EXPLORING THE CONCERNS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN JEWISH COMMUNITY
In this article Dr Ruth Rabinowitz, former Member of Parliament for the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), responds to a recent DafkaDotCom article by Laura Phillips. She argues that Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi has been unjustly characterised, and urges the Jewish community to examine critically the prevailing narratives about the IFP. She further argues that it is in the community’s best interest to foster a deeper relationship with Buthelezi.
IN a recent DafkaDotCom article by Laura Phillips (13/02/2019), Phillips questions the Jewish community’s association with Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. Before any debate about whether the Jewish community should identify with, let alone honour such an individual as Buthelezi, it is crucial to have an honest perspective on the facts around which Phillips builds her argument. As a Jewish representative of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), first in the Senate and then the House of Assembly, I spent years challenging the types of allegations Phillips levels against Buthelezi – what I came to term “the matter with the myths”. I tried then, as I do now, to show the chasm between true facts and the falsehoods that have been propagated about Buthelezi.
"Discovering how easily fake news can be embedded in a populace smitten with an ideology that is served by it, one of my goals here is to present the “Matter with the Myths” about Buthelezi and the IFP."
exploring the concerns of the south african jewish community
In this article Laura Phillips argues that the organised Jewish community's philanthropic relationship with Mangosuthu Buthelezi and King Goodwill Zwelithini is problematic due to both being implicated in some of the most brutal parts of recent South African history. She contends that when securing support for Israel is a primary motivation of local outreach efforts, South Africa's Zionists will inevitably find themselves with compromised allies.
IN a recent article for DafkaDotCom (20/09/2018) Benji Shulman commends the South African Friends of Israel (SAFI) for its close relationship with the Zulu King, Goodwill Zwelithini, and presents SAFI’s initiatives in rural KwaZulu Natal as an example of how the Jewish community should act to advance its own interests when engaging in philanthropic activity. A month after the publication of Shulman’s article, the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) and the South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) paid tribute to Mangosuthu Buthelezi on his 90th birthday.
"... though Buthelezi and King Zwelithini claim to promote development in rural KwaZulu-Natal, they are implicated in some of the most brutal parts of recent South African history".
Extending their good wishes to the Zulu Prince, the SAJBD explained they had gathered to celebrate the Board’s long-standing relationship with Buthelezi and their joint development efforts in underprivileged communities. In response, Buthelezi thanked the “Jewish Community” for its good wishes and then lambasted the South African government for downgrading the South African Embassy in Israel.