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« Stop Press! Hamas Refuse to Recognise Israel! | Main | Kasrils Fomenting Secratarian Hatred in SA? »

November 14, 2006


Joel Pollak

I'd be interested in seeing both the Posner article and the (censored) Kasrils article.


I second that.

Anthony if you have a way of getting hold of Kasrils' article with permission to publish then we could share it for those interested.

I think this is a forum where it would be ok to publish the article.

Also Anthony, feel free to paste your article into a comment.


Isn't it ironic that Kasrils comes from an organization that is supposed to stand for non-racism , and yet what Kasrils is practising is racism
Demonizing and preaching hate against an entire nation!

Anthony Posner


Perhaps you can scan my opinion piece and prior letter as well as the Kasrils published letter onto the site? Do you have copies?

I will contact the SAJR and ask if we can use the unpublished Kasrils opinion piece.

I will be interested to see how this debate develops on the IAS before I put my cards on the table. There are many important issues to discuss and I hope that bloggers will give the matter some serious thought.


I don't have any of the copies. You would presumably need permission from Kasrils himself for us to run his piece on the blog because he wrote it specifically for the SAJR.

Anthony Posner


I ain't email chummy with Ronno Einstein so I cant ask him direct.

I doubt whether Geoff Sifrin will want to ask him on our behalf.

If you have Kasril's email address perhaps you could request it as blog editor?

Does anyone out there have Ronno Einstein's email address?

independent Jew

I think the Jewish Report was wrong not to publish the Kasrils piece. We are all adults and can make up our own minds if it was hate speech or not. Don’t need Sifrin to decide for us.

Anthony Posner

i think we should contact kasrils and ask him to debate with us on the blog.

Anthony Posner


I have now got Kasril's unpublished piece from the SAJR.

I am also asking for his email add. As soon as i get it I will forward it to you. Perhaps as blog editor, you can ask Kasril's permission to publish it on the site?

Anthony Posner


We have to go back to the question whether the South African govt concur with Kasril's Israeli/Nazi epithet.

Kasrils is a govt minister and is now alleging that The Goethe has infringed upon his freedom of speech.

Is The Goethe, like the SAJR, also acting like the apartheid government in curbing The Minister of Intelligence's freedom of speech?

Is the South African govt going to complain to the German ambassador in Pretoria? If not, why not?


Well spotted Anthony. He implied that the German government was behaving like the apartheid regime. I will send of a letter to their embassy in Pretoria asking for a response.


I wrote a letter to the SAJR last week about anti-Israel hate speech
I doubt it will be published this week because of all the e mails coming in fast and furious about the Kasrils hate article not bein published.

Anthony Posner


I look forward to hearing what the German ambassador has to say.

The South African govt can no longer stand on the side-lines.
A govt minister is alleging that The Goethe has acted like the pre PW Botha apartheid govt with regard to freedom of speech.

This is too marvellous for words!

I think that all foreign news agencies should be forwarded the Kasrils correspondence.


I too would like to see the letter Ronnie sent to the SAJR originally....I wonder if his latest rant is a toned down version?

Funny how if Ronnie's views are so benign, the only people who were willing to publish them was the MRN...whose record speaks for itself...Though I think its great that they did...In my opinion, Ronnie's free speech should be constitutionally enshrined...the more he speaks the more he backs himself into smaller and smaller corners....

In particular, its very interesting that the modern, democratic German government is being painted as an Apartheid state....wonder how they will respond...Good thing Ronnie is Minister of Intelligence and not Foreign Affairs!

Anthony Posner


I think you can taken it as fact that it is the same letter that he sent to SAJR.

Ronno Einstein doesn't tone things down!

Might be an idea if you could email the Israeli foreign secretary, and the German ambassador in Tel Aviv, the Kasrils correspondence.

Please ask them what they think.

Anthony Posner

Steve and Mike,

I have alerted The Goethe with regard to Ronno's latest allegations.
I have also given them details of this blog address.


I agree with independent Jew, the SAJR was wrong not to publish especially after they undertook to do so. It is of course their prerogative to publish whatever they choose and because they are not state media if they reject certain views it can hardly be considered censorship. But tactically it was a bad move. As Diane said the more he speaks, the more he backs himself into a corner - publishing an article doesn’t endorse it or give it credibility. We should be able to take criticism on the chin especially the shoddy type from the likes of Kasrils which makes a bigger fool of the critic than anyone else.

As Mike has said, the radicals' biggest weakness is that they can't keep calm and ultimately reveal themselves for the raving lunatics they are - just as Kasrils has done in his latest rant.

There was a good article written by Steyn in which he wrote critically of laws which sought to ban the burning of flags. His view was that he wants to know exactly who would burn a flag and that those people should be given the full right to publicly shame themselves and their communities. The same should apply to Kasrils. He condemns himself as a radical more with his own words than an SAJR editorial ever could.

Anthony Posner

Ironically, Sifrin's refusal to publish, has led to further rantings and ravings against the Goethe. This is something we could not have predicted. It really is marvellous news for the Jews!


Dear Bloggers,

If you want to try and understand "KASRILSPEAK", it might be an idea to start with his PS in the letter that the SAJR refused to publish.

He writes: "Incidentally, I never intended to make a gender-insensitive remark, as Posner alleges."

It's 100% KASRILSPEAK !!


The remark was quoted in the Wits university paper so he couldn't deny making it.

Clearly Kasrils is unable to take responsibility for what he actually says!

ps: I have NOT gone through his whole reply to me as I really can't make any sense of it. It is complicated by the fact that whenever he feels like it, he actually changes my questions to suit his "answers".

And he accuses me of being "economic with "truth" ! As well as being "a dictator" and "an embittered correspondent."


rgument * Support * FAQ * Write for
* Editorial policy
Who's a Nazi?
Is this a fair criticism of Israel?

By William Baker
May 10, 2002
The Iranian

Several recent contributions to the Iranian have labeled Israel a "Nazi" like state. Setareh Sabety provides a representative example when he says in "Today, I am a Palestinian" that Israel has "turned into Nazi Germany..." This is perhaps not surprising given the high degree of sympathy that many Iranians seem to feel for Palestinians, combined with the apparent assumption in Iran that Israel constitutes a fatal security threat.

The allegation of Nazi like behavior is not unique to Iranians either, but is common throughout the region and appears frequently in American and European demonstrations supporting the Palestinians. It is not unusual at such protests, to see the Israeli flag with a Swastika replacing the Star of David or posters comparing Ariel Sharon to Hitler. When he emerged from his recent captivity, Chairman Arafat himself set this tone when he quickly drew a parallel between Israel and the Nazis.

Frankly, I am not on a one person campaign to defend Israel. I have a considerable number of criticisms of Israeli policies (especially regarding settlements) and I have never overlooked or failed to condemn human rights abuses committed by them.

Yet, even taking into account the high level at which emotions have been running of late, one is still compelled to ask: is this a fair criticism of Israel? In order to be fair, an historical analogy like this one, must have some basis in historical evidence. Does this accusation of Nazi like behavior by the Israelis make any historical sense?

If the comparison is designed to draw attention to Israeli aggression, now or in the past, why limit oneself to analogies with the Nazis? One could just as easily utilize other comparisons from the long and sad history of the 20th century: the Soviet Red Army in eastern Europe and Afghanistan, or the American army in Asia. Instead of signs and rhetoric equating Sharon and Hitler, one could just as easily fashion an equation of Sharon with Hitler's contemporary Joe Stalin or even Richard Nixon.

If the goal is draw a comparison between Israel's de facto attempt to colonize the West Bank and Golan, then why utilize such a poor example as that of Nazi Germany? Germany under any regime, proved to be poor competition at the "Great Game" of colonization compared to Britain or France. Why therefore, no comparisons to the far more substantial British colonization of India or French colonization of north Africa and Vietnam? If the object is to draw attention to Israeli human rights abuses, why reach back into European history for an analogy?

There are after all plenty of examples within the region itself that would serve as embarrassing examples of brutality: the 1982 Assad regime assault on Hama (civilian death toll around 20,000) or the 1987 Iraqi poison gas attack on the Kurdish villages (death toll of several thousand) etc. All could serve as basis for comparison with Israeli abuses. Yet these regimes all escape the identification as Nazis. Perhaps that is because in comparison to Assad's Syria or Hussein's Iraq, Israel looks pretty good.

In the end, there are only two reasons that comparisons between Israel and the Nazis are obsessively made these days and to the exclusion of all others. First, to annoy Jews who after all, along with Gypsies, were the primary civilian victims of the Nazis. This of course is a rather childish motive. The second, is to imply that Israel, like the Nazi regime, is inclined toward a campaign of genocide. Genocide? Is it really possible, even granting a high degree of hyperbole inevitable in any debate, to claim that Israel is engaged in a campaign of genocide against the Palestinian people?

Genocide (and some writers in the Iranian have not avoided that direct accusation against Israel either) is commonly defined as the mass killing of an ethnic group in an attempt to destroy that group. Obvious examples include the Turkish genocidal campaign on the Armenians in World War One accounting for a death toll of around 1.5 million. Hitler and the Nazis latter took this as a model for their campaign of genocide which has been thoroughly documented that it hardly requires repeating here.

Some historians have expanded the definition of genocide to include social groups like Stalin's war on the peasantry in the 1930s USSR (death toll possibly as high as 20 million) or Pol Pot's mass killing of the urban population of Cambodia in the 1970s (death toll around 2-3 million.) Can Israeli actions against the Palestinians--even when war crimes are committed--be compared to this?

We can detect the basic unfairness in the Nazi accusation from another perspective. Would it be fair or accurate for Zionists to accuse Yassir Arafat of being another Pol Pot or the PLO of being just like the Khmer Rouge? Of course, some superficial similarities exist. Although he was elected to his position, Arafat often acts like a dictator and human rights abuses by his government have been extensive.

Indeed, some of the harshest complaints about his human rights record have come from Palestinian sources including documented cases of summary executions of prisoners. The PLO under his leadership also established a record of aggressive behavior against host countries e.g. Jordan and Lebanon. Yet, one could not in good conscious accuse him or the PLO of practicing the kind of genocide that took place in Cambodia.

We have already seen in recent weeks the ill-effect of extreme and inflated rhetoric has on the Palestinian's cause. In the case of the Jenin refuge camp, over run by the Israeli army, the immediate claim many Palestinian, Arab, and/or Islamic representatives was that a massacre had been perpetrated by the Israelis upon the refugees. First the claim was that 3,000 had been killed and then 300 and then a 100 and then a few dozen.

We know now from the respected Human Rights Watch that no massacre at all occurred. True they have determined that serious violations of the Geneva Convention were committed by Israel along with obvious and extensive property damage, but no massacre.

By rushing to publicize outlandish claims that could not be sustained by independent investigations, responsible representatives of the Palestinian people have raised serious concerns about their credibility in the future. Hardly the result they wanted and one that could have been easily avoided with a balanced approach and careful use of language.

It would be easy to dismiss the accusations of Nazism applied to Israel as over wrought emotional reactions among victims of Israeli military action. Yet, words are not just abstractions--they have real consequences. Over heated rhetoric, like suicide bombings, represent a nihilistic turn by the Palestinians that in effect says no compromise or settlement is possible.

For example, if Arafat is correct and the Israelis are Nazis, then why negotiate with them? Hitler and the Nazis did not live up to single agreement that they ever signed. If Israel is a Nazi type state, then one would have to conclude that any effort to negotiate with them would not only be futile but incredibly stupid as well.

Of course one could argue that Israel has not lived up many U.N. resolutions like 242 and 338. True, but that is also the case with every other nation in the region. Only Egypt has fulfilled the terms of these resolutions by recognizing Israel's border and ending the state of war with her and Israel has in turn partly fulfilled her obligations under 242 and 338 by returning the Sinai.

Indeed, the Nazi war machine never gave up one inch of territory voluntarily. Israeli clearly has done so in the case of the peace accords with Egypt, dismantling I might add, her illegal settlements on that territory. Yet, the same can't be said of Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, etc. who continue their state of war with Israel and refuse to recognize Israeli borders in violation of 242 and 338. Nor has Syria -- unlike Israel -- withdrawn from Lebanon as directed the U.N. So why single out Israel for Nazidom? When not all the other states that pick and choose what U.N. agreements they will abide by and which ones they won't?

That is the logic of excessive rhetoric. It destroys any basis for reaching a fair settlement and frankly a diplomatic settlement is the Palestinians only hope for achieving statehood. A military struggle against a superior power like Israel, which enjoys the support of the remaining global super power, is doomed to failure. And a political struggle, which the Palestinians can win, precludes the kind of extremist rhetoric we have seen over the recent months.

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