Open letter to South African opposition leader Helen Zille


Dear Premier Zille

I have always been a great admirer of yours, both of your past in the black sash, something my father, Rabbi Ben Isaacson, a well-known anti apartheid activist Rabbi was very close to, as well as your present as the visionary leader of the DA

however, I am very concerned about the talk that is going around about the DA’s support at worst, or silence, at best, of the outrageous demonification of Israel going on right now , as highlighted in the recent Parliamentary committee’s resolutions in Cape Town, and your lack of response so far to people’s requests for clarification about it.

This seems to be indicative of a general tendency towards avoiding responding to serious issues raised by critics as well as supporters, which for a liberal party like the DA, is highly problematic.

I have in the past questioned the DA’s lack of taking a stand against slave labour wages in the Western Cape of R75 a day, the one province where we (and I say “we” as a loyal supporter of many years standing) are able to make a difference and take a moral, if not a legal stand ), and never received a response, even in a direct tweet to you.

I also emailed the DA’s direct email address with very concrete ideas on how to use social media to bolster the election campaign, to which I also received no reply.

It is not so much the fact that we might disagree on issues, which is perfectly legitimate if done fairly, openly, and correctly, but that there seems to be a general tendency in the DA, not unlike that in the ANC, to be above criticism and to be out of touch with its supporters, avoiding real questions that are poised to it, and this is really disturbing.

It is not far fetched for the pro Israel Jewish and Christian communities to field ACDP candidates in their wards against the DA incumbents in the coming elections, and certainly in the municipal elections, and possibly even take them away from the DA, or even worse, split the opposition vote and deliver them to the ANC, if the current matter of concern is not addressed.

The even greater matter that I have mentioned of general lack of transparency to members and supporters is even more troublesome and could lead the DA to meet the same fate as Morgan Tsvangirai if not addressed urgently.

In understand that the recent debacle with Ramphele, from which I believe you have come out taking the moral high ground, is still heavy on your mind, but before this matter hits the social media and our anti BDS sites in an even bigger way, I would appreciate a serious reply from you- there is absolutely NO time to lose- as you know, facebook takes no prisoners and waits for noone.

Promising the world to crowds in Polokwane like Malema (even though we all know you could do a better job ) and dancing on the stage like Zuma (though that is something he is certainly your better at ) might be a necessary way to bring about change for the better, but showing the ability to stick to promises, answer rather than evade real questions, and not backstabbing loyal supporters is the true test of what can come of such promises.

Warmest wishes and hoping for a wise and speedy reply

Rabbi Yoni Isaacson
Community Educator and Businessman

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