This article was corrected Sat. night, 10/25/15
A leading Jewish South African activist group, the South African Jewish Voices for a Just Peace, criticized Israel over its recent, 51-day conflict with the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip, the World Bulletin reported.
The World Bulletin is a Turkish publication, carrying feed from the official Turkish press agency Anadolu.
The “leading” Jewish South African activist group JVJP claims to have a supporters list of 185, 000 people worldwide. But their Facebook page only has 332 likes.
Which means that the South African Jewish Voices for a Just Peace is a guy, Leonard Shapiro. He is a Workshop Facilitator and, when he’s not protesting Israeli security policy, he serves as director of CraftSouthAfrica.
The Turkish reporter quoted Shapiro as saying: “Many Jews in our country are deeply troubled by the actions of Israel and the human rights abuses which are inflicted on Palestinians.”
That “Many Jews in our country are deeply troubled” statement still deems an examination.
This week, this “leading” organization of South African Jews got the illustrious Archbishop Desmond Tutu to unveil a plaque in memory of the Palestinian and Israeli civilians who died during the recent confrontation.
JVJP published pictures of the event. You can see a few dignitaries sitting in the middle of a field outside Cape Town, presumably where the plaque was being unveiled. You can see Tutu. You can see Rabbi Greg Alexander of Temple Israel in Cape Town, who read his eloquent prayer, “Reclaiming Zionism, ” which expressed anguish over the lack of peace in Israel, without pointing fingers.
You can also see Denis Goldberg, an old ANC hand who’s been denouncing Israel ever since It intervened in his behalf to get him out of a whites-only jail, on the request of his kibbutznik daughter. Goldberg’s way of saying thank you has been to align with Israel’s worst enemies for several decades now.
And you can see the media – a nice group of camera wielding folks, covering the historic unveiling.
What you don’t see are rank and file Jews. They gave a plaque unveiling with Archbishop Tutu and no Jews showed up to cheer him on.
Because, in reality, the rank and file Jews of South Africa understand why Israel was dragged into the Gaza conflict and why it had to respond to aggression. Their Jews, of course they understand.
So now you have it: There’s a guy, Lenny Shapiro, and he has a Facebook page, and a couple hundred Facebook friends, and he’s been lending that meager power to the cause of Hamas, dragging along both sweet and shady characters.
Beats doling those crafts all day long.