A new hope?

Connect, Collaborate, Community By Daniel Bloch

In the original Star Wars movie, we meet Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. The forces of evil have spread their hatred to all the corners of the galaxy, creating despair for everyone. From the darkness comes the light and a new hero rises to save the day – hence the title ‘A new hope’. Whilst the past few months have seemed like something from a movie, where evil and terror have tried to intimidate, threaten and tear us apart, it does seem as though we too have ‘A new hope’. The recent South African elections have given all South Africans and our Jewish community something to hope for and be positive about.

Whilst our government has been very anti-Israel and quite possibly given the Jewish community the proverbial cold shoulder, the potential Government of National Unity may be just what is needed to pull our flailing country from the ashes and allow us to restore faith in our leadership. And in particular, having political parties which will implement foreign policy which will actually help us and not potentially alienate us from the rest of the world, is something extremely positive. 

For the first time since Madiba led this great nation, we have something to look forward to. By the time you read this, I pray that the title I have selected for this article is correct and that I don’t have to change it to ‘Let’s hope for change’. 

A new government may also be a new hope for the Jewish community. Already the signs are promising. Having been excluded from two previous Interfaith events, the Cape SAJBD was invited to say a prayer on behalf of our community, at Parliament on Friday 14 June, when the new President was voted in. 

We can also take comfort in the fact that the majority of South Africans reinforced their support for the Jewish community and Israel through their votes. The naïve and misguided anti-Israel election campaign implemented by several political parties and their attempts to use the war in Gaza for their own selfish agendas backfired miserably. Not only did many of these parties lose votes, but the so-called ‘Zionist party’ retained leadership of the Western Cape, and the most pro-Israel political party on the ballot, the Patriotic Alliance, came third in the province and fifth in the country.  

What does this really mean? It means that the hopeless attempts by the BDS movement and their useful idiot sister organisations have not fooled anyone. They continue to be a desperate minority clinging to misinformation and lies in order to further their own agendas – something which will not assist or benefit anyone caught up in this awful war where countless innocent lives are lost on a daily basis. It also means that maybe, just maybe, our new government can now focus on improving the lives of all South Africans. Perhaps we can finally put an end to load shedding, create more jobs, reduce poverty, strengthen our economy, and create the South Africa which Nelson Mandela dreamed of. 

On June 16th we commemorated Youth Day and all the young people who sacrificed their lives to end Apartheid. We should not only honour their memory, but look to the younger generation of today for hope. These are our new heroes who will provide ‘A new hope’ for all South Africans. The new Government of National Unity must work with the youth to produce our leaders of the future. 

We should all be working together, sharing ideas, creating solutions and learning from our experiences to create a South Africa where everyone is indeed equal and where everyone can prosper.

Cape SA Jewish Board of Deputies website: www.capesajbd.org, Instagram, and Facebook page.

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