Jews in South Africa

In troubled post-Mandela South Africa, a fight or flight dilemma for the 70,000 Jews

Julius Malema of the Economic Freedom Fighters (Wikimedia commons)

South Africa’s Economic Freedom Fighter  party, led by the charismatic Julius Malema, insist “white monopoly capital” is central to the country’s problems. The party wants to nationalize banks, farmland and other means of production.

Next week’s local government elections amount to a referendum on ANC rule. With joblessness, inequality and violence all on the rise, many in the Jewish community are considering their future.

Nelson Mandela has been called a “sell-out” for negotiating with the apartheid regime rather than pushing for its total defeat, even at risk of civil war.

Most Jews live in relative affluence, comparable to during apartheid. But for many young Jews — and whites generally — affirmative action policies, aimed at redressing apartheid’s sins against blacks, deny them jobs. That, combined with concern about the future, makes them emigrate.

All of this contrasts with the central role Jew have had  in the fight against Apartheid. 

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