An open letter to journalist Moira Levy
June 24, 2012
I refer to your oped in the Cape Times in which you announced that because of your understanding of the
manner in which Israel treats refuges from Africa, you have turned your back on being a Jew.
I sincerely believe that
your attitude to Israel and Judaism is not based on ill-will, but rather on misinformation gleaned from the media and I wish
you success and happiness in your new life as a non-Jewess.
I do hope that in cutting your ties with your past
legacy and even with your family, you will also discard past prejudices, (we all have them) especially about Israel.
After all you will now feel less compelled to focus on Israel's warts self-consciously as a Jew and instead feel free to judge
Israel as you would any other country, impartially and from a new perspective.
The mass entry of illegal immigrants,
many of whom are genuine refugees, is indeed a serious human problem in many countries. You have raised legitimate concerns
and now I ask you to please suggest a practical solution in your capacity as a non-Jew looking in from the outside.
mentioned in the attached copy of my letter to Archbishop Tutu, it would be interesting to learn what you would recommend if thousands of these refugees suddenly settled in
and dominated your immediate neighborhood.
This open letter is being publicized as will the considered reply
I hope to receive from you
Moira Levy's oped in the Cape Times
On June 20 2012 the Cape Times published an article by Cape Town journalist Moira Levy under the title
"Israel's racism has made me turn my back on being a Jew".
She conceded "It is hard to dispute a nation's argument
that it has the right to defend itself against suicide bombers and cross-border missile attacks, especially a nation that
has already experienced one of history's most brutal attempts to destroy it on the grounds of racism and an evil and inexplicable
drive to preserve racial exclusivity and national purity".
However she qualified this by accusing Israel of an open
declaration of of hostility to people of other nationalities, an unapologetic-public determination to drive away people just
because they belong to a different racial, religious or ethnic group, that forces her to once again question Israel's underlying
reasons for its refusal to live alongside people of other nations, including those who happen to live on land that Israel
has forcibly occupied or who are not lost in the battle with Israel's might security forces and she asked herself if she could
in any conscience continue to be associated with people who have learnt from history only the ability to repeat the same horrific
And she concluded "In the face then of the latest news of violent racial repression on the part
of Israel, I have to cut my ties with my past, legacy and even family roots and, painful as it is, turn my back on being a
Archbishop Tutu's appeal to Ms. Levy
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu was, in his words, so "moved by the anguish courageously expressed" by
the journalist that he wrote a letter to the Cape Times in which he appealed to her not to blame her faith for the policies of the people
who have political power in the State of Israel.
He wrote that w are all members of the same human family, made for goodness and love and when members
of our family behave wrongly, we do not turn our backs on them, but try to convince them to steer a fairer course.
He added that it was no coincidence that some of the most outspoken critics of apartheid, and of Israel, were Jewish and that these compatriots have
a unique understanding of discrimination”.
A response to the archbishop may be found here