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As soon as Israel became aware of Cape Town’s water problem, without any hesitancy it volunteered assistance, making clear their ability and willingness to help. Organizations were ready to help in the planning and even in the financing for what was required to prevent Day Zero from becoming a reality.Former Israeli Ambassador to South Africa Arthur Lenk, current Ambassador Lior Keinan, and Israel’s economic attaches to South Africa all made repeated overtures to the relevant bodies to assist with the Cape Town water crisis. But the governing body of Cape Town sides with the Palestinians. And that allowed hatred to trump sanity and enmity to prefer calamity over offered salvation.Water and Torah are both indispensable for survival.When the Jews who left Egypt were in the desert of Sinai they could not, the Torah tells us, go three days without water.No sooner did this become public than Prof Lorenzo Fioramonti of the University of Pretoria, withdrew his participation.
I find it significant that the Cape Town crisis revolves around water. It is so essential to life that it is the most frequently used metaphor in Judaism for Torah itself.As for Jews in South Africa, I cannot recall there ever being any hatred or conflict between Jews and blacks in this country.In fact, some of South Africa's most avid antii-apartheid activists hail from the Jewish population.Helen Suzman, an immigrant Lithuanian Jew, was the sole anti-apartheid, pro-justice for all South Africans in the SA parliament for many years.A jewish-owned company for which I worked, was one of the first equal-opportunity companies in South Africa.