Ben Levitas

Israel joins the world in mourning Madiba

While the press focused on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision not to attend the memorial service to honour Mandela at FNB Stadium, it failed to give due credit to the high-level Israeli delegation that did attend. It is especially notable and poignant that this delegation comprised human-rights protagonists and activists. Leading the delegation of five…

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We are no longer placated by empty assurances

As loyal South Africans, who have made a disproportionate contribution to the well-being of South Africa, I and my colleagues at the Cape Board of the Zionist Federation, wish to voice our dissatisfaction with the consistent attacks on Israel’s internal policies, and on it alone being singled out for failure to reach an accord with…

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Of walls and refugees

Well, hallelujah! Turkey has started to build a wall along its border with Syria. Guess what, most of the wall is 2m tall and in some stretches will be over 2.5m high. The first part of the wall will extend for over 900km. Walls separate people and break up families. Walls cut people off from…

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Poaching, poisoning and the consequences

Recently in Zimbabwe while the country was preoccupied with its general elections, the press almost completely ignored a catastrophic chemical poisoning of animals. Ivory poachers killed more than 80 elephants by poisoning water holes with cyanide. The elephants had constituted one of the world’s biggest herds, and were slaughtered in Zimbabwe’s largest park, the Hwange…

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SA remains a bastion of racism, while the rest of Africa moves on

How has the rest of Africa succeeded in putting its traumatic racial discrimination past behind it? Speak to anyone doing business in Africa and they will tell you that “race” is not an issue. They will tell you that doing business is not impeded by requirements to have “black” partners and that the concept of…

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‘Shoot the Jew’ – hidden mantra of Israel’s enemies

The true face of the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment movement (BDS) was revealed on the steps leading up to the Great Hall at Wits by a group of protesters who hurled abuse at attendees of a concert by Daniel Zamir, an Israeli jazz quartet last Wednesday. Things turned ugly when some of the protestors chanted…

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To get South Africa working again fire the DTI

It’s official that South Africa’s growth rate lags badly behind the rest of Africa, with no imminent solution in sight. The New Development plan is supposed to be the knight in shining armour that will rescue us from our predicament. Sure it sounds grand; increasing the number of employed to nearly 12-million, doubling per capita…

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Competition Tribunal fails to deliver on mandate

The recent and widely publicised dramatic “unequivocal apology” by the chief executive Murray & Roberts, Henry Laas, for “collusive conduct” during the period leading up to the Soccer World Cup, while well-intentioned, should be viewed in the context that he assumed his position in July, 2011, well after all these “crimes” were committed. The chief…

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Internal conflicts the new norm of 21st century

We have entered a time where clashes within nations have eclipsed clashes between nations. The mass street demonstrations sweeping across the globe have pitted governments against their people. Even in democracies the people are distrustful of their own governments as many are more interested in acquiring and then maintaining power than in the well-being of…

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Egypt needs a Mandela

The tumultuous tides of human protesters on the streets, bridges and squares of Cairo and Istanbul, speak of frustration with the world as it is and a yearning for a better life. A clear and precise vision of that better life as articulated in the Freedom Charter by our visionary Nelson Mandela is what contributed…

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