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« Lieberman Puzzles the Cape Times | Main | Smoking Socks Award: Kalvari Inverts Reality »

November 02, 2006



How often we see this duplicitous behaviour. That's why they say: 'Be careful what you say - it may come back to bite you in the ass!'
Congrats on finding the piece - naturally Ronnie will say that everything was taken out of context blah, blah, blah.

anthony posner

Do you think Kasrils will respond to my opinion piece (letter) in the jewish report?
How important do you think it is to engage him in debate?


Hi Anthony,
Well done for taking Kasrils on the way you did. I wish I was at the talk so that I could support you more in your argument.
I do think that Red Ronnie will reply. In the past 3 weeks he has penned almost 20 letters to various local newspapers, all repeating the same points like the communist/fascists machines of the past (and present). He cant handle criticism and is too intolerant to let your criticism go unchallenged.
I believe it is important to stand up and take him on. I know that many advocate the quiet-ignore-him approach but he wont go away. The theory is that we end up giving him an even greater platform.
But this blog believes that we should always challenge him because regardless of what we do he will still make alot of noise. And I dont think his arguments are very good - I think they are easily defeated.
So well done for the stance you took against him. I thought your article did well to steer clear of the over emotional meandering that we can easily be susceptible to when taking him on.


Hi Steve,
I appreciate what you wrote and agree that it is crucial to debate with Kasrils in a rational manner.
I want to pin him down on the points that I raised as I think that he is on thin ice. My feeling is that he will skate over them. If he does then I will counter-attack!
I think his intolerance/arrogance might be his downfall. Like Manto, he has become an embarrassment to the Mbeki govt. I think that politically The White-Red is getting past his sell by date.
I even think that deep-down he already knows that his game is up. The only question is how long he can now survive.


Antony, I would also like to echo Steve’s comments. Well done. We have remained quiet about Kasril’s radical anti-Israel position for far too long.

Many non-Jewish South African are already starting to ask why Kasril’s is so obsessed with Israel. There is a point were his abuse of his ministerial authority and tax payers money to push his personal agenda will become too much. I think that we should do everything in our power to quicken his dismissal from the government.

He is an embarrassment to South Africa and when he is challenged intellectually this becomes all too apparent.

I look forward to his reply.


Kasrils should be put in the same intellectual dustbin as Manto.
It seems that she is now finished politically.
I think that Kasril's israel/nazi outburst in todays Citizen will do him no favours and help to quicken his demise.
The strategy should be that he can think
and write whatever crap he likes but NOT as a govt minister.
His support of suicide bombing will not do much for his credibility on the national or anti-terrorist international stage.


Anthony I;m sure you are watching carefully what has happened in the Cape with regards to the now publcised conflict between Kasrils and a member of the pro-Israel lobby. It will be most interesting to see if any factual debate does enter the fight should it go legal.

What we do all know, is that Minister Kasrils is no idiot and his quantity of facts is vast. the quality thereof may be highly dubious but he can pull them out ad nauseum and impress many an audience. He also has superb public speaking skills and uses them to intimidate his oponents. One really needs to be an expert at the top of your game to expose him for the rogue analyst that he really is. Taking him on is not nearly as easy as debating some of the other fools that spout intollerant anti-western nonsense.


Dredging the depths of the Kasril's intellect is a difficult task.

I don't agree that he has superb public speaking skills. He can't cope with anyone challenging his views. When i did so at Wits, I was immediately called "a dictator" and he relies heavily on his henchmen to cheer and boo.

I actually believe that it is futile to debate the Middle East with
opponents. It is a subject that engages emotions rather than one that exercises the intellect.

With Kasrils I am just discussing what he actually said. I think that my personal views are virtually irrelevant and i try to keep them out of the debate. However I do draw the line with his nazi/israeli equation.

Kasrils is, more importantly, symptomatic of the state of democracy in South Africa. Like Manto, the government has given him "carte blanche". It is interesting that in the end it was
an international petition that led to her demise. Whether foreigners will be equally contemptuous of Kasrils is more debatable.

I imagine that he will only be sacked if Mbeki falls out with him. It could be that Kasrils obsessions with Israel detracts from his Intelligence portfolio, and by doing so, he gets the boot (an unlikely scenario, i know!)

But I have a hunch that Kasrils would love to be Minister of Foreign Affairs. However, it is possible that he has proven himself to be too much off a "wild card" and in this respect I think that he has shot himself in the foot.

It was great that The Goethe Institute did not allow him to speak on account of his infamous slur. If you take account of the fact that he is a government minister, it is actually as slap in the face for Mbeki and the rest of the cabinet. It would be interesting to know what Mbeki thinks of that. I can't imagine that he is overly impressed, especially as he sees himself as a major player on the international stage.


I totally agree with you Anthony. And your comparison with Manto is particularly apt. I think that Kasrils has peaked and his public outbursts no longer have any effect on public opinion. The more attention he gets on this issue the more he sinks himself in the eyes of the general public who dont really care about the Middle East.

And I agree that his debating skills are weak.

Check this Habonim camp report. They hosted Kasrils one year and had a debate with him, Hagai Segal and Joel Pollack.

I quote

"Hagai Segal and Joel Pollack, being far more knowledgeable on the topic and far more acute with their insight, gave devastating arguments to which neither Mr Kasrils nor Mr Ozinsky could offer much in response. The audience left the debate with a huge weight lifted from their shoulders, having had the privilege of seeing Mr Kasrils argument refuted before their eyes. Mr Kasrils himself acknowledged weaknesses in his knowledge base and in the factual content of the ‘Declaration of Conscience.’ "

He doesnt have a vast array of facts. He just keeps repeating the same things over and over again. His argument is weak. He tends to just follow whatever Virginia Tilley says.

There are anti-Israel activists here who really know there stuff. Kasrils is not one of them.



It doesn't surprise me that he was embarrassed at a debate in which he couldn't control what was said. I doubt very much that he will ever put himself in that sort of position again.

I was at the front at Wits "Beyond Victimhood" and could see that he was very nervous before he started his speech. He was shaking as he poured a glass of water!

He doesn't have much natural wit and his letters to the newspapers look as if they have been quickly written without much thought. Hardly the output of a sharp intellect.

I think that his tendency to "up the ante" is really the result of a boorish bravado which does little to actually help the Palestinians.

As for the South African Zionists who respond... I wont mention any names but most are not sharp enough to really nail him. I think they would be better to raise the stakes and ask whether he was speaking on behalf of the govt. If he is, then the strategy should be to embarrass the govt internationally like the TAC did with Manto. If opponents of Kasrils are not willing to do this then I believe that they are really wasting their time.


Following the logic of my previous blog i have just written to The Citizen asking Kasrils what is Mbeki's view re the Israel/Nazi epithet.
I would imagine that they will print it so it will be interesting to see how Kasrils responds. Keep a look out on the letters page over the next few days. It might get fun?


Again well done Anthony. That’s the perfect approach. Kasrils likes to play schizo. Some days his the Minister of Intelligence speaking about Israel and others he is just Ronnie an ordinary yid from Youville speaking out in his personal capacity. Well he cant have it both ways. Your letter seems to calls him on it. Cant wait for his response.

On the issue of Ronnie’s intelligence, I would have to side with Anthony and Steve. I have seen him speak a few times in public and I don’t think he si very good. He gets very nervous as starts to sweat prolifically. I also don’t think his knowledge of the conflict is very good. He just sprouts the few odd book and articles he has read. I don’t think our Ronnie is much of a thinker to be honest. Joel Pollack proved that in the debate at Habonim camp.

To be honest I think Ronnie is the clown of the anti-Israel movement in South Africa. He is not nearly in the same intellectual league as Tilley, Freidman and Osman.


Is he the clown or the rear end of the pantomine horse?
I reckon that now is the time to go for the jugular. I am pleased that you approve of my strategy. The blog certainly helps me to think through ideas and I really welcome the support that I have received on this site.
It will be very interesting to see how the cards fall in the next few weeks. The advice/comments that I get from you and other "supernatural' bloggers might be crucial in helping me to turn the tide against Kasrils.


Is he the clown or the rear end of the pantomine horse?
I reckon that now is the time to go for the jugular. I am pleased that you approve of my strategy. The blog certainly helps me to think through ideas and I really welcome the support that I have received on this site.
It will be very interesting to see how the cards fall in the next few weeks. The advice/comments that I get from you and other "supernatural' bloggers might be crucial in helping me to turn the tide against Kasrils.

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