«Jewish Observer»
January 2002
5762 Shvat

Main page To print

The Jewish community of Capetown is disturbed with the public manifestations of fascism and anti-Semitism. A small group of youngsters, who were wearing fascist uniform and holding toy machine-guns, drove along the town in a jeep, which was painted with swastika. The most terrible thing is that they weren't even ashamed of appearing like that at the annual meeting of the charitable Jewish community "Mardy Grass". David Donner, president of the community, was greatly disturbed with this event. He said: "I was so shocked with the incident that I couldn't say a word. It was like a nightmare. The most unpleasant thing is that this event undermines our authority and respect. People need our help and similar incidents may frighten many Jewish people. We demand a serious investigation of this event".

Phillip Kravits, Chairman of the Council of Deputies, stated that such demonstrations are absolutely unacceptable in SAR, where the Jewish community made a lot of efforts to endeavor equality of all race groups.

Truly, in SAR, where the race prejudices are still strong, such "children's joke" can turn into a real mischief.

Kathy Nortier, administrator of the "Mardy Grass", announced that the inactivity of the authorities arises the feeling of pity and fear. "Our organization was founded in 1959, and its main feature is complete political apathy. Unfortunately, the last meeting, which is usually held like a holiday, was darkened with this revolting prank of the anti-Semitism, - she said. - We decided not to start an open confrontation with them, because there's police for solving such problems. But police stood inert. We do hope that it was a misunderstanding, and that similar misunderstandings would never take place again. There's no place for anti-Semitism in this country".

The strangest thing is that soon after the event Kathy Nortier received an apology letter, which looks like mockery. The author of the letter, Andrew Kanningham, the father of one of the participants of the joke, wrote: "We realize that we were the cause of your disturbance and we ask your pardon. We didn't know that Jewish were so easily offended and that they would react on swastika in such a way".

Then it said that the youngsters didn't mean to offend anyone, they just wanted to demonstrate a jeep which has been well-kept since the times of the WWII".


«Jewish Observer» - obozrevatel@jewukr.org
© 2002 Jewish Confederation of Ukraine - www.jewukr.org