Only one week after Hitler was sworn in as leader of Germany, a national boycott of Jewish businesses was organised by the Nazis. Today in South Africa, the Muslim community is copying these tactics and calling for a national boycott of all Jewish businesses.
To date, no group of Muslims of high conscience have signed and distributed dissident letters to the press, distancing themselves from this boycott - [This has since changed - see update]. (By the way, I'm not implying that this means that all South African Muslims support the boycott. But the moderates clearly have to be careful when considering moves of dissent against the radicals. We blogged abut this before when the PSC pressured Benjamin Pogrund and Walid Saliem into cancelling their peace tour to South Africa. In any event, I am just mocking similar Jewish petitions.)
An email circling around South African Muslim inboxes and Facebook groups reads:
Subject: Not with my money
|The Chief Rabbi of South Africa expressed support for the criminal actions of the state of Israel. The support by the religious head of SA Jews for Israel, suggests that most SA Jews would have a similar view*.. As consumers we can avoid supporting businesses affiliated to those who believe incendiary-bombing helpless children is justified (the chief rabbi said Israel could have killed tens of thousands, thereby implying the deaths of more than 800 is somehow acceptable). Many of us may not be aware of the wide influence of Israeli supporters in the local economy. Below is a list of SA companies that are either owned or run by Israeli-supporters (based on the Chief Rabbi's views and similar statements by the SA Jewish Board of Deputies). When you transact with these businesses, know that your money may be partly paying for the next bomb killing innocent children in Gaza. Please forward to all those with conscience and feel that they want to express their disgust with Israeli actions.|
The e-mail continues with a Nazi style list of business in South Africa with major Jewish involvement.
Pick 'n Pay -Controlled by Ackerman family
Nando's & Barcelos - Founder RC Brozin
Canal Walk - 20% owned by the Ellerine brothers
Discovery Health - CEO Adrian Gore (Jewish Business Achiever of the Year 2000)
Sunbeam, Conti, Goldair, Ideal, JVC, Casio, Telefunken, Fenici, Morphy Richards)
Ster-Kinekor, Radio stations 702, 567 Cape Talk, KFM, Highveld Sterio, Kaizer Chiefs - Part of Primedia Group - Founder I Kirsch
Investec - CEO S Koseff
Pam Golding Properties, Founder P Golding
IT & Telecom
Softline (Accpac, Pastel) - CEO S Cohen; founder I Epstein
Value Truck Rental - Founder S Gottschalk
Bidvest Group - CEO B Joffe (Jewish Business Achiever of the Year)
Bic SA - CEO E Sackstein
Should you know of other businesses that should be added to this list, please forward details to firstname.lastname@example.org . We will verify claims before adding to future update lists.
* = Some Jews have distanced themselves from the statements by the Chief Rabbi and the SAJBD . None of the prominent business leaders above are in this group.
*To get your business removed from this list you can contact Nathan Geffen from the SA Human Rights Delegation, signatory number 1 on the recent "not in my name" style letter.
*See update below.
This morning I woke up to accusations of anti-Semitism and defamation due to the final paragraph of the above post. For the record, I apologise to all readers who got the impression that Nathan was in some way involved in the Muslim boycott of Jewish businesses. I never intended to create this impression and wish to distance myself from it. Nathan was in no way involved.
My point was two-fold: (1) That Nathan's efforts are being abused by real anti-Semites who are actually supporting him, and (2) that as a consequence, his attempts to bring Muslims and Jews in South Africa closer together are actually driving them further apart.
The facts however, are clear, irrespective of what Nathan intended. The Muslim boycott email specifically exempts Nathan and Co. from the boycott. It follows from that, that you can protect yourself from the boycott by signing their petition. This was the essence of my sarcastic remark, which I'll agree was somewhat spiteful but not defamation, and not as spiteful as Nathan's response.
You can read my full response as well as Nathan's accusations here: Nathan Geffen accuses IAS of anti-Semitism and defamation
A group of Muslims have distributed a petition called "Muslims against Racism" calling of Muslims to distance themselves from this anonymuos e-mail. Whilst they condemn the targetting of Jewish owned businesses, they nevertheless support calls for a boycott on Israeli businesses. At time of writing they have less than 100 names on their list. When they are able to condemn anti-Semitism, without first condemning Israel, I'll start taking them seriously.