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« Kasrils Engaging in Hate Speech? Denial to Follow | Main | Kasrils Calls in the Cavalry »

June 28, 2007

Comments

Hillel

Call it cognitive dissonance, but I read the paragraph as stating the two options, emigrate or tread the fine line. Not suggesting that there might be an alternative.

I also didn't read it as being an indictment of the behaviour but rather a statement of fact and a recognition that treading that line may indeed be a survival strategy - one that of necessity has worked in the past albeit with limited success.

If we are to presume that a different strategy will work, ostensibly one based on (vocal?) advocacy of human rights and the SA constitution, then we also need to assume these things are taken seriously by the "ruling class".

Notwithstanding the validity of this assumption, it's nonetheless quite an assumption to peg one's family's well being upon, particularly in light of the (extremely viable) alternatives.

Hillel,

I tend to disagree. I think that history has consistently shown that appeasement in the end does not work.

There is also a cost to being the court Jewish. There is not doubt that a people that are proud to speak out on issues of concern will have a much strong identity than those than just acquiesce. I want to live in a Jewish community that is true to its values and I can be proud of.

Claiming that by SA Jews criticizing the government and speaking up about heir concerns endanger our lives, is a serious indictment of South African democracy. Your logic is thus based on the assumption that this is not a free society, one that is as oppressive as under Apartheid. If that is true, then you should be telling your family and friends to get out now.

Mike

the last comment was mine

Hillel

Mike,

I'm not sure I agree on your reading of history. Yes, appeasement never worked in the long term, but it very often worked long enough to escape.

The alternative typically wasn't there, now that it is, it's arguable whether it will work. Agreed, that there is a cost to being the proverbial court Jew, but I'm not sure that in today's frame of reference "we're" doing anything different in our current actions. i.e. in our relationship with the ANC, with what we perceive to be the democracy in SA and with the faith we place in the world/people in general with respect to current fashions in democracy, human rights etc.

Finally, I'm not convinced that speaking up is necessarily endangering, but I'm not convinced it may not have negative repercussions at a later stage. As I said in the first commment, it's not that the assumption is false, it's the risk of it being wrong and the consequences.

Everyone needs to decide for themselves what risks they're prepared to live with, what to mitigate, what to insure. This is no different.

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