Although South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) National director, Wendy Kahn, claims to have been “watching [Media Review Network]  for many, many years, probably well over 10 years” it is unclear what she and the SAJBD  has been observing in that time. In a bizarre rant on Jewish community radio station, ChaiFM, on 14 January, Kahn accused MRN founders Iqbal Jassat and Firoz Osman of justifying terror, and repeatedly claimed that MRN was guilty of anti-Semitism.  She went on to state that Jassat and Osman encouraged Jewish conspiracy theories relating to 9/11 and the bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in the late 1990’s – all without offering a single shred of evidence to substantiate her claims!

Was Kahn so strongly medicated as a result of the bug she caught during her holidays, that she lapsed into these hallucinations? Or, was she finally exhibiting symptoms of another ailment that she, and the rest of the Zionist lobby, have been suffering from since MRN’s founding in 1996: MRNphobia. MRNphobia is highly contagious among Israel’s apologists and peddlers of Islamophobia in South Africa. However, a cure is at hand. All it requires is a good dose of the “facts on the ground”, and an acceptance of Israel as a racist colonizer, guilty of the ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.

While Wendy’s rant was possibly due to her long-suffering MRNphobia , we are certain that ChaiFM host, Steve Marks’ tirade that “Media Review Network is sometimes even more dangerous than the potential threats [South Africa] have” was due to his over-exposure to hasbara. ChaiFM bosses cannot afford (literally!) such bluster from Marks – since the station has just been reprimanded for hate speech by the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa, and have been threatened with a fine if they are found guilty of a similar offence.  However, the radio station’s management, Wendy, and others from the Zionist lobby, will be glad to know that a hasbara antidote is available in the form of MRN’s recently-released book Why Israel? The Anatomy of Zionist Apartheid: A South African Perspective.

We wish them a speedy recovery from this debilitating phobia, and hope that they are able to overcome the prejudice and bigotry that comes with this ailment.

The transcript of the above-mentioned broadcast follows.

Chai FM (14 January 2015, 16h05)

Chai Drive Show with Steve Marks

Steve Marks (SM): Thank you. I trust you had a good break.

Wendy Kahn (WK): Erm. Yes I did.

SM: Oh excellent!

WK:  I’m back with a little bit of a bug.

SM: I’m sure.

WK: [laughs]

SM: I’m sure! Yeah! Lot’s of stuff happening. Yeah. So, the big things on the agenda: obviously your comments on the Paris killings

WK: Yeah. Er. It’s frightening. I think, er, you know we’ve spoken before on the topic of terrorism…

SM: Yes

WK: And its designed to create fear in everybody. You just don’t know where it’s going to happen. Is it going to be in a shul; in a morning service in Harnot; or in a grocery store in Paris?

SM: Right

WK: Or is it going to be in a Lindt cafe in Sydney?

SM: Right

WK: And that’s frightening; that’s what’s so frightening is that we cannot be immune to it. Everybody is, erm, susceptible to this type of barbarism and it’s just so incredibly frightening. Erm, you know you can wage war. You can…but this is just so difficult to get a grip on.

SM: Yes

WK: And I just…for me, erm,..that is so frightening on the one hand, but on the other hand to see the amazing unity that we saw in Paris on Sunday. It was just incredibly uplifting, where you saw everybody from all different religious backgrounds, all different people, coming together, mourning, condemning the terrorism. Erm..I…for me, that was quite…that was really uplifting.

SM: Absolutely!

WK: Er, I have been very, very disturbed at the comments I’ve seen in our local context. Primarily from organisations like the Media Review Network, BDS South Africa. I mean, I’m not quite sure why I’m surprised, but…

SM: Ja. Ja.

WK: Media Review Network…two of their top leadership, Iqbal Jassat and Firoz Osman, have come out with THE most [pause] shocking, shocking statements about the Paris terror, erm, in which they’ve actually tried to justify.

They’ve tried to say: “Look, we warned you [slight giggle]. We told you not to blaspheme the Prophet and you went ahead and did it. And, you know, well what do you expect?”

Erm, and also what I found very sobering was, erm, you know also, was: “You (inaudible) some (inaudible) and Muslim countries, and you kill ISIS and other radical groups…and that’s what happens, you know, when you, when you embark on these kinds of missions.”

SM: Right

WK: That is shocking. That is shocking. Any form of justification is absolutely appalling. I mean, you’re starting to see the conspiracy theories coming out.

SM: Yes, of course. Ja.

WK: This kind of rhetoric from an organisation that claims to have some form of human rights. I mean, we know the Media Review Network is an anti-Israel, anti-Semitic  grouping. We’ve been watching them for many, many years, probably well over 10 years…

SM: Yes

WK: And we’ve seen their Holocaust denial, we’ve see their conspiracy theories that the Jews were involved in 9/11;  and we were involved in the bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in the late 90’s. Erm, we’ve seen the anti-Semitism that has spewed from this organisation. Erm, but how dangerous to try and justify this type of terrorism!

SM: Well, the thing is, I mean, these guys have also got to be very careful because their rhetoric can land them up in trouble, as well. In terms of complicity, in terms of terrorism. We saw this French comedian arrested because of him condoning terrorism. So er, anyway. But that’s another issue. You know I’m not interested in whether they land up in jail or not. But, the bottom line is…

WK: Yeah

SM: No, no the bottom line is: Media Review Network. Yes, a dangerous bunch. And the kind of rhetoric they spewing out, as you say, very dangerous

WK: Yeah

SM: Sometimes even more dangerous than the potential threats we have.

MRN

The aspiration of the Media Review Network is to dispel the myths and stereotypes about Islam and Muslims and to foster bridges of understanding among the diverse people of our country. The Media Review Network believes that Muslim perspectives on issues impacting on South Africans are a prerequisite to a better appreciation of Islam.
MRN