SA with fatal building blocks, unravels

Why it’s unravelling like a cotton spinner

Not for the squeamish or politically correct

B A        Govt and Politics

M   Com      Economics

Where experts see the evidence, I see through it

Local government level

OUTA has highlighted the commencement of a rates and tax revolt.  Councils were collecting but providing no services. More and more residents having reached the end of their tether, are withholding payment.

The local councils in turn have to meet the shortfalls to afford bloated payrolls of overpaid, under-qualified workers. To collect the money they raise their rates, so adding to the residents who won’t or can’t pay.

It’s called a death spiral.

The spiral has no other end but a headlong collapse of cities and towns. The collapse will disrupt or halt essential services (lights, water, refuse…)

National government level

Law and order has been hanging on by a thread for too long. A flurry of excitement over the arrest of a top ANC criminal is misguided. Ace Mag remains entrenched with the other top criminals.

The problem is, between arrest and being attired in orange convict togs, is a yawning and interminable interval. Retired President Zuma sets the tone. His example brings mighty comfort to the crooks in power.

The lower echelon take comfort in that interval, which gives them no motive to fear or mend their ways.  

When Zuma was allowed to retire with his plunder the game was all but over. The culture of impunity persists. Echelons in the party continue accumulating their ‘toys for boys.’ Meanwhile the luxury car dealerships smack their lips and bank the dirty money.  

President Ramaphosa was and remains part of the problem. The role he played as Zuma’s deputy is not so different to the role he plays to this day. The President enables the rot by appointing criminals to the highest positions of government. Dlamini Zuma, head of Covid Command could be the preeminent example. Who are not crooks are dunces. Look at Minister of Public Enterprises, chemist Pravin Ghordan in that regard.

A state in the failing

The failed state is not so far away. Said a prominent judge, “We are on the point of becoming another Cuba or Venezuela or, God forbid, Zimbabwe.”

The nub of the unravelling?

Tossing merit out the window. Economic signals headed to hell in a basket when merit became the last consideration for filling jobs. A merit-free country and a doomed country are wedded closer than a horse and carriage.  

The solution?

A colour blind economy and society.

The nub of the nub of the unravelling?

Look to corrupt, poverty-torn, chaotic Africa

Why the foreskin?

Man is born uncircumcised, and lives none the worse for it. The prepuce or, to give it the crude name, foreskin, may not be the handiest or handsomest part of the body; but disabling? Are normal functions and appetites made difficult because the tip of the member is encased? Surely not.   

Then of what help or hindrance is it for the organ’s good working order? That is the big question. Can the peewee sheath help a man urinate or propagate better? Is it health-giving? Can living without the head cocoon lead to untimely death?

It would seem not: the circumcised are quite hale and wholesome without the wrinkled masthead. Who’d give a serpent’s tooth for that man’s grasp of reality who won’t agree that if the prepuce had some practical use he’d know about it.

Hence the problem: if it makes life neither easy nor difficult, what did the Creator have in mind encumbering man with a spare part? The keenest brains in medical science struggle mightily with it. Why the unhelpful, unsightly cover?

It could be heretical to pester God with so many whys and wherefores. For sanity sake it can’t be good to be absorbed with the covered mushroom head. Yet ramifications do follow.

The first man – who by the by grew a prepuce late in life after eating from the forbidden tree – was born circumcised. Adam, galling to admit, was punished with a prepuce. That is what it was. Retributive justice. The Creator had modeled and fashioned Adam to perfection: no appendage. When Eve abused the Tree of Life, and got her mate to share the blame, Adam’s organ got sheathed, and the harmony between Maker and man was sundered.

The slick model was a false start. The cumbersome item marked a new beginning, branded with a wrinkled arrowhead. The genuine item had to be earned. Whichever way you look at it, since Adam was born perfect, all born thereafter must be second-raters.

But what’s to envy? The orlah (to give it the Hebrew name) is a dispensable apparatus. So what if men folk go without the clean model that works no better than the one they get by on. What is so terrible?  

In truth the purposeless part could be more decisive than the other protruding organs. Man has two bodies. One exists within the limits of his physical being: the ears, the legs, the nose and other parts. The second body is the spiritual double: untethered, free, weightless, able to be in more than one place at a time. Man may hunt while contemplating the infinite. He may fight while praying for peace. He can savor a pomegranate while wreathed in the mystery of his being.

The foreskin cuts a man adrift from his floating double. He foregoes benefits compared to which priceless keepsakes are a tin pot bargain. When Esau bartered a birthright for red lentil soup cooked by a wily twin, he bartered his spiritual double.

A bit of skin! Surely not. Then witness Abraham telling his major-domo to take an oath. On what? Not on some sacred screed kept in the closet. Not on the holy name. Not on (heaven forbid) some idol figure sold by Abraham’s quaint father, Terach. None of the above was good enough.

No object for swearing an oath had more sanctity than a trimmed down organ. “Put your hand there,” Abraham tells the servant. “Swear that you, Eliezer, will do what you’re told.”And that is what unprotesting Eliezer, did: grabbed his master’s member by the naked head. If it seems a little bizarre, recall the wild disgrace of the nephew Lot. To rise above and beyond his making babies with daughters, the price was making a painful vow.

… As indeed Lot’s uncle Abraham made. Reflect. At the age of 90 he cuts it off. He puts an idolistic upbringing behind him. Didn’t the Lord love him for it! Snip it off, God eggs on the dutiful servant. ‘Uncircumcised you are imperfect. Perform bris-mila and you will go to a higher holiness elevated above nature.” In case Abraham did not feel up to the task, a small voice speaks: “Refuse to do it and I shall return my world to nothing.”

We cannot exaggerate the loss from keeping the tip covered – the universe collapses to nothing. What a bit of skin can do.

…But what it cannot do, as long as it remains. The foreskin can’t win battles. Take the army under Joshua at the walls of Jericho. Bivouacked on Foreskin Hill they are not happy campers. Down the lines is heard a gnashing of teeth and a groaning of distress. There’d been, on orders from on High, a circumcision en masse. Discarded foreskins, piles upon stinky piles, make an unsightly hillock. The Commander in Chief comforts the maimed before battle. “I have rolled away the disgrace of Egypt upon you,” says the Lord. Disgrace. To go around with some skin you don’t need: a disgrace in the sight of Almighty God.

Yet Abraham had been hesitant. The model of faith and obedience must consult three friends first. Questioned the Almighty’s wisdom. Kept the King of Kings waiting. It could hardly be more irreverent. Many would call such behavior downright irreverent. What happened to the Abrahamic devotion? God tells him to get circumcised, and he tells God to wait. Here was Abraham’s ninth and, by the looks of it, not the most intractaable of trials. He’d already plunged into eight without a murmur. 

What was problematic about this one – a snip and a cut – that Abraham had to ask friends before he’d do the deed? Here was a superman. He’d burnt the mighty Nimrod’s idols in front of the royal throne. He’d argued with a king who thought nothing of putting a quarter of a million baby boys to death in case they grew up to be Abraham. He allowed Nimrod’s bodyguards to throw him into the furnace at Ur Kasdim. He left home and travelled into the great unknown. He endured a famine and trusted his wife, next to whom every woman was ugly, with Pharaoh. Whatever God told Abraham to do he did, eight times over. And what human fighter would arm himself with mudpies, muster eighteen puny disciples, and rout the armies of four great kings?

Abraham, one would think, had proved himself. And now – a fuss when told to remove some surplus skin? Delay the deed while he mulls over it with friends. Can it be?

It can, if the orlah is the holy divide, the fatal phalanx. The uncircumcised are spiritual pigmies next to the circumcised elite. Abraham had only to do as told to rectify Adam’s false start. What are days of pain when you can put Creator and creation back in touch? It wasn’t like Abraham at all.

He had an excuse, one the Lord listened to and loved. More than Abraham aspired to be close to God, he feared to lose the common touch. The short back and sides would put him on the other side, an Ivri in more than just name. So he lays his anxieties at heaven’s door. “Lord, when I was uncircumcised travelers came to me, but after I do it they’ll stop coming.”

The plea did not fall on deaf ears. After consulting with a prepuce encumbered camp, Abraham took up a steely blade. The hand of God steadying his own ninety year hand, he cut and trimmed until the orlah fell.

The brit mila was sealed. From then on the patriarch and his circumcised camp were marked men.

Isaac married into a poisonous family

Rebecca’s father goes out to look for her carer, in the blazing Charan sun and the bleaching dust. A few storks observe him from the gutter with sloppy indifference: they are heavy from picking at carrion. He cuts at a bird with an ivory- topped cane. From boyhood Besuel had an impulse to kill any living creature, as though he alone had the right to a natural death. The truth is – and he’s not liked more for it – the idea of killing is solely in his mind. In fact the ruler of the principality takes fright at creatures big and small. The stork rears up and flaps across the town, over the uneven plaza with the ruler’s weather eaten bust; over the souk dotted with flamingo and mango trees; over the graves of Charan notables who went down with blackwater or cholera; over a barren belt dotted with family altars and temples; onto the winding murky Tigris.

A bearer, propped against a wall, dozes in a bit of shade. Besuel gathers his bile and spits. Under heavy eyelids the youth begrudges his master for the night a sister had to spend with Besuel before her wedding. The ruler gratifies a taste for virgins by this unpopular decree.

‘The devil take her’, he says. ‘What’s become of the nursemaid? I need my daughter.’

The boy gets up in no hurry. ‘They, my lord, are at the well with everyone.’  

‘What are you telling me boy – Rebecca at the well? I haven’t enough servants. My three-year old needs go and draw water. Fetch them back if you don’t want your kidneys grilled for dinner.’

The bearer is not unhappy. Gossip of a caravan, of gold and precious trinkets, swept through Charan faster than a plague. Folk have flocked to the main well. Open miracles involving water and human strength have a multitude in raptures. The lad can hardly believe the sight. He stands on tiptoe to peek over the crowd. The well has turned into a gushing spring. Where a depression had been was now a lake. Farmhands and tradeswomen lifting their skirts wade ankle deep.  

But the main attraction is the energized mite. Rebecca paddles back and forth with her jug to fill a trough on the high ground where ten camels slake their thirst. The crowd is aghast at the ruler’s daughter exerting herself for a camel owner, tall and robust with biceps like the trunks of a tree, standing idly by. Rebecca is not only watering camels; the giant glugs water from her proffered jug.

“Look you,” a toothless hag points, “the brute is too lazy to pitch water and drink. He stoops so the girl can pour it through that big maw. Have you ever?”  

What makes the commoners incredulous, casts a cloud on the brother. Laban was bathing when his valet told of a caravan at the well. He skimmed Rebecca’s carved sea serpent across the sudsy bath water, stepped out the tub, threw on a loose garment, and hurried down to kill and to rob. The son of Besuel had to alter the plan when he saw the bulk of his prey. ‘The brute,’ he thinks, ‘will have to be done away with by other means.’ He pushes through the idle and the curious to hail his baby sister.

“Rebecca, what do you think you’re doing… His eyes have fixed on heavy bangles on the little arms.

The girl catches her breath. Then rattles off names: Eliezer from Canaan. Uncle Abraham. Cousin Isaac. ‘So you know him by name already.’ Deeply ashamed she confesses her invitation: the whole caravan will be quartered at the palace. Laban’s sniggering laugh.

‘Ten camels, the drivers and a replica of Og. Am I allowed to know who and what your Eliezer may be?’

Bright with her mistake Rebecca adjusts her adornments. ‘Our uncle’s head servant has come on a great errand.’ Laban with a slow smile: ‘Has he now. Abraham, eh. I wonder how you got mixed up with the servant. He comes with a missive I suppose?’ Then he bursts out,  ‘Look at you, girl! It’s beyond everything – a grown man slipping costly gifts on a child he happens upon at a public well.’ Roughly he fingers the bangles the way a money lender weighs up security. Eliezer observes the bullying, and hurries up. For a moment anything looks possible.

‘A sister, your honor?’ Courtesy catches the bully off guard. A pause for Laban to snub him, then: ‘Rebecca, dear sir, happens to be a granddaughter of your master’s brother. I, have the honor to be the grandson.’

‘Nahor?’ Eliezer towers over him.

‘Unless Abraham has another brother.’ They weigh each another. ‘What menace the man does breath,’ Eliezer thinks.  

‘Your master sent a note? Look – I am not abrupt for nothing. You see gifting young girls we happen upon is not the way menfolk behave. Not in our parts.’

Eliezer with all the coolness in the world: ‘If, young sir, you’ll allow me, I will fetch my pouch of documents.’

While he is gone Laban warns her. ‘I don’t trust him much. Old Abraham, I’m told, gives his household free rein. There’s talk of him being decrepit and imbecilic. Anyhow, wait to see what the slave comes up with.’  

The deed is worth reading aloud. Laban reads it with a relish that forms bubbles at the corners of a small mouth petulant from the moment it bawled out the womb. ‘Eliezer is my head servant. He took a vow on my circumcised organ to find a wife for Isaac, heir to my physical and spiritual estate. She must come from immediate family. Failing this (Laban looks up at his sibling) I shall look for a wife among the daughters of my older son Ishmael.”

‘There.’ Eliezer points a finger at the end to the seal of Abraham; but Laban is fawning.  ‘You, sir, are blessed to serve a man as great as our uncle.’ He turns the invitation into an order. Eliezer is not quick to acceept. Laban for all his youth and idleness, is quick of mind. ‘Every trace of idolatry, sir, Rebecca our little angel shall witness it, will be exorcised.’     

So the gay party wound its way to the family seat where Laban takes over arrangements to receive the entourage. Eliezer won’t let the camels be unmuzzled until the inner gates. From the time when nephew Lot and Abraham farmed together, he had learnt to muzzle on the move, to stop their animals grazing on land own by others. Indeed, he has been taught to regard quadrupeds – and all that are warm-blooded – as creatures with souls, good or bad. Beasts of the field or ships of the desert, he’s learnt, are not the blameless habitual browsers as commonly thought.

A tale of a pious man, a travelling Israelite, and his donkey instructed the servant of Abraham.  When some innkeeper brought barley for the donkey it refused to eat. He carefully sifted it, still the beast was steadfast. Mystified how it could be so finicky, the innkeeper asked the owner who asked him back, ‘Did you tithe your barley?’ The other laughed, but to humor the guest he separated a tenth. Only then the donkey ate everything set before it.

Or take another donkey stolen by thieves. They kept it in their cave for three days, and not a nibble would it take of the feed they gave it. Thieves, the animal sensed, could not be trusted to tithe, and further, could have stolen the feed, and one is forbidden to benefit from stolen goods. ‘The stupid thing will die and stink up our cave,’ said the felons. ‘Since we can’t get use from it, let it go.’ The donkey returned to the owner and brayed at the door. He put it in the stall, and ordered the stable lad to feed it. Still the starving animal would eat not a grain. ‘Did you tithe this?’ the owner asked the boy. ‘Of course,’ he replied. He had a thought.  ‘From where was the grain acquired?’ Bought from peasants. ‘Ah, says the owner, ‘they probably neglected to separate. I know my donkey – very strict on itself.’ 

For those who insist that the animal kingdom is ruled by habit, they must ask: Why did the Divine flood-bringer punish animals along with Man? Would a God of Justice let habit-ruled beasts perish for doing what comes naturally? Yet He decreed they share the fate of man. The animal kingdom had acquired the same perverted habits. In Noah’s time sexual license knew no boundaries. The four-legged were as bad as the two legged; they crossed the line between species. Lion mated with giraffe, monkey with zebra, crocodile with hippo. So wild animals went to the same watery fate as wild humans …Explaining why Eliezer, who knew the stupefying ways of God, took every precaution to keep his camels idol-free in that den of Abraham’s kith and kin.

That evening the family and guests assembled in the banqueting room. The chandeliers were ablaze. A row of colored tapers shone a welcome above the main doorway, from which a length of carpeting formed a walkway to the long table festooned with the blue, white and emerald colors of the Principality of Charan Naharayim. At everyone’s place a handsome menu card was propped.

‘It is so like the grand house of Abraham, don’t you think?” Besuel gloats. Eliezer casts an eye down the menu:

Imperial banquet to welcome the Bargaining Council for Abraham

10th of Sivan   

Menu of Foods

Potage from lentils

Spiced turkey

Roasted young goose

Hot sheep and onions

Sweet baked puddings

Imperious at the head, Besuel treats the guest of honor royally. There is a thrill of expectation. If little Rebecca was worth heavy gold bangles, what will Abraham’s agent fetch out of the five bags for her father, mother and brother? The ruler dribbles into his beard.  Rebecca, after her epic feats at the well, sits with composure. Impatient to come to the gifts, Besuel tells the guest, who has dressed in a robe fit for royalty, that he has no problem with the match.

“Look at my little one squirming in her seat – eh, Rebecca? Tell father you are not floating like a swan at becoming a daughter of Abraham.” 

‘You must think yourself lucky,’ the cocky brother tells her. Meanwhile Besuel is nagged by a problem. If he fails to exercise his privilege of bedding a bride before the husband, his subjects will object to a double standard. ‘See how it is – one rule for us and another for Besuel. He must have his daughter for the night, exactly as he does with our daughters.’ His subjects would say that.

Laban, blessed with wiles beyond his years, had foreseen the problem – explaining what made him add poison to his father’s food. No one must stop Rebecca, even at the age of three, from wedding Abraham’s boy, who turned forty that year.

To pile melodrama upon tragedy, before Besuel slumped dead onto his food, Eliezer disappointed the family. To ratify the engagement he sent an attendant to fetch his bags and to hand the gifts around. For Rebecca a trousseau of magnificent garments and priceless keepsakes. For her mother, father and brother, fine fruits from Hebron. Laban, grinding pearly teeth, wished he had poisoned another’s food.

The mourning period began the next day. The caravan with Rebecca with Eliezer on the lead camel, sets off at first light. Before it did, Laban gave his sibling the first ever tainted blessing. Her womb, he prays, must be fruitful and her offspring gladden the heart of Abraham. Thanks to the blessing Rebecca went barren for twenty years. The jealous God of Abraham would not allow people to claim that she bore children on account of a wicked brother’s blessing. From it came a proverb. “The blessing of the wicked is a curse.” A generation later, another proverb would, thanks to a cousin named Balaam, take a sicker turn. “The curse of the wicked is a blessing.”

Pick n Pay partnering with Maverick Citizen

10 November 2020

Dear Mr Ackerman 

 Pick n Pay partnering with Maverick Citizen

Testimonials on my record for nation building are set down at the end. They relate or refer to the great names in building our nation: Nelson Mandela, Nicky Oppenheimer, your father, and the late Chief Rabbi Cyril Harris who was on good terms with Raymond and Madiba.

Just as many years ago I pleaded with those greats, so I plead with Pick n Pay as a partner of the Maverick Citizen. Two decades of being a writer and author with a footprint and following in many countries, but also a media activist who helped to void a threat to our country (Ref. to the end) lead me to alert Pick n Pay to a threat of a lower order, yet one that would engulf your company. It boils down to the paper’s Editor and his abuse of his mandate.

I begin with the mandate or mission set down in the Maverick Citizen:    

“An activist news and views platform, where the voices of citizens in civil society fighting for social justice and human rights will find a home.”

The words highlighted flag the issues about the Editor.  They’re unsettling on their own, even without posing a reputational risk for Pick n Pay.


Editor Mark Heywood is no journalist, but a “former Executive Director of SECTION27 and has been a human rights activist most of his life.”

Already Mr Heywood has broken his mandate to platform the “voices of (our) citizens.” Witness the editorial on Nov. 3: How is a pro-Biden ad connected to platforming the voices of the people of SA?

Broken mandate aside, Mr Heywood is required to fight for social justice and human rights. In those two concepts the devil is in the detail. They can be twisted, and invariably are, to the needs of the twister.

Take the idea of “social justice”. Here is a watchword for twisting into a war cry, for turning into a blunderbuss. Applied to the America Mr Heyward writes about, manufactured victims are pitted against manufactured villains to create the unrest witnessed in the looting and burning of American cities. Politicians and their media and activist echoes, scatter ‘social justice’ like confetti. They can because the contradiction in terms is elastic. Social justice means what the user needs it to mean.

The moment we qualify justice by ‘social’ it is not justice for all, but someone’s idea of it for a group. More, by qualifying justice, we disqualify rights – the rights of groups hated by the warriors of social justice. This dreadfully polarizing buzz term is a creator of grievance groups. Above all, social justice and nation building are as distinct as chalk from cheese.     

‘Human Rights’ in the Maverick Citizen statement of intent can be nation building. Indeed, without human rights our country cannot be united and built. The Daily Maverick, through investigative journalism exposing the rot, has been a stalwart activist in that regard.

Mr Heyward, however, stretched his mandate on human rights to America.  So doing he entered politics. With politics go money, corruption and bad agendas. Then human rights become a polarizer – one as terrible as social justice. Recall the UN Human Rights Conference on Racism in Durban, 2001: a hate fest against the Jews and Israel. No aberration, the UN Human Rights Commission is a repetitive example of human rights twisted to serve bad agendas.  

Mr Heywood writes of the US election putting the “future of human civilization on the line.” He does more than write hyperbole. He stirs up hatred for supporters of the other candidate – the one he personally hates with an obvious violence. Those who don’t support Mr Heyward’s candidate (in fact, half of America and half of Africa) are putting “human civilization on the line.” Hate speech is what hate speech does.

Mark Heywood is no journalist. A radical activist with a polarizing agenda surely cannot be for the likes of Pick n Pay.

Kind regards

Steve Apfel


Activism on behalf of nation building

23rd January 2002

Past President, Mr Nelson Mandela

Dear Mr Mandela

As an ordinary Jew in our country I appeal to you to do something about the anti-Jewish racism being whipped up by our mass circulation press. 

Our society was at one time a model of harmony between the different faiths, before anti – Semites rose up to stir the pot.  I enclose proof of the racist propaganda being spread by some of our major newspapers. The head of our Ecclesiastical Court, Rabbi Kurtstag, has had to publicly call the Star’s Editor an anti-Semite.

The accompanying open letter details a sinister campaign within the Independent News group that has nothing to do with journalism as we know it in a plural multi-faith democracy. 

As born democrats and freedom lovers, Jewish people enjoy nothing better than to engage in vigorous debate.  After all, the Jewish State is the only state in the Middle East with a free press – a very critical press at that.    Dialogue and criticism are manifestations of a healthy society, but anti-Semitic racism poses a danger to peace and stability.

Respectfully yours

Steven Apfel


12th February 2002

Dear Mr. Apfel,

Thank you for writing to Mr Mandela. 

I hope you will understand that Mr Mandela cannot involve himself in such a matter. However Mr Mandela extends warm greetings, and heartily wishes you success in your work on this important matter.

Yours faithfully

John Samuel

CEO, Nelson Mandela Foundation


From Nelson Mandela close confidante, Chief Rabbi, the late Cyril Harris:

4th March 2002

Dear Steve,

I was so pleased to see your excellent article in Tuesday’s edition of the Star.

It goes a long way towards clarifying the clear connection / possible difference between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.

Regarding your letter to me of 30 May 2002, I am quite sure that neither Nelson Mandela nor Raymond Ackerman considers you an extremist. When the opportunity presents itself I will mention to them that you are certainly not.

Due to my public support of Israel, I have been labeled an extremist, “supporter of Sharon”, etc., and I am also awaiting an appropriate opportunity of correcting the distortion.

In the meantime all good wishes,

Yours sincerely,

Chief Rabbi Harris


Mr Nicky Oppenheimer



24th March 2004

16th September 2003

Dear Mr Oppenheimer

Your influence and example in nation building

I appeal to you in the hope that you will employ your influence and standing as a nation builder to assist in dealing with the gravest of threats to our country’s peace and stability and future prosperity.

 I turn to you also from connections of old.  My late father as a founder member and parliamentary candidate of the Progressive Party, received sterling support from your late father.  Both your parents and Anglo further lent their unstinting support to my father in helping him establish and maintain Kupugani, the organisation he founded to deal with malnutrition and starvation that were then ravaging the Homelands.  I also turn to you as a former neighbour.  Shortly after your father passed away your mother acquired our Gordon Cottage to incorporate into Brenthurst.  She came for tea and we went over the property with her.

Out of old associations of support and neighborliness, I hope that you will be able to support me in my efforts to deal with the anti-Semitic propaganda being whipped up by one or two correspondents in our press.  It was only a fortnight ago when Thabo Mbeki declared that the Government was very concerned and would not tolerate anti-Semitism.  Our society was at one time a model of harmony between the different faiths, before anti – Semites rose up to stir the pot.

I have copied for you below the sort of propaganda that is seeped into the minds of South Africans by a well-known pressman, John Battersby.  It is the same John Battersby who lately wrote a feature article on the initiative of the Oppenheimer family to help empowerment along the road. I approach you in the hope that you will appeal to the employers of Mr Battersby.  Two years ago I made a similar appeal to Nelson Mandela, from which time the Independent group has made good progress rooting out anti-Semitic pressmen in its organisation.

As born democrats and freedom lovers, Jewish people like nothing better than to engage in vigorous debate.  Dialogue and criticism are manifestations of a healthy society, but propaganda against the Jews ever was and will continue to be the prelude to violence and ruin.  I therefore appeal to you to bring whatever influence you can to bear upon this canker.


Steven Apfel


Mr Nelson Mandela

Mr Tony Howard, CEO Independent News & Media

Chief Rabbi Cyril Harris

Lot, ancestor of Moav. For the Shabbos Project

Culled from the parsha Vayera and Midrash commentary

Lot witnessed the end of mankind, so that what happened in a cave between father and two daughters was not quite degrading. For every act the Divine Author triggers a react, to make the human story. After God promised Abraham he would have offspring like the stars or the dust, He needed a nephew wined to the gills to father a nation to be their nemesis.

The personas of uncle and nephew were elements of the soil. While Abraham made base camp in the dry Negev, fabled pickings (or greed) drew Lot to Sodom on the fertile plain.

Three hundred and eighty years have passed since Noah disembarked on one dry peak; and God’s renewed faith in mankind is being dashed in five cities where conditions after Eden had never been so perfect. The hub was famed for two P’s: Prosperity and Perversity, the second following the first, as drunkenness follows drink. The locals were rich beyond dreams, and mean beyond words.  

Whichever way you look at it evil and saintliness take the same amount of work. To be wicked, and to relish it like old wine, does not come naturally. The blessed occupants of the plain set a standard for inhumanity never beaten. Egypt (Mitzrayim to the Hebrews) was another land abundant with bread and idleness. God knows. Leave Adam’s offspring to its own devices if you want perversity to sprout. Sodom and Gomorrah bred it like nowhere else on God’s earth.  

It had to be. Buckets of gold nuggets, rubies and emeralds could be filled in backyards. The  fertility of Sodom’s soil was legendary. Press a dry twig into the ground and a tree heavy with fruit sprang up in one season. Livestock were as miraculous. Goats, sheep and cattle doubled in mass in forty eight hours. As for the people, women wore sumptuous finery every day of the week. A humble boot maker’s family might employ three servants. Every meal in every home was a feast.  The lowest ranks swaggered and swanked like aristocrats. It all came at a cost.  

To safeguard freak prosperity you need freak behaviour. Pounding where the heart should be, Sodomites had an organ calibrated for cruelty. Lawmakers ransacked their wits. To protect the good life they devised dastardly codes. It was Noah’s fault for taking a demon aboard the Ark. Sodomites were demonic the way they elevated viciousness to an art form.

Merchant travellers, even with entry permits obtained at great trouble, came to Sodom at their peril. Just finding somewhere to put the feet up or the head down could be a fatal endeavour. Hospitality was a crime. Woe betides the citizen who dared be kind to a foreigner with the simplest food or shelter.  

Lot, head councillor to the Sodom regent, had a daughter named Pletith who would have made Uncle Abraham applaud. The girl took pity on a hungry visitor; daily she slipped to a quiet well to leave morsels for the desperado. But law enforcement had him under surveillance. Foreigners were expected to starve, but this one was putting on flesh. Someone had to be feeding him. The trail led to Pletith. Caught in the act she was dragged before the court and condemned to public burning, necklaced with the placard, ‘Be kind at your own risk.’

Punishments were barbarous. A felon would be stripped, coated head to toe with honey, and trussed up on an anthill. This afforded onlookers hours of entertainment while termites picked the body to the bone. Nor were the lower forms of life forgotten. Trees on public land were pruned down to bare branches, to deny birds the fruit. Laws were double-edged, cruel and designed for decadent fun. Sodom was a haven for every kind of pervert and swindler. It was a civic duty to monitor permits, and when deficient, to relieve the miscreant of the clothes off his back. After that another, ultimate indignity, taught the visitor a lesson to remember for a lifetime of shame.    

Perverted penalties plumbed the depths of cruelty. Sodom hostelries were a death trap. A guest, bedding down for the night, could be woken up by a squad of trained torturers. A tall guest was given a short bed, a short guest a long one. The tall would have their legs sawn down to the length of the bed. The short would be stretched by burly officers till bodies and beds were of equal length. Such creative atrocities kept Sodom tidy, prosperous and infamous for fifty two fairytale years.

The same Neanderthal animosity lent spice to commerce. The five cities were cut off by a meandering river. To get from one to another you took a ferry at one gold piece, or you waded across and paid double: two gold pieces for getting wet. If a man beat a pregnant woman and made her miscarry, the law made him live with her until she got pregnant again. To the sick mind what’s fair is fair.       

Yet Lot married a native of Sodom. In the family mansion there was penny-pinching at every turn, none more than with salt. It drove Lot to despair, but the wife wore the pants, a remarkable thing considering that Lot was a deal-maker people respected, even in that hell-bent city. Eris hoarded salt. Not half a league from the property the saltiest sea on earth lapped salt onto the shore. Anyone was free to fill buckets of it; salt enough to meet the needs of every living being from the Nile in the south to the Euphrates in the north. Only Lot’s wife monitors her stock. The cook has a weekly ration weighed out, and the butler is under orders not to put the dispenser on the table. You have to ask for salt, and when brought it contains the amount for one plate of food.

Lot brings two guests for dinner. Eris runs to bully the cook on making the ingredients for four dinners suffice for six. ‘Man with no idea of right and wrong,’ she mumbles.

Lot watches the beardless brothers (so they looked) pick at their food, and delivers a thunderbolt. ‘Wife, to me the mutton is under-seasoned. Won’t you ring for salt?’ At the table two maiden daughters skip a breath. The food lockups are her uncontested kingdom. Eris turns a crooked smile on the guests who look down at their food.

‘My lord,’ she says to Lot, ‘you like your mutton more spiced? I like to be told before guests turn up for dinner. You bring two to our table, I add two portions of salt. That is the way in this house. That is the way you will get your goat meat how you like it.’

‘Our guests…’ Lot begins, and Eris says, ‘You want to tell the family? Who is sharing our table?  Emissaries to the King are welcome. Because, my lord, let me make myself plain. I won’t have it. Your daughters won’t have it. The law won’t have it.’

‘My wife can hardly think I’d make the family party to a crime.’

‘No? You don’t know what I can think. Are they here on King’s business?’

Lot is looking wry and holding out his hands. There’s a pause. He wants his guests to help him out; they don’t look up.  

‘Who’s that?’ Lot says, ‘that banging in the cookhouse.’ Eris waves a hand. ‘Our clumsy servants.’

“No one must hear this. Dear family…’His voice is trying to belie the fear plumping the bags under the eyes and tightening every facial muscle. Lot is a man torn between the ways of a meticulous uncle and the ways of a ridiculous city. ‘They are from Abraham.’ He makes a gesture to indicate the guests are harmless. ‘Uncle Abraham rescued me from captivity. Our King climbed unhurt out of a slime pit because of him. What do you want me to do – throw my uncle’s messengers out? They know what it entails to be caught here. They did not come to fill their bellies.’   

His wife is a relentless woman. ‘I do not ask,’ she says, ‘what vital message our visitors brought from Abraham. He was the first to communicate with the one God, which leads me to believe that is who the message comes from. I don’t want to think it was their proposal to eat under our roof. So let me not hear it.’

‘It was my idea. How can it be undone? It may be they bring good advice. Let them speak.’

Eris hammers the table with a fist. ‘Let dinner finish promptly before folk hear rumours of  visitors in the home of Lot, councillor to the King. Then you can slip them out the back door. Word gets around when the chief councillor plays host to strangers. Not that I’d mention it. But servants do talk.’

Lot has two spots of angry red on his cheek bones. He says, ‘Finished my lords?

‘Yes. Thank you, my lady, for the excellent meal. The message we bring…Would my lady wish it conveyed?’

‘You may do so to my lord.  Now – no. God speed.’ There and then God seals her salty fate. But already a mob bays for entry at the door. The house is under siege. Vigilantes want Lot’s guests to come out and pay the price. He bargains.

‘People, my two daughters are right here. Let me bring them to you. I brought visitors to my home, against my better judgement. My family had nothing to do with it. Let the men leave Sodom unharmed. They are messengers from the great Abraham.’  

‘Stand back!’ Leaders hammer at the door and hurl abuse. ‘You’ve got a nerve smuggling your clients in. No one gives shelter and food. You, though a foreigner, know the law. Some example you set. Give them up and we leave your family alone.’ To the vigilantes the visitors are harbingers of an immigrant plague.

Grappling hooks are thrown onto the roof, jolting the rafters. Now a battering ram slams into the door. Rage and excitement at the fun in prospect puts the mob into fits. They want the intruders more than the maiden daughters. The intruders will offer better sport. Sodom was peopled, you see, by hell bent characters.

Insistent hands pull Lot back into the room. The hands now point at the door bulging on its brackets. Imprecations come from outside. The chaotic din drops to nothing. There are sounds of scuffling and oaths. Enraged and perplexed mischief-makers flail and trip over one another. They are blinded by sudden cataracts.       

Who are Lot’s guests making a miraculous invisible barrier between mob and prey? The Archangels Gabriel and Raphael have come to rescue the Lot family. They come from consoling pain-filled ninety-year old Abraham after his covenant-sealing circumcision. They are the Almighty’s eyes and ears. They are come to check out the goings-on. They come to warn Lot’s family before the skies vomit fire, before brimstone plummets onto the garden of evil.

Woke Democrats are not so elite. They support a crime family and run a protection racket

Wokes, as already known, can’t think straight. Though educated and intelligent, they occupy the intellectual low ground. 

And for morality? What ground is held by Wokes? High ground. It must be high if Wokes look down on the other half as ‘deplorables’ in their self-belief that no people more superior ever lived. Compared to America’s Founding Fathers, primitive slave owners, Woke Democrats are demigods. They care.

Hardly a cause or concern fails to ruffle Woke feathers: gender, climate, black lives, police, migrants, Palestinian rights, Israeli wrongs, racism, dog whistles, white supremacy and a feudal midget of a President. The evils of America, home to systemic racism, trouble moral elites by day and by night.

The evils troubled Wokes up to the week that was. Then at the pinnacle of the November 2020 campaign a corruption story became about Joe and not Hunter. 

For their survival Wokes made calculations, and it was then the naked eye beheld the state of their moral pantry. Their cupboard and Old Mother Hubbard’s were bare to the same degree.   

It came as a shock to Woke Democrats that their candidate for President was more unsavoury and irredeemable than (to their mind) the despicable Trump. Their candidate runs a Family.

The Biden five, pronounced Peter Schweitzer author of books on the political swamp, is the number one crime family in Washington. ‘The Big Guy’ in Hunter Biden’s emails, raking his 10% on deals with foreign entities in China and Ukraine, works the biggest racket in DC. What is the office of the Vice President for but to leverage influence?

Biden though is not a Don Corleoni type of Godfather. Jelly-kneed Joe throws his boy Hunter under the bus until father can squeak through the November poll. And remember Joe bunkered in his basement while the family braved Covid above ground. Remember at the onset of Covid, how Biden berated Trump for stopping flights from China, where the business partners strut the commissariat. Did Trump locking out China cost the Family? 

The crux of Biden’s bind is that the facts about him are too factual for his handlers to deny authenticity.

So the Big Tech Wokes had to step in with a protection racket, which even their Atlantic mouthpiece admits.

“Concerns about illiberal tendencies on the left are not made up out of thin air. Parts of the left now seek far-reaching censorship in social media, and are hostile to free speech.

Without a protection racket the Family would be kaput. “How long can the blackout continue,” asked the WSJ, writing of the “Silicon Curtain” cutting off the public’s right to know.

Could any media establishment be more corrupt than America’s? No legitimate media would refuse to cover the biggest story of a Presidential campaign. The campaign itself was a sham, a travesty of a campaign. The Woke candidate refused interviews and hid out in a basement – the ‘Hidin Biden’ strategy. Handlers did not trust the Godfather to survive encounters even with a pliant media. It had to be an issue-free contest for the White House. It had to be no more than a referendum on a scripted personality named Trump and how badly it handled the pandemic.

At the release of the Hunter Biden emails, jelly-kneed Joe, rather than staying to rebut them, scuttled back to the bunker, leaving it to the Woke media to make lame excuses for not covering the news. weekly newsletter from the public editor. And when Trump began to speak of the Family his interviewer cried out, “This is ‘60 Minutes and we can’t put on things we can’t verify.”

Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil portrays the Woke protection racket, which non-stop during four bitter years heard, saw and spoke continuous evil about a concocted straw figure named Trump.  

If the protection racket, aided and abetted by feudal lords of the social media, banked on burying or blocking the revelations about the Biden Family, the gambit failed. The story ended up being the most-discussed of the campaign. The next most talked-about story was the social networks trying to block it. The New York Post which broke the story called it an act of modern totalitarianism.

But the Wokes have never been put off by totalitarianism. In their DNA is the instinct to control and indoctrinate everyone from cradle to grave. From language to sport everything must conform to Woke doctrines. No one has reason to be shocked. The Biden Family after all is in business with a regime commanded by Chinese President Xi Jinping. This is a gulag operating regime that removes children while parents are put through re-education behind barbed wire.

Biden in the White House would mean that the protection racket snatched the soul of America the free. It would mean that the Family will be protected. There’ll be no paying for its corruption, as Hilary Clinton did not have to pay.  

It’s the unprotected American people who will pay. They’ll have to live with lockdowns for ‘safety sake’ and another lockdown perhaps for the sake of saving the planet from climate extinction. To Wokes follow the science means doing what Big Brother and Sister tell you is good for you. They trust Godfather Joe to do what’s good for them. If he did what’s good for the Family why not?

Bank on Wokes pursuing such a line of thought. Remember, they have a fatal deficiency of critical reasoning. Wokes don’t think so good. It wouldn’t occur to them that policy makers don’t have to live with the consequences of utopian dreams. Havoc caused by open borders, Green Deals, national health, language police and defunded proper police is for the meek and mindless to bear.   

Orwell’s 1984 did not have a bleaker finale.  

One Industry that Will Never Boycott Israel

BDS may flounder or prosper. Call that a truism. Whether it prospers depends on one industry not joining the boycott. Call that a paradox. The more effectively this boycot-flouting industry keeps with Israel, the more profit it makes, the better it will go for BDS. Likely or not call that a proposition. Could it be a valid one?

Riddle: what business promotes and facilitates BDS on the one hand while breaking with BDS on the other?

Answer: the Human Rights business.

It being a business there can be no argument. Look at the sustainability factors in favor of the watchdog players: 1) mountains of cheap capital on demand. (2) Global reach. (3) Well-connected stakeholders. (4) Media beating a path to the door. (5) A traded commodity for which the world has a gluttonous hunger.

If those are not conditions in favour of big business what other conditions are there.

Atop the pyramid you find the Big 5 watchdog club. The names are household: Amnesty International; Human Rights Watch; Christian Aid; Oxfam; Save the Children Fund. Nominally they, along with second-tier watchdogs are autonomous, not-for-profit and apolitical. In real life they are none of those things.

There are not hundreds but thousands of second-tier entities, medium to small, a bewildering number of them bunched together in little Israel and Ramallah. They compete like hungry dogs to produce a product that has come to be called ‘Human Rights.’ Their important customers are the big 5, the UN and its satellite Human Rights Council. But they also market Israeli ‘crimes’ direct to people and entities which can turn Israeli “crimes against humanity” to good account.

These ‘smallies’ compete fiercely for publicity and investor capital. The EU is the single largest donor to human rights businesses in the good feel industry, chucking millions of Euros at BDS supporting entities operating out of Israel. The free capital is meant to promote peace, cooperation, and human rights – buzz words the Wokes are addicted to. In reality the lucky recipients are purveyors of inflammatory rhetoric. Their every act and concern is to hasten the day when the flag of Palestine flutters over where Israel used to be.

To get to the base of the pyramid. The broad base is made up of moneybags that keep the industry oiled. They are billionaire private investors, Euro countries that practically fling money at watchdog bodies, ecumenical coffers, flush Arab potentates, and the proverbial Joe public.

Even so, the structure would topple but for an independent clearing house: the UN and its satellite agency, Human Rights Council. Like a farm co-operative they act as a buyer of last resort, but at the same time as another tier of sellers of Israeli human rights violations. And upon this clearing house, and upon the whole industry, jobs depend in the tens of thousands.

Turning to the stock in trade, like any commodity there are different grades of human rights that fetch different market prices. The premium grade is Israeli crimes, which are more a brand than a commodity. Investors cough up generously for this best brand. Watchdog operatives know it very well. They scour the West Bank and Gaza from end to end, sourcing stock of Israeli crimes, paying handsomely to get greedy hands on it.

When Israeli violations are difficult to come by, operatives are adept at creating their own. B’Tselem, the flush home-grown body, gives away cameras to help agents poke, prod and pry crimes out of the holy land. The New Israel Fund has another business model. Salesmen tout Israeli violations on the international circuit.

Few strings are attached to the free capital. EU money, ostensibly for specific projects, actually supports anything from writing more grant applications, or allowing staff to travel and promote ugly agendas around the world. In many cases EU funding makes up 50% to 75% of budgets – small wonder that you find the EU symbol on the publications and websites of Zionist-hating watchdogs.

Trade is brisk, the money big and the players earnest. The Ford Foundation is one of the big private investors, with an annual grant budget exceeding $500 million. Christian Aid, with branches in 50 countries, brings in €100 million a year, while Human Rights Watch received $100 million from George moneybags Soros, who then threw small change, $750,000, to the anti-Zionist pro-Israel firm, J-Street run by capitalist Wokes.

Exactly how popular is the Israeli brand? Human Rights Watch spends three times more resources on Israel than on Iran, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority combined. Amnesty produced 255 reports per million Israeli people compared to 60 reports on Syria, 23 on Iraq and Iran, and 9 on Saudi Arabia. While the butcher of Syria slaughtered hundreds of thousands of his  own people, Oxfam released a handful of statements and petitions condemning Assad. At the same time Oxfam condemned freely elected Israeli leaders a dozen times.

And the king of human rights kings? The United Nations trades in hardly anything but the Israeli brand. 75% of that body’s condemnations and 60% of its emergency sittings relate to Israel. For human rights violations in the whole world the UN keeps just one permanent item on the agenda. It keeps another permanent item for Israel alone. 

What is it about Israeli violations that human rights traders like so much?

The answer to that is another question. What is it about violations in Muslim countries that watchdog bodies shun like Satan? Iran is the place where people are beheaded; where choosing the wrong religion can be a death sentence; where LGBTQs are strung up on street poles. Watchdog traders are not fools. They know to keep clear of the violation-rich countries and to head to Israel, for the best of reasons: self-preservation. The risk to life and limb is paramount. The last thing dictators want is to have foreigners, infidels, poking, prying and prodding for human rights abuse.

But Israel – naïve open-door Israel – tells the watchdog firms to poke, prod and pry to their heart’s content. Israel is a watchdog paradise, Arabia is a watchdog hell.

The old risk-reward trade-off: who’d put up money to dig up abuse in Gaza, or Iran, or Syria? Who’d cough up for a commodity in such over-supply? Israel on the other hand, the stand-alone democracy in the region, dangles a low risk for high reward carrot. .  

Watchdogs have a particular business model that gives them a motive to dig up Israeli crimes, real or fake. It makes perfect business sense to invest in Israeli misdeeds as the stock-in-trade, as current assets convertible to cash. The source is practically inexhaustible and cheap. Palestiniansn are lured by hand-outs for valuable “testimony.”

On top of profit plunk downright honest-to-goodness hatred to get enough motive to power a metropolis. Why the anguish for Palestinian wellbeing when there are atrocities over the border for the picking?

That’s correct. Palestinian human rights are violated wholesale throughout the Arab world. They were starved to death in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria; 400,000 Palestinians in lebanon have no human rights; when during “Black September” in 1970 Jordan’s King Hussein killed more Palestinians in one month than Israel killed in a quarter of a century there was not a peep. Indeed, the King of Jordan continued to be loved as a man of peace. (“The War against the Jews” by Efraim Karsh, Israel Affairs, July 2012, pp. 319–43.)

 The conclusion cannot be ducked. Palestinians act as a lightning rod against Israel, and Israel acts as a lightening rod against the Jews. In days of yore biblical hatred ruled the roost. Today a money racket protected by a halo stokes the fires of purgatory.

How valuable are your crimes, oh Israel, your welcome mat, oh liberal nation.

Woke Democrats have a fatal deficiency. They can’t think straight

When the mind is at loggerheads with identity it leaves people at sixes and sevens. Behaviour goes one way, thoughts another, and words head north-north-west. It takes a political campaign to bring out how completely scatterbrained the Woke, Harvard alumni and all, can be.

George Orwell, who lived before Woke was heard of, beheld the chasm between intellect and common sense. “Some ideas,” he said, “are so stupid that only intellectuals would believe them.” And there was the Oxford don who, the story goes, put down a colleague. “On the surface he’s profound, but deep down he’s superficial.” Add, ‘intellectually dishonest’ and the educated fools who identify as Woke are kitted out. Self deception, contradiction and idiocy are in their every policy, act and concern.  

Wokes don’t vote for their candidate’s policies. They vote against a rival’s character. Biden has no policies other than ones he plagiarised from the Trump card, or adopts on the trot according to the prevailing wind; or keeps for after being elected such as fracking or packing the Supreme Court, or policies at cross-purpose, such as pro-lockdown and pro-job creation.  The belief that all whites have systemic racism in their DNA contrasts with Wokes pinning their hopes on a white Biden and his Vice running mate with her white husband.

The Woke mind can’t think straight. 

Contrast the straight thinking of Conservatives. They vote for policies not for character. They don’t look for “Mr. nice guy” in their leaders. In politics there are hardly any, and in any case being Mr. Nice is a hindrance for a leader more than a help. It means nothing for the country if a candidate is rude, ill-mannered and caustic. He can be the biggest jackass but who cares provided he is pro-law and order, pro-constitution, pro-Israel, anti-Iran, pro-liberty, pro-freedom of speech, pro-religion. Those who think straight cast their lot with the covenant not the king.   

Woke people, were their veins opened, would bleed chaos and falsehood. Intellectual rot is inevitable when your identity as a Woke is a lie. Fact is, the word was appropriated from the black vernacular – a most unwoke thing to do. ‘Stay woke’ had been a watchword of the early black consciousness movement.  It meant ‘wake up to a new reality; be alert to the deceptions of white people.’

Then Ferguson happened. In 2014 Michael Brown was shot dead by a policeman in Ferguson Missouri. The incident proved to be the catalyst to fire up ‘stay woke’ from a watchword to a war cry. The BLM movement took the Brown incident and ran with it. BLM made the martyr into a flaming fountainhead to stand for police brutality and anti-black bias of criminal justice.

The problem was and is that Michael Brown’s as much a martyr of police brutality and targeting as the police killing a Latino drug lord would be. He was a violent 19-year-old black who left a policeman with no other course but to shoot him dead. Hands up in surrender and “Don’t shoot” never happened. The lie turned into a creed which turned into a radical anthem.

Yet the Wokes purloined it. And they parked some beloved concepts on a Ferguson crime that never happened. Six years later to be Woke is to be a staunch advocate of ‘social justice’ and ‘systemic racism’– or to preen the ego to feel you are woke. The latter concept is not evidence-based. The former concept is a contradiction in terms. Justice cannot be qualified or it is not justice for all but someone’s idea of it for a group. As Thomas Sowell asked, “If your concern is fairness and social justice, what is your ‘fair share’ of what someone else has worked for?”

The fact that woke Democrats can’t think straight is that simple. You cannot build truth and rational thought on a foundational lie. Being deficient in skills of critical thought was always on the cards after Wokes appropriated a black omelette and made a scrambled egg from it.

The scatterbrained Woke Democrat who votes Biden is the real threat to America. The Clinton-Obama axis that controls the Biden puppet is the wannabe dictator.

A rude and crass President Trump believes America is great and wants to preserve it that way. The right Presidential material boils down to nothing more complicated than this.  

The pandemic reveals what has become of humanity

As Don Quixote thought windmills were giants to be jousted with, so we regard Covid-19: a   plotting, stalking goliath.  The analogy could not be closer – the Middle Ages were a time for plagues. The Black Death of the 1340s killed more than 40% of Europe’s population. Still, amid the terror and superstition common sense was not discarded. Those who could afford it fled city death traps to quarantine in the countryside. 

In 1529 the ‘sweating sickness” dropped Londoners like flies. In Hilary Mantel’s novel, Wolf Hall I read: “The rule is for the household to hang a bunch of straw outside the door as sign of infection, then restrict entry for forty days, and go out as little as possible.” Had our architects of lockdown taken a leaf from medieval common sense, the lives and livelihoods of billions of victims would have been spared.   

Worse than jelly-brained, we have been poltroons kidding ourselves that ‘better to be safe than sorry’ is a noble guide to life. To believe Lancet, we lack the stoicism of a generation ago. “Revisiting the 1957 and 1968 influenza pandemics” speaks of the “stoicism” of both the common people and policy-makers.

Befitting a medical journal, Lancet compares in measured tones the craven behaviour of today with the level-headed behaviour of those who went through worse pandemics in the 1900s.

Where we lack common sense, they had it. Where we panic, they kept sane; where our media sensationalizes, theirs informed. Where our modellers of disease are out to make a name with pronouncements designed to propagate dread, their medics wanted to learn and understand. Where our parents put coddling before relatively safe schooling, their parents knew kids were at risk going to school, yet made them go. Where our politicians play god, theirs let the medical fraternity handle crises of public health. And where our politicians close down business and cut off cross border trade, theirs understood that economic suicide could make no impression on a virus. All in all 20th century humanity did not go berserk, and believers prayed to their Gods in the time honoured manner.    

Consider the no-nonsense Prime Minister of Britain, Harold Macmillan. It was July 1957. There he stood telling a Tory Party rally that the British “had never had it so good”. The world was in the grip of a pandemic worse than our Covid-19. Influenza A, virus subtype H2N2, known as the Asian Flu, had surfaced in China in the winter of ‘56. By April Hong Kong had a quarter of a million cases. By June India crossed the one million mark. The British and the Americans were basking in a boom when the pandemic made landfall. By the time it was contained in ‘58 more than a million had departed this mortal coil, of which 30,000 were British and 100,000 Americans. For a crude comparison with our Flu, double the fatalities to allow for the smaller populations than today.

But then people were redoubtable. They learned to live with a pandemic. They did not put their lives on hold. Neither did they succumb to a new normal. Owners of businesses were not prohibited from earning a living. No one cowered at home waiting for some invalid curve to flatten. They did not become hypochondriacs.   

What of our political, cultural and moral leaders? Did they keep their heads while all around were losing theirs? They can’t have done. Not when they put their money on the likes of ‘Professor Lockdown’ Neil Ferguson whose doomsday prediction of 1 million British deaths spurred on the lock-downers of the world. Would his science have been respected had it been known he would break his own rules by smuggling a married woman into his home during London’s lockdown?

The lockdown – if you want to call it that rather than a bazooka to kill a cockroach – zapped just about everything except the pest, which repaid the favour with a second wave of prolific spite. It’s no mystery why the losers from lockdown learnt before the experts who lost nothing, that it was a weapon of indiscriminate devastation.  

European governments were next to be taught the lesson. They won’t be locking down again in a hurry, no matter how bad the second wave. Taking example from Sweden, Europeans have come to terms with living with the virus. Not so Britain, Israel and Australia which imposed draconian second lockdowns. Many Israelis, so I’ve been told, would flee the country if airlines were airborne.

Naturally enough lockdown proponents were under pressure to scapegoat the blame. And the handy scapegoat was the villain of the peace, the voiceless coronavirus. Loathe it but be sorry for it, taking the consequence of closing down society on its blameless back.

Rabbinic authorities and their observant flock are blame-shifters in chief. The cultural devastation they wrought by forbidding Jewish gatherings drove rabbis to distraction. The law making the sanctity of human life paramount drove them over the edge of reason.

The social cost and the economic cost from isolating Jews were horrendous. Saving one life involved sacrificing maybe 100 others. And so language, to scapegoat, had to bend to the task. “The Covid pandemic forced people apart.” Or, a rabbi who himself banned communal gatherings, blamed a secretive force. “We could never imagine that our synagogues would be closed”. What closed them is left to the imagination. Or this deliberately obtuse statement in a periodical: “The whole world is reeling from the virus and the economic crisis that inevitably followed.” As if politically imposed lockdowns were blameless.  

Not to forget the other scapegoat: ‘Follow the science,’ is the refrain of those who made the rules. Mute science is a handy blame-taker for all too human scientists. The rule-makers, cutting corners, mean, “follow my scientific advisors who agree with me that lockdown is the remedy.”  

G L Gomme in The handbook of folklore defines myth as “the science of a pre-scientific age.” Folklore, says Gomme, offered our ancestors a comforting sense of control over nature. Dry spells were addressed by rain dances and by offerings to Helios. The pre-science folk just had to sit back and wait. The rains came. The sun reappeared. Wisdom and the illusion of control were verified. 

Proponents of using a bazooka to kill a cockroach have not had their myth verified. After lockdowns laid the world to waste, corona came back to bite.

There are Jews who can be hated – and who should be

A consolation to the Jewish people is being reminded that hatred of the Jew is not their fault. No one expects the victim to cure the anti-Semite villain.

But wisdom deep and wide can debunk this reminder for not being true, all the time. It took Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks to debunk it.

Writing on hatred in the Torah, the Rabbi delves into Pharaoh putting the Israelites into bondage, with infanticide and all.

When hate is rational, based on some fear or disapproval that – justified or not – has some logic to it, then it can be reasoned with and brought to an end.”

The fear and hatred of Pharaoh had some logic. By reproduction alone the Israelite settlers could overwhelm Egypt. (‘Two Types of Hate.’ Covenant and Conversation, 29 August 2017)

On the other hand, Rabbi Sacks identifies hatred of the irrational brand – the hatred we believe, wrongly, to be the only type. Without logic hatred of this type has neither beginning nor end. To illustrate, Rabbi Sacks points to the Amalekites attacking the vanguard of Israelite columns en route to the Promised Land. They attacked without cause or strategic purpose. It was hatred pure and simple.

 An example in our times? Firebrand anti-Zionists would be the Amelekite crazies. 

And the Pharaoh type of today? Anti-Semites who hate with logic, and even with justification?  

Witness the American case, a philanthropist and trouble maker supremo. Mr George Soros (ne Schwartz György) might be the Jew who can be hated by anti-Semites – and who should be.  

“The revengeful and well-funded coalition of Trump-hating insurrectionists is preparing the battlefield for a post-election civil war; threatening to extend the 2020 election into 2021 and to weaponize every tool to make sure Joe Biden assumes the presidency even if President Trump legitimately wins. The same sore losers who still refuse to accept the results of the 2016 presidential contest are preparing to do whatever it takes—including promote the secession of western states—to force the removal of Donald Trump next January.”

Could it be written off as the fantasies of people still mad about 2016. Far from it.  

To believe  American Greatness the plot is backed by some of the wealthiest people who walk the earth. The insurgent masterminds rely on the storm troopers, the BLM and Antifa rioters to do the softening up. The money of Mr Soros and Master Zuckerberg, Jews among the gentile plotters, could make it happen.

If they draw anti-Semites out of the woodwork, can we blame the anti-Semites?    

Not long ago Mr Soros drew the Hungarian strain out of the woodwork. A meddling Jew flinging billions at bringing on his godless vision of utopia for a country he’d no business to meddle in, was guaranteed to draw ‘Kike’ haters d like sugar draws wasps.

Bank breaker Soros is no symbol. More than the House of Rothschild could do in bygone times, Hungary-born Soros can summon the capital, buy the alliances, educate disciples, and trouble every corner of Europe with mad visions of a borderless world.

Backwater Hungary is nothing to the financier and his Open Society Foundations, with mountains of capital and a bottomless cause. Love or hate Hungarian leader Viktor Orban, only the dishonest could deny the bind he was in consequent of a Jew gambling with countries, and even a whole bloc of them.     

The crux of Orban’s bind involves the sanctity of borders. Whither are they going? Not in Hungary alone but the whole of Europe?

Some forty years ago a president of America seemed to anticipate the question. To quote Ronald Reagan: “A nation that cannot control its borders is not a nation.” Today anti-Semite and Jew face off on either side of the border issue. Hungary’s freely elected leader versus Mr Soros. For his part the latter is perfectly candid. He wants to reshape a country across the Atlantic. He’d be a meddler even if Hungary were a failed state. But what is he doing with a fully functional democracy, a paid up member of Europe and the United Nations! Soros calls it a Mafia state. Viktor Orban might be closer to the mark if he called his antagonist a Mafiosi.      

But Mr Soros is not secretive. He tells the world what’s in his mind. Talking of the resister Viktor Orban, he said: “Orban treats the protection of national borders as the objective and the refugees as an obstacle. Our plan treats the protection of refugees as the objective and national borders as the obstacle.”

Could it be the definitive meaning of Jewish chutzpah? No question, it’s the perfect example of, ‘Who pays the piper calls the tune.’

From when the philanthropist set up the Open Society Foundations in 1993 he’s flung in excess of $11 billion at feel-good groups, staffed or loved by the Left. It could be with tongue in cheek that Soros named the foundation after the 1945 book by Karl Popper, ‘The Open Society and Its Enemies.’ The meddler operates as the enemies do in Popper’s title, and not just in the open society of Hungary. In the bastions of freedom, in America, Israel and Europe, Soros busy as a bee is undermining the will of the people spoken through the ballot box. And the disciples he bought do their utmost to push back on behalf of the great Paymaster.   

Rights groups and watchdogs lambast Hungary’s elected government for cracking down on Soros and the civil society NGO’s proliferating on his money. Balint Bardi, a Budapest journo says, “We have pushed for greater acceptance of refugees and migrants, putting us at odds with right-wing governments and far-right political parties,” Bardi believes that Hungary’s government is waging a campaign against Soros as part of a broader strategy to exploit xenophobic feelings. His opponents, according to Bardi, want to deflect attention from a government crackdown on civil society in order “to gain popularity for the government”.


[i] A watchdog decrying the xenophobia its master orchestrated by pushing Orban to open borders to untold migrants who, learning from Britain, France, Spain, will not assimilate into a Judaeo-Christian culture, let alone the risk of security, PC for outbreaks of terror using bombs, knives, trucks for murder and mayhem. [ii]“Right-wing governments and far right political parties.” When did Bardi the journo qualify a government as ‘Left-wing’ or a political party as “far-left?” Only left-wing is good? Democracy is only acceptable when voters return governments the left-wing like?  [iii] “To gain popularity for the government.”  Is it not precisely what a political party in a democracy is supposed to do: get elected by popular vote? What does Bardi want of the successful party: to make itself unpopular, to please foreign meddlers?

For an astute reader of markets who broke the Bank of England, Soros’ investment in disciples has returned products of asinine quality with faulty brains like Bardi.

Another Soros product of sub-quality is a human rights expert named Nora Koves. It’s not playing fair, she complains, to require transparency of NGOs receiving $26,000 or more from outsiders. What business is it of government and citizenry to know that her NGO is controlled by a foreigner out to make Hungarians, like God made man, in his own image“.”Basically,” says Nora Kovos, “we are the last critics standing in Hungary. We are the professional criticism of the government.”


[i] Who or what is a ‘human rights expert’? Could it be Nora Koves describing herself?  [ii}Is there even a talent known as human rights expertise? [iii] Nora Koves works for Budapest-based Eotvos Karoly Policy Institute, another outfit surviving on the bottomless pocket of the meddler. [iv] “We are the professional criticism of the government.” Yes they are. Professionals live on what they get paid to do.

Meanwhile Hungary’s government styles itself as the defender of “Christian Europe” against a surge of  migrants incentivized by Soros and his EU cronies to pick Hungary as a likely place to settle down, all the while educating Europeans to regard borders and sovereignty as unwonted vestiges of bygone days.  

Hungary is not alone. All over Europe leaders and parties blame Soros for the mess. A former Prime Minister of Poland, Jarosław Kaczynski, blames the entities he funds for advocating “societies without identity”. Anti-Soros laws and rhetoric are part of the landscape in Serbia, Bulgaria and Slovakia. Who shall cast the first stone at Viktor Orban for plastering billboards with the face of the instigator all over Hungary: “Don’t let George Soros have the last laugh,” it pleads.

Of course Jewish watchdogs are aligned with the pro-Soros circus. Aren’t they aligned with every circus going. Jewish activists get good money from Mr Soros, so why not? “There’s no doubt,” an activist Jew declared. “The vast majority of American Jews live with what we would call white privilege.”

If being privileged is sinful, if the more privileged you are the greater your sin, well then. Zionists and the tiny country they support are culpable. Then hating Zionists is more than the right thing to do. It is the moral thing to do, and those of good conscience are duty bound to hate Zionists.

A moot point: are we dealing with Amelikite crazies or Pharaoh rational types?

The myths and madness of hate are indiscriminate. Watchdogs seem to be a susceptible group. Meddling Jews are the fox guarding the henhouse. And the empire of the greatest meddler of them all is camouflaged by a veneer of nonsense.