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« SA Orthodox Rabbinate to Boycott Limmud | Main | Too High a Price? »

July 15, 2008



Mondli Makhanya

]"When you observe from afar you know that things are bad, but you do not know how bad. Nothing can prepare you for the evil we have seen here. In a certain sense, it is worse, worse, worse than everything we endured. The level of the apartheid, the racism and the brutality are worse than the worst period of apartheid.

"The apartheid regime viewed the blacks as inferior; I do not think the Israelis see the Palestinians as human beings at all.


Steve, I think you 100% right. Context is crucial. This tour lacked much of that.

The tour works from the premises that the occupation is the sole obstacle to peace in the conflict. I don’t agree with that. Palestinians also have some responsibility to play in the solution. The disastrous consequences of the unilateral disengagement from Gaza (which I supported) proves this.

I think this tour and its organizers have missed a golden opportunity. In addition to ending the occupation building a prosperous and democratic Palestinian stat is crucial to solving the conflict. Palestinian civil society is going to have a massive role to play in this regard. Wouldn’t it have been much more beneficial if this tour had focused on trying to impart their knowledge of state building that they have gain in South Africa. All the judges could have spoken about the benefits and challenges of building an independent judiciary for example. But alas their myopic view of the causes of this conflict hinders their ability to prove meaningful solutions.


Tell me Steve who was the talkshow host you heard describing the death of an Israeli in a rocket attack on Sderot as "good news"?


It is about time a South African "human rights delegation" started to tour South Africa. Let us be clear about one thing... the post apartheid ANC regime/ "human rights activists" are in no position to lecture other nations.

The poverty in South Africa is as bad (if not worse) than the poverty in Gaza. Violence is worse. Aids is worse. Mortality rates are lower.

As a starting point, perhaps all the delegates could submit their latest tax returns and reveal how much they are earning whilst their South African compatriots are starving. I urge Judge Davis takes the lead on this one.


You write:
"Many members of the delegation are great intellectual minds who have made real positive differences to the new South Africa."

"Great intellectual minds"?? Have they written important books which are read world-wide? Is there a political scientist, philposopher, scientist or historian amongst them who has written anything of value?


Makhanya says that Israelis do not see Palestinians as human at all.
It is not the Israelis who glorify murder glorification of murder in Palestinian culture such as the popular display in a museum in the West Bank city of Nablus celebrating and recreating the Arab homicide bombing of the Sbarro pizza family restaurant in which fifteen Israelis died (including women and children) and dozens more injured. The display was complete with fake body parts and pizza piece strewn all over, and thoroughly enjoyed by thousands of Palestinian visitors.
The Tehran times of 2001, in a dispatch typical of thousands reported "There is no documentary evidence for the gassing of even one human being in a German camp".
In the words of an Iranian government official " As long as Israel is not burned and wholly destroyed peace and tranquility will never prevail in the region".
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah ali Khamenei 'Israel is a cancerous tumour" that must be excised.
Now you ask yourself who are the aggressors in this conflict?
According to the regular columnist of the popular Egyptian government-sponsored daily Al Akhbar, Fatma Abdallah Mahmoud: " With regard to the fraud of the Holocaust...many French studies have proven that this is no more than a fabrication, a lie and a fraud!! That is, it is a scenario, the plot of which was carefully tailored, using several faked photos completely unconnected to the truth. Yes, it is a film, no more and no less. Hitler himself, who they accuse of Nazism, is in my eyes no more than a modest "pupil" in the world of murder and bloodshed. He is completely innocent of the charges of frying them in the hell of this false Holocaust!!""...
"But I, personally, and in the light of this imaginary tale, complain to Hitler, even saying to him from the bottom of my heart, "If only if you had done it, brother, if only it had really happened., so that the world could sigh in relief without their evil and sin".
Or the vitriolic Ahmad Ragab in Al Akhbar: "Jews are the most vile criminals on the face of the earth. Let us give thanks to Hitler of blessed memory for taking revenge against the Jews, although Muslims do have a complaint against him (Hitler) that his revenge was not enough."
Schoenfeld highlights the reason for the venomous and obsessive Arab hatred of Israel, including envy of Israel's economic success, resentment that Jews who have always suffered from a 'dhimmi' status- "The Jews are our dogs"- have established equality for themselves through sovereignty, fear by despotic Arab rulers that the equality and democracy in Israel will be demanded by their own subjects and rage at the military defeats suffered by the despised Jews whenever Israel has defended herself, starting with the "Nakba" suffered by the combined invading forces of Egypt, Iraq, Syria and Jordan at the hands of the less well armed and heavily outnumbered Jews in 1948.


Blacklisted - you got me there.

I should have just said that they are important leaders of SA civil society.

I beg your pardon sir.


I think that Mondli spoke at the Chief Rabbi's Hyde Park book launch a while back.


I pardon you.
I am still awaiting the Judge Davis etc latest tax returns. I want to know whether these "important leaders of SA civil society" are living it up whilst the South African poor are starving.


I would like to continue from where “Black” left off.
Other than criticizing the funding of this delegation and it problematic goals, the delegates themselves need to be directly confronted.
They may be “educated” and have past that involved “activism” but they are not immune to criticism.

They are bunch of hypocrites, and self righteous theoreticians!
Nathan Geffen told the newspapers that “Everyone who has been selected believes that Israel should exist”;
Then Zackie Achmat admitted that he “believed in a single state solution”.
Steven Friedman certainly has a problem believing Israel should exist if he signed an open letter “not commemorating Israel 60th anniversary but instead, 6 decades of catastrophe for the Palestinian people.”
Doron Isaacs was proud to be one of the trip organizers, But as this blog pointed out, just recently Doron signed a student resolution calling on Nadine Gordimer not to visit Israel even thought she too was be meeting with Palestinian groups.
Jonathan Burger is a Gay rights activist in South Africa and on this trip he never even once questioned the rights of Gays and lesbians in Palestinian society.
Dennis Davis is an educated white elites who actually benefited from Apartheid and faced no affirmative actions as he climbed to the might position he now occupies.
How very easy it is for him to now criticize.
I could keep going down the list, but I’ll leave that for another time.
Just one more thing though,
Not one member of group was a practicing or even affiliated member of the Jewish community. Nor did they even meet with religious Jewish groups, other than to criticize their behavior.


According to the SA Human Rights Delgation website, Steven Friedman was not a delegate.
Is the delegation a bunch of hypocrites or are they really cowards?
Will the delegation next make a trip to Zimbabwe or are they scared that Mbeki might not rescue them when they are arrested and tortured?
Seems to me that Israel is a soft liberal democratic target. And if Judge Davis and Mondli are too scared to go to Zim how about a trip to Iran, Saudi Arabia, Burma, Sudan, Libya , Cuba ,China etc etc?


Good point, Shaun. I am appalled at the trip itself, and especially at Doron Isaacs. He was the head of a movement whose pillars are (or were, if they have changed since my days) Zionism, Judaism, and Service to Humanity. As head of the movement, these ideologies should be completely ingrained in his psyche, and to even associate with the likes of Steven Friedman should be causing him intense nausea. This is not the case, however.

Habonim definitely neglects the Judaism pillar, and with a leader like Doron I question whether Zionistic ideology was properly instilled in the youth of Habonim.
Does he think that organizing this trip counts as Service to Humanity?

The whole trip was a farce, organized and attended by extreme leftists who toured with an agenda, and not a mission to 'fact find'.


Cynically I must ask: Can one expect anything else from the Fascist Left?

When zionism includes dismantling Israel, Judaism includes anti-Jewish practices and Service to Humanity consists of hedonism - where else would you end up?

The list of delegates is a fine cross-section of the most vocal and disaffected victim mentality groups that the Jewish community has always flirted with as an expression of being "hip" and "with-it" - the cutting edge of modern culture. Once again, what other result could there be?

It's Balak and the Midianites all over again.


Joe / Hillel,

I could literally name you hundreds of people that through Habo have gone on to make aliyah, to serve the society (in all ways and at all levels), to become religious (even rabbis) or not !!! - with thanks to what Habonim gave and taught them.

Rest assured Habonim has produced the most fervent Jewish Zionists - on a par with the other movements.

The actions and behaviour of Doron Isaacs are his own doing and choice and do not refelct the mainstream (and even left leaning) graduates of Habonim.



No comment intended specifically on Habonim, per se. I specifically didn't use their name, but intended to point out that when words lose their meaning (see previous post) the world goes pear shaped.



I agree with you regarding the history of Habo SA. They have produced hundreds of Israelis, many of whom, ironically, are very religious (an article was written about this in a Habo newsletter a while ago) and many remain connected to the ideology of secular zionism.

But the fact is that the Habo of todat bears no resemblance to that of yesteryear. Aliyah from the Habo camp is tiny compared with that of the religious zionist movement and yiridah after aliyah is higher in the Habo camp. I have had a cursery involvement with the movement. On the whole they have no ideology and those few in the movement that do tend to form an ultra left wing approach that whilst not as extremist as Doron Isaacs, is very much along the same lines. This lack of ideology, or self hating ideology, along this the world-wide demise of secular zionism (I'm happy to debate this point but here is not the place, you are welcomne to email me), I believe is responsible for the drop in aliyah and israeli connection of Habo Sa



I had a long affiliation with Habonim, and knew Doron (amongst other hard-lefties) personally. I can tell you that Doron was head of chinuch ('education') on the camp on numerous occasions, which gave him ample opportunity to infect his far-left-wing, anti-religious and in most cases idiotically-'liberal' view points upon open-minded youth. I put liberal in inverted commas as while Habo purports to be completely liberal and open-minded, the truth is they are not. They, much like the far-right, are only tolerant of those with similar view-points to their own.

As Brett pointed out, Habo of today bears NO resemblance to that of yester-year. Labour-Zionism, the pinnacle ideology of the movement is achieved by a vast minority. If my memory serves me correctly, 3 people have made Aliyah directly through the Habonim movement in 10 years. The fact the many Jews have made Aliyah after being a part of Habonim is not an occurrence that Habonim can claim as her own. Compare these figures to the many, many youth that make Aliyah through Bnei Akiva and Mizrachi - actually, one can't as there is no comparison.

Joe / Brett,

From the outset I need to stress that the key point I am making is that Dorons intentions / endeavors are not symbolic of the movement and what it stands for - his actions do not represent Habonim - both current and graduate members - and that is what needs to be appreciated and respected - by the whole SA Jewish community.

You argue that things have changed over the last 10 years - but I can assure you (Brett - my experience in the movement was not cursory) that there were always extreme viewpoints within the movement and often in areas of senior responsibility - yet this never detracted from the end game of creating the strongest sense of Jewish identity and or Zionist allegiance.

Joe - I can't verify your statisitcal respresntations so it is not possible to argue them.

But where I do STRONGLY disagree with you is on the point you make of "The fact the many Jews have made Aliyah after being a part of Habonim is not an occurrence that Habonim can claim as her own" - this is not a new phenomenon - the very nature of Habonim is that it has and always will provide an inclusive framework for many Jews that do not have the framework (re religion, school or community) in their lives - where a vast number of young Jews are not in a position to identify or gravitate towards a movement such as Bnei / Mizrachi. The fact that Habonim creates the platform for these people to identify with, learn from (and often disagree with) creates a sense of belief and loyalty to a land and place very distant from themseleves - and ultimately creates the foundation for these people to gravitate towards Israel and often make Aliyah.

And just as you say Habonim is not what is was "yester-year" - that was the exact talk 15 years ago and undoubtedly the same talk of 15 years prior to that - but this very dynamic has always been the beauty of a movement like Habonim - always benchmarking itself against where it once was - that is not a critque of the movement - but a compliment !!!

To summarise the point that I am trying to stress is that Dorons actions must not be allowed to compromise the stadning of Habonim as a vital platform for Jewish youth in South Africa - Bnei / Mizrachi / Betar all have a vital purpose and just as importantly - so does Habonim - by respecting this fact we will continue to be doing our community a service by ensuring there is a platform for all Jewish youth to identify with and gravitate towards - leaving no one out !



I accept that the conversation 15 years ago was also about how much the movement has changed but I still feel that Habo has lost its ideology. I entirely agree with your statement that habo provides a framework for those who do not fit in to any any other - Habo has its place as do each of the movements. But I will only accept the Doron's actions and words do represent the movement if the current leaders publicly say so. he was a leader of the movement and is identified with it, unless there is a condemnation they are condoning it. By the way, I feel the same way regarding many other situations. An excellent example would so called Moslem moderates. When someone murders people in the name of Islam if the leaders of a Moslem community do not condemn it they have condoned it.

I look forward to habo SA distancing itself from Doron - PUBLICLY



I quote from the Human Rights Delegation's website, about Doron's bio: "In 2003 he was Secretary General of Habonim, a Jewish youth movement committed to a progressive Jewish identity, and to a just resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict."
This is why the Doron/Habo affiliation will continue. I agree that his views are not necessarily reflective of those of the movement at large, but while he (and Habo) continue to give the perception of Habo affiliation, I will continue to accept that.


Sorry if this sounds provocative, but from Dorons point of view do you think that he has done anything wrong? Supposedly all the people on this tour accepted Israels rights to exist. This is the most fundamental aspect of being a zionist, so perhaps he feels he hasnt moved from his ideological home in Habo?


Rubbish Bigben, we all know the purpose of the visit is to denigrate Israel.
They didn't visit Sderot or terror victims and you saw Makhanya's article in the Sunday Times saying Israel is a hundred times worse than aparthied and that Israelis are Nazis.

the pil

The people I am most surprised by are the judges and other legal experts who accepted a case for the delegitimization of Israel while only listening to one side of the argument. Israel was on trial but there was only a prosecution and no defence. In other words Israel did not get a fair trial and the Judges fell for this. I can only assume that as they did not question this fact than they had preconceived ideas about Israel. Thus there Judgements are not worth anything as they were impartial.

I would like to know what the result would be in the Constitutional Court if such a blatantly biased and unfair case, as the one presented to the delegation, would appear before it. I suspected Judge Cameron and other CC judges would dismiss the case in short order.


Given the days events I feel I must say this.

Where the hell do Makhanya, Doron and all these other sorry excuses for human beings get off. To say Israel is worse the apartheid, to say we feel the Arabs are not even human. For 2 years the Goldwasser and Regev families have not known the fate of their children, the Shalit family gets an occasional proof of life. No human rights group, not red cross, no agency at all has access to Israeli prisoners in the Arab world. Every single Arab prisoner is treated with dignity (not the I believe this is a good thing), any governmental and non governmental agency not terrorist linked has access to them and Israel publicizes the fate of all prisoners. Do any of the left wing pigs open their mouths about this!

This blog is filled with intelligent people writing post after post intellectualizing the actions of these animals. Perhaps once, 15 years ago, the so called Palestinians could be said to have a claim but it has become so blatantly clear over the past 15 years the Israel has, in every single situation, the moral high ground. No, the only moral ground. Anyone justifying, supporting or legitimizing the Palestinian cause can only be doing it from a point of hatred of Jews. Intellectualizing only serves to cover this. Oh, people can sympathize with the suffering of the Palestinian people, but to not acknowledge the they themselves are to blame is to ignore absolute fact.

Makhanya and company should be treated the same as we would threat any Nazi. He is Goebbles with far less of an audience. Doron and his merry bunch of kapos should be treated as the same.

I challenge anyone to argue with me with fact. Don't bring me rants about the evil Israel. Show me one area where Arabs have the moral high ground.

Today Hizballah admitted that one Jewish body is worth hundreds (if not all the) lives Arabs!
Mat G-d comfort the families of the fallen and avenge their blood.


Brett, your last post, much summed up a lot of pent up emotion.
I would just like to add one more thing. While the mutilated bodies of IDF soldiers were being returned to Israel, all of Lebanon, not just Hezbollah, but hundreds of thousands of Lebanese citizens, Christians and Muslims, parliamentarians and the Prime minister celebrated the heroic return of a man who crushed the skull of a 4 year old girl after he shot her father before he tear filled eyes.
There is no moral high ground, this is pure “Evil, Evil, Evil...” How else can one describe an entire nation that honors child killers?


I repeat ...

Which country is the South African Human Rights Delegation next visiting? I hope Judge Davis can let us know whether he will be on the next plane to Harare.

Is it not antisemitic to single Israel out? It is after all a Human Rights Delegation. Why are they not investigating human rights violations in other countries,


Israel should start returning enemy prisoners in the same state as she receives her POWs. In a box.


Did you see the the disgusting articles by Zackie Achmat, Doron Isaacs and
Geoff Budlender as well as an advertisement for yet another 'Hate-Israel'
rally at Wits Universityn adressed by Mondli Makhanya and the hard-core( Jewish-born) Communist Jane Love.
Achmat is not content with demonizing Jewish adults who live in Judea and
Samaria but would like to show footage of "Settler children harassing,
stoning and beating Palestinian children and older teachers on their way
to school".
Any footage of Palestinians handing out sweets to their children every
time Israeli men, women and children are massacred in terrorist - yes
terrorist, not "militant" or "activist"- attacks.

The Jewish Report does not even publish my letters highlighting the
murders of these same 'settler children' who Achmat demonizes perhaps in
order to justify the murder of them.


I should have said did you see the articles by these leftwing fudamenatlists in the JEWISH REPORT?

Has Judge Davis written about the trip and why he went on it?
(I wonder whether he will, once again, get a starring role at the next SAJBD conference? Perhaps Ronnie Kasrils can be invited as a guest speaker?)


Talking about Ronnie Kasrils, I bet he can't wait for a chance to give child-killer Samir Kuntar agreat big hug.


I just saw the website of the so-called "South African Human Rights Delegation"
The logo on their site says it all- a crude Goebellesque propaganda poster with a tough armed Israeli solldier on one side of the wall and little Palestinian children on the other.
Implying that all Israelis are combatants and all the children caught up in the conflict are 'Palestinians.
Why should we have to put up with this devilry from the leftwing fanatic who created this evil escapade.


The Human Right Delegation should now undertake a nation-wide survey into poverty, violence, xenophobia and Aids in South Africa. If the delegates are reluctant to dip into their own pockets, it could, perhaps, be funded by an Israeli charity?

The ANC have now been in power for 14 years. During this time, the price of South Africa's raw materials have rocketed. The economy, as a result, has grown. Yet for most South Africans life is no better, or even worse, than life in Gaza and the West Bank.

Moral authority should start at home. It is not something that should be
reserved for "freebies" abroad.

So instead of "judging" cases abroad, Dennis and Edwin etc should immediately embark on investigating the evidence in their own back-yard. They might be surprised what they find.


Of course, The Human Rights Delegation would scoff at the idea that they should investigate South Africa.

However, isn’t the right to life one of the most basic and important human rights ?

Re Gaza/Palestine and South Africa;

According to the CIA World Factbook, life expectancy in Gaza at birth for 2008 is estimated to be 72.34 years. This breaks down to 71.01 years for men and 73.73 years for women.

It’s a similar story for Palestine as a whole: based on 2004 data, the World Health Organisation’s country profile (if not its official statistics, which don’t cover Palestine) puts life expectancy at birth in Palestine at 72.6 years; 71.1 years for males and 74.1 years for females.

UN figures for 2005-2010 put life expectancy at birth in the Palestine at 72 years for men and 75 years for women.

Life expectancy in South Afrcia (encarta MSN)
Total 42.5 years (2007 estimate)
Female 41.7 years (2007 estimate)
Male 43.2 years (2007 estimate)


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