South African Jewish Student Journal Hit for New Left Stance
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South African Jewish Student Journal Hit for New Left Stance

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Jewish communal leaders here are concerned about attacks made on Israel and the local Jewish community by a small group of Jewish students at Cape Town University who publish, under the sponsorship of the Students’ Jewish Association at that university, a student journal, “Strike.”

The articles about Israel are of the “New Left” variety, accusing the Jewish State, among other things, of “oppressing” the Arabs. The articles dealing with the local Jewish community criticize communal leaders and the rabbinate for reneging on Jewish ethics by not opposing apartheid, and for allegedly maintaining silence on low wages paid to African workers. They also accuse the South African Jewish Board of Deputies of allegedly climbing down from past attitudes to a position of silence on political issues.

One article in the paper bitterly attacks South African industrialist, Harry Oppenheimer, as a “liberal stooge” who is instrumental in maintaining the prevailing economic structure, which “exploits” African workers. Oppenheimer has in fact been one of the leading figures in urging an improvement of wages, and in raising them in the industries which his companies control.

Interviewed by the local press, D.K.Mann, chairman of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, dissociated the Board from “Strike,” saying that it was contrary to the long-established policy of the Board of Deputies to adopt a political stand. Asked about the journal’s attitude toward Oppenheimer, Mann said that he certainly did not agree with their views.

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