Charisse Zeifert

Don't Blame The Jews For SA's Problems


Writing on the political succession debate within the ANC (‘ANC's dirty war’, 15/1/2017), Setumo Stone reports that in certain quarters the candidature of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is being opposed on the grounds that he is “in the pockets of the Jews” and “beholden to Jewish business interests”

Implicit in this statement is a sinister suggestion of Jewish financial domination.  The problem with this, is that Jews are singled out and accused of manipulating political leaders through their alleged financial power.  Notions such as these are racist and factually baseless.  They seek to promote discrimination.   

What has become increasingly distressing is that similar accusations are more and more surfacing in mainstream society.  The scapegoating of Jews specifically for South Africa’s ills is becoming a common feature of our everyday discourse. 

South Africa is experiencing social turbulence. Poverty, unemployment, unaffordable education, poor service delivery, crime and violence, particularly against women are daily realities that we must grapple with.  It is commonplace in such circumstances for people, in their fear, anger and frustration, to seek scapegoats and create an ‘other’ who can be blamed for all of society’s ills. 

Scapegoating South Africa’s ills on the Jews will not solve any of South Africa’s problems.  It will only add to the polarised nature of our society.  This is something we should avoid at all costs.    

We have come from a history characterised by racial classification and stereotypes. To truly be liberated, we have to learn more about each other, and strive to be tolerant and empathetic.

Recent Articles

The SAJBD urges South Africans to avoid resorting to antisemitic hate speech

The South African Jewish Board of Deputies urges South Africans, when commenting on issues of public concern, to avoid resorting to antisemitic hate speech, including sinister invocations of behind-the-scenes Jewish financial domination. It is becoming more commonplace for those in leadership to refer to “Jewish based entities” somehow being behind financial institutions and manipulating politics through economic power. 

SAJBD sent submission on the ‘Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill’

The South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) has sent its submission on the ‘Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill’ to the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development for consideration.
The much awaited Bill aims to give effect to South Africa’s obligations, in terms of both our Constitutional and international human rights instruments, concerning racism and discrimination; to provide for the offence of hate crimes and hate speech; as well as the prosecution and prevention of these crimes.

Op-Ed: Anti-Jewish rhetoric and conspiratorialism are signs of an unhealthy society

The growing prevalence of hostile racial rhetoric, of which anti-Jewish conspiracy theories are just one part, poses a serious problem to the national well-being.

You know that a society is in trouble when sinister invocations of Jewish financial domination show signs of gaining common currency. And you know that it is really in trouble when those in positions of leadership start talking in that vein.