The euphoria that permeated all sectors of the South African population with its first democratic election in 1994 has degenerated into widespread pessimism with the forced resignation of President Thabo Mbekiâ€¦.With the election of the controversial Jacob Zuma as president of the African National Congress at the party's national congress at the end of last year, many young Jews are thinking about emigrating.Amid political turmoil, emigration from South Africa is again on rise By Suzanne Belling JTA 10/23/08
After leveling off for several years, Jewish emigration from South Africa again is on the riseâ€¦While no exact statistics figures are available — emigres generally do not make their permanent departure official — the Israel Center at the South African Zionist Federation sees a 300 percent increase in aliyah over last yearâ€™s 178 emigrantsâ€¦. From a peak of 120,000 in the 1970s, the South African Jewish population has declined to approximately 75,000 todayFrom the American point of view the interesting and significant point is that the South African Jewish community was crucially involved for many years in the effort to overthrow Apartheid. This was the system of racial political control by which the Dutch-descended Afrikaners, the majority of the white community, endeavored in the latter half of the 20th Century to entrench their domination of the country. For example, Helen Suzman was for 13 years the only anti-Apartheid member of the South African Parliament. Joe Slovo, a life-long Communist, was a decisive influence in the main Black political movement, the African National Congress, which today effectively monopolizes political power in the country.
In their optimistic view of what Black rule would do for South Africa, these people and their community were totally wrong, and the Afrikaners totally right â€“ for obvious and well-known reasons.
Ironically, the South African Jewish community is and has always been ardently Zionist, supporting the Israelis in building the type of ethnocentric community they denied to their Afrikaner hosts.
This is food for thought in contemplating the overwhelming support the Hedge Fund community is giving Barack Obama. As I have pointed out, to a large degree this arises from the heavily Jewish nature of this â€?industryâ€?.
Unfortunately, as the example of the dying South African Jewish community shows, consensus Jewish political enthusiasms have a history of being disastrously ill judged—and even lethal to themselves.
Let alone to the rest of their countrymen .