy is impressive. It is easy to see why many Jews find it hard to leave.


But it is also clear that Jewish life in South Africa will only get worse. The ANC is unlikely to improve its general governance or its policies toward Israel. 


It can only be hoped that the Jews of South Africa will make their way to Israel before the ANC fails them even more spectacularly than it already has.


Originally published in The Jerusalem Post. 


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  • Marcel 11/09/2010 at 8:01

    Caroline,For a time such as this you point out many warning signs of what is coming but the seizure of weapons to defend oneself against the coming bloodbath is one that should not be ignored.
    The ANC Youth League leader can be compared to the nascent Brown Shirt and SS Commanders.
    Sound the Alarm,it’s Time NOW.
    Once Israel deals with Iran,Hamas and Hezbollah it will be extremely dangerous for any Jew remaining there and in other Muslim leaning countries like Europe,Australia and the US.
    Canada will not be safe because of their large Muslim population and weak government.
    The Jews will be blamed for the literal worldwide economic fallout and destruction.
    Does anyone know the precentage of Jews who woke up in time to flee from the growing threat in Germany ?
    It look’s like the same unfolding story all over again.
    The fisherman of Nefesh b; Nefesh have awakened many to make aliyah but now the bloody hunters are risen up.
    Even in America Alex Jones the big hunter is already is in place.
    His growing listener base will believe him when he blames the Jews.
    My suggestion to Israel is to keep building ,especially in Judea and Samaria as the hunters have arisen to the prowel.You’re going to need every house.
    “Therefore behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when it will no longer be said, ‘As the LORD lives, who brought up the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ but, ‘As the LORD lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of the north and from all the countries where He had banished them.’ For I will restore them to their own land which I gave to their fathers.
    “Behold, I am going to send for many fishermen,” declares the LORD, “and they will fish for them; and afterwards I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt them from every mountain and every hill and from the clefts of the rocks.
    Jeremiah 16

  • naomir 11/09/2010 at 8:15

    Caroline, thank you for an excellent view of life and especially Jewish life in South Africa today. Unfortunately one of the major issues in the country and a glaring one at that is the ability of the Blacks to govern themselves. Unskilled, uneducated and purposely kept this way by their oppressors, these people were not prepared for independence. As this is probably not about to change any time soon and if the current climate is any indication of the direction the government is taking, it is surely time for South African Jews to make aliyah. The benefits to Israel far outweigh any arguments for remaining in a country that not only doesn’t want you, but is actually hostile. Too many lives are at stake.

  • Anonymous 11/09/2010 at 8:27

    Having previously read this lady’s idiotic comments about the Palistinians, no one should take her seriously about her even more obtuse ramarks about South Africa.
    For example to state that Muslims hold most of the senior positions in the civil service is plain silly but she has no known history of respecting facts.
    As for South Africa’s problems….God knows we have more than enough of those…. but they pale into insignificannce compared to Israel’s. Frankly compared to overcrowded, rude, cruel & uncouth Isreal we live in paradise – will all our problems multiplied twice. Sipho Zulu

  • Tuvia 11/09/2010 at 10:58

    In Judaism, there is something called, galus, which is commonly translated to mean, diaspora. But it is also something else– a certain state of mind, a pernicious poison that enthralls; it is a mentality that keeps Jews from making aliyah, even when the proverbial handwriting is on the wall. The Jews of South Africa, as Ms Glick points out (Out of South Africa, November 9, 2010), seem frozen in place. Even as their environment becomes increasingly dangerous, these Jews appear not to move. In one sense, they are really no different from Jews in America: they cannot let go. They cannot leave. They cannot break away from this enchantment called, galus.
    Of course, there is one difference here, isn’t there–the Jews in South Africa are in greater danger than are the Jews of America. For now.
    Galus is a state of mind that will keep Jews in South Africa and it will keep Jews in America. Unfortunately, galus is more than just enthrallment or enchantment; it is also a story of life and death, one we have seen before, in the mid-1930’s, when the Holocaust was brewing but when many still had a chance to leave. And didn’t.
    Galus, as Ms Glick shows it, can be like a powerful illegal drug: It can warp what you think and feel. But we all know that it can do something else–it can also kill you.

  • ricksgeiger 11/09/2010 at 11:11

    It is a shame that condescending and frankly racist attitudes by most of the main stream press allow this to go on without any substantive discussion or media attention. The left wing press is so racist that they think it is OK and normal for black folks to have these kinds of problems, and because the government in SA is left wing, they will not put an intense focus on the bad situation there. But Jews should get out there because no one will protect them. They should come to the US or Israel. At this point in time, with the possible exceptions of Canada and Australia, Israel and the US are the only safe places for Jews. Just think of that, less than 70 years after the Shoah, once again the Jews are being hung out to dry.
    What I really don’t understand is why Caroline is not part of the gov of Israel; why doesn’t Netanyhu ask her to come onto his staff? Who knows if she would do it, but they need her, we need her.

  • DaveP 11/09/2010 at 11:25

    How a student who wiped the floor with the anti-Israel crowd was kicked out for life
    This student should represent Israel.

  • natalie 11/09/2010 at 12:41

    Hi Caroline, as I stated in my email to you, as a visibly religious Jew in South Africa I have never felt scared or been attacked for my Jewishness. President Jacob Zuma opened the South African Board of Deputies seminar recently, and he was very pleasant about the Jews; in fact inviting all those Jews who have left to return to help build the country. The governor of the Reserve Bank is a Jew, Gill Marcus. contact between blacks and whites in the business world and socially is very amenable and non threatening.
    There is no Jewish owned chain store, the only chain store that was recently picketed is a public company that was originally owned by Jews but now has a non Jewish CEO and the picketing was for higher wages, not against Jews.
    I disagree that fear here is palpable. If you had to be in the religious Jewish areas on a Shabbat you would see the throngs of people walking in the street, strolling along, stopping to chat to friends, with their children running around.
    i wish you had taken the time to meet with the man in the street and heard his thoughts on the matter as well.

  • Kevin 11/09/2010 at 14:36

    Dissapointing read, doesnt seem to agree with the sentiments of the SAJBD. Question arises as to what your motivation or real reasons were for painting such an innaccurate picture?All communities in SA face the same problems not just the Jewish community. Dissapointed and surprised that someone of your calibre could publish something with such innacuracies and outdated stats.ex SA tochas

  • K Willcox 11/09/2010 at 16:25

    I read that everything will stay on simmer until Mandela dies, then the entire country will turn into a massive slaughter of “europeans” Is this the common knowledge on the street? I have even heard that the police are prepared to look the other way as a final act of revenge against apartheid.
    Just look at Zimbabwe. civilization unwinds, the crime is overwhelming, and the economy goes into the ditch.
    The time is now to sell what you can, purchase wealth and stocks and send them to New York, Switzerland, or Toronto, and take a one way vacation to the US, Canada, virgin islands, Chile and be safe.
    Anyone who thinks the situation is going to improve is crazy. Mandela could die any day now and you would be murdered within a few days…

  • jantalkema.wordpress.com 11/10/2010 at 2:30

    It is always revealing to read a visitor to South Africa’s perspective as supposed to one’s own. We, living in this breathtakingly beautiful country, are desensitized to violence, rape, murder and the socio-economic despairing situations of our people. But we are only reaping the fruits of our leaders’ (past and present) lack of vision and action, and their insatiable lust for power and money. The welfare of the people is, in most cases, last on the list of priorities.
    What is even more disturbing is that the 70% professing Christian population of this country are sleeping on the job. We as Christians have allowed our hands to be tied, willingly, and are seeing and feeling the results of our inaction daily. This includes our bias towards the Muslim minority, allowing their influence to reach to the depths of all South Africans’ lives. One example of this is that 70% of our food in the major supermarket chains has been approved by the Muslim councils as halaal.
    Their influence on high levels and our willing blindness and apathetic lameness has directed the support away from the State of Israel and the Jewish people and supporting causes like Kairos Palestine, Open Shuhada street and the like. Although there are staunch supporters of the Jewish people and the Zionist cause, they are in the minority. Rightly do we view with apprehension the possible forced emigration of Jews from South Africa. Although the Christian Zionist support wholeheartedly and for many reasons the Aliyah of the Jews to their Home Country, the Land of Israel, their leaving leaves a dangerous (for us) vacancy in society and a deafening silence towards the injustices of the post-apartheid era.
    I hope we as Christians, true to our belief, will wake up and add our voice to what is right for the Jews and Humanity, and stop supporting religious philosophies that has the very real potential to destroy us completely.

  • Stopped Clock 11/10/2010 at 12:44

    I can’t see what the problem is – sa Jewry got the sa it wanted. So why the angst?
    However why not mention the elephant in the room? To wit: sa Jewry was rapaciously keen to make potloads of money from apartheid-era business opportunities whilst [ironically] giving generous support to the anc.

  • Tom Solomon 11/10/2010 at 14:51

    Thank you for the article. I have been there several times and can attest to your accurate description. There is no future, especially for Jews. Emigration is the only option.

  • anon 11/10/2010 at 18:56

    Fatima Nagdee Hajaig is the muslim Deputy Foreign Minister who stated last year that Jews “control of America, just like the control of most western countries, is in the hands of Jewish money.”
    Naledi Pandor is the muslim Minister of Science and Technology and was Minister of Education (2004-2009).
    Kadar Asmal is the current, muslim Minister of Education.
    Abdullah Mohammed Omar was a muslim Minister of Justice and later Minister of Transport.
    Ismail Mahomed was the first post-apartheid Chief Justice from 1996 – 2000 and wasa muslim.

  • TexKen 11/10/2010 at 20:40

    No one’s surprised, except for stupid liberals, that once a colonized African nation is returned to its natives it returns to the violent nothingness it once was. Actually most all black majority, black ruled countries.

  • Cheyenne 11/11/2010 at 1:42

    Caroline, you have mixed some fact within your diatribe against South Africa. For the most part, we Jews live very comfortable lives in SA. Yes there is crime, poverty, corruption, but name me one country that doesn’t have these problems.
    Kids do play in the streets and parks, so I don’t know where you are getting your information from. For someone who is an editor of The Jerusalem Post, you should check your sources more carefully.
    You refer to the CSO. What a fool you are to put our community’s safety in jeopardy by referring to an entity by name. You may not care for SA but we live here.
    I lost virtually all respect for you due to your obviously uninformed opinions and complete disrespect for our safety concerns.
    One point we agree on is the nefarious ivory tower irreligious liberal left who will do anything to bring Jews and Israel into disrepute.
    Galgut is a fool. Hopefully living in Israel will eventually wake her from the dream world that she lives in and open her eyes to reality.

  • Anonymous 11/11/2010 at 3:44

    I can’t understand how Jews living outside of Israel could think by joining the anti-Israel chorus it is somehow going to protect them in the long run. South African Jews should come home to Israel & help strengthen Israel. Take back all your God given land and build settlements for those who return! It is the Palestinian / Philistines who need to resettle out of Israel to make room for an expanded Israel!

  • [email protected] 11/11/2010 at 5:48

    Ms Glick – someone with all your qualifications and career achievemnts should be able to make an unbiased ond objective report. however it is clear that you are unable to do this, and came to SA with an eye to see the lies that you reported.
    for your information i am a jewish women living in Johannesburg, and am Baruch haShem very happy to be raising my religious Jewish children here.
    We have a good schooling system, freedom of expression, freedom of religion and a wonderful family life. my home is what would be called a park or museum in Israel, and my children play at home in safety and do not have to wonder off to the park on play in the street because there is nowhere to play at home! We like to keep our children close and raise them ourselves, rather than let the street raise them! i am able to work 1/2 day in SA, so i can be with my children after school, which finishes at 12:30 for the little ones and 3 for the big ones.
    Our economic opprotunities in SA far exceed those in israel and most other countries. Did you notice the lovely homes, expensive cars, private education, annual holidays, wonderful somchos, good clothing, good quality kosher food etc. the jews in SA enjoy when you were here? did you notice what an active Beth Din we have and the number of excellent kosher foodstuffs available in every store across the country? Did you notice the number of senior executives who are jewish, proportionate to the size of out community when you where here, and how seriously they are taken by government offices?
    And for your information our community is NOT DWINDELLING! it is growing. i personally know of over 20 families who have returned here from ISRAEL and England in the last 18 months. We took them in, found jobs for them and they are happy!
    Every country has its good and bad lady – let’s not even look at Israel.
    South Africa is a wonderful country for men, women and children of any race and relgion to live.

  • Disappointed SA Jew 11/13/2010 at 8:21

    I was at your talk in Johannesburg, where I came out depressed by your right wing policies rather than impressed.
    You see, I am one of those hundreds of Jews who left South Africa, but chose to come back (www.homecomingrevolution.com) and be with my aging parents and other family. In fact, at my previous work, 4 of the 6 employees were Jews who had returned to South Africa (from Australia, Canada, Israel and London). I lived in Israel for 20 years, stayed in Tel Aviv during the Gulf War and gave birth to my children there. Yet, after Rabin was murdered at the Peace Rally that I attended (yes, I admit I was one of those people you denigrated at your talk who believed that Rabin could bring peace), Israel was never the same. The hatred between religious and secular, settler and non-settler, never mind the hatred between Arab and Jew, made it a very different place from when I made Aliya.
    Being back in this “crime ridden Johannesburg”, I have been impressed by the sense of community that we have experienced. I have been impressed by the level of integration at the workplace, where I have made incredible friends of all colours, creeds and religions, something that I value immensely. I have been impressed by the way Jewish organizations make a very real difference in the lives of the poverty-stricken communities. Something that you fail to find worthy of mentioning.
    I am also shocked that you have compromised the CSO to such an extent. How dare you? Would you have revealed such information about the Mossad or the IDF?
    You mention rightly many of the things that do concern us all. But you fail to mention so many of the positive aspects of this country, that your article becomes a diatribe of hatred and condemnation for an amazing community. But then, after hearing your talk, I would have expected nothing less than negativity, condemnation and American self-righteousness.

  • DaveP 11/14/2010 at 8:18

    South Africa is on the same road as Zimbabwe. I cant understand why anyone, leave alone Jews, would want to stay on.

  • What lies> 11/16/2010 at 6:15

    This the biggest rubbish I have ever read. P.S most the people who agree with you are people that emigrated and have to bash the country to make themselves feel better

  • What lies> 11/16/2010 at 6:15

    This the biggest rubbish I have ever read. P.S most the people who agree with you are people that emigrated and have to bash the country to make themselves feel better

  • Daniel 11/16/2010 at 11:14

    I run every second day 10km in and outside of my area. You are sadly stereotyping our Jewish community, and have raised a large amount of controversy in my own school. Shame on you!

  • Elona Steinfeld 11/19/2010 at 6:25

    This is a very one sided article and does its author no credit. It smacks of sensational journalism. How many days did Ms Glick spend in South Africa?
    We as Jewish South Africans are one of the few countries in the Golah where we may practice our religion freely. We have very few antisemitic incidents compared to other countries and I cannot recall in my lifetime instances of violent antisemitic attacks which plague first world countries.
    Perhaps Ms Glick views herself as a prophet of doom. If so she should look to Israel and what is happening there. Israel has had many corrupt politicians throughout its recent history and faces the danger of being annilated.
    Negative press is harmful to all. It is about time that the good news stories of South Africa were published far and wide and there are many of them.

  • ex south african 11/20/2010 at 14:05

    this article is so accurate! sadly so – one feels so sorry for those wonderful trapped jews whose only defence against the obvious need to leave, is to tighten their blinkers and hide behind the type of rationalizations seen in the responsa above – viz “every country has it’s problems”

  • jeff zaron 11/20/2010 at 18:20

    Ms Glick . The respect I as a South African Jew had for your intellect and insight has dissipated. You are entitled to your own opinion but not to your own facts. This article is diatribe, and simply not supported by facts.It is disingenuous to shoot your arrow and then draw the target around it …and scream out ‘bulls-eye’. This piece is a shoddy bit of journalism …I struggle to find the accurate facts. It casts a wary eye on your ability to offer the quality journalism that we thought you capable of. Very Sad.

  • SMB 11/21/2010 at 16:38

    I was a little boy in 1948 when the Apartheid government won the elections.I was arrested for demonstrating as a student. I lived through the fearful years of Sharpville, the 70’s, the 80’s and then celebrated the release of Mandela. I no longer live in fear of the situation that you untruthfully depict. From one visit you speculate on the future of South Africa and the Jews who live here. There are concerns, but so were there in the years that sent many South Africans to the four corners of the world.
    But my real fears are for you and my beloved family and friends who live in Israel which unjustly has become the pariah of the world. I have my criticisms of the the policies of my beloved Israel, but whom am I to sit in judgement when I dont abide there
    Caroline, look in your own backyard before passing judgement in others. And telling the truth may have given your report more respectability

  • CAPE TOWN18 11/23/2010 at 6:45

    Caroline Glick’s article “Our World: Out of South Africa” (8 November) refers. It is unfortunate that, after having spent less than a week in our dynamic, nurturing, hyperactive and cosmopolitan city of Cape Town, South Africa, Ms Glick sees fit to not only pass judgement on our country’s political and social situations, but also to dictate to our Jewish Zionist community who can and should be a part of it.
    As the South Africa Zionist Federation Youth Council (Cape Council), we strive to promote and celebrate diversity of belief within a context of unity in our Zionism. We aim to provide a space for young Zionists from various political, social and religious perspectives, and we welcome differences of opinion to our passionate, engaged and dedicated family. It is within this context that the recent biannual Cape Council conference, themed “Zionism today, facing diversity” was held, to which Ms Glick was invited as guest speaker. The conference included various panel discussions wherein guest speakers were invited to contribute to our community’s conception of diversity within our Zionism.
    Speaking on a separate discussion panel to Ms Glick was Hayley Galgut, a passionate, respected and active member of our community. Ms Glick took exception to Ms Galgut’s explanation of her personal relationship to Israel and Zionism, and feels correctly-placed to term Galgut a “turncoat”, and, essentially, conceptualised her as an illegitimate voice.
    The Zionist Youth Council, in turn, takes exception to Ms Glick’s attack on Ms Galgut, and her attempt to limit our Cape Town community’s conception of Zionism in deligitimising those without her beliefs. Members of our community who love and believe in the State of Israel, such as Ms Galgut, have a right to be a part of this community regardless of their political persuasion, and will always be welcome within it.
    The youth panel at the conference displayed a very wide spectrum of Zionist beliefs, and was incredibly well-received by our community. One shudders to think that in a few year’s time one of our dedicated and enthusiastic young Zionists might receive similar treatment from a foreigner with a flawed understanding of the nature of our community, and lacking the requisite sensitivity to work with and within it.
    Through this attack on Ms Galgut, Ms Glick is trying to shape our Cape Town community into one that is the polar opposite of all that we as the Youth Council have attempted to build this year; a community that welcomes different outlooks in working towards a common goal, that of Zionism. We as the youth need to ensure that the greater Cape Town community reflects the cooperation in diversity that we have achieved over the past few years. It would be a great shame to let a short-term visitor to our community dictate to us who belongs to it.

  • CAPE TOWN18 11/23/2010 at 6:48

    Contrary to Ms Glick’s judgment of the Cape Town Jewish community, the South African Zionist Federation (Cape Council) is thriving and vibrant and well in control of its “sisyphean tasks”. It adopts an inclusive approach inviting diverse opinions and does not fear “Jewish turncoats”. At the SAZF (Cape Council) conference themed ‘Zionism Today, Facing Diversity’ panelists represented varying opinions and views. In fact our strength lies in our ability to embrace varying voices.
    We regret that Hayley Galgut was singled out for her views which were inaccurately reported and taken out of context. Ms Galgut is a devoted communal leader and highly respected Human Rights lawyer who is fully committed to the two state solution and the legitimacy of Israel as a Sovereign State.
    The S A Zionist Federation (Cape Council) takes umbrage with Ms. Glick insinuation that its leadership is unwilling to maintain a coherent Zionist message. To the contrary, this community’s strongest possible commitment to Zionism and support of the State of Israel was evidenced throughout the Conference deliberations and in its daily activities, programmes, hasbarah and increasing Aliyah figures.


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