People in Glass Houses….South Africa and Israel

It has often been said that people in glass houses should not throw stones. South African government officials disagree. They prefer to sit on their proverbial glass balconies flinging stones at those they deem guilty of moral turpitude.  Recent changes in South African foreign policy, especially the attitude towards Israel, are reflective of this change. South Africa it seems, has identified a target for its international political posturing  – Israel.

The two countries have always endured a complicated relationship but in the four years that have followed Israel’s Operation Cast Lead, there has been a marked deterioration in relations, culminating these last few months in an initiative by the Department of Trade and Industry to re-label goods produced in the West Bank as “goods from the occupied Palestinian territories” and a recommendation from the Deputy Minister of International Relations, Ebrahim Ebrahim, that South Africans should not visit Israel for reasons other than “peace” as the country is guilty of “practices of Apartheid”.

Read the complete article as it appears in The Algemeiner.



Tales from the South…

For a teeny country that is squashed into space smaller than New Jersey or the Kruger National Park, Israel is a study in contrasts – be it the ever changing landscape as you travel the length (okay, so Israel doesn’t have much breadth) of the country or the kaleidoscope of different cultures made up of at least 82 different ethnicity’s. There are
fabulous contradictions at every twist and turn – where else can you buy a t-shirt that says “Don’t worry America, Israel is behind you” complete with F16′s from the man reading Al Quds newspaper that espouses the latest Hamas drivel? It is only by speaking to the ordinary folk and hearing their stories that you can gain a better understanding of this
temperamental, passionate and heart warming country.
The South African Deputy Foreign Minister, Ebrahim Ebrahim, remarked recently that South Africans should not visit Israel because of the country’s “oppression of Palestinians and practices of Apartheid”. He added that the only reason to visit Israel was perhaps for peaceful means. Alrighty then. Sadly this kind of statement not only smacks of one-sided bias and ignorance but hearkens back to the days when South Africans faced restrictions on their freedom of movement and choice. Scared people may come here to Israel and see for themselves that we are not an Apartheid State? We here in Israel have nothing to hide and
encourage people from all nations to come and visit and decide for themselves.

Read the complete article as it appears in The Times of Israel: