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How to respond to the Middle East crisis — stop shouting and listen

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Rabbi Greg Alexander is a teacher and student of peace who works with the Cape Town Progressive Jewish Congregation to create communities of consciousness.

Where to turn? What to do? How can I respond to these calls for revenge, these cries for justice? What can I do to change this situation, given that more powerful leaders have consistently failed to do so?

As I write this, it has been more than a month since the Hamas attacks in southern Israel and the war in Israel and Gaza continues to rage. I have spent the past month mostly speaking to people who are (fill in what you are feeling…) confused, enraged, depressed, beset, overwhelmed, outraged, despairing.

South Africans, (the glimmer of sunshine of the Springboks aside) have been swamped with videos, petitions and marches to add to their already heavy load of political and economic burdens. Teenagers in schools and students on campuses are being asked to take a side. To stand for Palestine or stand for Israel. Standing for peace is not an option. Jews who have never visited Israel in their lives are being asked to defend its government.  Muslims are assumed to have supported the rape of women, murder of babies and capturing of civilians on 7 October.

“Facts” are shouted, “proof” is posted. “Now we know … now it is clear and undeniable”. The news media is not to be trusted — it doesn’t matter which “side” you are on, the media supports the other — the news media is twisted and biased and corrupted by the power, money and influence of (the other side that is not yours).

It is clear that there is no safe space to speak about Israel and Palestine. Apparently, you either believe that the bloodshed is caused by terrorists who want to kill Jews and obliterate the Jewish state or by a settler colonial apartheid empire intent on genocide.

Any reference to suffering is countered with evidence of more suffering.  What you are feeling is not anything like what they are feeling. What I am hearing loudest of all is, “I have zero tolerance for your pain.”

All pain is pain, all trauma is trauma.  Those who were killed, raped and abducted have families, communities that are suffering now. The young soldiers sent into war to kill or be killed have families, communities — pain. The citizens of Gaza and the West Bank are under attack — suffering. Jews, Muslims, anyone with a heart the world over is in pain. We are all in pain. And instead of comfort, instead of leadership towards solutions, we find anger, verbal and violent acts of Jew and Muslim hatred, friendships ended, trust broken and alliances shattered. And living as we do here in South Africa, this is only a small taste of what Israelis and Palestinians live with every day.

Where to turn? What to do? How can I respond to these calls for revenge, these cries for justice? What can I do to change this situation, given that more powerful leaders have consistently failed to do so?

Perhaps I can suggest that the best way to respond right now is to stop shouting and listen. To hear and understand the pain of others. And yet there are no “safe spaces” to speak and listen in. So we need to create them. Not to debate or persuade. To listen. Reach out to your neighbour, colleague, schoolfriend who is not you, and may not think like you or consume the same media that you do. Find out how they are doing, ask how they are feeling given what is going on and how they are managing. And hopefully, they will ask the same from you.

I was struck by these words written in the most brutal of times, and resonating profoundly now. Etty Hillesum was a young Jewish woman in Amsterdam when Hitler was closing in. Her diary, Etty Hillesum: An Interrupted Life — the Diaries, 1941-1943 and Letters from Westerbork, were published posthumously. She wrote:

“Ought we not, from time to time, open ourselves up to cosmic sadness? Your sorrow must become an integral part of yourself. You mustn’t run away from it, but bear it like an adult… Give your sorrow all the space and shelter in yourself that is its due, for if everyone bears their grief honestly and courageously, the sorrow that now fills the world will abate. But if you do not clear a decent shelter for your sorrow, and instead reserve most of the space inside you for hatred and thoughts of revenge from which new sorrows will be born for others then sorrow will never cease in this world and will multiply.”

As we sit with our sorrows, can we make every effort to not multiply them?  Stop shouting and listen. Find small ways that you can bring kindness and comfort into our battered world. While we cannot control global events, we can make an impact right here, right now. Do it and keep doing it. DM

Read more in Daily Maverick: Israel-Palestine War

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  • Kanu Sukha says:

    Thank you rabbi for a insightful look at an issue . Have you noticed how MOST people here who were ‘beneficiaries’ of our apartheid regime, seem to experience a certain kind of pain, while MOST of those who were at the ‘receiving’ end of that regime, seem to experience another kind of pain ? Or maybe I am just deluded ?

    • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

      Even now, our shallow hostilities, pre-deteremined stereotypes and inability to recognise that we are all the same people, all exposed to our own pains, pressures and prejudice rears it’s ugly head.

      Take a moment to read what the rabbi is saying again, and maybe again, and then one more time for luck. And grow.

    • Ben Harper says:

      Aw diddums, you want a noddy badge or a chocolate medal

    • Alan Salmon says:

      Kanu I think you are partly right. I think the previously disadvantaged people in SA identify with the Palestinian cause because they see them as oppressed. However the previously “advantaged” people probably have mixed feelings but tend to support Israel because of the ghastly attacks on 7 Oct.

      • Malcolm Mitchell says:

        Nothing to do with previously disadvantaged or not, but rather with supporting terrorists to get their way. The terrorist and anti-Semitic Hitler was eventually put in his place by Churchill. Imagine what would have been the result if the appeaser Chamberlain got his way. PS: I am not a Jew, or even a supporter but an Irish Christian who goes along with the dictum by the Irish philosopher who 200 years ago said that ‘evil prevails when good men remain silent”

        • Deirdre Lubbe says:

          I doubt that any of Edmund Burke’s ‘good men’ are part of this conflict. Innocent children and babies killed, surviving children traumatised for life, indiscriminate bombing. One can judge by appropriate response or a take moral stand right or wrong. What one cannot do, is ignore history behind the long standing conflict, the role of Netanyahu and his far right Likud Party. Hamas has no presence in the West Bank, where Palestinians have been harassed and jailed daily. And ‘the good men’ are silent.

    • Michael Thomlinson says:

      deluded

  • Judith Heunis says:

    Thank you, Rabbi. Calm and practicality. I, for one, will be taking your thoughts with me into the week ahead.

  • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

    Our world could do with a tidal wave of calm, measured thinking like yours rabbi.

    Thank you, I do hope your article is widely read and deeply assimilated by all who do.

  • Denise Smit says:

    Was Etty killed by the Nazis in spite of her calm words? Denise Smit

  • Raymond Auerbach says:

    Thank you Rabbi – an excellent suggestion! I will be visiting some of my Muslim friends to listen. Etty’s words are beautiful and true – we should not always run away from sadness; we need to be still and listen. We need to become aware of what we are feeling. Being there to hold our own pain, and that of others is a great service!

  • Thaabit Semaar says:

    I am extremely dissappointed that the article continues to mention the the supposed crimes committed by Hamas on 7th October in graphic detail. These are unfounded and were proven to be lies, without mentioning in the same graphic detail the targeted murder of complete palestinian families consisting of sometimes dozens of members and the brutal indiscimate murder of innocent women and children. It is sad that an opinion piece that is meant to call for understanding can be so one sided in favour of the Israel narrative and diminish the Palestinian suffering. Israel doing what they do well playing the victim while continuing their ethnic cleansing and genocide.

    • Louise Louise says:

      Please forgive me if I missed it, but the article didn’t mention the “graphic details” of the attack by HAMAS? But I do agree with you that the alleged 1,400 people killed by HAMAS is not true. The IDF killed people in the kibbutz using tanks (which HAMAS did not have) and using helicopter gunfire to kill people walking/running/driving away from the music festival.

      But the point of the Rabbi’s article is to say “stop” and feel the sorrow on both sides.

      My plea is for people to realise that both sides are being played by the Zionists (remembering that not all Zionists are Jews and not all Jews are Zionists). Zionists are mostly non-religious.

      To those who feel they have to pick a side, THEY are the ones who are being deceived. This horrific situation has been caused, not by HAMAS or the Palestinians or by ordinary Jews, but by the globalists, the “hidden hand”, the Zionists, the people who manipulate conflicts and wars to suit their own agenda. These people WANT you to feel hatred, anger, sorrow, vengeful – all the negative emotions. They FEED off them and USE them. As long as people are manipulated to have hate in their hearts, they will perpetuate the conflicts.

      Keeping the populace occupied with these arguments, keeps them distracted from what is really happening. Our freedoms are being destroyed every single day whilst the accusations fly over “who started it”. Just look at the clown show in the US – people arguing over Biden and Trump. It’s a joke!

      • Ben Harper says:

        Wow just WOW!!!

      • Stephen Paul says:

        Oh the terrible the ZIONISTS, the ZIONISTS , the ZIONISTS. This post did make sure it said ZIONISTS and not ordinary Jews, whoever they are, to ensure it is not accused and barred by the Daily Maverick for antisemitic tropes. Anti-ZIONIST conspiracy theory tropes though are apparently acceptable by the DM. I do wonder when I read some of the posts allowed here, what it is about DM Comments policy professing a high premium on the truth and not voicing untested (insulting, libelous, fantastical) claims and conspiracy theories, I do not understand. Perhaps I could be enlightened if I could start writing posts that all pro-Palestinians (you see I am careful not to say Muslims) are terrorists. And if I repeat it often enough it becomes the “truth”.

        • Enver Klein says:

          Stephen, I would really appreciate your opinion on Max Blumenthal, Aaron Mate, Alex Rubenstein and Norman Finkelstein as their articles, talks, etc., are the main source of my information. At the same time, maybe you should also review the posts by the Jewish Voice for Peace, Torah Judaism, etc.

      • Iota Jot says:

        Louise, Louise, Louise. Oh dear, we have a conspiracy theorist in our midst. I can’t imagine what you are doing reading an article in the Daily Maverick, because you must surely do most of your reading on QAnon. What else do you deny? The Holocaust?

        • Ben Harper says:

          What’s posted there is way beyond conspiracy theory it’s outright mental delusion

          • Iota Jot says:

            True.

          • Enver Klein says:

            And you would deem these very good journalists as delusional?
            Max Blumenthal, Aaron Mate, Alex Rubenstein, …
            Just because you have been hoodwinked by the “formal media” doesn’t mean everyone else is.

          • Ben Harper says:

            @ Enver, your fake news and propoganda posts fool no one

          • Enver Klein says:

            Come now, @Ben, I’m waiting for you to discredit my sources, can’t you do better than call it propaganda?

        • Louise Louise says:

          It’s so amusing to see the instant insults and dismissal of opinions beyond someone’s capacity to think further than the official narrative. The old tropes come out about matters which are parroted by the closed-minded. QAnon is yet another distraction from the realities of today.

          • Iota Jot says:

            Exactly. Well said. ‘The old tropes come out about matters which are parroted by the closed-minded.”
            That old trope, so beloved by conspiracy theorists and antisemites, that there is a global plot to take over the world, that we are all being manipulated … Such an old story, endlessly repeated by closed-minded zealots who are filled with hate for Jews, who never stop to question that narrative or why they hate, but rather accuse everyone else of being unable to think or question.
            Because, of course, there are only two narratives: the ‘official’ one and the conspiracy theorists’ ‘hidden hand’ one. If one doesn’t subscribe to the latter then one must believe the former 100%.
            It is possible for people to read widely, beyond the official narrative, and form an opinion that includes dismissing the existence of a global Zionist plot as utter nonsense.

        • Rod H MacLeod says:

          A good conspiracy theory requires:
          1. Something that might sound like a fact if you say it with enough bluster and forcefulness;
          2. A target audience that is at best uninformed, at worst gripped by fear regarding something threatening;
          3. A gullible audience desperate to believe, and justify their belief by saying you cannot disprove it; and
          4. A medium to effectively portray and deliver the message.
          Now, good ‘ol Louise tries hard – really hard – but just can’t quite get to a level of good conspiracy theorist.
          I mean “The IDF killed people in the kibbutz using tanks (which HAMAS did not have) and using helicopter gunfire to kill people walking/running/driving away from the music festival” is so far from reality it’s a joke. Killed people in the kibbutz running from the music festival?
          And then she trots out the old Jewish hate [not anti-Zionist as she claims, but Jewish hate] speech about the Rothschilds and other Jewish global bankers trying to take over the world. She is just a simple dear old anti-Semite trying to reposition her bigotry as anti-zionist.

          • Enver Klein says:

            … And I am not surprised at how the formal media hoodwinks so many who want to believe what the formal media tells them. To them there is no alternative.

      • Alan Taurog says:

        What are you smoking?? To allege that the IDF indiscriminately killed hundreds of its own people in order to begin a war is just beyond ridiculous and evil.

    • Alan Salmon says:

      Thaabit – as the rabbi has suggested – you are not listening ! The atrocities committed by Hamas were documented by many different news outlets and we all saw many awful video clips from different sources. You need to accept that the atrocities happened and were appalling.
      What is happening now in Gaza is equally awful, but to close your mind to reality is not helpful.

    • Iota Jot says:

      Please read Greg Alexander’s article again, this time with an open mind. I think when you saw the article was written by a Jewish person you already closed your mind. Read the article as if it were written by a Muslim or a Thai Buddhist or simply by Anon.
      The article is not about apportioning blame or guilt or taking sides, all of which you have leapt to do. The author is asking us to put all our own thoughts and prejudices aside and simply share our grief, listen to others whatever their (rational, Louise Louise!) viewpoint.

    • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

      @thaabit – don’t you get it? There is no absolute right or wrong here, just lost people fighting when they could be working together. As an aside religious fundamentalism is I believe a bigger component of the problem than people like to acknowledge. Logic would be a more appropriate tool to resolve the conflict.

    • Rudy B says:

      Absolutely correct, this is the subtle propaganda they are well-trained at. Been doing this for centuries. South Africans fall for their BS hook, line and sinker every single time, it’s almost too easy for Pharisees, it’s become a bit of a joke to them.

  • Indira Govender says:

    Thank you Rabbi, I truly want to listen and I believe peace will be based on listening to both sides. But it’s difficult to listen above the wailing of people in Gaza who continue to lose their lives, limbs and families to the relentless bombing and shelling from Israel. If we want to listen to human voices, we must call for a ceasefire immediately.

    • Bennie Morani says:

      Well said! If someone is inflicting pain and suffering on another, the appropriate response is to try to get them to stop. Saying “I’m sorry for you suffering” is not the right response. No matter what wrongs the sufferer has committed in the past.

  • Sean Hammon says:

    Silence and listening and the creation of quietness is exactly the kind of inert dilution of outrage that Israel needs to continue is 70 years of terrorism, torture, theft and abuse. The Palestinians have every right to use this opportunity to not muffle, but amplify, this exposure of Israeli terrorism. I’m disgusted by decades of complicit western governments under Jewish influence ignoring the Palestinian plight. Particularly the UK/US turning every possible UN resolution into hot air. The time of quiet contemplation never was. The murderous Zionist project continues unabated.

    • Ivan van Heerden says:

      One question, has the state of Israel ever called for the utter obliteration of any Arab state and its peoples? Can gays openly protest in Gaza? How about women being killed for honor killings, any of that happening in Israel? The plight of the Palestinians is the fact that they stand for all of these things and the Israeli’s do not. The simple fact is that the Mullah’s could not allow either the Oslo accords or the latest Abraham accords to succeed so they activated their fanatic death squads, who by the way used all the western aid money to build bunkers and rockets instead of facilities for the Palestinians, and the resultant mess is what the world sits with.
      Where is the outrage at what Hamas does?

      • Bennie Morani says:

        Hamas is a ruthless, nationalist xenophobic organisation. But that is no reason to approve the continued killing of Palestinian civilians by a ruthless army, also led by narrow nationalists (whose xenophobia is generally not quite so extreme).

      • Ben Harper says:

        Yup, over 44 Billion US$ donated by the West – all gone to the lavish lifestyles of the Hamas leadership in Tunisia and Qatar and to by weapons and explosives and building materials for the hundreds of kilometers of tunnels

        • Bennie Morani says:

          Your imagination is running riot. Are they part of the Illuminati? Is there a ghastly worldwide conspiracy that the world knows nothing about?

          • Ben Harper says:

            It’s well documented mate, every penny donated in aid. The residences of Hamas leaders are also well documented

    • Ben Harper says:

      Hahahahahaha

  • Beyond Fedup says:

    Semaar – you have missed the whole point of this article and it is people like you, so blinded, twisted and biased that you cannot see the wood for the trees! The atrocities committed by Hamas on 7 October proven to be lies!!! Where is the proof? You are talking absolute nonsense!! In your warped mind, it is all a plot by the CIA and Mossad to give Muslims a bad name, as if they need any assistance in this regard. It is like 9/11 – a plot by the same agencies as no Muslim would do such a thing! There are good Muslims and very bad ones too, like every other religion. Wake up man and stop being so narrow-minded!

  • Cunningham Ngcukana says:

    This is the most sensible piece that removes emotions from the situation and at the very same time restores our humanity. It speaks to our human character about the pain in the region that is experienced by all sides rather than to seek to apportion blame on one side. It appeals to our own human essence to have empathy with those who are in pain but have become a political football by the US. It is perhaps what lacks amongst political leaders, the ability to look at the situation with a human eye and understanding of pain from those who experience it daily. The call that we must listen to the cries and pain as humans is the most powerful message from the Rabbi.

    • Ben Harper says:

      You know nothing about the pain in the region. Why don’t you focus on healing the pain of the tens of thousands of people left destitute by your jellybean leader when he stole their pension money from VBS Bank

    • Dietmar Horn says:

      Your sideswipe at the US shows that you essentially didn’t understand the rabbi’s concerns.

  • David van der Want says:

    I have been daydreaming about the speech Mandela would have given had he been in Netanyahu’s shoes – I suspect that it might include the sentiment that it is the aim of terrorists to turn their victims into brutes themselves. Hamas’ attacks were deliberately brutal precisely because they wanted Israel to respond in the way that Netanyahu has.

    I believe Mandela would have spoken about the generation of Palestinians and Israeli’s who are being born now and would have argued for peace. Perhaps he might have said “We cannot allow this monstrous act to make monsters of us”.

    We know how to make peace – google “Co-ordinates for transformative reconciliation” by Fanie du Toit and Angelina Mendes on the US institute of peace website.

    • Ben Harper says:

      Pie in the sky – Hamas don’t want peace, don’t you get that?

      • David van der Want says:

        I get that – of course they don’t want peace – neither does Netanyahu. Both are getting exactly what they want.

        It is unfortunately pie in the sky – but I’d take pie over bombs and missiles anyday

    • Dietmar Horn says:

      I think what Mandela would have said or done is a speculative question that doesn’t help us here. When Mandela was in government, he did not have the problem of the South African people being bombarded with rockets by external enemies who disputed South Africa’s right to exist. But that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to learn from history by analyzing conflicts from the past without ideology. However, one should not speculate what historical figures would do in a current situation, they are shaped by their time and that cannot be extrapolated into the future.

      • David van der Want says:

        I think imaginings of an alternative to the language of extermination that predominates and fuels conflicts are more than useful – they are necessary.

        As to the “being bombarded with rockets by external enemies disputing the right to exist” – I wonder again if a person motivated to bring about a peaceful solution such as Mandela might point out that the fear of being exterminated drives one to exterminate.

        I would hope that the majority of people would prefer a world not governed by a moral principle that goes “Kill or be killed”.

        If you don’t like Mandela – here’s Kurt Vonnegut.

        What has gone wrong is that too many people, including high school kids and heads of state, are obeying the Code of Hammurabi, a King of Babylonia who lived nearly four thousand years ago. And you can find his code echoed in the Old Testament, too. Are you ready for this?

        “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”

        “A categorical imperative for all who live in obedience to the Code of Hammurabi, which includes heroes of every cowboy show and gangster show you ever saw, is this: Every injury, real or imagined, shall be avenged. Somebody’s going to be really sorry.

        Bombs away—or whatever.

        “When Jesus Christ was nailed to a cross, he said, “Forgive them, Father, they know not what they do.” What kind of a man was that? Any real man, obeying the Code of Hammurabi, would have said, “Kill them, Dad, and all their friends and relatives, and make their deaths slow and painful.”

  • Stephen Paul says:

    The rabbi is a wise human being. No “buts.”!
    One caveat not related to his words of wisdom is that this war is a declared goal of eliminating Hamas from Gaza as a threat from further genocidal attacks. This Nazi-like neighbour is no more an option or can be “managed”. The goal is manipulated by Palestinian supporters knowing the media and voices of compassion will be employed as useful idiots in portraying this war for their cause in the wider M-E conflict . The irony is that there is a greater possiblity a sustainable peace process would be much more likely to emerge without the toxic and threatening influence of Hamas on both Israel and the PA. This can only happen if, as the Rabbi says, both sides are prepared to abandon their fundamentalist positions, however painful, and start listening to each other. Whether this can sway ardent anti and pro-Zionists around the world to listen to each other is debateable.

    • Ben Harper says:

      The war will continue as long as Hamas exists. Hamas does not want peace and will not stop until Israel and all Jews are wiped off the face of the earth

  • Help Me Understand says:

    Quote:

    “The IDF killed people in the kibbutz using tanks (which HAMAS did not have) and using helicopter gunfire to kill people walking/running/driving away from the music festival.”

    Have we entered a post-truth twilight zone? Daily Maverick, is some kind of moderation possible please? This is as unreasonable as holocaust denialism, and if not so laughably ludicrous, would be just as offensive and inciteful.

    Louise Louise. I have to ask you if you actually truly believe the sentence in quotes above? May I humbly ask the source of this information which seems so at odds with generally accepted reality?

    There are still people today who believe that the attacks on September 11, 2001, did not take place. There are still people who believe that no person has ever set foot on the moon. There are still people today who deny that 6 million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust.

    Suspending the utter shock I experienced when reading the quoted sentence, I am breaking my own rule about avoiding climbing into this oftentimes mosh pit of madness called comments, because I just have to ask…

    Not intended rhetorically, intended literally, and with my complete openness to accept a plausible answer, where and how did you form the idea that the Israeli Defence Force, used tanks to kill their own citizens in their own communities? Used Helicopters to gun down their own young adults? Did you read this in an article? Did you see something on Facebook? Did someone tell you? Is it a conspiracy theory? I am intrigued. Your answer may help me and others to make some sense of certain things, or not, I can’t tell yet.

    • Stephen Paul says:

      My sentiments exactly which are still being moderated.
      How does the DM Comments Policy accord to fantastical posts like from Louise Louise ?

    • Louise Louise says:

      I have replied to you but DM is marking it “awaiting moderation”. Not sure why, it is a perfectly reasonable answer!

    • Enver Klein says:

      Here’s to “Help You Understand”.
      Max Blumenthal’s article dated October 27, 2023, titled: “October 7 testimonies reveal Israel’s military ‘shelling’ Israeli citizens with tanks, missiles”, can assist you in understanding. It’s not on Facebook, not “word of mouth” nor is it a conspiracy theory, but very good journalism and what Max is known for.
      And of course, even though he is Jewish, he is deemed to be anti-semitic.
      Please remember, whoever controls the formal media controls the narrative. Herzog claimed that the IDF found an arabic copy of Mein Kampf amongst the rubble in a child’s room in Gaza. The most absurd thing about the finding is condition of the book, perfectly preserved, no damage whatsoever.

      • Louise Louise says:

        Thank you Enver, thank you.

        I thought I would look up the official definition of “Maverick” and here is the first one that came up : “If you describe someone as a maverick, you mean that they are unconventional and independent, and do not think or behave in the same way as other people. ” ’nuff sed!!!

        • Enver Klein says:

          Just waiting for comments about Max, Norman Finkelstein, et al, being conspiracy theorists ;-), although a quite a bit of the information in Max’s article is drawn from The Haaretz.

          • Louise Louise says:

            It’s such a shame Enver, so many people are simply unable to move beyond that which they believe to be true. Their minds are closed. Recent laws in the UK and Australia are now literally banning freedom of speech. Only when reality hits will the closed-minded think “oh but I didn’t think they meant ME!”.

      • dexter m says:

        you also picked up the condition of the book and his comments were a few hours after Macron said the Israeli army should stop killing women , children and old people…Go Figure

  • Alexander O'Riordan says:

    Congratulations Greg. You are providing real moral and pragmatic leadership. No victim is able to see clearly – when you are hurt and desparate it is natural to return to a narcissitic fight or flight mode and that is the place so many Palestinians, Israelis, Jews and Muslims now occupy. But there is no way out in that pain except to listen to people like you. We have to stop the cycle of self-destructive lashing out and trying to obliterate the perceived threat and to listen.

  • Rod H MacLeod says:

    Yes, very noble.
    Perhaps other readers can clarify this for me:
    1. 911 saw Muslims dancing in the streets of Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban as the horrendous footage and casualty counts were coming through. How come are there no Jewish folk dancing in the streets around the Gaza catastrophe?
    2. On Saturday, the pro-Palestine march in Cape Town proceeded without interference. Even when a protest leader stood up and invited the crowd to attack Jewish schoolchildren from Herzliah school. On Sunday, a small group of Christians who had assembled to pray for Israel was violently disrupted by Muslims who, among others harassed and threatened an elderly person in a wheelchair, prompting intervention by SAPS. The aggression by the Muslims was so intimidating, the police asked the pro-Israel group to disperse whereafter the Muslims took their anger out on the SAPS, requiring stun grenades and tear gas along with several arrests to restore order.
    May someone please explain why there exists such demonstrable intolerance by Muslims?

    • Enver Klein says:

      Rod, to comment on the last question of your point 1: there’s footage of Israelis dancing and waving flags while they are watching the bombing of Gaza, with one woman actually shouting: “we will kill all you Muslims, one by one”. Spare a thought for the Christians in Gaza being killed one by one too.

    • Louise Louise says:

      Have you not seen the IDF soldiers dancing and singing about obliterating the Palestinians? There are a few videos of that as well.

      Rod, there are atrocities on both sides of this awful situation. But we have to ask “who benefits?”, because for sure it wasn’t the Palestinians. And I’m not on the side of extremist Muslims, not at all. I know what the situation is in Europe with all the illegal migrants and the swamping of the European nations. It’s awful, just awful. Islam should not be in Europe and the dregs of the Muslim nations have been invading Europe for decades now. I for sure would not want to live anywhere in Europe now. Not all Muslims are bad, just like not all South Africans are bad. We must be careful to generalise and say that all the people of a certain nation/group/race are bad, because they are not. And contrary to other responses to my posts, I have no hate in my heart for anyone. Hate is a terrible, negative emotion and does no good whatsoever.

      • Rod H MacLeod says:

        No I have not seen such videos. Perhaps you may point me towards where I may see them.

        Nevertheless, I was referencing South Africa – Jews (the few who are left) and the Muslims (who grow in numbers here). Why is there such a dichotomy in behaviour, including tolerance for freedom of speech of the other side? Which Jewish leader here has called for the murder of Muslim school kids? Which Jewish protesters beat up on people in wheelchairs? Come on, you can say what you like but facts are facts (your alternative facts included, too).

    • Enver Klein says:

      Rod, based on your narrative, I assume you were present in Sea Point on Sunday.
      Sunday was extremely volatile, like a powder keg waiting for a spark. On one side you had pro-Palestinian supporters who had formed behind a line of Police and a little distance away the pro-Israel supporters. Before what unfolded, a well-built man walked up to the Police line waving an Israeli flag. An officer placed his hand on the man’s chest and politely asked him to step back; this man had a partially visible firearm in his waist band. This man also threw the first punch, that caused the escalation. Did you see that, and do you know who the man is?

  • dexter m says:

    Thank you, thank you. sanity in a insane world.

  • Jon Quirk says:

    At the end of the day, we are all human beings, and Martin Niemöller’s words are applicable to all ..

    – First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
    – Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist.
    – Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
    – Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

    We all, all societies, invest far too much power and hope for a better future, in politicians, “our” politicians, and only “our” politicians of course – but what happens when they go rogue, as ours have arguably done since 1948, or should we more narrowly define the time period to, since 2002?

    He who controls the narrative shapes and moulds the present – and the future.

  • Wacky Me says:

    Israel, please beware of what happened to SA and what it looks like today,

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