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« Limmud SA | Main | The obsessive anti-American spin »

August 14, 2008



"violence against civilians, has been a disaster for Palestinians"

"the net effect of suicide bombing has been to kill off the once-vibrant Israeli peace camp, and to strengthen the right around the world"

And what about the fact that it means that innocent men, women and children have been killed??

These comments sound strikingly similar to Mahmoud Abbas' repeated "condemnations" of Palestinian violence as "counterproductive" while always carefully avoiding a moral denunciation.


1:Why has the SAHRD failed to report on the human rights violations committed by Hamas? In particular, the unlawful arrests, torture and imprisonment of anyone who doesn't agree with them.

2; Why has the SAHRD failed to mention the fact that suicide bombing led to the construction of "the apartheid wall" ?

3: Why did the SAHRD invite Drew Forrest of the M&G? He is, after all, the deputy editor of a vehemently anti-zionist newspaper.

4: Will the SAHRD report on other human rights violations?

5: Will the SAHRD accept my offer of free airline tickets to Iran so that it can report on the appalling human rights violations in that country ?
Would you rock up at a stoning?

6; Why did you block my emails?

Joel Pollak

This is a really disappointing response that fails to deal with the substance of the criticisms.

On Muslim-Jewish relations: the point is, do you ever challenge Muslims in SA--not whether you mention Palestinian violence (which the Muslim Judicial Council enthusiastically supports).

On suicide bombing: the "net" effect has been to strengthen the right wing"? Are you serious? Suicide bombing often results in retreat (see Lebanon, 1982, Spain, 2004 and Gaza, 2005) which is why Palestinians have used it. And it's not enough to mention the "moral cost" without specifics--the way you have described it here, it's as if the problem is the political cost to Palestinian purity, not the killing innocent human beings.

On context - are you counting such meetings as with "the former Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem" as pro-Israel context? Would that former deputy mayor happen to be Meron Benvenisti, who once used the apartheid label with abandon? Again - are you serious?

But if your last sentence is a challenge to a public debate, I willingly accept.

IAS, if you arrange it - perhaps at Limmud? - I will do my best to be there. Kindly be in touch.


1 Notice:
"violence against civilians, has been a disaster for Palestinians. It has been a politically bankrupt strategy that has come at a terrible moral cost. As Nathan Geffen said on Monday night in Bokaap, the net effect of suicide bombing has been to kill off the once-vibrant Israeli peace camp, and to strengthen the right around the world".

They only condemn homicide bombings strategically i.e being disastrous for the 'Palestinian 'cause'.
No condemnation of homicide bombings because of the death and suffering they cause to Jews.

2 Isaacs refers to the unemployment and hunger of the Palestinians.
Is he aware that because of the sanctions and divestment campaign supported by Pro-Palestinian leftists around the world, a quarter of Israeli children do not have enough food to eat and Jewish children are going to school and passing out from hunger.

3 Did the 23 SAHRD visit the 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.

4 Did the SAHRD visit the parent s of Jewish children killed in Palestinian acts of terror?

5 Did the SAHRD consider that the forced removals suffered by the Jews of Gaza is just as traumatic as anything suffered by the Palestinians?
Why do the Palestinians need a judenreihn state?

6 Isaacs talks of dispossession. Is he aware that in 1948 800 000 Jews were expelled from North African and Middle Eastern countries with nothing more than the clothes on their back and were resettled in Israel?

8 The Palestinian terror network started this war in 2000 in rejection of Barak's offer of all of the West Bank and Gaza as well as half of Jerusalem. They always thunder their aim is jihad and to destroy Israel.
If you start a war with the aim of genocide surely you cannot complain when your people also suffer as a result of that war.
The Arabs have being fighting tio destroy Israel and massacre it's people since before 1948. Surely they cannot then complain of the suffering that they bring on themselves.

9 All those pro-Palestinian lefties who cry such copious tears for the Palestinians should know that their pro-Palestinian work means that they think the genuinely oppressed people of the world like the Kurds, South Sudanese, Darfurese, Tibetans, Zimbabweans, Uighurs, Berbers, Maronites etc are worthless.
These people are far more oppressed and suffer far more than the 'Palestinians' and unlike the' Palestinians' it is not self-inflicted.
This Palestinian garbage is just a stick used to beat Israelis.
These trendy lefties don't give a damn about human rights, but as rabid Islamo-Leftists just want to fall all over themselves to join the racist hyena chorus and bashing Israel at every opportunity Notice Russia's invasion of Georgia, in which three thousand have died in a few days (more than 'Palestinians' have died in 7 years) has not elicited any emotive responses from those who point fingers at Israel so vociferously - no COSATU marches, no media outcry, no ANC/.SACP statements etc.
Is it a case of let everyone else die as long as Hamas and Hezbollah et al are happy?

They do not care about the rights of minorities in the Middle East such as minorities in the Middle East and North Africa such as the Jews, Christian Lebanese, Kurds, Druze, Berbers, Copts , Assyrians, Chaldeans, Yazidis, Black South Sudanese, Bahais, Zoroastrians etc.
The real struggle in Israel is over the rights of minorities in the Middle East as against total Islamic Arab domination.
The Islamic Arabs want every inch of the Middle East to themselves with no self-determination or rights for other groups.

10 Did the SAHRD ever hear of Elie Wiesel, holocaust survivor and nobel laureate, who, in a plea for the plight of his own people today, especially the youth and children of Israel being targeted by terror and forces of genocide (such as Hamas, Hezbollah and the Ahmadinejad regime as well as all who are sympathetic to these anti-Jewish elements), penned an open letter to President George W Bush. He stated: “Please remember that the maps on (former Palestinian leader) Yasser Arafat’s uniform and in Palestinian children’s textbooks show a Palestine encompassing not only all of the West Bank but all of Israel, while Palestinian leaders loudly proclaim that ‘Palestine extends from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, from Rosh Hanikra (in the North) to Rafah (in Gaza)’.

“Please remember Danielle Shefi, a little girl in Israel. Danielle was five. When the murderers came, she hid under her bed. Palestinian gunmen found and killed her anyway.

“Think of all the other victims of terror in the Holy Land. With rare exceptions, the targets were young people, children and families. Please remember that Israel – having lost too many sons and daughters, mothers and fathers – desperately wants peace. It has learned to trust its enemies’ threats more than the empty promises of ‘neutral governments’.”



Dear Doron,
Your reply reminds me of a white firm using a couple of black employees as tokens in order to win business. Your tour itinerary is available for all to see and readers can make their own conclusions. Yad Vashem and Dorit Beinisch are just a few tiny drops in an offensive ocean.

I am struggling to engage in proper discourse with you because of the evil versus good narrative that the majority of the delegation members have sought to create. You met this crazy Israeli settler in Hebron. We saw and listened to tales of Israeli soldiers beating up Israelis and Palestinians opposing the occupation. You emphasised the suffering of Palestinians in Israeli prisons. You make it quite clear - there is evil and there is good and I can’t seriously discuss this conflict with anyone, Israeli or Palestinian, who adopts such a view. (Anyone who witnessed me take on a right winger at Danny Seaman’s talk at Sydneham shul can vouch for me).

But what about the bad side of the Palestinians? Were there no radical Palestinians to meet with? Jonny Steinberg I think it was, described the occupation as invisible to the majority of Israelis. It probably is. But I charge that the radical Palestinians were invisible to your group. Sure, you speak of suicide bombings, you know it’s there in the same mistaken way as many Israelis know the occupation is there...but it remains invisible.

Also, why do we only hear lamentations on Israel’s belief in a God given right to all of the land without a juxtaposition against similar and more radical beliefs from the Palestinians? Does Islamic fundamentalism play no role in this conflict?

I will allow that we should tolerate criticism of the occupation without requiring criticism of Palestinian crimes. But you don’t just provide mere criticism. You provide analysis and conclude that it is ONLY the occupation and the settlers that fuel this conflict.

Jonny Steinberg writes
“When I listened to Robi, Ali and Rami last week, the true horror of the conflict hit home – a seemingly endless cycle of violence that is fuelled by the occupation and its settlements. For them, the political had become the personal.”

That view is simplistic. I doubt whether you would treat seriously Israeli claims that it is only terror that fuels the conflict. The truth must lie somewhere in the middle.

Most unfortunately, you have ignored the problems that come after the occupation has ended. What kind of state will the Palestinians build and how could your delegation of civil society experts help them?

I have spoken before about the importance of the perception of fairness. I say this particularly because you and Nathan claim that one of your primary goals was to foster ties between the Jewish and Muslim communities.

Do you think that calling the Israeli people “evil” can help strengthen ties? These comments were made by a high profile member of the delegation, selected to speak at one of the most important report-back venues (Wits University) and to my knowledge not a single member so far, has publicly distanced him or herself from these comments. I challenge you to support your claims of balance by publicly distancing the group from Makhanya's dramatic rhetoric. Mind you, Makhanya shared these views with us before leaving for the tour so it wasn't anything new to you.

Geffen, in his Cape Times article, left me feeling that the failings in the Jewish community are far more severe than those of the Muslim communities. I cannot accept that, not with what I have heard spewed from the mouths of official Muslim representatives in SA.


I would also be willing to participate in a public debate. Limmud sounds like a good venue.
Looking forward to meeting you,


Bigben, are you sure about that? I'd like to hear more.

Essack's work has been recognised by some brilliant groups including the Helen Suzman foundation so this information would surprise me.


Why should 'settlements' be regarded as a human rights abuse?
Why should the fact that Jewish communities live in the lands ruled by the PA be a crime?
Where else in the world is the existence of a certain ethnic group living in a territory regarded as a crime against humanity?
What about the human rights of the Jewish communities who live in these areas?

As regards the angry reception you got from 'settler' leaders are you really surprised?
If a delegation came to the suburb in you lived with the purpose of denigrating you before the world, trying to force you out of your homes (the real ethnic cleansing is what was done in Gaza and what the Left aims to do to Jews in Judea and Samaria), disrupting your lives and terrorizing your children, what reception would you give them.
All this after these communities have been attacked by Arab killers and their children murdered.


I can't help concluding that the SAHRD visit to the occupied territories was designed to create as much anti-zionist propaganda as possible.
As a result, why should anyone take its findings seriously? How different is your perspective, from that of the UNHRC ?

In January 2008, Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen criticized the actions of the Human Rights Council actions against Israel. "At the United Nations, censuring Israel has become something of a habit, while Hamas's terror is referred to in coded language or not at all."


Bigben is 100% correct. Esack is by fr the most radical meber of the group. In the SAJR of 2 weeks ago it was reported:

Farid Esack, a struggle veteran who is
professor of religion at Harvard University,
said he had initially been disturbed by the
preponderance of “Israeli voices” on the
programme for the visit, but by the end of
the trip, he “couldn’t get enough. I was
deeply inspired and strengthened by them.
“I don’t think the Palestinians have done a
very good job articulating their struggle. If
there is anything that inspires hope, it is the
willingness of the Israelis to act in solidarity
with them,” he stated.
Referring to his visit to the Al Aqsa
mosque where he had been required to read
from the Qur’an before being allowed in,
Esack said he had been “deeply offended”
that an Israeli policeman should “authenticate”
his Muslim belief.
Noting that the Yad Vashem Holocaust
Memorial is “largely” dedicated to Jewish
victims of the Holocaust, he described commemorating
one’s own victimhood and “failing
to see how it is tied up with the victimhood
of others”, as “hugely problematic”.
He claimed that at the heart of Zionism
lay the “inability to see the pain of others”.
Noting that the museum was built “on the
ruins of a Palestinian village”, Esack said he
“yearned” for Palestinians to learn about
the enormous pain Jews had been subjected
to throughout history, but at the same time
had been “deeply distressed by the manipulation
of memory and how suffering can
become the major instrument by which we
continue the subjugation of other peoples”.


Re Farid Esack...
"Noting that the Yad Vashem Holocaust
Memorial is “largely” dedicated to Jewish
victims of the Holocaust, he described commemorating
one’s own victimhood and “failing
to see how it is tied up with the victimhood
of others”, as “hugely problematic” "

Doron Isaacs writes that Farid Esack is "a wonderfully interesting professor of religion at Harvard". Yes...I also find his views about Yad Vashem "wonderfully interesting".
I am starting to conclude that the SAHRD trip is "wonderfully interesting" and not at all sinister. I now realize that I was wrong to smell a rat.
Btw, Ahmadinejad is also "a wonderfully interesting" President who has "wonderfully interesting" ideas about the holocaust.


Before the SAHRD visit to Israel and the disputed territories you claimed, in the Jewish Report, that all of the SAHRD delegation believe that Israel should exist.

Yet earlier in the article Zackie Achmat said he would like to see a 'one state solution', a codeword for a single Arab-Moslem dominated state in all of Israel and the disputed territories.
Feinstein and Geffen have also supported the 'one state' i.e the Rwanda solution.


Some more on the Moslem interpretations of the Holocaust

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."

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.

Ma There can be no peace in the Middle East until Moslems and left wing radicals realize that Israeli Jews are also entitled to human rights.

the pil

The S.A.H.R.D would like to blame all the problems of the conflict on the settlements and the occupation. However in Gaza there was not one settlement, nor Israeli soldier when Hamas captured Schalit and decided to make towns in the South unliveable. This shows that it is not simply settlements nor israeli occupation that causes the problem.

Furthermore the delegation would like to pretend that there is a simple answer to the problem. There is not. And it is that thought that is the most depressing outcome, for me, of this unwise adventure.


More from the "wonderfully interesting" Farid Esack..

Q:How large a role does the U.S. alliance with Israel play in driving the resentment of the United States in the Muslim community?

Farid Esack:
"U.S. foreign policy on Israel is certainly a key factor. If one leaves aside the notion of God as a real estate agent, today's Israel is viewed as a colonialist implant in the Middle East. Its policies, particularly in the occupied territories, have created enormous resentment and bitterness. U.S. support for Israel is held up as the example par excellence of the hypocrisy of U.S. foreign policy.

I believe in the right of Israel to exist. We have to accept reality, because too much water has flowed under the bridge. It's painful, of course, that even as we're talking, new realities are being created with the building of additional settlements—more water is being brought to flow under the bridge—precisely to take advantage of this kind of generous thinking that I'm expounding."


More from the "wonderfully interesting" professor who seems to suggest that the 9/11 hijackers emerged from the "brokeness of poverty." (wonderfully interesting but untrue?)

John Cleary: Farid, you spent some time in the madrasas of Pakistan, and you grew up amidst grinding poverty and injustice. Do you in some sense, understand what drives people to fly planes into buildings?

Farid Esack: Sadly, yes. And understanding does not denote sympathy, understanding does not denote agreement. I think the brokenness of poverty, the brokenness of being on the edges of society combined this with the promises often very illusionary, often combined with delusions of grandeur, yes, people are capable of everything, people are capable of driving planes into buildings. I think it’s important to bear in mind that the Taliban were both the product of a virulent kind of religious rhetoric, but that they were also the children of war. They were also orphans, they were people that come from a violently patriarchal society, but whose religious imaginations were well manipulated for later on by other Muslim fundamentalists, but at one stage also when it served the political interests of the Western powers, how to oppose this communist occupation of Afghanistan. And so it’s a combination of personal madness, I mean combined with social economic causes.


So who is Farid Esack's mentor? Any guesses? Free one way air ticket to Tehran for the correct answer!...

"We, South Africans who faced the might of unjust and brutal apartheid machinery in South Africa and fought against it with all our strength, with the objective to live in a just, democratic society, refuse today to celebrate the existence of an Apartheid state in the Middle East. While Israel and its apologists around the world will, with pomp and ceremony, loudly proclaim the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the state of Israel this month, we who have lived with and struggled against oppression and colonialism will, instead, remember 6 decades of catastrophe for the Palestinian people. 60 years ago, 750,000 Palestinians were brutally expelled from their homeland, suffering persecution, massacres, and torture. They and their descendants remain refugees. This is no reason to celebrate.

When we think of the Sharpeville massacre of 1960,
we also remember the Deir Yassin massacre of 1948.

When we think of South Africa’s Bantustan policy,
we remember the bantustanisation of Palestine by the Israelis.

When we think of our heroes who languished on Robben Island and elsewhere,
we remember the 11,000 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails.

When we think of the massive land theft perpetrated against the people of South Africa,
we remember that the theft of Palestinian land continues with the building of illegal Israeli settlements and the Apartheid Wall.

When we think of the Group Areas Act and other such apartheid legislation,
we remember that 93% of the land in Israel is reserved for Jewish use only.

When we think of Black people being systematically dispossessed in South Africa,
we remember that Israel uses ethnic and racial dispossession to strike at the heart of Palestinian life.

When we think of how the SADF troops persecuted our people in the townships,
we remember that attacks from tanks, fighter jets and helicopter gunships are the daily experience of Palestinians in the Occupied Territory.

When we think of the SADF attacks against our neighbouring states,
we remember that Israel deliberately destabilises the Middle East region and threatens international peace and security, including with its 100s of nuclear warheads.

We who have fought against Apartheid and vowed not to allow it to happen again can not allow Israel to continue perpetrating apartheid, colonialism and occupation against the indigenous people of Palestine.

We dare not allow Israel to continue violating international law with impunity.

We will not stand by while Israel continues to starve and bomb the people of Gaza.

We who fought all our lives for South Africa to be a state for all its people demand that millions of Palestinian refugees must be accorded the right to return to the homes from where they were expelled.

Apartheid was a gross violation of human rights. It was so in South Africa and it is so with regard to Israel’s persecution of the Palestinians!"

Ronnie Kasrils, Minister of Intelligence / End Occupation Campaign
Farid Esack, Professor of Contemporary Islam, Harvard University



In the light of Farid Esack's recent statement that he “could not avoid the conclusion that the simple Zionism=Apartheid equation is also a simplistic one”, could you kindly explain why he signed "The Kasrils letter" comparing Israel to apartheid South Africa ?

Do you think that the inconsistency is due to the fact that Prof Esack is "wonderfully interesting"?

Or is it that he just makes it up as he goes along??



This is a multiple choice question.

Why did you invite Farid Esack along? Is it because...

(1) He was a leading South African anti-zionist
(2) He had signed The 60th anniversary Kasrils letter comparing Israel to apartheid South Africa.
(3) He had said that Israel had a right to exist but it was "generous thinking"
(4) He was just, you guessed it..."wonderfully interesting."


1 and 2

All 0f the SAHD were selected for their anti-Zionist credentials.


I refer to Farid Esack's bio published on the SAHRD website. There is no mention of his anti-zionist views. Why did you choose to exclude this fact? Is it because your aim is to hoodwink the SA and world media?
Perhaps you were determined to create the illusion that the delegates had not made up their minds before they had left?

"Farid Esack is currently Professor of religion at Harvard University. He is scholar of Islam who cut his teeth in the South African struggle for liberation. He studied in Pakistan, the UK and Germany and is the author of Qur’an, Liberation and Pluralism, On Being a Muslim, An Introduction to the Qur’an. His current major field of interest is Islam and AIDS. Professor Esack served as a Commissioner for Gender Equality in South African and has taught at the a number of universities in South Africa, Europe and the United States. In 2000, he co-founded and still works with Positive Muslims, an organization working with persons living with AIDS. His current writing projects reflect different dimensions to what he terms ‘prophetic responses to power and marginalization’: Beyond Victimhood, Reflecting on Palestine Through South African Eyes, Whose Qur’an – A Guide to Progressive Islam, and AIDS and Islam – Between Scorn Pity and Justice."


Are you entering the above competition which forms part of my Aug 15, 2908 at 15.49 post?


Doron Isaacs,

You write:
"When will It's Almost Supernatural host a public debate on this issue?"

Let me explain how it works.The public IAS debate has actually started. It is on this blog! Now is the time to start answering the questions that have been posted. If you haven't got the stomach to rock up to an Iranian stoning, perhaps you will have the courage and intellectual honesty to address the points raised in the above posts?

I know that you have blocked my emails. But I have now raised questions in the SAJR and posted more on this blog.

Or are you intending to run and hide?


Isaacs=Esacks ? !

Mike (IAS)

Bigben can you substantiate your claim about Esack supporting the killing of Jews? What were you referring to?


I wish to warn all those so eager to enter into a public debate with these anti-semites and self-hating Jews. You cannot win, you can only do damage because you are limited in your arguments to the truth. They, on the other hand, can say whatever they want to. They can counter any point you make by simply lying. They have lied i the press, the have lied in their lectures and there is no reason that they will not lie in the debate. The problem is answering them with "but that is not true" doesn't help, the statement is out there.


You have been given a right of reply by It's Almost Supernatural. However, so far you have not replied to the comments posted. Why are you refusing to engage?
If you fail to engage then readers of this blog will conclude that you are unable to answer the questions. If you take the SAHRD seriously (which I assume you do) then you should, at least, try make an attempt to protect its reputation.
Perhaps you could kindly ask Farid Esack to also repond?


I believe that open debate is crucial. It is, moreover, at the crux of any possible solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

If anyone is "lying" then the "lies" can be exposed.



Why do put 'lying' and 'lies' in inverted commas?


I don't want to be accused of prejudging Doron Isaac's arguments. I am challenging him to debate on this blog. It would be ungentlemanly of me to brand him as a liar before he engages in the debate.
I doubt, however, whether he will have the ability to address the multiplicity of concerns that have been raised on this blog about the activities of the SAHRD.

As I have written before, it is one thing to propagandize and quite another to "proper-analyze". I believe that Mr Isaacs is a master at the former but an incompetent student at the latter. Perhaps he will prove me wrong? However, the clock is ticking and his silence is deafening.

Religious Fundamentalist 1

Compare the "wonderfully interesting" Essak's trip to the Temple Mount with that of Moshe Feiglin's. It's quite obvious that the Israeli government discriminates against Jews, not Arabs and that the churban bayit sheini goes on unabated under the auspices of the Waqf and Kadima:

" But for us – the Jews who look like Jews – there is a special procedure. We must undergo a body check. On the surface, it seems like the police are searching for weapons, as is the norm in all public places since the Oslo 'Peace' Accords descended upon us. But actually, they are searching for something much more dangerous. They are searching for prayer books. One time, a particularly industrious policeman caught me with a Grace after Meals card that I always carry with me in my wallet"

Religious Fundamentalist 1

Maybe Doron sould adopt a little Palestinian AIDS orphan and deal with his residual gilt from the crusades that way and spare the rest of us his patronising tone. If he paints it black he can get over the guilt of growing up a sheltered little (white) Jewish mommy's boy at the same time.
Such a shame the SAJBD lobbied the apartheid government so hard to get Jews declared European, Doron can barely sleep at night with the guilt of the coin falling so badly against him. Oh that he could too have suffered under the group areas act!
You can Doron, try get yourself a passport to Gaza or move into Yehuda and Samaria - you'll find out very quickly what it is to fear for the safety of your wife and children from people who want nothing more than to see you dead.

And if you think they want you dead becase you're living on "their land" (it's not, it's yours but who ever cares for property rights when we can make up fake human rights) then you're lying to yourself as 1930's German Jews persuaded themselves that if they just pay the money the Nazi's might leave them alone.


All those pro-Palestinian lefties who cry such copious tears for the Palestinians should know that their pro-Palestinian work means that they think the genuinely oppressed people of the world like the Kurds, South Sudanese, Darfurese, Tibetans, Zimbabweans, Uighurs, Berbers, Maronites etc are worthless.
These people are far more oppressed and suffer far more than the 'Palestinians' and unlike the' Palestinians' it is not self-inflicted.
This Palestinian garbage is just a stick used to beat Israelis.
These trendy lefties don't give a damn about human rights, but as rabid Islamo-Leftists just want to fall all over themselves to join the racist hyena chorus and bashing Israel at every opportunity Notice Russia's invasion of Georgia, in which three thousand have died in a few days (more than 'Palestinians' have died in 7 years) has not elicited any emotive responses from those who point fingers at Israel so vociferously - no COSATU marches, no media outcry, no ANC/.SACP statements etc.
Is it a case of let everyone else die as long as Hamas and Hezbollah et al are happy?

They do not care about the rights of minorities in the Middle East such as minorities in the Middle East and North Africa such as the Jews, Christian Lebanese, Kurds, Druze, Berbers, Copts , Assyrians, Chaldeans, Yazidis, Black South Sudanese, Bahais, Zoroastrians etc.
The real struggle in Israel is over the rights of minorities in the Middle East as against total Islamic Arab domination.
The Islamic Arabs want every inch of the Middle East to themselves with no self-determination or rights for other groups.


Guys, Comrade Doron realized that he cannot answer our questions and won't be coming back.
You guys are waiting for him in vain, just like a jilted bride at the altar.


I am not holding my breath.
I know that Isaacs can't answer the questions ( after all, he auto deletes my emails!)

But it is important to publicly reveal, that when cross-examined, "Ollie" Isaacs keeps shtumm. He obviously does not want to incriminate himself. (Like Ollie North he is pleading the 5th ammendment.)

However, I can't understand why he bothered with an "It's Almost Supernatural" right of reply. Perhaps he was just determined to inform us that Farid Easack is "wonderfully interesting"??


Perhaps all the questions posted here were simply not "wonderfully interesting" enough for Doron to bother replying to...
Or perhaps he knows that his answers will not be "wonderfully interesting" enough to satisfy us?

In any case if this requested public debate ever does take place (and Im not holding my breath) could you guys record it so that those of us living in the human rights violating state could have a chance to see it? Maybe that will be "wonderfully interesting"


Jak and Joel,
I have just checked the Limmud website. It seems that the SAHRD (no names mentioned) will be given a platform in Joburg on Sat Aug 20th at 20.15pm. I will try to record it.
Who might be "wonderfully interesting"?

Re Doron's refusal to debate on this blog.. the issue is not whether his answers will be interesting enough to satisfy "us" but will they satisfy anyone who actually reads the debate.
Doron has underestimated the importance of debating with his critics. If you are unable to do so, you lose the argument by default.


You write:
"The real struggle in Israel is over the rights of minorities in the Middle East as against total Islamic Arab domination."
Are you suggesting that I try and build a synagogue in Saudi Arabia?


Of course it is obvious that Doron Esacks is playing to his Cape Town gallery. Meal ticket?


Limmud debate is Sat Aug 30th

Joel Pollak


If you are recording the event, it would be best to use a digital medium that can be uploaded onto YouTube if desired.

A very interesting question to ask would be: who is funding the SAHRD? Is it a private individual? The SA government? The PA? Other NGO sources? Individual contributions? Some/all of the above? Why is the SAHRD not forthcoming about who its sponsors are?



I will bring along a digital camera.
Good point about who the sponsors are. I will ask the question if I get the chance.
Btw, I am still sponsoring one-way tickets to Tehran.


I note that Farid Esack is at Harvard. Have you gone to his lectures?
Sorry to flog a dead horse but were they "wonderfully interesting"?

Joel Pollak

I have heard Esack speak once on campus, at Memorial Church. He gave a sermon in which, as I recall, he likened modern-day Israel to Biblical Pharaoh. We went to the service to see and support a fellow South African but came away feeling a sense of disgust. I have to say that such anti-Israel stuff has become fairly common at the Memorial Church when the Reverend Peter J. Gomes is on leave (as he was that day).

Esack has also given lectures likening Israel to apartheid South Africa--well in advance of ever having visited Israel himself, apparently. On one occasion, he apparently challenged his audience to name one member of the "organised" anti-apartheid struggle who disagreed with him.

I will say that Esack has spoken out against Islamic fundamentalism, but he does exploit his SA credentials to trash Israel, perhaps to compensate.


Hi all

Sorry I have been away. I once went to hear Esack speak for the Palestinian Solidarity Committee, for those are unfamiliar this group is by self definition anti-Zionist and has been exposed numerous times on IAS for spreading classic anti-semitism.

It was easy to feel ill at the talk and it was only possible to conclude that the thing this guy wanted most was the complete destruction of Israel. One part I remember in particular was his take on the holocaust. He said that what needs to happen is that people need to love the Jews as much possible because otherwise they will be destined oppress other people forever. Talk about applying bad psychology to a poor understanding of international relations!

I had to leave in the before the end but one of the participants told me afterwards that he had asked the audience, “does this mean that I want to kill all Jews?” and then had actually stopped to ponder this point, before moving on with the rest of his speech.

I never go to find out the answer.

Joel Pollak

It seems highly doubtful, and somewhat ridiculous, that Esack ever called for Jews to be killed. He is not that kind of person.

I do think he may have a resentment of Jewish victimhood--a kind of envy of the way that Jews have (only recently, mind you) used our past suffering as a motivating force. Hence the Pharaoh story--yesterday's victims have become today's oppressors, etc. (yawn)

The trouble is that Esack and the bulk of Palestinian apologists seem to think that this use of memory is all that there is to nation-building, which is why (apart from sheer antisemitism in some cases) they try to minimise the Holocaust while claiming Palestinians are undergoing one, all the while failing to do much to advance Palestinian interests.

Actually, come to think of it, the idea that the Holocaust is the only key to Israel has some antisemitic potential in it, since it denies the things we Jews did for ourselves in building Israel. There are some Jews who say this all the time and it is either the result of ignorance or internalized prejudice (or both).


Edward Alexander in his book "With Friends Like These: The Jewish Critics of Israel" refers to the resentment by Palestinian Arabs 'that Jews should monopolize all that beautiful holocaust suffering which they would very much like, ex post facto, to share. Freud spoke of a sickness he called "penis envy". Palestinian Arabs suffer from what might be called "Holocaust envy", a feeling so strong that it prevents them from seeing that their compulsive desire to appropriate a history that is not their own is itself powerful proof of just how contrived and artificial is the Palestinian sense of national identity. A movement that can concieve of itself only as a mirror of it's Jewish enemy is an anti-nation that deserves it's whole purpose and meaning from the desire to destroy a living nation'.


Thanks for filling me in about Esack at Harvard. I suppose his activities are par for the course; his Pharoah lecture does sound really wonderfully....

Esack is getting US mileage playing the "moderate" anti-zionist face of Islam. Similarly, Isaac's is trying to play the "moderate" anti-zionist faced of Judaism. He doesn't want to be too closely associated with Kasrils. Much better to be with highly confused Judge Davis. You get more credibility that way.

Of course, when I point out that Esack is in the Kasrils kamp, Isaacs runs away. Because that doesn't fall in line with his script.


I love the bit when Doron writes.. "What about the human touch? I spoke about my grandmother who was in the Netanya shopping mall when a bomb exploded."
His "human touch" must have been so heart-felt. If I had been in the audience I would have cried. I would have.
Btw, how is Doron's grandmother? She must be getting so much nachus from Doron.

Joel Pollak


I don't agree with the personal nature of your criticism, Let's leave discussion of grandmothers to Obama.

I do think that Doron's attempt to use this as an example of confronting Muslim antisemitism rings rather hollow.


the pil

Can anyone tell me where does this idea that the holocaust was the only or main reason that the powers in the United Nations voted to create Israel in 1948.


Esack "he apparently challenged his audience to name one member of the "organised" anti-apartheid struggle who disagreed with him.

I would like to tell Sheik Esack that I don't give a continental. If all those who were involved in the "organised" anti-apartheid struggle" do indeed feel that way then they are simply wrong and evil.
Being part of the "organised" anti-apartheid struggle" does not make one a messenger G-D or an angel.

Joel Pollak

Well, there are a few examples one could have given to the Esack question, but it's actually a sort of trick question, because the "organised" anti-apartheid struggle limits the field of candidates to those who were cadres of the ANC and/or SACP, which supported the PLO and USSR line on the Middle East (Kasrils even backed Nasser in the '67 war). If you look more broadly at the anti-apartheid movement--organizations such as the Progressive Party or Jews For Justice or the Inkatha Freedom Party and so on--you get many examples to answer Esack's challenge. But the ANC/SACP do not consider these groups to enjoy the same legitimacy that they did. Anyway, the challenge is just question-begging but was rhetorically quite clever at the time.


Kasrils also backed the Soviet invasions of Czechoslovakia in 1968 and Afghanistan in 1980, as did the ANC and SACP.
But his spokesperson Lorna Daniles claims Kasrils has had a 'lifelong commitment to human rights'.

Joel Pollak

On the topic of invasions, what's SA saying about Georgia? I realize it's got Zimbabwe to deal with, but the silence on Russia seems rather deafening.


like Obama, Isaacs brought his grandmother into the discussion. As a result, it is legitimate to consider her relationship with her grandson. She is ,after all, actually living in Israeli and does not deserve to be used so shamelessly by her grandson.

Let's face it... Isaacs is playing fast and loose with the jewish community and wider South African public. He is having a field day.

He tells us that Esack is "wonderfully interesting" and that, with a "human touch", his poor grandmother was nearly blown-up. If it wasn't so trite and pathetic, I would vomit.

Joel Pollak

Well, perhaps I shouldn't comment, because when I bring my grandmother into a fight, she finishes it. She joined the Machal Brigade. I didn't even join the Boy Scouts.


The SA anti-zionist Muslims will take on board as many anti-zionists and deeply troubled zionists (aka Dennis Davis) as possible.
However when the Jihad arrives at their door-step, they will of course still be blown-up or put against the garden wall and shot.
So there is some justice in the world.
And like the Nazis, the Jihadis will, of course, be checking whether their grandmothers were Jewish.


should read..

"The SA anti-zionist Muslims will take on board as many JEWISH anti-zionists and deeply troubled JEWISH zionists (aka Dennis Davis) as possible."



The tour was sponsored by an eccentric and wealthy Jewish lady is CT.



Russia's invasion of Georgia, in which three thousand have died in a few days (more than Pallies have died in 7 years) has not elicited any emotive responses from those who point fingers at Israel so vociferously - no COSATU marches, no media outcry, no ANC/.SACP statements etc.
Is it a case of let everyone else die as long as Hamas and Hezbollah et al are happy?


Sorry I was away, I once went to listen to Esack speak at an event for the Palestinian solidarity committee. Their mandate is anti-zionist and they frequently resort to classic anti-semitism to try and make a case. A number of these attempts have been exposed by IAS in the past.

The talk itself was revolting, at one point Esack said that the best thing to do for the world was to love jews as much as possible. Otherwise after the holocaust they go on oppressing other people forever. Notice the use of the word Jew, I know christrian missionaries that are more subtle. There is nothing quite like poorly constructed physcology, especially when it is added to bad international relations.

I had to leave before the end, but a participant told me after that at one point Esack asked the audience "does this mean I want to kill all jews?", he then took a moment to actually ponder this little idea for carrying on with his speech.

I never got to find out his eventuall answer but I think that the people who he hangs out with speaks volumes for his intentions

Lion of Zion

Doron is only the tip of the iceberg Habonim will produce more and more self hating Jews if their activities are not monitored more closely!!!


Remember, last year two other Habomim graduiates signed a petition calling for sanctions against Israel, together with Steven Friedman and his ons.


Habonim have already distanced themselves from the tour. They have publicly criticised it. They have nothing to do with the delegation. They shouldn't be part of the discussion.

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