Suraya Dadoo sets out to vilify Israel by making unsubstantiated accusations (“Israel’s ‘whataboutism’ faithful to apartheid SA tactics”, November 21).

The apartheid charge is so outrageous that it should not be difficult for the lay reader to discount such lies and consign Dadoo’s allegations to the rubbish bin, where all hatreds belong.

Such accusations are merely a pretext in the hands of activists who are determined to be anti-Israel, regardless of the facts. Dadoo displays all the characteristics of anti-Semitism and deserves absolutely no credibility whatsoever.

In his address to the House of Lords, Lord Jonathan Sacks said: “The greatest danger that any civilisation faces is when it faces collective amnesia. We forget how small beginnings lead to truly terrible endings ... They happened because hate went unchecked. No-one said stop.

“One of the enduring facts of history is that most anti-Semites do not think of themselves as anti-Semites. We don’t hate Jews, they said in the Middle Ages, just their religion. We don’t hate Jews, they said in the 19th century, just their race. We don’t hate Jews, they say now, just their [apartheid] state.

“Anti-Semitism is the hardest of all hatreds to defeat because, like a virus, it mutates. But one thing stays the same. Jews as a religion, or a race, or as the state of Israel, are made the scapegoats for the problems for which all sides are responsible. That is how the road to tragedy begins.”

Anti-Semitism, or any hate, becomes dangerous when three things happen. First when it moves from the fringes of politics to the mainstream. Second when the accusers see that their popularity with the public is not harmed thereby. And third, when those who stand up and protest are vilified and abused for doing so. It is not only Jews who are at risk. So too is our humanity.

Rodney Mazinter
Via e-mail