Global, Identity

Antisemitism: Sometimes It's Just Pitiful

You just don’t get idiocy like this on C-SPAN.
The Mail & Guardian Online reports:

An ANC [African National Congress] MP cited the Protocols of the Elders of Zion — the infamous anti-Semitic forgery used by the Nazis — as a credible document at a recent Iranian-sponsored academic seminar in Pretoria.
Farida Mahomed agreed recently she had asked a Jewish seminar delegate, Claudia Braude: “Are the protocols still relevant to you in today’s time? How do we apply this balanced approach to reconciliation when we read them and they are totally the opposite?

Was she being serious? Was she attempting to use the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as an academic source to be “reconciled” with modern events? Surely she must know they have no validity.

Interviewed this week, Mahomed said she was unaware the protocols had been exposed as a hoax. Mahomed said that she had read the protocols on the internet but had not researched them.
Asked whether she thought they had ever been “relevant”, she replied: “I can’t make a comment. They must have been relevant or they would never have been written.”

Yet when asked about the Holocaust:

Asked for her views on the Holocaust, Mahomed said: “I don’t want to comment on something that I haven’t done research on. I wouldn’t want to be influenced by any scholar.”

It’s just plain sad. This is an elected official. In a country as modern as South Africa, elected officials are, in 2006, asking Jews at conferences for their official positions on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
President Thabo Mbeki already urged Hamas to “accept Israel” and the official South African position is a “two state solution” with “secure borders”. This is no Ahmadinejad. Anti-Semitism in South Africa is also nowhere near the levels of its European counterparts.
This is no more than one MP’s anti-Semitism born out of unabashed ignorance. Ignorance so bad, it’s pitiful. (Hat tip to EOZ.)

4 thoughts on “Antisemitism: Sometimes It's Just Pitiful

  1. Is this anti-semitism? Or just plain ignorance?
    I’m sure there are myths/mistruths about other peoples that we believe to be true, too. Just one more reason why education and engagement are so important.

  2. As a South African I know a little more about whats going on.
    The ANC has a very strong Anti Israel Bias, and although they have urged Hammas to acknowledge Israel, pretty much any statement that they make about the middle east is a condemnation of Israel.
    I believe their hatred toward Israel is based on the fact that Israel was pretty much the only country that had any sort of allegiance with south Africa during Appartheid times. Israel made deals with SA purely because they needed things from SA they could not get from anyone else. The Arab states, on the other hand, gave support with both cash and arms to the MK (Now ANC).
    Its no Europe, true, but I have been spat upon, and there have been a fair share of incidents. And, like everywhere else in the world, its on the rise, unfortunately.

  3. I’m not South African, but I have to say Johan has it just about right.
    Moreover, the ANC is known for tolerating very little independent action among its MPs. I don’t know what authorization Farida Mahomed had to speak on this issue, but given the ANC’s party discipline (especially for those like Mahomed who are elected on its national list), it’s unlikely she was speaking wildly out of line.

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