Alternative SA Jewish Report: 28 March 2008

by Maskil on April 4, 2008

Surprisingly enough, I only found two items to whinge about in last week’s edition of the SAJR. I haven’t yet received this week’s edition. In fact, it hasn’t been delivered for the last 3-4 weeks…

Without a ‘meaning in life’, crime will flourish in SA

Page 3 carried a lengthy interview with Prof. Gill Marcus, once a comrade in The Struggle and now the chairman of Absa Bank. When it came to crime, the gist of her response was “Without a ‘meaning in life’, crime will flourish in SA”. I beg to differ, and I think I speak for many in SA (judging by the response to a recent poll on the death penalty). The answer is much simpler than that: Without effective law enforcement, crime will flourish. Dealing with the root causes of crime is something that may take generations, and many innocent victims will not survive the process. Right here and now, criminals are committing crimes of the most violent, horrific nature, because they believe (with good reason) that they will escape the consequences.

Of the crimes reported, few are effectively investigated beyond taking the victim’s statement. Of those investigated, few result in an arrest. Those arrested seem to find it laughably easy to get bail (many crimes appear to be committed by those out on bail). Few of those arrested ever make it to trial, few of those brought to trial ever receive a prison sentence. Our prisons resemble revolving doors, with parole, amnesties and escape the order of the day. Incompetence, corruption and inefficiency reign supreme.

This is not about a struggle to find meaning in life, this is about the total absence of consequences, no matter how callous the deed.

We have to get away from divisions

The letters page (Page 14) carried a letter from a Justin Bachmann concerning a statement Orthodox Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein apparently made to the effect that “those who are not Orthodox are not Jews”.

I will limit my response to saying that SA Jewry was blessed to have a long succession of truly great Orthodox Chief Rabbis, the last of whom was Rabbi Goldstein’s immediate predecessor, Rabbi Cyril Harris OBM.

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