There are days when the world seems to be the equivalent of a Monday morning without coffee. My wife’s answer to these sorts of days and the accompanying deluge of darkness and misery on social media is bubbles:
So instead of getting rid of the baby with the bath water I’m adding bubbles. Lots and lots of happy, shiny bubbles. OK, mostly accounts involving adorably cute animals. Cute animal bubbles!
Sometimes bubbles are just what we need. That and to ignore social media for a while.
This also helps:
Image credit: Clem Onojeghuo
The last few weeks have been challenging times for Jews worldwide, particularly here in South Africa where we have been spared the growing anti-Semitism that has gripped much of Europe and other parts of the world. The Israeli campaign in Gaza has inspired tremendous opposition to Israel and its ongoing fight to protect its citizens and continue to thrive. Collectively, as Jews, we are probably under the biggest threat we have faced since the Second World War.
I came across an article by Mayim Bialik titled “Why I Wear My Jewish Star” which is a wonderful reminder why we should continue to be proud of who we are even if it seems like the rest of the world is against us. This part, in particular, captures so much of the essence of who we are, at least for me:
Magen David literally translates to Shield of David. The historical King David defeated a giant when he was just a boy, a shepherd even. He was not from a line of kings. He was a flawed hero: He sent a man to the front lines of a war so he could seduce the man’s wife. He was not perfect. But he was the first king to unify Israel. He was a poet, credited with writing the Psalms of the Old Testament.
I wear a Magen David because I am not too small to fight. I am not from too modest an origin to rise up and try to inspire in my own small way. I am not too boastful to be humbled, and I am not so right that I can never be wrong.
That’s the legacy I hail from. That’s what it means to me to wear my Jewish star.
From “Anti-Israel Protests Make the Case for Israel“:
Israel’s operation in Gaza is not causing deep-seated prejudices, it is revealing them. And behind all of that hatred lies the need for Israel—the case for Jewish sovereignty is the case for Jewish safety.
Someone I was chatting to after the 2014 elections, last week, made an interesting comment. He said that if the old Apartheid-era National Party had educated all South Africans better (and not just white South Africans), the ANC under Jacob Zuma would have had a more challenging time selling themselves with all the corruption in the ANC’s ranks.
Interesting argument but I suspect that if the old Nationalist government had education non-white South Africans better, that government wouldn’t have lasted as long as it did. We may have dodged the Zuma bullet if Apartheid ended sooner but then again, it probably wouldn’t have been necessary for the ANC to have become what it became to defeat the old regime.
I just read an article in Mail & Guardian titled ANC at pains to silence booing and noticed this stark reminder that the ANC sees itself as synonymous with the State and has no difficulty using national intelligence agencies to retain power:
At the time, ANC insiders said that a team of state intelligence operatives and police officers had been dispatched to Mpumalanga from as early as December to do groundwork and counter any move by Zuma’s detractors to embarrass him.
The ANC is not the government. It is a majority party and has the power to appoint the government but that government is responsible for protecting all South Africans’ interests.
The Democratic Alliance published its follow-up to the original Ayisafani ad which the SABC banned. Even taking into account that this is an ad and portrays the DA in a brilliant light, I love the energy in this ad and I want to see the DA govern more of South Africa for the next 5 years. I especially want to see what Mmusi Maimane can do for Gauteng.
Update (2014-04-30): I noticed this tweet moments after I published my post:
This is how a public broadcaster slaved to an insecure ruling party behaves.
More equal than others
The ANC’s response to the Public Protector’s report on the Nkandla controversy highlights its twisted perspective on its position as ruling party. I had to express my outrage and did it on Medium in an article titled “More equal than others“. Here is how it begins:
If you have paid much attention to the ANC’s responses to controversies it has been embroiled in (usually due to its leader and current South African President, Jacob Zuma), it should be pretty clear to you that, with the ruling party’s reaction to the Public Protector’s report on the president’s Nkandla compound development, the ANC has left our reality and its claim to power seems to be based on a modern version of the ancient Divine Right of Kings.