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« Muslim anti-semitism takes a leaf from the Nazis | Main | A shameful day in South Africa »

January 18, 2009



This "we are not anti-Semitic, we only hate Israelis is such a croc of %$^&'
Its like saying 'Im not a racist, I just hate Blacks who live in Gauteng".
THese people say "It's allright if you are Jewish as long as you are not Israel."
So they hate a two year old just because she happens to have ben born a Jew in Israel.
Give me an honest anti-Semite, anyday!


Maybe it is just me but I find all of this juvenile and endlessly frustrating.

Grow up, neither Steve nor Nathan are ant-Semites. This is patently obvious to all but the insane. Why don't you have a discussion about a real substantive issue?


Steve is correct. The intentions of the "Human rights" group are laudable even if you dont agree with them. However they do seem to be useful idiots for the anti-Israel lobby.

There was a period last year when there was a lull in anti-israel activity on campus. This broke only after the "Human rights" group came to do a talk. Within two weeks there were anti-israel demonstrations this time larger and more violent than normal.

You really have wonder what it is about their approach that they think is succeeding.

Nathan Geffen

Steve, despite the ifs, buts and caveats of the above article (many of which I obviously disagree with), thank you for clarifying for your readers that it was incorrect to link me to the anti-semitic email calling for a boycott of Jewish businesses.

You say "It's interesting that Geffen equates a claim of coordination with a Muslim group to defamation." Had it just been an innocent claim that would have been false but not defamation. But the way it was written (by Mike) was quite different: "Worse still, these Muslim organisations have been coordinating with Far Leftwing Jewish groups to organise a petition against the mainstream South African Jewish response. They have managed to garner so far about 160 signatures." Mike then goes on to describe this as a despicable tactic against the Jewish community.

I take issue with being described as far leftwing, but that's trivial. What is serious is that the above attempts to paint a sinister picture of Doron and me being involved in a conspiracy with anti-semitic Muslim groups. The terms "worse still" and "despicable tactic" are your (or Mike's) characterisation of our falsely alleged co-ordination with Muslim groups.


Since Nathan Geffen ahs not denied he is prejudiced against Israelis, we will not call him anti-Semitic (as that is what he onbjects to) but simply racist.



I see you still have nmot replied to my questions on the previous thread. I'm sure we would appreciate a response.


Brett, obviously Nathan Geffen will not answer our questions because he can't.
He should realize when he points a finger at Israel and her people, there are four other fingers pointing back at him.


Is it possible to be a Jew (or a philosemite) and a Zionist, yet at the same time to disagree with the way in which the Olmert administration deals with the Palistinians? Your writing seems to imply that any fundamental disagreement with the current Israeli government automatically makes you either a self-hating Jew or an antisemite or both. Surely Zionism as a political philosophy is more nuanced than that represented by those on the far right.


No Eric

Anyone is free to disagree as long as they can offer an alternative that does not include allowing the "Palestinians" to keep intentionally killing Israeli civilians. If no such alternative is offered then it is implied that this is what you wish to occur


Dear Nathan,

I am writing this in an attempt to diffuse the situation.

In the article you refer to I mentioned that some far left wing Jews
had coordinated their public condemnation of the official Jewish
position on the Gaza conflict with local Muslim organisation. I listed
this as one example among others of a campaign to silence the local
Jewish community's support for Israel. My accusation was based on a
quote on VOC (a Muslim Radio Station) by a leading member of the
Palestine Solidarity Group that promising your petition before it was
publicly released.

"According to Dr Farid Essack of the Palestine Solidarity Group in
Cape Town, moves were afoot to produce a statement from within the
community that would counter the SAJBD statement."

I never accused you personally of coordinating with the PSC. If you
claim it was not you, I have no reason to doubt that claim. But it
seems reasonable to me to assume that someone in your group must have
given them advanced warning of your petition. What ever claims Anthony
Posner may have made has nothing to do with Steve or me.

The word despicable was not direct at you or your petition in particular but the current situation in South Africa as a whole where it has become acceptable to publicly pressure Jews into not expressing their support for Israel.

I have nothing in principal against public criticism of Israel and the
local Jewish community. If you read Its Almost Supernatural, you will
see that I engage in such behaviour regularly. But I believe that the
nature of your petition in the current hostile climate in South Africa
towards Zionist Jews served to stifle the ability of the majority of
the community to publicly support Israel. Something I do not support.


Thanks for the reply Brett. No, I do not wish for Palestinians to keep on intentionally killing Israelis.

However, the military option does not seem to be working. Large tracts of Gaza have been reduced to rubble, but Hamas continues to fire rockets into Israel. It seems that by continuing the military campaign for as long as they did, the Israelis did not gain much more tactically than they did in the first 2 or 3 days of the campaign. In fact, Hamas, despite their losses, may actually emerge stronger than before the war. This can hardly be good for Israel and will probably lead to more Palestinians intentionally killing more Israelis.

Religious Fundamentalist 1


Notwithstanding Joel's good points on the absurdity of Geffen's little nappy rash:

There's an old, but true, moshel of the Rabbi who told the atheist that he too did not believe in the god that the atheist claimed did not exist.

Similarly, given Geffen's apparent concept of Judaism you should be proud to be called an anti-semite by him.

Religious Fundamentalist 1


Time will tell whether you're right or not.

The number of rockets certainly is reduced, and Hamas certainly is hurting. For the military option to work properly, Hamas needs to be destroyed further, which the international community is not allowing, and Israel does not have the leadership to carry out.

For diplomacy to work, Hamas must be willing to settle for something less than Israel's complete destruction (see Joel's excellent BATNA analysis). See the problem?

No clear thinker will conclude that the military option is a strategy or event an attempt to "resolve" Israel's predicament. However, the situation was intolerable, and it might hopefully reduce the rocket fire to a tolerable level, and at the same time embarass Hamas enough for a local coup.


Of course Geffen continues to proclaim his holier than thou outrage, whilst he vents and screeches and tries to intimidate everybody with claims of defamation and the like directed at his critics. I don't see why Geffen even deserves any politeness and/or charitability given his calling the Chief Rabbi "a fundamentalist". This is simply idiotic, albeit highly predictable irrational name-calling. Steve hits the nail on the head here.

Geffen of course doesn't address any of the criticism directed against him and his ilk, he just screeches and performs and makes not so veiled threats (what on earth is this supposed to mean?)

Geffen to the JewishReport:
"If Jewish Report ever wishes to expose the way [the IAS team], the person below and others attempt to use lies to discredit members of the community I would be happy to co-operate."

Geffen gives explicit stated support for some kind of boycott re Israel, quoting Steve re Geffen's letter, "Geffen claims that he is against targeting ethnic groups, but he suggests that he would not oppose a boycott that targeted Israelis as such." Such boycott support re Israel from Geffen is nothing new from him. At a speech Geffen gave several years back organised by the SAJBD, it was a speech that was supposed to be about HIV/AIDS, but he couldn't help himself, he attacked Israel vehemently and said he would support some kind of boycott or perhaps it was some kind of disinvestment against Israel proper, one or the other for sure. I am relying on my memory here, and I don't know if there is a reference to Geffen's speech online or in an SA Jewish paper, and I don't remember the date, when it was. But it was definitely Geffen I remember. For certain. So unless Geffen is going to accuse me of lying and I'm not, I stand by this - it's nothing new from Geffen here.

Geffen for the record, boycotts or sanctions or some kind of disinvestment campaigns against Israel are supported world-wide by the anti-Semitic radical Left and Jew-hating Muslim radicals. So your postition in this regard is the same as theirs. This is simply fact.

Also as Steve writes:
"I was implying that his petition is being abused by anti-Semites within the Muslim community who are supporting his efforts. His efforts are having unintended consequences and are receiving support from some real anti-Semites."

So let us follow through on that, what does it say about you Geffen and your "work", that your efforts are receiving support from some real anti-Semites?

I mean as I point out above, your position on boycotts re Israel is the same as viscious Jew-haters around the world, and your efforts re "not in my name" style letters to the SA media likewise earn the support of South Africa's "real anti-Semites" as Steve calls them. Of course you won't answer the question (how could you?), it is the second time I ask it of you, I asked it of you before on the previous thread and I knew you wouldn't address it. Just like I knew you wouldn't answer Brett's questions on the previous thread either. For that matter you didn't answer my other questions re the previous thread - namely relating to your invitations to Esack and Forrest for the SAHRD to the Middle-East, your opinion re the M&G and ipso facto John Pilger's coverage on the Israel/Palestinian conflict (given your invitation to Forrest), and if your "work" has moderated the opinions of a single anti-Semite anywhere, rather than as Steve points out, earned their support. Continue not to answer the questions and call me and others fundamentalists like you did the Chief Rabbi (even if only in private to your like-minded friends and associates) and God knows what else. That will shut us up, put us in our place. Is that what you think Geffen?


If we were to go by Geffen's rants and laughably empty threats here, one would have no idea of what his critics at IAS and elsewhere were actually saying. But Geffen's irrational ad hominem rants (accusing IAS of anti-Semitism for one, and calling the Chief Rabbi "fundamentalist"??!) are all about deflecting attention from what his critics are actually saying. More to the point really one needs to get into the psychology, fairly basic psychology, namely cognitive dissonance.

It is on that subject though that I think Mike's attempt to "defuse the situation" as he writes is misplaced. Why would you want to defuse it Mike? Why would you want some kind of detante with the likes of Geffen? Plus a second reason
- I don't think you can defuse it if you wanted to, unless you backtracked and why would you do that? It's not you and Steve who needs to retract anything, not at all. And you know that. Geffen and his ilk are always going to respond the way they do, when you and anybody else dares points out uncomfortable facts, uncomfortable to Geffen that is. There is always going to be a hysterical irrational response from the likes of Geffen to what Steve said re the Muslim call for a boycott and his sarcastic (but telling and perinent) reference to Geffen's and the other's "not in my name" style letter. There is a reason Geffen responded in the irrational name-calling way he did; the cognitive dissonance in this particular case between the facts - namely the support Geffen and his ilk have from South African Muslim anti-Semites in this respect and what that implies, and Geffen's belief in his own rightness, his own progressiveness, the truth as he sees it. It is an obviously shaky belief seriously threatened and exposed by what Steve wrote in a single sarcastic aside in the previous thread. It's this self-same cognitive dissonance that sees him indulge in irrational ad hominem attacks, it's a way of dismissing his critics and keeping his shaky beliefs about himself and his "work" intact. Geffen's responses are therefore entirely predictable, and shouldn't perplex anybody, it's all he can do.

The shakier one's beliefs, that is the less solid the foundations of one's beliefs are, and the more they are challenged by contradictory facts and events, the more the individual concerned will respond in irrational ways to exposure. And Geffen's faith in his own rightness is a belief built on quicksand, thus his quick resort to IRRATIONAL ad hominems (it is not the name-calling per se that reveals his dissonance, not at all, it is the IRRATIONAL nature of his name-calling against both Steve and the Chief Rabbi that is pertinent here ie accusing them of anti-Semitism and fundamentalism respectively) in order to keep his beliefs about his position intact, and a man IS his beliefs.

I only write this re cognitive dissonance because I think Mike's attempt at some kind of rapprochment is misplaced for this very reason, and who would want to be thought of well by the likes of Geffen anyhow?

Thinking you can have polite disagreements with Geffen and his ilk and still hold mutual respect for one another is doomed to fail in the long-run, for this reason and also given what the topic of debate is about. If it were disagreeing about something relatively trivial or unimportant to those concerned, it is still possible to be civil, but where the debate is about something like this, where morality, racism, and the very values we profess to hold here (including those pertaining to Jewish identity), the TRUTH as we see it, are challenged and at stake, that is another matter.

This is why Dennis Davis responded the way he did to Mike Berger re the SAHRD mission and Berger was shocked only because he has not looked at the psychology here, the same with Joel Pollak expressing surprise at Doron Isaac's name-calling to Pollak during their debate at IAS. If one looks at the psychological factors here, none of it is surprising. In fact it is entirely predictable.



Thank you. Being more connected to the military side of things than most others on this forum, I can say that a tremendous amount was accomplished. Vast numbers of rockets were destroyed, especially long range ones. We destroyed a frighteningly intricate network of tunnels and many areas, and, as Hillel pointed out, embarrassed Hamas as being far weaker than they had claimed to be. Apat form the potential for a coup this also will hopefully disuade Hamas from continuing the same level of attacks.

The operation was never intended to stop every last rocket. The only was to stop the fring of home made rockets from dense civilian areas to to decimate the entire area. Contrary to main stram media reports, we could not do this. The opertaion was inteded to cripple their infrastructure, weaken their fighting force and hopefully place a detterent factor.

As Hillel said, only time will tell, but initial assessments show an overwhelming success.


Geffen is a racist!
And so are all the people who demonize the Israeli nation.
Just because you are Jewish doesn't entitle you to demonize Israel and encourage her genocidal enemies.
As regarding Dennis Davis, his hypocrisy is mindblowing. He threatened to take Mike Berger for comparing Hamas to the Nazis, but when Kasrils called Israelis Nazis, Davis defended Kasril's 'freedom of speech'.
These people are the ultimate hypocrites- setting themselves up as the guardians of human rights but denying human rights for Israelis.

These self-hating Jews do incalculable damage to the strug-gle of Israel to survive, and theyencourage Arab terror. They are completely heartless, lacking any compassion for Jewish women and children murderedby the Palestinian terrorists in Israel.It is time we exposed and isolat-ed these despicable Yevsektsia types. They should be completelyisolated from the Jewish communities in every country in which they are found.

Blacklisted Dictator

I certainly support Geffen's and Isaacs's right to promulgate the Gaza petition. In fact I don't think that there really is anything much wrong with your petition although I would not wish to sign it! And, just for the record, I think that The SAJBD is wrong to try and speak on behalf of the whole community with regard to the war in Gaza. Geffen and Isaacs were certainly quite within your rights to redress the balance.

Blacklisted Dictator

Mike writes...
" never accused you personally of coordinating with the PSC. If you
claim it was not you, I have no reason to doubt that claim. But it
seems reasonable to me to assume that someone in your group must have
given them advanced warning of your petition. What ever claims Anthony
Posner may have made has nothing to do with Steve or me."

I have written that the Gaza petition MAY have been promulgated in conjunction with Voice of The Cape because a link to the petition appears on their website. However, if Geffen and Isaacs refute the possibility, then who am I to argue?

I certainly never claimed that the petition emerged in co-ordination with The PSC.

Blacklisted Dictator

The Voice of the Cape website states re the Gaza petition: "Please send an email to [email protected] indicating you wish to sign on. The statement and continually updated list of signatories is at"

It is on this basis that one might conclude that the Gaza petition was being promulgated in conjunction with The Voice of the Cape website.

Natahn Geffen has stated that my observation was a "calculated attempt to discredit" the petition. He argues that the petition has nothing to do with the Voice of the Cape.

I will leave others to make up their own minds.

Wessel van Rensburg

Talk about broedertwis. Makes me almost feel lucky us Afrikaners don't have a homeland no more.


Dont worry, Wessel, people like Natahn Geffen and Doron Isaacs are not my brothers.


Thanks Brett. Although the IDF might have reduced Hamas's military capabilities (which were not that great to begin with), the political credibility of Hamas amongst Palestinians and in the Arab world in general, seems to have been bolstered. I may be wrong, but ultimately Hamas and the Israeli political establishment will be forced to accommodate each other. Hamas may long for the destruction of Israel, but clearly lacks the military capacity to achieve this, whilst Israel has the capacity to literally wipe Gaza off the map, but is restrained by political factors. Pragmatism may eventually win the day.

the pil

Eric I believe that Hamas has lost credibility and support. If you look at what is happening in the West Bank people do not want another Intifada becuase they do not want the hardships that an uprising entails, most people want to have the ability to make a living and get on with there lives. What the Palis learnt in the West Bank is that Israel is more than willing to make there lives hell if the palis chosse violence. I think the majority of Palis have come to the realisation that war is horrible and peace and quiet even with Israel is a better alternative thus there is no desire for a third Intifada. The Gazans will came to the same realisation.

Religious Fundamentalist 1

Eric, a few thoughts:

"which were not that great to begin with)"
Tell that to the dead, maimed and mentally disturbed people of sderot, ashdod, ashkelon etc

"the political credibility of Hamas amongst Palestinians and in the Arab world in general, seems to have been bolstered."
I'm not sure where you see this from. Word on the street (e.g. see the Jpost, Khaled Abu Toameh, quotes on al jazeera, youtube videos) strongly suggest otherwise. As does the mute response from the arab world in general.
Egypt told Hamas to accept the ceasefire. Iran is telling them to fight on and laughing at their cowardice. Hezbulla is no doubt laughing at them too, and clearly has decided not to help out.

"ultimately Hamas and the Israeli political establishment will be forced to accommodate each other"
Certainly not true. Either or both could be destroyed. Or, a managed low level conflict can continue "indefinitely".

"Pragmatism may eventually win the day. "
May, but not necessarily. In any event, to believe this, you must assume that Gazan's want the pragmatic outcome you're offering, i.e. an accomodation with Israel, a house, a job, a mortgage and car repayments and at best 4 wives. If you're 18 (or male somewhere between 14 and 45) this doesn't (necessarily) sound more attractive than 70 nubile pleasure mates ... for eternity.

And as I keep repeating to deaf ears, this assumption is a stupid assumption grounded in multi-culturalisms inability to deal with different cultures.

Simmy Simanovsky

Oh Boo hoo Nathan. Your extremely quick to insult and dish it out, but can't take it like a man. Then your not much of a man are you? Look in the mirror Nathan and don't for a minute think you see what the rest of theb world sees. A bit of humilty wouldn't be a bad thing too.

Shmuel ben David

Spare the Pieties on Gaza
by Jack Engelhard

Israel is a Jewish State. Is that your problem?

Frankly, given a choice, I prefer the skinheads and other brutes who express their anti-Semitism openly. In such places, we know the enemy.

You called it "peace" as long as the Arabs were doing the killing and the Jews were doing the dying.

But please spare me the pieties and the righteous indignation of those "good people" protesting throughout Europe against Israel's defensive operation in Gaza. True, thousands have taken up banners in support of Israel. At the same time, however, the streets of Europe (and even some in America) are in an uproar. These are the "humanitarians" - the good, the noble, the refined, who chant "peace."

Now you're up and about? Now you speak? Where were you when, throughout the years, thousands of jihadist bombs fell on Israel? The streets of Europe were empty. There were no pictures in the newspapers of grieving Jewish mothers and fathers. You called it "peace" as long as the Arabs were doing the killing and the Jews were doing the dying. All was well with the world.

Suddenly, as Israel answered back, you found your Cause; and how self-righteous you are in your Cause.

You are the best and the brightest of Europe. You are educated. You attended the finest schools. You care for the birds, the bees, the bears, the trees. You favor free speech and freedom of religion. Strange it is that the one and only place in the Middle East that shares your world-view is Israel, and it is Israel that you slander.

Israel is a Jewish State. Is that your problem? At the first hint of Jewish self-defense, how quickly you show your true colors.

I've seen the photos of your candlelight vigils along the streets and boulevards of Europe, all of it; all these tears in the service of those terrorists whom you call your brothers. Indeed you are related to Hamas (and Fatah) as once before, a mere generation ago, you were related to Hitler's stormtroopers. Your angelic faces are touching - and disgusting. Your hypocrisy is transparent and nauseating.

You speak of disproportion. You want proportion? Give Israel a population of 300 million residing in 22 countries, similar to the Arab Muslims who surround and ambush Israel - instead of five and a half million Jews in one single country. There's plenty of "proportion" coming from your BBC, which delights in presenting one side of the story and picks up where Der Sturmer left off. Now, with this type of "news", we know how Europe was conditioned for a Holocaust.

Already we see Nights of Broken Glass. Thank you, Europe, for reminding us why America was discovered just in time (and why Israel was redeemed many generations too late). You dare judge Israel? In your deportations, your expulsions, your forced conversions, your inquisitions, your pogroms, you have no moral authority over Israel or even within your own borders. You gave all that up from 1492 to 1942.

To those on the Left who sought peace, well, dear peace-lovers, peace brought this on. "Land for Peace" made this happen, as Land for Peace became Land for Jihad. "Painful Concessions" caused this war. "Goodwill Gestures" backfired. Want more "peace"? Give up the Golan Heights. Give up the entire West Bank. Give up Jerusalem. Imagine the "peace." As for those "innocent civilians" in Gaza, they were given a choice and they chose Hamas. They chose this pestilence.

You have no moral authority over Israel or even within your own borders.

As for those "refugee camps" - why are they "refugee camps" when Israel handed over all that territory for a nation to be built in peace and security alongside Israel? Why are all Palestinians automatically refugees even after they've been given a home? The only true refugees are the thousands of Israelis who were driven from Gaza and still live in trailer parks. No tears for them in this world that still dreams of Auschwitz.

On this day, in response to a column I wrote about Theresienstadt, someone responded that I was incorrect; that Theresienstadt was not a prelude to Auschwitz, but rather "a vacation resort." I wrote back wishing this person a lifetime in such vacation resorts. I wish the same lifetime vacation resorts to all those parading throughout the streets of Europe with banners crying, "Death to Israel."

God bless the IDF! Go Israel!

Tevet 11, 5769 / 07 January 09

Jack Engelhard is the author of “The Bathsheba Deadline” and “Indecent Proposal”, as well as the award-winning memoir of his experiences as a Jewish refugee from Europe, "Escape From Mount Moriah". He can be reached at his website www. jackengelhard. com.

Also see:

Farid Essack

I understand that it's a quote from the VoC website but would you mind changing it to 'Dr Farid Esack' (one less "S" in the surname). That is actually the correct spelling. Alternatively consider using '(sic)' next to the quote.

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