About rolenemarks

Rolene Marks is a member of the Media Team Israel, a body of volunteers that monitors bias in the media. A passionate advocate for Israel, Rolene has appeared on radio, tv and in the print Media. Rolene lives in Israel.

Saying thank you to our soldiers with AWIS

How does one say thank you to the thousands of brave young men and women of the IDF who work night and day to ensure that we are safe and sound?

It is no secret that every Israeli regards our soldiers as our children and after a tumultuous and traumatic summer, it has become even more of an imperative to show our gratitude.

Enter AWIS. AWIS or the Association for the Well-being of Israel’s Soldiers is an international, non-profit, humanitarian organization founded by David Ben Gurion in 1942. The organization is dedicated to looking after the mental and physical well-being of Israel’s soldiers and volunteers work tirelessly to provide for Israel’s protectors.

I was absolutely delighted to join the English Speaking Branch as they spent the day dedicating several clubhouses on bases around the country.

10438174_10152864788234804_7675605928189304602_nI can drive this thing…..

The first to arrive and the last to leave. This describes the Transport Corps, who keep our army moving. The men (and yes, there are women!) who are responsible for heavy vehicle transportation and for ensuring that our troops get to where they need to go. They are the unsung heroes, carrying the army on their backs. Literally! From tanks to troops, the transport corps ensures that our soldiers and heavy duty vehicles like tanks get to where they need to be safely and efficiently. AWIS volunteer,  Ian Waldbaum, pictured below, proudly dedicated the clubhouse for these hard-working troops.

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 Volunteer Ian Waldbaum inaugurates club house 

“Providing our young men and women soldiers with some form of sanctuary and sense of family, in and around the battlefield, is a crucial enterprise that requires our sustained and specific attention. Our branch was formed more than 30 years ago to raise funds dedicated to providing extra comforts, in their off duty hours,  for all our soldiers in the army, navy, air force and border police bases throughout Israel. Though the funds are solely under our administration our branch finances only projects that are requested by the IDF through AWIS Head Office,” says Chairman Cecil Shevil.

Our next stop was Kalandiya crossing and the Erez battalion. These brave men and women monitor the checkpoints between Israel and the West Bank. Often maligned by the foreign press, these courageous soldiers, often on their feet for 24 hours in a row, have stopped countless attempted terror attacks on Israeli civilians. Speaking to them and hearing their individual stories was both awe-inspiring and a reminder of the daily threats our country faces.

In excess of 5000 terror attacks have been prevented this year!

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Warning sign for Israelis

After a lunch that would have put a yiddisher mama to shame, a second clubhouse was dedicated where these soldiers could relax, play a little pool and unwind after a tense day.

The soldiers who serve in the Erez battalion are combat soldiers but they still find time to volunteer with children and Holocaust survivors and giving them a facility that will help them unwind is a great way to say thank you.

The unique essence of AWIS is the spirit of its members, volunteers and donors – providing the young men and women in the IDF with a genuine sense of care and love.

Last stop for the day was the Ordinance corps. Many of the soldiers on this base come from lower socio-economic communities.  A brand new clubhouse was dedicated and the group was warmly welcomed by the base commander who thanked the group, reiterating how a simple room to relax in goes a long way to make these soldiers feel special and appreciated. The clubhouses go a long way to uplifting their moral.

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Ordinance Corp Base Commander says thank you

Saying thank you to those who give their all for us to ensure our safety and security is priceless and the gratitude is palpable.

You can make a difference in the lives of Israel’s soldiers who are on active duty. Here is how you can contribute:

  • Annual fundraising efforts are mainly centered on the Calendar project, the 120-club Annual Draw, Gift Cards, Gift Certificates and of course, private donations in Israel and abroad.
  • The private donations are usually made to celebrate a simcha such as Bar mitzvoth, Weddings and Anniversaries (Silver, Golden and even Diamond!). On some occasions, sadly, in memory of loved ones and legacies from Estates.

100% of the donated monies are utilized for the specific project and donors are then invited to officially “open” their clubhouse together with their family and friends. Contributors are taken on trips to the bases when clubhouses are dedicated to see what is done with their contributions.  It is always an emotional occasion to witness the grateful thanks and appreciation of all the young soldiers on the base – very worthwhile as everyone comes away from these trips with a great sense of pride and pleasure for what is being provided for our boys and girls who protect us 24/7.

The funds of the English Speaking Branch of AWIS fundraising are allocated at the request of the Head Office of AWIS and we are proud to have been involved in many projects throughout our beautiful little country – furnishing and refurbishing clubhouses; equipping sports facilities; allocating funds for needy soldiers and their families at chaggim; scholarships for post-army study, etc.

For more information and donations, contact Ian Waldbaum at: ianwald@gmail.com

Swine fever!

Beware of swine flu – it seems to be a contagious disease!

Several weeks ago, members of COSAS, the Council of South African Students placed a pig’s head in what they thought was the Kosher meat section of Woolworth’s Sea Point store. Turn out in their infinite stupidity, they had placed it in the Halaal section but then again, this bunch have never been famous for their cerebral prowess.

Hate speech, much like swine flu, seems to be a contagious disease. This is a disease that is spreading like wildfire throughout the world. South Africa is not immune. Over the last few months social media sites on Facebook and Twitter have been infested with the kind of comments that would not have been out of place in Germany circa 1938 and many of the perpetrators are linked to government departments and  political parties. We have had the illustrious Rene Smit, social media manager of the ANC Western Cape branch posting “Hitler was right” and now DIRCO (Department of International Relations) employee, Rudi van Vuuren, who has enjoyed diplomatic postings to Helsinki and Damascus is the latest little piggy who is going to market.

to rolene

Cartoon courtesy of RAFO

Van Vuuren was caught tweeting this gem yesterday that appeared on the South African Friends of Palestine page:

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I know the very definition of diplomacy is telling someone to go to hell and making sure they enjoy the ride but this is beyond reprehensible. Hiding behind the excuse “well he was tweeting/commenting in his private capacity” is just not going to cut the mustard. Anti-Semitism is rising to alarming levels around the world and has arrived in South Africa. South Africa boasts a Constitution that protects the rights of minority communities and since the fall of Apartheid has been an example of conflict resolution but the lack of sanction on officials that feel like they have free reign on social media to spout their hate invective has transported the Rainbow nation back in time. It is a flagrant abuse of office to use social media platforms to bring their latent anti-Semitic tendencies to the fore.

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It seems as if it is open season to say whatever you want to against the Jewish community with very few repercussions. It is time for ordinary South Africans who are sick and tired of the Middle East taking preference over pressing issues in their country to say enough is enough. It is time for ordinary South Africans who fought long and hard to triumph over the dark past of the country to say enough is enough. Enough of the hatred. Enough of the abuse of office. Enough.

It is time for ordinary South Africans to say that the Jewish community are just as much a stripe in the Rainbow Nation as any other and any hate invective against them will not be tolerated.

This particular strain of swine flu has to be stopped from spreading at all costs before the epidemic gets out of hand and starts to manifest violent symptoms.

“We received information from an online organisation called ‘SpotlightingSA’ which combats Antisemitism and false narratives concerning Israel. Spotlighting primarily focuses on South Africa but deals with the same issues in the UK and Australia. Spotlighting is a grassroots initiative which also monitors Antisemitism and holds individuals accountable for racism, bias, bigotry and above all Antisemitism. Spotlighting is an independent organisation unaffiliated to any organisation or political agenda”.

This BDS piggy went to market…

This blog post currently appears in the Times of Israel:

http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/this-bds-piggy-went-to-market/

Someone once said don’t get in the mud with the pigs, because you both get dirty and the pig enjoys it.

It would appear as if the BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanction) movement has developed quite an appetite for pigs. While it is tempting to indulge in pig puns, this is fast becoming a very serious issue. If it is not Roger Waters flouting his helium pigs decorated with stars of David at his concerts, it is the Council of South African Students who have deemed if perfectly acceptable to place pigs heads in the meat section of Woolworths stores in South Africa.

Why Woolworths? Why pigs? Woolworths, one of South Africa’s most respected and popular brands that sells home ware, food and clothing has been the target of demonstration and boycott by BDS SA. The fact that Woolies imports from Israel amount to barely a percent is irrelevant to BDS. They have firmly locked their target on the upmarket store and demonstrations, threats against shoppers and staff and violence have become the order of the day. Nearly 60 protesters, including children were arrested for disturbing the peace two weeks ago.

The morons from COSAS who placed a pig’s head in the meat section of Woolworths’ Sea Point branch have not only offended the Jewish community but Muslims as well. The porky creature is forbidden to both religions and to Jews the image or use of a pig has been seen as a symbol of anti-Semitism since time immemorial.

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Cartoon courtesy of RAFO

Why COSAS, who quite frankly should be concentrating on their university studies are so fixated on Israel at the expense of so many problems that plague not just South Africa but the African continent is beyond me. Civil war, dire poverty, starvation and disease are all problems that plague the continent but are ignored so that anti-Semites can indulge their latent tendencies.

Policies of BDS are counter-productive to peace and the ordinary citizens of South Africa who benefit from Israeli know-how in science, medicine, technology and farming are the ones who lose.

In a recent twist of events COSAS distanced itself from the Woolworths Pig Head incident by releasing a statement that said that while they unequivocally support the Palestinian cause, they distance themselves from the incident at Woolworths Sea Point, intimating that the culprit, Siphakhamise Ngxowa, was some kind of renegade who was also making statements to the media on their behalf. They claim he has been suspended.

This is in stark contrast to the outcomes of their executive committee meeting of their Western Cape Branch where it was stated:

“Due to media frenzy, much misrepresentation and attention seeking from the paranoid racist board of White Jewish Deputies we found it necessary to elaborately address the “Stop the Pigheaded Woolworths” and the “boycott Woolworthless campaign”. In light of this we decided to dedicate much of this statement to the Palestinian solidarity campaign, to avoid further misrepresentation of our views.”

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They also claim and are quite angry that Woolworths are “covering up at least 3 other pigs head” incidents at stores.

Outcomes were as follows (courtesy Politicsweb.co.za)

  • The program of Palestinian solidarity was a provincial program and no one can be suspended for this. We have received no correspondence from NEC of COSAS and therefore dismiss claims and media comments of a suspension as unlawful, unprocedural, baseless and not communicated to Western Cape.
  • We are a militant radical organization and we therefore do not grandstand in the media, the culprits who have made these claims should step forward and identify themselves. We will not allow factional, Zionist, conservative and counter revolutionary individuals to intimidate our radical chairperson Cde Siphakamise Ngxowa.

 

  • We are an organization not some shabeen, if organizational procedures are not followed then these attempts have no legal bearing. We are well aware of the national COSAS politics at play surrounding comrade Cde Siphakamise Ngxowa and will not allow people to be suppressed because of factionalism or Zionism.

 statement

  • ON CLAIMS THAT WE HATE JEWISH PEOPLE

 

  • Pigs heads and some resources needed for this campaign have come from Jewish people.

 

  • The gathering of racist white people and armed white militia or “security of a special kind” was organized by the DA and their Israeli funders.

 

  • The illegal and unpermitted public gathering, which aimed to portray Jewish people as victims- while they still are enjoying the sweet taste of the yoke of white Aparthied privilege, is a mockery to South African black people.

 

  • The Jewish people in South Africa were with us in the struggle against Aparthied, but this racist DA group called the Jewish Board of Deputies never once through Apartheid issued a single statement to support our black people.

 

  • We love Jewish people, we love Christian people, we love Quaker people, we love Buddhist people and we even love people who do not believe in God- but we do not love racist and oppressive people.

 

  • We will write to Jewish Voices for Peace and other progressive non-racist Jewish people to explain to them our campaign.

PIgin+Woolies

It has become open season on Jews. Expressing anti-Semitism is no longer politically incorrect or intolerant in certain circles. Instead it has become almost fashionable to Jew bash.

The silence from politicians, religious leaders and human rights organisations has been deafening. Not a peep, not a squeak, not an oink.

Jewish Voices for Peace purport to stand for Jewish values of morality yet they have not made any statement on the disseminating of pigs. As far as I am concerned, this negates any moral and ethical pedestal that they have placed themselves on. They are filled with righteous indignation when it comes to Israel, preferring to compose a laundry list of accusations than address a blatant hate crime against their co-religionists.

It must be a wonderful feeling to be able to comment on events that affect the daily lives of us Israelis from the safety and comfort of a computer a continent away.

Anti-Semitism has arrived in South Africa.  Placing pig heads in supermarkets is profoundly offensive to the Jewish community. It is also offensive to Muslims but nobody has uttered a word. The “Rainbow Nation” that prides itself on racial inclusion has earned itself a very dark stripe.  The Anti-Semitic cancer that is spreading around the world has found its way to the Southern tip of Africa.

I would wait for the statements of condemnation to come rolling in but I believe that pigs will fly before this happens.

Dark days for the Beloved Country.

Israel’s Adventures in Wonderland

This post currently appears in the SA Jewish Report:

http://www.sajr.co.za/bloggers/rolene-marks/rolene-marks/2014/10/23/israel-s-adventures-in-wonderland

“The time has come, my little friends, to talk of other things / Of shoes and ships and sealing wax, of cabbages and kings / And why the sea is boiling hot, and whether pigs have wings / Calloo, Callay, come run away / With the cabbages and kings.” The Walrus, (Alice in Wonderland).

You could be forgiven for thinking that when it comes to reading or hearing about the Middle East, that you have fallen down the rabbit-hole into some kind of bizarre parallel universe where the world is topsy turvy and nothing makes sense. The Walrus seems to be more coherent than some of those who frequently opine and make decisions that affect Israel and the rest of the neighbourhood.

The commentary, headlines and decisions that world leaders make about Israel has us thinking that perhaps we are at the Mad Hatter’s tea party. Israel has become the proverbial bait that is dangled before the sharks and other predators with the rationale that sorting out the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians will magically cure all ills. Wars will magically disappear, radicals will suddenly find their need to sing kumbaya and everything will be coming up roses.

Rolene last

Cartoon, courtesy of RAFO

If only. US Secretary of State, John Kerry, is suffering from an awful case of foot in mouth disease. Every time he opens his mouth to opine on Israel he sticks his foot right in. His latest comments infer that if the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was solved, the Islamic State would have a lot less candidates. He obviously missed the declaration of the Caliphate. IS are a force so evil that even Al Qaeda have said no thank you to signing up. Al Qaeda are like Mickey Mouse by comparison.  The double standard that Kerry and others subscribe to on issues Israel related is quite staggering. How can we forget his “hell of a pinpoint operation” jibe with regards to Israel defending her citizens against Hamas this past summer? I am sure that the coalition forces are exercising proportion and restraint when dealing with ISIS.

But it is not just Kerry that subscribes to ye olde double standard. I cannot help but be amused when I hear the same people who bemoaned Israel’s actions in Gaza saying that Israel should be included in the coalition, after all we will successfully sort them out.

UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, is also suffering from a Middle Eastern related ailment. Known as “Tunnel Vision”, Mr Moon suffers from symptoms that range from selective amnesia on warnings about the use and intentions of Hamas built tunnels and signs of shock and disbelief when confronted with the reality. It is too little, too late, Mr Moon. Perhaps if you heeded our warnings about the dangers of tunnel vision, this condition would not have spread to your UN schools and buildings. Now Ban is demanding an inquiry into weapons found in UN facilities in the Gaza strip – but not without castigating Israel for “wholesale destruction”

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“There is no hope for long-term stability in Gaza without addressing the underlying causes of the conflict: an end to the occupation that has grinded on for nearly half a century, a full lifting of the blockade on the Gaza Strip and effectively addressing Israel’s legitimate security concerns,” Ban said.

Sigh. Oh Ban, we have been through this before. What occupation in Gaza? Did you also miss the memo on the disengagement?

Rounding out the theatre of the absurd, is the movement by at least two European states to recognize a Palestinian state. This must come at great confusion to the Kurds, currently amongst the most persecuted people in the world, who are waiting for the world to recognize their national aspirations.

The majority of the British parliament voted to “symbolically” recognize a Palestinians state. Is it a belated mea culpa for past historical ties to the region or do they think if they pander to the Palestinian cause that they will placate ISIS? Once again Israel is the proverbial carrot or shark bait dangled in front of a predatory international community who feign impatience with Israel yet judge the Jewish state according to a different set of rules.

But the cherry on the top has to be the press coverage of yesterday’s terror attack in Jerusalem. Apparently the brutal death of a 3 month old baby girl by a staunch Hamas supporter doesn’t warrant a headline more than the one featured below by the AP (Associated Press). Seriously? Is the life of a Jewish baby girl so worthless and cheap?

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When Israel should be the topic of discussion, the world is silent but opinions and opprobrium flow freely in moments when support should be paramount. The appalling rise of anti-Semitism barely warrants a mention in international discourse.  I am beginning to think the Walrus is more intelligent than the average leader.

It is a Mad Hatter’s tea party, a bizarre world where everything is upside down and Israel can be dangled on a fishing hook for everyone to bite. We have fallen down the rabbit hole and I cannot help but wonder, how in the world are we ever going to find our way out?

“Without Israel, the Palestinians are nothing and nobody is interested” | By Olivier Rafowicz

Roro’s Rantings is delighted to present special guest blogger, Olivier Rafowicz.

This article currently appears in French in Le Monde Juif:

http://www.lemondejuif.info/2014/10/israel-les-palestiniens-rien-ninteressent-personne-o-rafowicz/#.VDwO1RtAEvY.gmail

RAFOWICZ

During this last week, world leaders convened at a summit in Cairo to discuss plans for the reconstruction of Gaza and to pledge financial aid to the Hamas-ruled territory.

Kerry, Ashton, Fabius et al decided to award $5.4 billion in aid for this process. Kerry and the others have pledged this vast amount of money all the while pointing fingers of blame at Israel and demanding the creation of a Palestinian state. Meanwhile, thousands of Kurds in Kubani and elsewhere are slaughtered and forgotten. Hamas are laughing all the way to the bank.  How much of this aid will actually go towards the building of schools, hospitals and homes?

Thousands of Eastern Christians have been massacred and expelled and hundreds of thousands more line the roads of Iraq and Syria as refugees. They are nameless men, in an unfriendly country, with nothing. Their plight does not make our 24 hour news broadcasts and the streets of major cities around the world are empty. There are no protests in Paris, London, Berlin and New York for the massacre of these Christians. Protests are reserved to express outrage against Israel for defending her citizens.

All these refugees do not have the chance to be pitied like the Palestinians. They do not interest anyone, not Kerry, not Fabius nor Ashton.

There are no summits to discuss any help for them. They are not awarded billions of dollars in aid. There is no future for them but death, anonymity and to disappear into the oblivion of history. The great powers only care about Israel and the poor Palestinians who have murdered children and launched thousands of rockets into the Jewish State.

The only chance that the Palestinians have is Israel. Without us they are nothing and nobody is interested. Our fates seem intertwined but if the Palestinians did not seek constant confrontation with Israel, the world would not care about them. In a sense they are fortunate that they are in conflict with Israel. It elevates their status and brings their issues into the collective consciousness of a world yearning to absolve itself of a long history of mistreatment of the Jewish people. If the Palestinians were engaged in conflict with another nation would the world care? Would they retain special refugee status and receive an incredible amount of financial aid? No. The world would remain disinterested and uncaring. Perhaps it is chance or luck that links them to the Jewish state.

While the world’s attention is focused on Gaza, a new barbaric evil continues to rise and spread across the Middle East.

Daeish stretches from the gates of Baghdad to the border of Turkey. The Kurds of Syria have been massacred while Turkey watches and does nothing. How Daeish must laugh when they see that the world has mobilized to help Hamas and Gaza and have forgotten the main enemy, the first danger to the world, the Islamic State.

The current Western leadership has taken the wrong route and the results will be terrifying.

The Middle East is in the process of falling into an Islamist killing spree and the world is more concerned about rebuilding Gaza at the hands of jihadist Hamas. They care more about loans to jihadists than the human rights of those suffering at the hands of Daeish.

Irish philosopher, Edmund Burke, once remarked that all it took for evil to flourish was for good men to do nothing. Sadly, it seems that history is repeating itself once again.

Olivier Rafowicz is a reserve Colonel in the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) and has provided analysis and commentary on Middle Eastern issues on radio television and in the print media. Rafowicz is a frequent commentator on i24 News French edition.

Previous blogs by author on this site: http://rorosrantings.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/dressed-to-kill-suits-ties-and-the-packaging-of-evil/

Fighting the flesh trade – how Israel went from zero to hero in the fight against human trafficking

This post currently appears in the WIZO Lapid Newsletter

http://www.wizo.org/page_15227

One of the lesser known facts about Israel is that this tiny country is leading the battle against international human trafficking. In fact, Israel is considered a top tier country in this battle that is becoming more and more prevalent around the world.

It has not always been this way. In the past, Israel had an abysmal record when it came to catching the pimps and purveyors of vulnerable men and women. In 2001, Israel was considered a Tier 3 country and not responsive to dealing with the issue. Women from Africa and Eastern Europe were easily smuggled through the Sinai Peninsula and sold into prostitution or cheap labour. Israel’s rating was so low that we were on a par with Somalia and the Sudan.

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All this changed in 2001. The US State Department had put Israel on a blacklist and realizing the veracity of this issue, the country started the process of fighting the flesh trade.

Israel started the process that would result in the country becoming a leader in the fight against the flesh trade. This started with giving police more jurisdiction over arresting perpetrators and then an administrative body was set up at the Ministry of Justice which changed the way that victims were treated. Victims would no longer be treated as prostitutes but as victims who deserve help.

In 2006 the Knesset, spearheaded by the Committee on the Status of Women, passed a law which would see offenders sentenced to 20 years for human trafficking violations.  This was followed up in 2007 with further legislation in a campaign to end forced labour and an increased number in convictions for sex offenders.

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But what about the victims?

Israel started to give victims of human trafficking shelter, legal aid and protection assistance. Former head of the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women says, “When we formed our committee, I met with a government worker who worked with the trafficked  women. It was a step by step process and we started out by going to speak to the women who had been rescued from the Sinai or Egypt and were in shelters or in a prison facility. Their stories were heartbreaking – many, including children and young boys have been sold into slavery and prostitution.  Rape is common occurrence for these victims. We took the media into these facilities and this really contributed in highlighting and bringing attention to their awful situation. The first law that was legislated was the creation of “no mans land”. Pressure was put on the government, judges and the police and today Israel is a country that leads  the global fight against human trafficking.”

Israel has made remarkable strides in the fight against human trafficking, so much so that the US State Department not only ranks the country as Tier 1 but the tiny state has achieved the highest grade.  More shelters have been opened and the construction of a barrier between Egypt and Israel, constructed in 2013, has helped close a primary route for traffickers.

In February 2013, Ha’aretz newspaper successfully sued the Tel Aviv District Court to reveal the name of a major sex trafficker who became a police informer, David Digmi

The success of various government departments working together is also something that can be applied to other socio-economic areas within the state.

Perhaps the most notable achievement is that Israel is the only country in the world to sponsor a year of rehabilitation for victims that have been trafficked and this is paid for by the government. A comprehensive training programme that includes personnel from the police services, hospitals and health workers who take care of victims has been successfully implemented. Government and NGO’s (non-governmental organisations) work in partnership and this has helped Israel become a first tier country. Israel has instituted a policy of “safe return” which entails skills training as well as physical and emotional therapy for victims. If a person is unable to return to their country of origin for whatever reason, Israel will grant asylum.

Every year, three awards are given out to individuals from NGO’s, government or industry for excellence in the fight against human trafficking. The selling of women into prostitution has virtually disappeared and it is illegal to advertise or distribute cards or pamphlets selling sex.

There is still so much to do to combat this international scourge. Israel can share how the successful models and legislation implemented help win the battle for the flesh trade. As a leading global women’s organization, WIZO can help educate and shine a light on this issue.

Israel has once again proved that although the country is tiny in size, it packs a mighty punch in the fight for justice and rehabilitation of the victims of human trafficking. Tikkun Olam at its finest.

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Crying for the Beloved Country

This post currently appears in The Times of Israel:

http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/crying-for-the-beloved-country/

Have you ever had that distinct feeling that you are living in some kind of Orwellian or parallel universe? Reading the comments and invective that has come out of South Africa since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge has been a frightening wake-up call, bringing out the latent anti-Semitism and ignorance that has been lurking under the surface. South Africa, once the bastion of victory against racism is fast losing its shiny lustre.

The ruling ANC has been a leading player in disseminating the hate infested drivel that is making headlines and trending on social media. From the ANC’s deputy secretary general, Jesse Duarte, comparing Israel to Nazis (her inability to count THREE murdered youth, not two, notwithstanding) to the ANC Western Cape social media manager tweeting that “Yes, man, you were right! I could have killed all the Jews, but I left some of them to tell you why I was killing them” underneath a picture of Hitler. I could fill in the space with some other nuggets of nasty but there simply is not enough column space.

Duarte

But just when I think I have seen it all, along came the comment published yesterday by the ANC, co-signed by Secretary General, Gwede Mantashe stating that Israel is a country founded on Apartheid and a crime against humanity.

The ANC never fail to use every opportunity to belittle and denigrate the suffering of millions of South Africans by drawing comparisons between the Jewish State to one of the most vilified regimes in history. The danger in this is that those who are not acquainted with truth and facts, take this comparison at face value and nothing could be more further from the truth. We cannot and should not dismiss this accusation as it is the very charge that the BDS movement is built on. It is an accusation that must be fought at every opportunity.

Why is the ANC choosing to focus on Israel at the expense of other conflicts around the world? Are they courting the powerful Muslim vote or is there another motive? Sadly, the country that once set the benchmark for peaceful negotiation has now proven itself to be so blatantly biased that any attempts by the ANC to broker peace between Israel and her Palestinian neighbours will be laughed out the room.

The accusation that the founding of the Jewish State is a crime against humanity is as dumfounding as it is hurtful. Surely an organization like the ANC that boasts the Freedom Charter that espouses equality for all and a country that has one of the most progressive and modern Constitutions in the world would not begrudge a persecuted people a country of their own? Surely they would find succour in Ben Gurion’s Declaration of Independence when he welcomed minority communities to be a part of the newly formed State? The ANC need a history lesson post haste and maybe a smack upside the head with a copy of the South African Constitution.

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The great irony is all of this is that boycotts will only harm those the ANC think that they are helping. The founding fathers Tambo, Mandela and Sisulu would be heartbroken. There is no country that is better poised to help South Africa than Israel but sadly there are elements so blinded by ignorance that they would rather sacrifice their citizens on the altar of stupidity and hate.

I cannot help but cry for the Beloved Country.

Peres Mandela