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Prominent figures among hundreds of concerned South African Jews calling for ceasefire in Gaza

Prominent figures among hundreds of concerned South African Jews calling for ceasefire in Gaza
An explosion following an air strike on the northern part of the Gaza Strip, as seen from Sderot, southern Israel, 14 November 2023. EPA-EFE/ATEF SAFADI

William Kentridge among more than 700 joining worldwide call for an immediate ceasefire.

We are a diverse group of South African Jews who are dismayed by the situation that is unfolding in Israel and Palestine. Through it, the world has witnessed a catastrophic loss of life, and indeed, a loss of humanity. We mourn every life lost: Palestinian and Israeli.

We believe in the universal values of peace, justice and equality, and condemn in the strongest terms any and all violence against civilians, and against children in particular. We must hold to account those responsible for violence against civilians — whether perpetrated in Gaza, the West Bank, or Israel. We do so not in spite of our Jewish identity, but because of it. One of the core beliefs of Judaism is the sanctity of human life and the duty to preserve it, enshrined in the principle of pikuach nefesh.

The assault on Gaza follows an unprecedented and brutal attack by Hamas in southern Israel on 7 October. We are devastated that the lives of over 1,200 Israelis, including 31 children, were lost to the gratuitous violence that occurred on this day. We grieve with the families whose loved ones were killed or taken as hostages.

We insist, however, that one heinous crime does not justify another. The experience of persecution and genocide is woven into our collective memory. We are therefore called upon to prevent it from happening again, anywhere, to anyone. Moreover, we have a particular obligation to oppose such atrocities when perpetrated in our name.

For this reason, we call for an immediate cease to Israel’s bombardment and blockade of Gaza. We condemn the denial of basic resources such as water, food, electricity, internet and medical supplies to Palestinian civilians. As of Wednesday 15 November, Israel’s campaign in Gaza had exacted a toll of at least 11,078 Palestinian lives, including 4,506 children. We abhor the use of collective punishment and see Israel’s response as dramatically disproportionate. We are distressed at the fact that this has taken place alongside state and settler-led violence against Palestinians in the West Bank.

We acknowledge that the current cycle of violence is rooted in decades of dispossession. We also acknowledge that this conflict is fundamentally asymmetrical in nature; between a powerful military force and a stateless people who have resisted the denial of their basic human rights for generations.

We note with great concern the rising incidence of Islamophobic and anti-Semitic hate crimes worldwide. We reject attempts to conflate the parties to this conflict with entire religious or ethnic groups, just as we reject the notion that criticism of the State of Israel necessarily constitutes anti-Semitism. As Jews with diverse views, we do not feel represented by the institutions that claim to speak on behalf of the South African Jewish community on Israel and Gaza.

We join the many voices worldwide calling for an immediate ceasefire, an end to the occupation, and the release of all hostages and detainees unjustly held both in Gaza and in Israeli prisons. We believe that the only lasting solution to ensure genuine safety for all is one that secures the equal rights and dignity of all Israelis and Palestinians. DM

List of signatories to the open letter (as of 4pm SAST on 15 November 2023, regularly updated online):

    1. Aaron Jacobs
    2. Aaron Sher
    3. Adaiah Lilenstein
    4. Adam Maserow
    5. Adela Itzkin
    6. Adrienne Shall
    7. Aidan Mosselson
    8. Aisha Gelb
    9. Alan Fine
    10. Alan Morris
    11. Alan Hirsch
    12. Alex Abrahams
    13. Alex Freeman
    14. Alexa Scher
    15. Alexander Dubb
    16. Alexandra Kreuz Goldberg
    17. Alexia Kaplan
    18. Alison Todes
    19. Alison Swartz
    20. Alison Sher
    21. Allan Horwitz
    22. Allan Kaplan
    23. Alli Appelbaum
    24. Amy Kahn
    25. Amy Simons
    26. Amy Zinn
    27. Andrea Nossel
    28. Andrea Lewis
    29. Andrew Spiegel
    30. Andrew Emdon
    31. Andrew Feinstein
    32. Andrew Nell
    33. Andrew Brown
    34. Andrew Colman
    35. Andy Davis
    36. Andy Nossel
    37. Ann Bradlow
    38. Anthony Fish Hodgson
    39. Anton Richman
    40. Anton Harber
    41. Anton van Diermen
    42. Antony Altbeker
    43. Anya Mendel
    44. Arlene Joffe
    45. Asha de Lanerolle
    46. Ashley Fischhoff
    47. Aubrey Blecher
    48. Ava Ruff
    49. Barak Setton
    50. Barbara Klugman
    51. Barbara Segal
    52. Barbara Friedman
    53. Barbara Jawitz
    54. Basil Dubb
    55. Belle Marx-Miller
    56. Ben Sanders
    57. Benjamin Bradlow
    58. Benjamin Fogel
    59. Benjamin Zar
    60. Beth Silbert
    61. Bethea Clayton
    62. Bianca Sossen
    63. Bonita Alice
    64. Brahm Fleisch
    65. Brandon Finn
    66. Brenda Goldblatt
    67. Brent Sender
    68. Brett Steingo
    69. Brian Coleman
    70. Brian Slon
    71. Brian Ruff
    72. Brigette Barnett
    73. Bryan Pieters
    74. Cara Browde
    75. Carin Favis
    76. Carin Abramovitz
    77. Carly Abramovitz
    78. Carmel Marock
    79. Carol Wengrowe
    80. Carol Steinberg
    81. Carole Lewis
    82. Carole Abramovitz
    83. Carole Bloch
    84. Caroline White
    85. Catherine Marcus
    86. Cathy Aaron
    87. Caz Friedmann
    88. Cecily Jacobson
    89. Cheryl Cohen
    90. Chloe Kiley
    91. Claire Tuch
    92. Claudette Davis
    93. Clive Greenstone
    94. Clive Rubin
    95. Colette Thorne
    96. Colin Purkey
    97. Colleen Radus
    98. Craig Hart
    99. Dale Washkansky
    100. Damon Galgut
    101. Dan Jawitz
    102. Dan Odendaal
    103. Dan Keify
    104. Dani Hovsha
    105. Dani Cooper
    106. Daniel Sher
    107. Daniel Linde
    108. Daniel Mackintosh
    109. Daniel Hartford
    110. Daniel Friedman
    111. Daniel Petrie
    112. Daniel Band
    113. Daniel Gallan
    114. Daniel Berger
    115. Daniel Browde
    116. Danielle Travill
    117. Danielle Joffe
    118. Danielle Pincus
    119. Danieyella Rodin
    120. Danny Bradlow
    121. Dara Beth
    122. Daryl Glaser
    123. David Rosenthal
    124. David Lubinsky
    125. David Bass
    126. David Eppel
    127. David Lewis
    128. David Fine
    129. David Jammy
    130. David Stoloff
    131. David Freund
    132. David Shandler
    133. David Fig
    134. David De Jong
    135. David Daitz
    136. Debbie Schkolne
    137. Debbie Budlender
    138. Debbie Staniland
    139. Deborah Posel
    140. Deirdre Richman
    141. Delilah Stoloff
    142. Derek Lubner
    143. Desrae Saacks
    144. Diana Edelstein
    145. Diane Cooper
    146. Diane Levine
    147. Diane Fine
    148. Diane Sandler
    149. Dinky Levitt
    150. Doron Isaacs
    151. Dylan Kesler
    152. Eduan Naude
    153. Edward Wethli
    154. Edwin Ritchken
    155. Eileen Weinronk
    156. Elaine Unterhalter
    157. Eli Goldblatt
    158. Emma Reitstein
    159. Emma Daitz
    160. Emma Schneider
    161. Emma Botha 
    162. Emma Delius
    163. Emmylou Savage
    164. Eric Itzkin
    165. Erica Elk
    166. Erin Gordon
    167. Ethan Jacobs
    168. Evan Wigdorowitz
    169. Evan Carman
    170. Eve Mendel
    171. Eve Terblanche
    172. Ezra-Rose Fleisch
    173. Faye Falconer-Pincus
    174. Frances Aron
    175. Francesca Annenberg
    176. Francis de Satge
    177. Francois Petousis
    178. Franny Rabkin
    179. Gabriel Dubb
    180. Gabriel Espi-Sanchis
    181. Gabriel Fine
    182. Gabriella Saven
    183. Gabriella Kaplan
    184. Gail Washkansky
    185. Gail Behrmann
    186. Gail Super
    187. Gary Berkowitz
    188. Gavin Silber
    189. Gavin Pincus
    190. Gemma Field
    191. Georgi Annenberg
    192. Georgia Altbeker
    193. Georgia Saacks
    194. Geraldine Glaser
    195. Gideon Sweijd
    196. Gila Simons
    197. Gilad Isaacs
    198. Gilad Katzav
    199. Gilbert Marcus
    200. Gill Saks
    201. Gillian Hart
    202. Gillian Finchilescu
    203. Gina Fredman-Jacobson
    204. Graeme Sacks
    205. Grant Sieff
    206. Guy Daniel
    207. Guy Simpson
    208. Hal Cooper
    209. Hannah Claassens (Wengrowe)
    210. Hannah Fleisch
    211. Hannah Goldblatt
    212. Hannah Savage
    213. Harold Kolnik
    214. Harriet Perlman
    215. Harriet Gavshon
    216. Hayli Geffen
    217. Heather Silove Howe
    218. Heather Schiff
    219. Heidi Grunebaum
    220. Helene Perold
    221. Hillary-Gayle Barwin
    222. Howard Varney
    223. Ian Goldman
    224. Ian Szapira
    225. Ilan Strauss
    226. Ilan Rosenstein
    227. Ilana Stone
    228. Imran Budlender
    229. Ingrid Gavshon
    230. Irwin Manoim
    231. Isa-Lee Jacobson
    232. Isabella Kentridge
    233. Isabella Levitas
    234. Ishvara Dayan
    235. Ivan Strasburg
    236. Jack Lewis
    237. Jack Fine
    238. Jackie Maris
    239. Jacob Wheeldon
    240. Jacob Hoffman
    241. Jacob Claassens
    242. Jacques de Satgé
    243. Jacqui Benson-Mabombo
    244. Jaimen Brown
    245. Jake Lipman
    246. James Bernstein
    247. Janet Lubner
    248. Janine Simon-Meyer
    249. Jaqui Perkes
    250. Jarah Fluxman
    251. Jared Chaitowitz
    252. Jarred Srot
    253. Jarred Durbach
    254. Jay Goldstuck
    255. Jay Savage
    256. Jayden Simons
    257. Jean Cohen
    258. Jeanette Isaacman
    259. Jeanne Freed
    260. Jeff Rudin
    261. Jeffrey Meyer
    262. Jemma Meintjies
    263. Jenifer Rabinowitz
    264. Jenna Searra
    265. Jenna Bass
    266. Jenna Jacobson
    267. Jennifer Pogrund
    268. Jenny Perkel
    269. Jenny Wheeldon
    270. Jered Shorkend
    271. Jeremy Baskin
    272. Jeremy Phillips
    273. Jess Stillerman
    274. Jess Auerbach
    275. Jesse Harber
    276. Jessica Sherman
    277. Jessica Mayson
    278. Jessica Horler
    279. Jessica Wengrowe
    280. Jessie Ayles
    281. Jessie Lewis
    282. Jessie Lazar Knott
    283. Jill Thorne
    284. Jill Schlachter
    285. Jill Strelitz
    286. Jillian Edelstein
    287. Jo Silbert
    288. Joceyln Freed
    289. Jodi Wishnia
    290. Jodie Dwolatzky
    291. Joe Turpin
    292. Joel Bolnick
    293. Joel Simons
    294. Joey Hasson
    295. Johannes Dieterich
    296. John Festenstein
    297. Jonah Sack
    298. Jonathan Berger
    299. Jonathan Bloch
    300. Jonathan Taylor
    301. Jonathan Fluxman
    302. Jonathan Weinberg
    303. Jonathan Gevisser
    304. Jonathan Yach
    305. Jonny Steinberg
    306. Jos Thorne
    307. Joseph Goldblatt
    308. Joseph Weinberg
    309. Joseph Power
    310. Joseph Sweijd
    311. Joshua Maserow
    312. Joshua Marcus
    313. Joshua Gordon
    314. Joshua Davis
    315. Joshua Hartford
    316. Joshua Lapid
    317. Joshua Sehoole
    318. Joshua Lipman
    319. Joshua Hovsha
    320. Joshua Blacher
    321. Joy Sapieka
    322. Judy Brown
    323. Judy Favish
    324. Judy Weis
    325. Julia Chaskalson
    326. Julia Shapiro
    327. Julia Michalow
    328. Julian Reitstein
    329. Juliette Rose-Innes
    330. Justin van Zyl
    331. Justine Shear
    332. Kabir Budlender
    333. Kagiso Makgalemele
    334. Kai Lockstone
    335. Karin Brodie
    336. Karina Turok
    337. Karyn Levy-Philipp
    338. Kate van Niekerk
    339. Kate Abramovitz
    340. Kathy Barolsky
    341. Katy Menell
    342. Katya Broomberg
    343. Kayla Brown
    344. Ke-tu-rah Zizipho Dhlamini
    345. Keiran Peacock
    346. Keith Witelson
    347. Keith Gottschalk
    348. Kelly Rosenthal
    349. Kelly Kropman
    350. Kelsey Shapiro
    351. Kelsy Arden
    352. Keren Setton
    353. Kerry Petrie
    354. Kevin Levy
    355. Kevin Posen
    356. Kevin Goldstein
    357. Kezia Lilenstein
    358. Kieran Brown
    359. Kim Sacks
    360. Kim Segel
    361. Kira Gimpel
    362. Kira Stone
    363. Kira Schlesinger
    364. Kristin Henry
    365. Kyla-Rose Smith
    366. Kylie Thomas
    367. Larry Jasven
    368. Larry Strelitz
    369. Laura Czerniewicz
    370. Laura Phillips
    371. Laura Markovitz
    372. Laura Chittenden
    373. Laura Wener
    374. Lauren Bock
    375. Laurence Hamburger
    376. Laurice Taitz-Buntman
    377. Laurie Nathan
    378. Leigh Whitesman
    379. Leila Strelitz
    380. Leila Bloch
    381. Leila Stein
    382. Leila Emdon
    383. Leon Saven
    384. Leon Levy
    385. Leon Jacobson
    386. Leonard Solms
    387. Leslie London
    388. Leslie Witz
    389. Leslie Swartz
    390. Lexi Ryman
    391. Liane Durra
    392. Liat Davis
    393. Lilian Kaplan
    394. Lily Manoim
    395. Linda Cooper
    396. Linzi Lewis
    397. Linzi Fredman
    398. Lionel Krause
    399. Lisa Seftel
    400. Lisa Segal
    401. Lody Levy
    402. Lorna Levy
    403. Lorraine Levine
    404. Louis Marcus Finn
    405. Louisa Carman
    406. Louise Renton
    407. Louise Spitz
    408. Luke Kaplan
    409. Lula Grant
    410. Lynda Levetan
    411. Lyndall Gordon
    412. Lynn Radford
    413. Lynne Slonimsky
    414. Madeleine Bazil
    415. Maia Zway
    416. Maia Lehr-Sacks
    417. Mandy Barnett
    418. Mani Kuti-Alexander
    419. Marc Suttner
    420. Margaret Green
    421. Margaret Auerbach
    422. Margie Gelb
    423. Marilyn Jones
    424. Marion Isaacs
    425. Marissa Rollnick
    426. Mark Fleishman
    427. Mark Gevisser
    428. Mark Saacks
    429. Mark Orkin
    430. Mark Steinbuch
    431. Mark Kaplan
    432. Maryke Sher
    433. Maureen Isaacson
    434. Maureen Robinson
    435. Maxine Rubin
    436. Maya Schkolne
    437. Maya Aberman
    438. Maya Marshak
    439. Maya Goldman
    440. Maya Super
    441. Megan Bryer
    442. Megan Choritz
    443. Megan Lang
    444. Meghan Finn
    445. Melanie Judge
    446. Melanie Horwitz
    447. Melanie Chait
    448. Melanie Hall
    449. Melanie Samson
    450. Melinda Silverman
    451. Melissa Levin
    452. Melvyn Freeman
    453. Merle Favis
    454. Merle Jawitz
    455. Mervyn Bennun
    456. Mervyn Sloman
    457. Mia Candy
    458. Mia Altbeker
    459. Micaela Browde
    460. Michael Moss
    461. Michael Weinberg
    462. Michael Kaplan
    463. Michael Friedman
    464. Michael Markovitz
    465. Michael Hurwitz
    466. Michael Levin
    467. Michaela Verity
    468. Michele Stein
    469. Michelle Friedman
    470. Michelle Adler Rogoff
    471. Michelle Laufer
    472. Miriam Altman
    473. Mischa Blecher
    474. Mitch Said
    475. Mitchel Joffe Hunter
    476. Moira Levy
    477. Monique Horwitz
    478. Monique Marks
    479. Naashon Zalk
    480. Nadia Randera
    481. Nadia Dollie
    482. Nadya Cohen
    483. Nancy Krisch
    484. Naomi Marshak
    485. Natasha Pincus
    486. Nathan Nadler-Nir
    487. Nathan Eisen
    488. Neil Tabatznik
    489. Nelson Miranda
    490. Neva Makgetla
    491. Nic Fine
    492. Nicholas Budlender
    493. Nicholas Eppel
    494. Nicholas Fine
    495. Nick Groll
    496. Nicky Falkof
    497. Nicola Galombik
    498. Nicola Soekoe
    499. Nicole Franco
    500. Nimi Hoffmann
    501. Nimrod Zalk
    502. Nina Barnett
    503. Nina Frank
    504. Nina Lang
    505. Nina Abrahams
    506. Nina Bloch
    507. Noa Abramovitz
    508. Noah Lubinsky
    509. Noga Watt
    510. Nompilo Sibisi
    511. Olivia Welte
    512. Orli Setton
    513. Orrie Staschen
    514. Pam Meyerowitz
    515. Pam Britt
    516. Pat Sidley
    517. Patti Silbert
    518. Paul Weinberg
    519. Paul Mesarcik
    520. Paul Hendler
    521. Pearl Jantjies
    522. Pedro Tabensky
    523. Penny Smith
    524. Peta Becker
    525. Peter Mayson
    526. Peter Barron
    527. Peter Cohen
    528. Peter Jaspan
    529. Peter J Cooper
    530. Philip Krause
    531. Philip Miller
    532. Phillipa Reinders
    533. Phoebe Saacks
    534. Phoenix Pincus
    535. Pierre Dane
    536. Rachel Balsham
    537. Rachel Weisz
    538. Rachel Catzel
    539. Rafael Friedman
    540. Rafael Lubner
    541. Ran Greenstein
    542. Raphael Chaskalson
    543. Raphael Segerman
    544. Raymond Suttner
    545. Raymond Brown
    546. Rebecca Metz Ross
    547. Rebecca Swartz
    548. Rebecca Bradlow
    549. Rebecca Sher
    550. Rebecca Segall
    551. Renay Weiner
    552. Renee Usdin
    553. Renée Bishop
    554. Ribka Berhanu
    555. Richard Kuper
    556. Richard Levin
    557. Richard Kaplan
    558. Rifke Gellman
    559. Riley Grant
    560. Rina King
    561. Robert Krause
    562. Robert Schroder
    563. Robert Freeman
    564. Robin Scher
    565. Robin Cohen
    566. Robin Catzel
    567. Robyn Fischhoff
    568. Roland Dubb
    569. Roland Kesler
    570. Ronnie Simons
    571. Rosa Elk
    572. Rosa Manoim
    573. Rosemund Handler
    574. Roslyn Fish
    575. Ross Engers
    576. Roy Hunter
    577. Ruby Wheeldon
    578. Ruby Lapid
    579. Ruby de Lanerolle
    580. Russell Soffer
    581. Ruth Morgan
    582. Ruth Sacks
    583. Ruth Carneson
    584. Ruth Urson
    585. Ruth Reichman
    586. Ruth Nowosenetz
    587. Ruth Cornick
    588. Ryan Kaplan
    589. Ryan Goldblatt
    590. Sally Suttner
    591. Sam Kentridge
    592. Samantha Brener
    593. Samir Gelb
    594. Samuel Turpin
    595. Samuel Shapiro
    596. Sandra Caganoff
    597. Sandra Kay
    598. Sandy Chaitowitz
    599. Sandy Paul
    600. Sandy Szapira
    601. Sarah Adcock
    602. Sarah Zinn
    603. Sarron Goldman
    604. Saul Musker
    605. Saul Johnson
    606. Savanah Abramovitz
    607. Sean Wasserman
    608. Serna Kramer
    609. Shannon Bernhardt
    610. Sharon Fonn
    611. Sharon Cort
    612. Shaun Reznik
    613. Shawn Slovo
    614. Shayni Geffen
    615. Sheila Barsel
    616. Shelley Epstein
    617. Shelley Bass
    618. Shereen Usdin
    619. Sigall Keify
    620. Simeon Lilenstein
    621. Simon Kaplinsky
    622. Simon Shear
    623. Simona Stone
    624. Simone Petousis
    625. Simone Honikman
    626. Simone Shall
    627. Simone Hoffmann
    628. Simonne Horwitz
    629. Sivan Zeffertt
    630. Solly Levy
    631. Sonia Horwitz
    632. Sonja Woolff
    633. Sonya Cotton
    634. Sophie Hunter
    635. Sophie Crawford
    636. Sophie Douglas
    637. Stacey Gibson
    638. Stanley Ginsburg
    639. Stephen Marcus Finn
    640. Stephen Gelb
    641. Stephen Cheifitz
    642. Stephen Laufer
    643. Steve Kahanovitz
    644. Steven Fluxman
    645. Steven Goldblatt
    646. Steven Robins
    647. Steven Markovitz
    648. Steven Wolf
    649. Steven Bradlow
    650. Steven Budlender
    651. Su Lubner
    652. Sue Fawcus
    653. Sue Pam-Grant
    654. Sue Davidoff
    655. Sue Isserow
    656. Sue Kaplan
    657. Sue Goldstein
    658. Sue Starfield
    659. Sue Kramer
    660. Sue Rabkin
    661. Suzy Bernstein
    662. Sydelle Willow Smith
    663. Tali Cassidy
    664. Talia Simons
    665. Talia Mayson
    666. Talya Lubinsky
    667. Talya Stein
    668. Tanya Layne
    669. Tanya Cohen
    670. Tara Weinberg
    671. Tariq Blecher
    672. Terry Shakinovsky
    673. Terry Kurgan
    674. Tess Peacock
    675. Tessa Abramovitz
    676. Tessa Gordon
    677. Tessa Dagut
    678. Tevya Turok Shapiro
    679. Tiffany Markman
    680. Timothy Fish Hodgson
    681. Toker Beverley
    682. Tony Carr
    683. Tony Fluxman
    684. Tony Lachman
    685. Tony Kaplan
    686. Tracy Cohen
    687. Trevor Sacks
    688. Trevor Rosenfield
    689. Trevor Bernhardt
    690. Tymon Smith
    691. Vanessa Barolsky
    692. Vicki Davidoff
    693. Vicky Alhadeff
    694. Warren Wilensky
    695. Warren Nebe
    696. Weez Bramwell
    697. Wendy Newstadt
    698. William Kentridge
    699. Yair Schkolne
    700. Yda Walt
    701. Yoni Bass
    702. Yuval Nicolas Douglas Henshilwood
    703. Yvonne Shapiro
    704. Zandi Sherman
    705. Zara Tonkil
    706. Zara Julius

Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • dirk hartford says:

    This list of names reads like a roll call of the greatest white South Africans I know.

  • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

    Chickens supporting KFC

  • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

    Dear SA, this is the list of people that do not control the media or the banks. Leave them in peace please. Also fairly sure none own a padel franchise (but this has not been verified)

  • douglas wade says:

    Well said. Can someone explain in detail the concept of Pikuach Nefesh?

  • Paul T says:

    Well said, and well done.

  • Brendan Wade says:

    Heartening to read this.

  • Arlene Levitan says:

    Arlene Levitan

  • Paul Gray says:

    All I can say to every signatory is, go live in Israel.
    Live through the terror of sirens going off, meaning missiles are incoming. Go live next to a people that have vowed to exterminate your entire race off the face of the planet.
    Why must Israel be the one to sue for peace? If Hamas surrenders and returns the hostages, the war is over tomorrow.
    Surely both sides must give something for there to be peace?
    I am not a Jew, but I fully support the right of the Jews to exist as a nation and a people.

    • Steve Marks says:

      You sir, as a gentile understand this but 538 ‘Jews’ have turned their backs on us.

      • Vusi Dladla says:

        Most of these people, their parents or families were also involved in the struggle against apartheid. They were prepared to make sacrifices for others, including my liberation. For them it’s not about looking after their own but its about humanity. Isreali or non Israeli is equal.

        • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

          I’m not sure when it became “humane” or a “liberation struggle” to kill teenagers at a music festival and kidnap civilians. Is Jewish life held to different definitions and standards? Sad that those who suffered so much in SA have allowed the legacy of apartheid to become so misappropriated.

          • Vusi Dladla says:

            I am talking about the killing of 100 UN workers, children, the Gift of the Givers Coordinator and the thousands of Palestinians.

      • virginia crawford says:

        What’s with the inverted commas? Not all Jews are Zionists: is that so hard to understand?

    • Denise Smit says:

      I agree with you. Making a luxurious comfy living in another country safe from persecution makes it much easier to condemn Israel for wanting to be an indepent safe country. The Israelis in Israel work very hard – if you look at their simple way of living and working, and will do everything to maintain their country amidst their fierce and hostile surroundings. Denise Smit

      • David van der Want says:

        Israel is not being condemned for wanting to be a safe and independent country – the letter expresses opposition to the massive assault currently underway in pursuit of that end and laments the loss of life of both Palestinians and Israelis

        • Paul T says:

          Yes some people don’t read, they just scroll to the bottom to repeat things other people think.

        • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

          Thanks for the hyperbole of “massive assault”. Actually, if Israel didn’t care about Palestinian civilians, this war would have been done and dusted on October 8, without an Israeli soldier having to be deployed or a single further loss of Israeli life

          • David van der Want says:

            In the context of 10 000 dead and counting massive is an appropriate word. It is doublespeak to frame the wholesale killing of civilians as evidence of caring. It’s like an abusive spise saying “I’d hit you harder if I didn’t love you”.

          • Vusi Dladla says:

            Thousands of people are being killed. IDF has not told us how many of these belong to Hamas because they are killing indiscriminately. I am afraid this is not just about free hostages, the aim is to depopulate the Gaza strip.

          • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

            David in war there are casualties. The hyperbole is the implication that this is different. Your comparison with domestic abuse is insulting (as probably intentioned), and inappropriate (unless you say it at home). There were 4,200,000 German civilian deaths and 350,000 Allied civilian deaths in WW2. The Syrian crisis has consistently been around 15,000 per day (are those all legitimate combatants?). The current Ukrainian crisis has claimed nearly half a million deaths. This “death score is wholly irrelevant, and yes – the hyperbole I point out is very appropriate and, as usually, reserved for Jews.

            And Vusi – if 10,000 scratches “depopulating” Gaza (of what is it, 2- 3 million?), then Jews aren’t nearly as good at numbers as we are credited as being.


          • David van der Want says:

            So Mordechai – your position is that the Israeli bombardment of Gaza is analagous to the Allied fight against Germany in WWII and that the death toll amongst the Palestinian non combatants is acceptable in the same way that the death toll amongst German civilians was acceptable? For you the two conflicts are analagous because the Nazification of Germany and the accompanying holocaust that was perpetrated against the Jews is an existential threat comparable in scale and credibility to the one Israeli people are currently facing from Hamas. Is that correct?

            My view is that Hamas deliberately slaughtered the Israelis in the Oct 7 attacks in so brutal and horrific manner as a deliberate and conscious effort to plunge a knife into the scars left by the holoaust because they wanted to provoke exactly the response that Netanyahu is giving. I suspect that Netanyahu has seized on this and is exploiting the horrible wound this has activated in the national psyche of Israel because his political career is in trouble.

            All I see is two peoples who clearly have to share the region inflicting trauma after trauma on each other.

            I am sure we are in agreement that Hamas must go – they are clearly a terrorist group not interested in any peaceful resolution. To me it is obvious that for the IDF to be killing thousands of Palestinians only strengthens hamas and whichever group comes after them.

            I’m a newcomer to this forum and I must say I have found participating here disheartening.

    • Paul T says:

      Can you explain why you support the “rights” of (Zionist) Jews, but choose to ignore the rights of other people who inhabit the same land?

      • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

        Israel is the single democracy in that whole region. Palestinians have full rights. Can a Jew live and practice openly in any of the neighbouring countries? Can a Jew democratically even hold a demonstration in Cape Town today?

        • Enver Klein says:

          @Mordechai, check in with Dan Marcelo as to why a Jew can’t hold a peaceful demonstration in Cape Town. And, Palestinians have no rights, check in with Norman Finkelstein on that; if you want to check his credibility, his mother grew up in Warsaw and survived the Warsaw Ghetto and the Majdanek concentration camp. His father was a survivor of both the Warsaw Ghetto and Auschwitz.

          • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

            Enver, the oft-reported, keyboard-happy, fact-free antisemite.

          • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

            They still allow this guy to post?

          • Ben Harper says:

            Ah yes, Finkelstein, the looney academic who has expressed his solidarity with Hezbollah and Hamas and has been shunned by Academia around the world, including Germany

        • virginia crawford says:

          Democracy? For the chosen only though.

          • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

            Not sure which definition of democracy you are referring to. Israel is the one person one vote type, not the one-party type like the rest of the region. So yeah, Israel is a real democracy, in the real sense. Not quite like Iran, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia … (should I go on?)

        • Nas Hodja says:

          Israel is the single democracy in the region after ethnically cleansing the Palestine which is Israel today of 80% of its Palestinian population. Clap. Clap. Clap.

          • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

            Not sure how that one got through the moderators (hate speech), but anyhow. If Israel wanted to “ethnically cleanse” Palestinians, this war would have been done and dusted on October 8

        • Schalk le Roux says:

          Do you really believe yourself that the Palestinians have full rights?

      • Enver Klein says:

        @Paul T and @David v d W, Denise and Ben cannot see another perspective besides their own. I have asked them to reveal their sources of information and I’m still waiting.

        • David van der Want says:

          Source of what information. Happy to oblige. In private or public. This forum does not inform when there is a reply to a post somits hard to know when one is spoken to

    • Bennie Morani says:

      And will you be happy to go and live in Gaza?

    • virginia crawford says:

      Do you support the right of Palestinians to live where they and their grandparents were born? Do you support the right of people born in S.A., the UK and US to go and live on land taken from the Palestinians on the basis of an ideology? Zionism is not religion.

      • Enver Klein says:

        @Virginia C, according to the Torah Judaism Group:
        1) Zionism is nationalist movement created in 1896 by people who were pronounced as atheists. 2) Judaism is an ancient religious collective.
        3) Zionists want to be seen as Jewish without actually believing in Judaism.

      • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

        So when you tell us to go back to where we come from, I’m confused where to go

      • Ruth Rosengarten says:

        Erm, why should one support the rights of someone to live where their parents and grandparents were borh? Land is not holy and this one is contested. My mother was born in China and lost her home in 1949, I’m not claiming the right to go and inhabit that place in harbin. My father lost his in Riga earlier than that. I was born in Israel, where they met – I left Israel – do I still have the right to go live in Weizman Street in Tel Aviv? The idea of this kind of territorialism is atavistic and ludicrous, does not bear up to any kind of historical scrutiny. There were thousands of displaced people in the 1940s, including those who became Pakistani. Let’s give up the nonsense of one state – it will mean the end of Israel. Maybe that’s ok for you – not ok for me.

    • Izzy Trees says:

      It was Netanyahu who rejected multiple hostage release deals. See Guardian article: “Netanyahu rejected ceasefire-for-hostages deal in Gaza”. He wants to prolong this war as long as possible, because he knows his post-war political career is toast.

      • Kanu Sukha says:

        BUT … he has one called Mordechai Yitzchak … and a few other loonies like ben Harper et al, to continue flying his flag here ! Talk about colonised/closed minds .

    • Nas Hodja says:

      On somebody else’s stolen land, while holding its people in brutal subjugation and deprivation?

    • Fuad XXX says:

      Perhaps, more to the point go & live in Gaza or the West Bank to experience Israeli Atrocities against Palestinians daily not even mentioning the criminal illegal settlers on stolen land.

    • Mohsin Wadee says:

      NYT has just reported than Israel knew plans of the Hamas attack over a year ago, save your crocodile tears for fascist, racist Israel elsewhere.

    • Mohsin Wadee says:

      NYT just reported the Israel govt knew about the Hamas attack plans a year ago. So save your crocodile tears for the fascist, racist state that refuses Palestinian rights.

  • Lil Mars says:

    Why is there no request for Hamas to release the hostages? Israel must stop the bombs but its ok for Hamas to do nothing to protect the Gazans and to keep the Israeli hostages? I am also sickened by the killing and starvation of innocent people. But the role of Hamas must be called out too. Ask them to stop bombing Israel a release the hostages. Then I would also sign this letter.

    • Mally MacCarthy says:

      Exactly! I have yet to read anywhere that Hamas must cease firing rockets into Israel; that they should cease using Palestinian citizens, including children, as human shields; that they should cease expropriating foreign aid e.g. cement, which enters Gaza through Israel, to line the hundreds of kilometers of tunnels which they have built under schools, hospitals, houses and shops in Gaza. Whenever the IDF plans to destroy a Hamas rocket site or tunnel access points, Israel has given a pause to allow citizens to leave the north for the south where they have supplied food, water and medicine. Egypt is the only country besides Israel that borders Gaza. Nowhere have I read that Egypt has allowed Palestinian refugees to cross the border. Five times Israel has offered Palestinian a two-state solution. Five times Palestine has refused. I am not Jewish, but like many many others, I support Israel, and Israel’s right to protect its citizens against a despicable terrorist organisation whose sole purpose is to murder every Jew on the planet. Many Israelis do not support the present right-wing government and the settler-led violence on the West Bank, but that will change once this horrendous war is over and Netanyahu is no longer in office.

      • Enver Klein says:

        Mally, Mally, Mally. Why was Yitzhak Rabin assassinated by a Zionist? I’ll enlighten you a bit.
        His assassination was the culmination of an anti-violence rally in support of the Oslo peace process. Rabin was disparaged personally by right-wing conservatives and Likud leaders who perceived the peace process as an attempt to forfeit the occupied territories and a capitulation to Israel’s enemies. National religious conservatives and Likud party leaders believed that withdrawing from any “Jewish” land was heresy. The Likud leader and future prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, accused Rabin’s government of being “removed from Jewish tradition and Jewish values”. Do you really believe that the right-wing government without Netanyahu will change the Zionist ideology? Itamar Ben-Gvir, who currently serves as the Israeli Minister of National Security, was one of those who celebrated the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin.

        • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

          When a person addresses someone by their name 3x (e.g. “Mally, Mally, Mally), whatever they say afterwards is always ignored because the person speaking like this is being patronising.

        • Ben Harper says:

          SO the ONLY argument you have is an assassination that happened 30 years ago. Man, talk about living in the past. Bet you have an All Blacks jersey too

    • Izzy Trees says:

      It was Netanyahu who rejected multiple hostage release deals. See Guardian article: “Netanyahu rejected ceasefire-for-hostages deal in Gaza”. He wants to prolong this war as long as possible, because he knows his political career is toast.

    • Shireen Hassim says:

      It condemns Oct 7 and does call for the release of hostages: “We join the many voices worldwide calling for an immediate ceasefire, an end to the occupation, and the release of all hostages and detainees unjustly held both in Gaza and in Israeli prisons.”

    • Fuad XXX says:

      Perhaps you have not followed the history Israel bankrolled Hamas to cause division between Palestinians. By the way Hamas 7th Oct did not happen in a vacuum, even the UN secretary general mentioned it.

      • Kanu Sukha says:

        For which the ‘know all’ numbskull representative of the Israeli state (a poodle of the US) at the UN, launched a scurrilous and despicable verbal attack on him … for which no apology has been issued … not that I expect any from their ilk . It is consistent with what ML King called the ‘character’ of persons or people !

  • In every generation you get Jews who feel so sorry for those murdering their own people. Where in the entire world did we see a Gazan or any Muslim for that matter, protesting the Hamas terrorist attacks? The Jews of Germany did just the same. The Jews of America and the world also defended the Nazis until it was to late. These few hundred misunderstanding apologists do not represent Jews, let alone those who live in South Africa. While no Jew is happy with loss of life, they do accept that this is war. Don’t believe this narrative of one side being stronger. In ww2 two nuclear weapons were used against Japan to end the war. I have never seen any so called Jews saying how terrible that was as so many women and children died! Israel is all Jews have and if these people can’t see that then surely they will be the first slaughtered when their homeland is destroyed.

    • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

      Unfortunately, this is deemed “newsworthy” and will take column space in publications like Daily Maverick, to try win hearts and minds. Plant the seed that “good Jews” don’t support Israel. Create a narrative that Israel isn’t really “Jewish”, and that there’s a difference between “Jews” (good) and “Zionists” (bad) (I’m waiting for the DM pseudo-intellectual piece on that, which is being written now I’m sure). Has there been a single article on this website about the pro-Israel gatherings (not demonstrations) in Paris and Washington over the last few days (some say up to 500,000 each)?

  • Samuel Ginsberg says:

    That’s cool. Don’t expect Hamas to care though, their charter calls for your deaths too.

  • frances hardie says:


  • Benita Pavlicevic says:

    Thank you for speaking up for justice and for Peace.

  • Len Gronemann says:

    I would just like to ask the 500 odd signatories what they would consider a “proportional ” response to Hamas’s terror attack.

  • Andrew Le Roux says:

    Thank you for your courage, humanity and equanimity.

  • Mark Wade says:

    That’s less than 1.5% of South Africa’s Jewish community – hardly a relevant figure.

  • You should all know better. There was a ceasefire and the people of Gaza broke it by massacring over 1000 Israelis on October 7th. Your stunning lack of concern for the victims of the Hamas pogrom is shameful.

  • Kathleen Olivier says:

    Easy to be shocked about the war in Gaza, while you live in comfort and safety. I am not Jewish but understand the outrage and actions of the Israelis and IDF. Hopefully all the upset signatories are offering assistance for the ill and hungry children in South Africa

  • Self-hating Jews!! Aren’t they the worst kind? Just like the Capos during the Holocaust. They gave their brothers and sisters up to the Nazis in the hope that they would be spared… cowards …. well if history will repeat itself, I hope this list of self hating Jews know that the blood of their family and their ancestors lies squarely on their heads. Shame on them, I feel pity for their families and I wish these 538 a miserable existence. Am Yisrael Chai!!!

  • Melanie Dass Moodley says:

    This is heartening. Thank you for your courage and for not putting anger and vengeance over your sense of humanity.

  • Devan Pillay says:

    Well done!!! All hostages mist be released, Israeli AND the thousands of Palestinians languishing in Israeli jails, without trial.

    Ultimately, a just peace must include full citizenship to all who live in Israel-Palestine, the return of occupied territory on the West Bank, and the right to return of all those exiled by the forced removals since 1948 (ironically also the beginning of official apartheid in South Africa).

    • Enver Klein says:

      Listen to the interview with Daniella Weiss and you will understand why the two-state solution is not on Israel’s agenda.

      • Kanu Sukha says:

        Just two days ago, the Israeli state leadership placed that on record in the world media, their unambiguous rejection of even the US notion of ‘two states’ … not that the US idea of ‘two states’ would have involved genuine statehood for the non-Israeli section ! But regardless of that sleigh of hand by the US , the Israeli state apparatus roundly condemned/rejected it.

    • virginia crawford says:

      If only.

  • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

    The saddest thing about this list, it that it demographically mirrors the people who were murdered and kidnapped in Israel on October 7. A disproportionate number of idealists looking for peace and harmony, not “practicing racist zionism”.

    Hamas hit:
    1. A supernova music festival on Simchas Torah. Young people at a rave, not fervent religious Jews in synagogues
    2. Kibbutzim on the Gaza border. Socialist, idealist, well-known left-leaning communal-living communities, with strng social working ties to the people of Gaza, not “zealous settlers” in so-called “occuppied or disputed” areas of Israel like the West Bank

    The gas chambers did not discriminate. Hamas does not either. The people on this list, brave as they think they are, have simply made themselves known as Jews. And sadly, we Jews have learnt how dangerous it is for our enemies to have lists of us.

  • Izzy Trees says:

    Bravo! Thank you for standing up for humanity. Starving, killing and maiming an entire civilian population (most of which are children) is NOT the answer.

  • Glad I left says:

    No Adrian Gore or Stephen Kosseff

  • Dietmar Horn says:

    Regardless of whether you agree with the signatories of this letter or not, what is crucial is that in the Jewish community inside and outside Israel, plurality, diversity of opinions and self-criticism are just as natural as in the liberal Western democracies and that a group has the courage and freedom to speak out against the social pressure of the majority of their community. I consistently miss such courage for self-criticism in the Islamic communities in Western countries whenever jihadist groups commit their atrocities among the civilian population by citing Islam.

    • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

      Yup, also did you ever see a pro-Israel counter-protest that shut down a pro-Palestine one, or ever see a sign calling for an Israel in its rightful biblical borders (which is way beyond the river to the sea FYI), or hear any chant besides “Am Yisrael Chain” (“the People of Israel live”)? If Israel really didn’t care about Palestinian civilian lives – this whole thing would have been done and dusted on October 8

  • Caroline de Braganza says:

    Shalom. Salaam.

  • rato_lets says:

    Honestly just trying to read the comments

  • Beyond Fedup says:

    I am not Jewish and would love that peace is secured in that region where Israel’s right to exist peacefully is guaranteed and the Palestinians have their land. The 2-state solution is the best option on the table but both parties have to be on board. Israel even gave up Gaza on the road to peace and they were repaid with Hamas, missiles, rockets, murders etc. Five times this was rejected through the evil influence of parties such as Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad etc. whose sole mission in life is to kill Jews and obliterate Israel. It take two to tango and in my opinion, the Palestinians need to look after their own interest and what is best for them and not to kowtow to the radical, evil and demented outsiders (who control by terror, tyranny and the barrel of the gun) and who really don’t care about the welfare of the population. At the same time, the days when the Jewish people went meekly to the slaughter under the Nazis, are gone and will never happen again. They will resist, fight and eliminate those who want to murder them. And rightly so! I support that 100%!!! Peace is for the brave and the intelligent, and the Palestinians must be brave and intelligent – meet Israel halfway.

    • Enver Klein says:

      @Beyond Fedup, maybe you did not see my earlier post:
      Listen to the interview with Daniella Weiss and you will understand why the two-state solution is not on Israel’s agenda. Hamas want prisoners (jailed without trial and visitation rights) to be released in exchange for the hostages and Netanyahu outright rejected that. 10+ years ago, an IDF soldier was captured by Hamas and due to pressure from various sources, the soldier was “swopped” for Palestinian prisoners; back then Netanyahu swore that he would never be pressurized again to do that.

      • Lucius Casca says:

        Lol what makes you think the two state solution is on the Hamas agenda? Since the 60s Israel attempted and offered these solutions on 5 separate occasions. Remember the three No’s?? No recognition, no negotiation and no peace.

      • Ben Harper says:

        Hahahaha, listen to enough fanatics and you’ll get the “information” you want. SO how are your “sources” more credible than anyone else’s?

  • Jonathan Hemson says:

    I am a South African Gentile. I acknowledge the vast extent of trauma carried by those in the region – and which is being severely extended in this conflict. I understand how this trauma itself drives more hatred and violence, and how this drives yet more conflict. This is not a guarantee of security for anyone. I echo your call for a solution based upon democracy, security and justice for all, and wish, with many others outside the region, to help to bring about that change.

  • David De Jong says:

    How can I add myself to this list?

  • Godfrey Phillips says:

    I am proud the IDF has reacted in this manner to the pogrom committed on that fateful day in October. This has zero/ nothing to do with being anti apartheid. Jew s are not and cannot be anyone’s victims anymore.. Understand Jewish history to know the true meaning of our defense. No more pogroms , no more being victims, only a belief in self protection regardless of the antagonist. Where were the protestors when Assad bombed and gassed half a million Syrians , or a million Arabs murdered in the Sudan or Iranian women shot by their army etc etc But when Jews are in involved in protecting theiridentity is another story… why? Quite vexing

  • Glyn M says:

    It would be timely and admirable if Palestinian supporters would also put their names down with these sentiments. Where are the peaceful prominent Muslims in this equation?

  • Anwar Mall says:

    Thank you. Its folks like you who create home during these desperate times.

  • charles Chemel says:

    A very impressive and knowledgeable list of signatories, but I have to ask, in signing this statement, why did it take you so long to do so and what do you hope to have achieved:

    In particular:

    Where was your voice over the last many years protesting about the Hamas charter which makes it its mission to kill jews.

    Where was your voice against Hamas’s seizure of power in Gaza and the inhumane way they diverted resources from the locals to build tunnels of war over many years.

    Where was your voice in their call to annihilate the state of Israel

    Where was your voice in the way they built military infrastructure in dense civilian areas in Gaza, to ensure the carnage you are now protesting about?

    Where was your voice in the immediate aftermath of 7th October where they murdered parents in front of their children and children in front of their parent. They raped woman in the most beastly fashion on the Jewish Holiday of Simcha Torah, making the Nazis look kind. but you were silent until now. Why?

    Where was your concern for pikuach nefesh then?

    Did you question why Hamas acted like animals in murdering the jews. Is it possible that they wanted their actions to engraved in the minds of jews forever? Does it strike you that they don’t want peace with people like you under any circumstances?

    Where was your voice when they kidnapped babies, and paraded woman naked in the streets of Gaza? Why did it take you until now to say anything?

    Since October 7, has anyone of you done anything to give a voice to the release of these hostages, or is this statement how you give your voice 7 weeks later.

    I don’t remember you asking why it was that Hamas took the hostages they did? Clearly, they provoked Israel into a response.

    You make no mention of what you think it would have been appropriate for Israel to have done after October 7? Why is that? What would you wise people have done if these were your kids, parents, siblings?

    Would you have walked into Gaza in peace and pleaded for the release of the kidnapped? Would you have sent your kids on their bicycles to look for them? Perhaps you would have got in your cars and knocked on the tunnel doors.

    Why really did you make this statement? Was it to ingratiate yourselves with your compatriots who are in the pro palestinian marchers? The same people who tear down posters of the hostages and prevent jews from expressing their views, of which you guys say nothing?

    Does it help you sleep better at night, with your conscience cleared?

    I recognize many of you from previous statement you have signed for ceasefires. Have these ceasefires made any difference given what happened on October 7th? I think it was Einstein who said it was insanity to repeat an action and expect a different outcome? Are you insane?

    What do you expect a ceasefire to achieve? Based on the above, do you believe Hamas really wants a peaceful settlement? Would you wise people trust them given they might have killed your mother or raped your sister?


    Surely, with all your wisdom, you can come up with something cleverer than simply a ceasefire. What then? Go forward and repeat?

    Not in my name.

  • Aaron Silverstein says:

    The Jews who signed this letter should be ashamed of themselves. They are truly no better than collaborators with the Nazis. It is particularly shameful that many gay people signed this letter, when Palestine (Gaza and West Bank) has been listed as one of the worst places in the world to be LGBT – and that’s not just because Hamas routinely executes and imprisons gay people, it’s because most of the Palestinian population agrees with it. Where was the letter from South African Jews about the treatment of LGBT people in Gaza and the West Bank? The vile oppression of gay people has been going on for decades, and there are at least 500,000 LGBT Palestinians who are literally fearful to say they are gay, and yet no one in our Jewish community has spoken up about them. Hamas’ attack on Israel was because they hate Jews and want to kill them – it’s not because of the conditions of the Palestinian people. If the Palestinians wanted peace they would have it today – they have been offered a two state solution numerous times, and every single time they have sabotaged it. The simple truth is they don’t want Jews, the indigenous people of Israel, to live in their own land. The original colonizers were the Muslims, who built the Al-Aqsa Mosque directly on the site of the first and second temples in Jerusalem, the center of Jewish life for more than 1000 years. What Israel faces now is an existential threat, and they have no choice but to go into Gaza and root out Hamas once and for all. The blood of Palestinian children is on Hamas’ hands, not Israel. Just 18 millions Jews in the world face terrible anti-Semitism, and the signers of this vile letter feel it’s ok to add to it (yes, look on social media, and you’ll see exactly how this letter is being used by those who hate Jews). There are 1.8 billion Muslims in the world, and they don’t face Islamophobia on near the scale that the world’s small Jewish population does. There are 240 hostages in Gaza, whose lives hang in the balance. The only reason why there are negotiations for their release going on is because of the Israeli actions. Beyond everything, the signers of this letter, privileged and safe where they are, had no right to attack Israel as they did – pro-Hamas forces are already doing that globally. You betrayed all Jews in the writing of this letter, and you should all be ashamed of yourself.

    • Lil Mars says:

      Thanks for bringing this up. Those that I know on the list are advocating for a one state solution. They naively believe that the Palestinians would allow Jews to live in their state. I don’t think they’ve even considered the rights and existence of LGBTQ+ people Jewish or not. Terrifying!

    • Johann Olivier says:

      Shtok, Mr. Silverstein. You’re reacting exactly as Hamas would want. There is some evidence that Bibi & his mobsters has had a hand in maintaining the Hamas diversion as far as Palestinian unity goes. This horrorshow works for both the monsters of Hamas & the religious nuts of the Likud.

      • Kanu Sukha says:

        Well said ! It was Gandhi who said “an eye for and eye” … makes the whole world blind .. and guess what … a Hindu fanatic assassinated (sounds familiar?) him !

  • Nas Hodja says:

    Palestinians have never been offered a true peace. What they have offered is capitulation and a Bantustan. True peace in Palestine would look like the South African solution. The whole country opened up for all its people, the right of refugees to return, and yes, even the Zionist Jews imported into Palestine after 1915 (when the British took over) and 1948, can remain, and then one man one vote.

    Zionists like to project that Palestinians want to kill them all, but why should that be, when they have allowed Jews to live peacefully in Palestine for over 1000 years of rule by successive Islamic governments?

    In fact, the mass killing of Jews in Palestine happened whenever Christians came there – the goodly Crusaders, those noble men of God, slaughtered Jews wherever they found them, and peace returned when Islamic governments took over again. Christians have killed more Jews in Palestine than Hamas, probably and order of magnitude more.

    And Zionists have killed an order of magnitude more Palestinians then Jews killed by them, since 1948.

    Take the last 300 years under the Ottoman Empire ending in 1915. Jewish refugees fleeing the Spanish Inquisition were give refuge in Palestine. People of all three faiths lived peacefully, were good neighbours to one another, and worshipped peacefully in their places of worship. Until militant Zionist Jews came from the outside and started the ethnic cleansing.

    Hamas would not exist if the Palestinians were given a true peace offer, because they would be no need for them. The IDF is the biggest recruiter for Hamas when they perpetrate atrocity after atrocity against the Palestinian people.

    • Lucius Casca says:

      Absolute revisionist history going on here, clearly you know nothing about the Crusades and even less about the Peele commission conducted under the British mandate.. Pray tell why there are no more Jews and only small minorities of persecuted Christians in the Palestine neighboring countries if Islam brought so called peace to the region?

      • Nas Hodja says:

        The Zionists are the masters of revisionist history.

        The Crusades are a most grisly chapter of Christian history without doubt.

        The Peele commission would not have been necessary if militant Zionist Jews had not come into Palestine and started displacing Palestinians.

        Neighbouring countries? The Jews were green lighted to emigrate into somebody else’s country brutally displacing the people already there. So fewer of them now. Violence against Jews in neighbouring countries was a direct reaction to violence against the Palestinians. Unfortunately, human nature is like that.

        When the Islamic world took over Palestine from the Eastern Roman empire, it was not ethnically cleansed of Christians and Jews. Over time and through inter-marriage, they changed their faith, but they are still the same people.

        There were no Jews in Jerusalem when the Islamic armies first entered it. Guess why? Not a drop of blood was spilled, no women were molested, and no places of Christian worship were taken over.

        Recognising that a great harm had been done to them, the Jews were invited to come back and live in Jerusalem by the Islamic state.

        • Kanu Sukha says:

          But .. you forget the sponsors of the Israeli state (UK and US) … the latter have their own history of wiping out the ‘indigenous’ populations of America (today small pockets are confined to ‘reserves’ sic) … in guess what … the ‘land of the brave and free’ !! … which even descendants of slaves, sing in unison with hands over their heart and ‘represent’ the US at the UN … where they continue their mockery.

    • Aaron Silverstein says:

      Oh that sounds wonderful. We’ll have a democratic election just like in South Africa. I noticed that you said ‘one man, one vote’, and that was a good hint of what would be to come after that election, as women weren’t included. Based on what happens across the Muslim world – subjugation of women, brutal oppression of gay people, and based on the remaining Jewish population of every country in the Middle East besides Israel, Jews are exiled or killed. The population of most Muslim countries is a couple hundred or a couple of thousand Jews, if that. And as for that election – it’ll be just like the election in the Gaza strip after Israel left – one man, one vote, once, because Hamas never allowed an election after that. Look at all the Muslim nations of the world, and sadly most do not have democracy, freedom of speech or any other of the Western freedoms that are enjoyed in Israel by all (including the 1.9 million Arabs who live there quite happily, and are most certainly not running to live in the other Muslim countries nearby).

      • Nas Hodja says:

        All these Middle Eastern dictators were appointed and are fully supported by the Western powers (fully paid for to do their mischief). Democracy may break out in the Middle East if it were not for that.

        Hamas came to power only because of the brutality the Palestinian people have been subject to with the world doing nothing about it. There would have no support if it were not for that.

        Woman do vote in Islamic democracies. They did not always vote in Western ones either.

        Talking about the ‘rights’ which noble Israel gives, the people of the West Bank live under terrible subjugation and daily settler violence and even now, dispossession of their land. They have no rights and every atrocity against them is justified as a security operation. Gaza is a concentration camp.

        • Aaron Silverstein says:

          It’s very interesting, Nas, how you’ve responded to all of my points above, except the ones about the treatment of gay people by elected Palestinian leadership, Hamas, and across the Muslim world. Please can you state your position on LGBT rights, including same-sex marriage. I think it’s important for the many gay signers of the above letter to know exactly who they are aligning themselves with.

          • Nas Hodja says:

            Muslims are with the majority of Republican Party in the US on this one. They do not regard being gay by choice as a human right.

            Many many Christians and people of other faiths have the same position.

            All can still align and call for peace.

    • Ben Harper says:


  • dexter m says:

    Well meaning , but way to late Zionism is now the majority amongst Jews . for non jews read “who is a jew” by Leonard Greenspoon .Purdue University . make for interesting reading gives a better understanding of Israeli policies .


    Your headline is misleading. It only refers to the call for a ceasefire but omits to mention the call for the release of the hostages. I wonder if this is what the signatories were expecting & how they feel about it. You have taken a thread out of their long letter and emphasised only the wording that reflects your own views. Have you run out of space again DM? That is your usual excuse to me.

    • Nas Hodja says:

      Let us not forget Israel is holding 5000+ Palestinians hostage in its prisons, many of them children and without trial. All the hostages must be freed.

      I commend the brave Jewish individuals who signed this letter. They have shown their humanity and taken the high ground.

      • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

        Indeed Nas. Well said. It is now well-known how the IDF aggressively went into a Gaza peaceful hypno-trans concert of young people and a left-leaning communal living complex – brutally murdering as many as they could and then kidnapped these 5000+ (totally innocent) Palestinians, who they are now holding hostage in sewers that they have built specifically for this. You forgot to mention that the Israeli public went on to dance in the streets, give out sweets, chanting “Hashem is great”, with simultaneous celebrations breaking out in all pro-western liberal democracies when this all happened. This is how the “Jews are really Nazis” and “Zionism is Apartheid” stuff gains real traction. Thank you for leading us to the high ground, also known a Lalaland.

        • Nas Hodja says:

          You obviously have not seen videos of settlers celebrating Palestinians being shot dead by the IDF.

          Palestinians in the West Bank have to suffer daily harassment, humiliation and violence from the settlers and the IDF. Just for trying to go about their lives in their own land. Israel’s ‘innocence’ in all this is totally overrated.

  • Ryno le Grange says:

    Most religions teach the golden rule, yet here we are in 2023 justifying hatred and murder in the name of god. Proclaiming to be his chosen nation and he gave you your land. Despite our incredible intelligence as a species, we just can’t escape the ape. RIP in peace fellow humans.

  • Jehan Bektir says:

    Surely a ceasefire would make the terrorists’ strategy victorious?
    Why don’t the innocent civilians and their children get away from the war zones, out of their own free will?

    • Ben Harper says:

      1. A ceasefire gives Hamas the chance to regroup and prepare for their next attack
      2. Firstly, Hamas won’t let them leave or move to safe areas, they need innocents to claim as martyrs to create sympathy for their cause and secondly, no regional Arab state will take any Palestinians, they so not want terrorists in their countries.

  • Loren Anthony says:

    Chris Hedges writes: I was a close friend of Alina Margolis-Edelman who was part of the armed resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising in World War II. Her husband, Marek Edelman, was the deputy commander of the uprising and the only leader to survive the war. The Nazis had sealed 400,000 Polish Jews inside the Warsaw Ghetto. The trapped Jews died in the thousands, from starvation, disease and indiscriminate violence. When the Nazis began to transport the remaining Jews to the extermination camps the resistance fighters fought back. None expected to survive.

    Edelman, after the war, condemned Zionism as a racist ideology used to justify the theft of Palestinian land. He sided with the Palestinians, supported their armed resistance and met frequently with Palestinians leaders. He thundered against Israel’s appropriation of the Holocaust to justify its repression of the Palestinian people. While Israel dined out on the mythology of the ghetto uprising, it treated the only surviving leader of the uprising, who refused to leave Poland, as a pariah. Edelman understood that the lesson of the Holocaust and the ghetto uprising was not that Jews are morally superior or eternal victims. History, Edelman said, belongs to everyone. The oppressed, including the Palestinians, had a right to fight for equality, dignity and liberty.

    “To be a Jew means always being with the oppressed and never the oppressors,” Edelman said.

  • salima.modack says:

    I applaude the bravery of the signatories to this statement. Palestinians are not stateless, occupied yes, stateless no.

  • Cunningham Ngcukana says:

    These are people who can help the world from the brink of inhumanity and to restore humanity in all of us and remove the anger in many people to ensure a durable peace process can be crafted. Many of them have been part of the struggle and are part of the patriots who want to see South Africa succeed. They are conscious that extremism in pursuit of justice is no virtue and the eye for an eye will leave everybody blind. Their voice is very crucial because that conflict can subsume the entire world and would have lasting effects on peace and stability in the region. Not only that but would leave the global economy scarred. The emergence of Netanyahu in Israel was one of the most catastrophic phenomena in that region. We do not need humanitarian assistance only but peace that would give hope to the future of the Palestinians that seems to desert those who are clamouring for revenge. The message by these progressive Jews to all of us is to pause and to think what we are saying including to the Zionists. We applaud their courage as well as their well thought message to South Africa and the world.

  • Louise Wilkins says:

    This is a calm, sensible article that has retained logic over emotion. I agree totally. Regardless of history, both sides have done wrong, both sides need to come to the table.

  • Johann Olivier says:

    Respect to those South Africans standing for decency & common sense. They will not be silent as Hamas attempts to steal victory from their revolting terror. And they stand opposed to the lunatic fascist Netanyahu & his government doing everything in their power to grant Hamas their goal.

  • The signatories have honorable intentions as does the South African government.

    Sadly, they are unaware of the destructive energies that Hamas represents, as well as its hold on the Arab population. Its a death cult, a murderous and aggressive movement seeking only one thing – to create chaos and destruction.

    I call on all honorable people to reconsider their views. As a South African citizen, I call on all honorable members of parliament to realize that Hamas is not a civil rights movement and has no resemblance to those who fought against the evils of apartheid

    • Ben Harper says:

      The South African government have never has an honourable intention in their entire existence

      • Kanu Sukha says:

        I assume the one before the ANC is what you are longing for ? Your thinking is quite indicative of that … but sorry … I forgot there were no supporters of apartheid (it just happened !) … before it was dismantled … by a NOW disgraced ANC .

  • Ruth Rosengarten says:

    I cannot believe that a letter decrying the horrors of war makes no mention of the atrocity that started it on 7 October, nor the uncontested fact that Hamas is a Jihadist organisation that has the erasure of the state of Israel in its charter – and that’s if you have problems calling a terrorirst a terrorist. I cannot believe that a letter, ostensibly smart and humane, should use terminology without querying or vexing it, such as ‘genocide’ or ‘Zionist’ – simply accepting the idea that zionist is a dirty word, equivalent to paedophile, say, or serial killer. I am a left wing Zionist and I see no contradiction in that – I believe that the state of Israel has the right to exist, along with all the other nation states that got allocated and named in the mapping of the ‘Middle East’ at the point of decolonisation, starting with Lebanon and Syria in the 1920s, and right up to Kuwait in 1961. This was part of decolonisation. You cannot colonise a place of which you are indigenous. Calling out Netanyahu, the harm he has done, the way he has sanctioned the vile behaviour of settlers on the West Bank, is an ethical responsibility but what a shame none of these signatories saw it fit to call out the actions of Hamas, or to address the fact that ‘between the river and the sea’ is in itself a genocidal call, though some have argued it is ‘poetic.’

  • Angie Segal says:

    As someone in the Jewish community, who went to King David and have sent my children to King David schools this list is certainly not made up of ‘prominent people’. I recognize 3-4 successful business people and the rest are average Joe’s with zero influence – feels like the journalist stood outside Norwood Hypermarket & got people to add their names . Some are even recent graduates. This journalism is in the dumps

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