Inclusive societies are the panacea for this world, not ethnic proclivities – A response to Glen Heneck

Choni Davidowitz, a regularly correspondent of the  SA Jewish Report wrote this very week: “the removal of all Arabs who refuse to accept the exclusive, unquestioned Jewish sovereignty over all of Israel is not only logical and normal for any Jew with a modicum of self-preservation; it is also the Jewish halachic obligation. The transfer of Arabs from Israel is not a political or personal view. It is a Jewish outlook based on Halacha. The Torah clearly commanded: ‘And you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the Land from before you… ’”.

Ominously this extreme view is supported by nearly half of Israelis according to a recent Pew survey. Glen Heneck’s call for Israel to be recognized as a Jewish State (Cape Times, March 24), differs from Davidowitz only in nuance. Heneck, a leader of the SA Jewish Board of Deputies, attempts a more sophisticated argument – couching his views in liberal discourse and begging questions – but with the same refrain: an appeal to an essentialist and base identity politics coupled with a tired and predictable defence of Israel. The outcome of both positions is unmitigated justification for discrimination against, and/or ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. Israel’s Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef endorses this when he decreed that Jewish law prohibits non-Jews from living in Israel and that non-Jews live to serve the Jewish population.

The idea of recognizing Israel as a Jewish State seems benign until one begins to deconstruct its meaning. Fundamentally it excludes non-Jews from nationhood and relegates them to second class citizenship. By its very definition it has to keep its populations separated in law so that it would reserve for itself the possibility of discriminating against a “sector” of the population on a quasi-religious-quasi-racial basis. It also has to ensure a constant Jewish majority which can only be sustained by discriminating against minorities – through immigration, citizenship and land ownership laws or through ethnic cleansing by various means. Fifty such laws which discriminate against non-Jews form part of Israel’s legal landscape (see http://www.adalah.org/en/content/view/7771).  These laws give effect to the Zionist ideology of more land with fewer Palestinians. It explains why Israel claims to annex Palestinian East Jerusalem but does not grant its inhabitants Israeli citizenship. Thus the notion of a Jewish State creates a herrenvolk democracy.

Heneck, in keeping with his commitment to ethnic states, supports this idea of discrimination on the basis of ethnicity in Israel, as he supports a ‘Boerestaat’ for Afrikaners (and consequently discrimination against non-Afrikaners in such a state). The arbitrariness of his argument is exposed on the question as to where exactly his ethnic division of South Africa would stop – a state for Zulus, Xhosas, Khoi-San, Coloureds, Pedis?

Creating an ethnic state in an area historically inhabited by a majority indigenous population for centuries, may at a stretch be tolerated; however attempting to do so on colonised land with European settlers, as in South Africa, makes it egregious. Heneck accepts this colonial thesis when acknowledging Palestinian pain at land loss due to “European settlements”, but then forces Palestinians to accept not only a Jewish majority state but one defined by Jewishness and buttressed by force of law. Needless to say this Jewish majority was achieved through violent ethnic cleansing of indigenous Palestinians. The only difference between Davidowitz and Heneck is that one couches his racism in religious idiom and the other in its secular reincarnation. Heneck has this message for those who have been ethnically cleansed and live in squalid refugee camps: ‘get over it’ and accept the Jewish State! Justice, restitution or fairness seem foreign in his quest for ethnic purity. Would one dare to say the same to Holocaust survivors?  Dispossessed Black South African’s are painfully aware of this discourse from white liberals who expect black people to move on from Apartheid without acknowledging its evil, its impact and its multi-generational consequences. For them power and military might should be rewarded rather than contained and held to account.

The problem with identity politics, as supported by Heneck is that it is simplistic, parochial, undialectical and often racist, particularly when discriminating against others. It treats Jewish identity as a reified static entity – a historical and genetic given rather than a constructed identity that is contested. It then attempts to define a state on this arbitrariness. It would more honest to define Jewishness as a confessional entity, which it actually is. But one can but only be surprised, or perhaps not, when a White South African asks why accepting eligibility for citizenship based on ethnicity is problematic? The problem with Heneck and his ilk is that their connection to Zionism is grounded in identity politics that only elites like him, who live in comfort, can indulge in; it is not located in facts on the ground in Israel-Palestine which is a lived nightmare of the colonized. When this identity is challenged by his colonial subjects his pretense to enlightenment and liberalism disappear much like Phil Orch’s song ‘Love Me I’m a Liberal’: “Ten degrees to the left of centre in good times, ten degrees to the right of centre if it affects them personally’.

But Heneck opens himself up to the tu quoque retort. He accepts that the ‘settlements are deeply problematic’, not to say illegal, at the same time denying that the IDF is ‘aggressive or expansionist’. How then does he explain Israel’s continuous confiscation of large chunks of Palestinian land? In 2014 the Israeli government confiscated 988 acres of Palestinian land in the Bethlehem area of the West Bank and continued to do so in 2015 when it dislocated Bedouins from the Negev. Just a few weeks ago over 300 hectares of Palestinian land in an area of Jericho and Nablus were confiscated. If this is not evidence of an expansionist state then what is? The occupation, settlements, land confiscations, the apartheid wall, are all part of the strategy of territorial expansion done under various guises and gives lie to Israel’s so-called commitment to a peaceful settlement.

To disabuse him of the fallacy of Israel’s moral army I implore him to read reports from the Christian Peacemaker Teams who monitor the checkpoints and be outraged by the gratuitous daily humiliation of Palestinians; or of Breaking the Silence where ex-IDF soldiers confess about the systematic atrocities committed by the IDF. These are not isolated incidents but part of a systematic strategy to break the Palestinian spirit. The recent executions by the IDF of helpless Palestinians is further evidence of the mentality that derives from toxic ethnic politics.

While he accuses Shannon Ebrahim of being ahistorical, he is guilty of the same offence in bringing up the tired canard of Hamas’ odious charter. If one considers Hamas as a recent phenomenon, what about the nearly fifty years of Occupation where the Palestinian resistance was led in the vast majority by secular and leftists (with a significant Christian component). The truth is that both the secular and religious Zionists find common ground in not ending the Occupation for entirely different reasons. Interestingly many prominent Zionist leaders sought withdrawal soon after 1967 because they saw continued Occupation as the death of their idealist Zionist dream – which has now become a nightmare. The truth is that Israel has no intention to withdraw from the Occupied Territories as unequivocally stated by its current Prime Minster, Netanyahu. Israel’s smokescreen excuses for not committing to peace with Palestinians changes constantly based on the currency of the time. His examples of Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia are also spurious and false since he lacks an understanding of their historical genesis – which is vastly different from the Palestinian reality.

Heneck’s discourse is a stark reflection of the utter failure of liberal Zionism to continue to justify the racial project. Its innovative distractions, hasbara echoes, and cognitive dissonance have become unsustainable in the face of a brutal reality of apartheid and Palestinian dispossession. Thus upon reflection Davidovitz’s discourse and that of Heneck are perversely the same. Heneck in attempting to play a liberal card and taking regular digs at the left continues to defend apartheid and Palestinians dispossession in a discourse lacks truth or any notion of peace based on justice. In Heneck’s worldview as a privileged Jew and White South African he claims more rights to citizenship in Israel and to occupy a house in Jaffa than a Palestinian from a refugee camp who still holds the key to that house and who was ethnically cleansed at the barrel of a gun. That is preposterous and one can only be indignant at such foolishness.

 

Shuaib Manjra

Published 30 March 2016 in the Cape Times

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Love, Lies and Loose Emails: Azad Essa and the Daily Vox plumb new depths

My past variance with the Daily Vox (DV) following their ad hominem attack on BDS-SA sometime last year was a distant memory. I had moved on to more important things since I had failed in my attempts at a constructive debate with Azad Essa, the Executive Editor of the DV. The latter was comfortable in listening to his own voice, rather than engage in substantive debate. He quickly epitomized for me the difference between journalism and hackery; those who have the intelligence to substantively engage an issue and those whose only limited skill is the process of writing. Unfortunately this bodes poorly for the DV which has some potential. However a number of issues related to the DV this week got me entangled in the latest imbroglio.

The first disturbing incident occurred last week when I emailed an invitation for a Palestinian solidarity event to a number of people including an associate of the DV. Incredulously she wrote back in response to the invitation accusing me of stalking her!

The second issue that disrupted my week was brought to my attention by others since I admit to not being a reader of the Daily Vox. With limited time and so many quality publications in the market to choose from one has to be discerning.  In his latest attack on BDS-SA, Essa, rekindles my old disagreement with him (see other postings on this blog). I reluctantly enter this spat simply because Essa continues his lie. This what he wrote about me in his latest editorial in the DV (hyperlinked to my original article):

Let’s be clear as well that when we have taken on BDS-SA previously, we were only too happy to allow its supporters to write back and label me a moron, among other things. Never mind the same author, in the comments section, as well in person, told me: “It wasn’t what was said, it was how you said it.” What is this ridiculous insecurity that marks BDS-SA activism that you feel that a handful of critical articles threatens the hard years of work that many of you have put into the movement

Aside from characterising me as insecure – which I can live with – he asserts that I called him a moron. He goes even further: in a leap of faith he declares that my sole gripe with his previous piece on BDS-SA was its tone.  On the first point I admit that I have accurately characterised Essa through a range of descriptors but I deny I ever calling him a moron and I challenge him to prove me wrong. Let me be clear: I am not denying that Essa is a moron; simply that I never referred to him as such!

His second assertion is as false as the first – and again I dare him to produce evidence of my comment, which he refers to in quotes, to prove his assertion. It would be ridiculous of me to write a 3000+ word riposte to his piece simply because I did not like his tone. Now if I did that it would reveal my insecurity. My frank piece was to expose his vacuity. Of course his article was also insulting. So in effect it was insensitive vacuity.  If Essa would for a moment stop listening to those little delusional voices in his head and read what I wrote he would understand it better. Just in case his attention span does not allow it, I will allow him a summary of what I wrote. The crux of my article –

  • Challenged his aversion to middle-class activism and what he terms ‘career-activism’ as well as his antiquated notions of class and class struggle.
  • Situated the strategy of BDS-SA within a broader framework of political struggle.
  • Challenged his assertions that BDS-SA is not rooted in local struggles, that the movement is not principled, and does not take anti-Semitism seriously.
  • Discusses the Woolworths boycott and outlined victories that are not apparent when one only looks at a single end-point (as he does).
  • Edifies him about BDS-SA’s approach to Cape Union Mart and their long-standing activism against G4S – which he completely misrepresented.
  • Pointed out some of the contradictions in his article and challenged his ‘whataboutery’ that is the hallmark of critics of Palestinian activism.

At least to me, this does not sound like I only took issue with his tone!

Let me reiterate that there were numerous opportunities for Essa to publicly engage me on his article and clarify issues, but he evaded every single one of those.

I must admit that I first met Essa at a social function in December and not to personalise the encounter around his article I endeavoured to engage him on it. However because of the occasion and him being busy with social engagements we could not have a substantive discussion. But I do remember him prompting the question whether my objection was only with the tone of his input rather than the substance of his article. I’ll be dishonest if I say I can remember how I responded. But it does seem that Essa is desperate for validation – particularly that my only objection to his article was its tone. I’m not going to allow him that luxury simply because it is not true however he may rationalise it in his own head. So what Essa writes about me in his latest editorial is patently untrue.

This brings me to his latest typically tabloidy,  triumphalistic editorial in the DV regarding BDS-SA. I think there is significant merit in Steven Friedman’s reflections as well as those of Minhaj Jeenah and both demand substantive engagement by BDS-SA. But timing is everything. Why would DV want to carry articles critical of BDS-SA during the week of its most important campaigns – which align with other such international campaigns? It’s like gate-crashing a wedding and telling the bride how ugly she is.  Without an agenda it would be difficult to explain this timing.

The second question is why would the DV give BDS-SA such limited time to respond to the articles when the DV had them well in advance (as confirmed by Jeenah). Particularly since everyone knows that it was BDS’s busiest period. So Farid Esack was absolutely correct in asking the right questions, though I admit his language was a bit inelegant, but nevertheless understandable.

The third question is why would the DV want to run with Esack’s response in the way it did? How did this contribute to anything except gloating rights for showing up BDS-SA? ‘Gotcha!’  would have been an appropriate headline, since the DV threatened disruption of IAW (see below).

However Essa’s agenda began to unravel when the writer of one of his critical pieces exposed his shenanigans. Here is Minhaj Jeenah’s recounting his experience with Essa and requesting the DV to remove his piece from their website (my highlights):

So, in an attempt to distance myself from this absurd Daily Vox vs. BDS-SA saga, I emailed the DV editors insisting that they remove my op-ed from their website. Seems it’s not happening.

A few weeks ago the executive editor asked me to write an article on Palestine with pre-determined topics, supposedly, aimed at critiquing the current narrative of Palestine solidarity in South Africa.

I did write a piece (which I’m unapologetic about). I unpacked the history of PS in SA, problematised it currently and attempted to critique its current strategy and principle. I was very careful in my approach, as one should be when one is committed to a just movement and is engaging with the movement on a platform external to that movement.

The editor emailed back my piece with heavily edited track changes. Most of which, fundamentally, changed my approach and shifted my argument. Key words were replaced, paragraphs removed, hyper-links were added, and the title implied that I’m arguing that PS in SA is irrelevant. Basically, positions and ideas were imposed on what I had written to suit a pre-determined approach.

Naturally, I just “rejected all track changes in document” (quite a satisfying action) and sent it back. He edited it again, I refused to accept, the original got published.

Oh, the evening before the piece was going to be published (along with Steven Friedman’s piece), Daily Vox and its editor threatened (not sure who), via social media, that tomorrow they are going to “disrupt” (LOL).

Today I found out, through a disgusting tabloid-type editorial, that they emailed my piece before publishing (obviously, with their bogus edits) to BDS-SA asking them to “respond to the commentary on BDS-SA included in these pieces”. Btw, I was never asked if this could be sent before-hand. In fact, I planned on meeting with them and using the article for a broader discussion within the solidarity movement. The pieces were framed as some kind of superficial collective aggression on BDS-SA (the NGO). DV shrewdly tried to squeeze the op-ed into this framing through attempts at reshaping it, emails to BDS-SA and their threats to “disrupt” (LOL). Oh, and remember that politically deficient ad-hominem article about virgin active and what not. Ya.

(Let’s be honest, the DV executive editor having beef with Desai is quite plausible)

And, also, for some strange reason, DV also gave a platform to a Zionist (after claiming to support the PS struggle). Idk. I think I’m, mostly, disappointed because I had faith in the Daily Vox but, on this issue, they’ve proven to be just another media house searching every unprincipled avenue to gain (political) relevance.

Remember that “third force” they were speaking about last year when comrades occupied the Union Buildings? Seems like DV is the third force seeking to undermine the Palestine struggle.

Comrades, yes in our pursuit of justice we need to seriously critique our movements and reclaim them, but this can no longer be done in the presence of lumpen media (and zionists and racists and sexists and and). BDS-SA and the broader PS movement has poor tactic, is plagued by a patriarchal culture and its leaders are problematic, but they are ours and we’ll deal with them.

People of the media variety (who claim to support justice), just like the PS movement in SA: more strategy and more principle. Or maybe I’m overestimating you guys. idk

But you can never write off Essa’s disingenuity or arrogance, except that in this case he exposes himself as he goes into damage control mode. He ascribes his attempt at rewriting Jeenah’s piece as merely editorial changes. His response to Jeenah on Facebook is reproduced below.

Hi Minhaj, I commissioned you to write the piece and I gave you a topic. You were one of 20 people on our commissioning list, so of course we had to make sure certain themes were covered and not replicated. As the commissioning editor, I tried to make the piece more coherent, readable and tried to make your argument more succinct. I passed it back to you with my suggestions and you refused to accept the changes and we eventually published your copy, mostly as is, in the form that you wanted. If you think I was putting words in your mouth, that’s unfortunate, though, that is unimportant now, since we ran with your piece. I am not entirely sure what the gripe is since your article is in the form that you wanted. Furthermore, we passed on your piece to BDS-SA as a courtesy to them, as in we were doing them a favour by giving them advance notice. We didn’t have to inform you of that. If you want to discuss some of the other misconceptions you have, for instance why we ran a lonely Zionist piece out of 20 pro-Palestine pieces, you can ask rather than drawing ill-conceived and embarrassing conclusions. We are a media-house, not an activist group. You are welcome to clarify anything else you wish over email. thanks, azad

 

Interestingly he denies none of the accusations, except to state that eventually it was published in its original form. So there are two narratives here: the writer claims that his piece was edited to fundamentally change some aspects of his argument; while the editor claims it was merely form that he was changing. Of course form, like timing, is significant. Having experience with Essa I know whose narrative I would believe. Perhaps if we have access to Essa’s edits, we can judge for ourselves.

Essa continues to share gems from his journalistic manual when he claims he was doing BDS a favour by showing them an advance copy! I thought this would be an essential element of fair journalism when attempting to elicit a response.

So if one considers all these incidents – the bizarre response to my invitation to a Palestine solidarity event, Essa’s dishonesty about my article and responses, DV publishing criticisms of BDS-SA during IAW and giving them extremely limited time to respond, and Minhaj Jeenah’s recounting his experience of how Essa attempt to manipulate his article – it clearly points to an agenda on the part of Daily Vox. I haven’t figured out clearly what this agenda is, but the more critical question is what drives this agenda?  Shock and tabloid journalism to increase readership and revenue, score points against adversaries, spurned lovers, unrequited love, secretive weddings, jealousy? I don’t know if any of these are true but having no inkling of Essa’s romantic liaisons I would not be surprised if some of these may be subconsciously haunting him and accounts for his response. But the truth is I don’t know! I am merely a reluctant entrant into this discussion, forced into it by Essa’s continued dishonesty.

Shuaib Manjra

14th March 2016

 

 

 

 

Mbeki and AIDS – Is this the new Lysenko-ism

Thabo Mbeki’s continued defence of his outrageous views and policies on HIV/AIDS took me back to this article which I wrote 10 years ago and was published by the  UKZN Centre for Civil Society. It should be remembered that many in the ANC who have since found their voices remained silent during this period. But their silence they remain complicit in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and those who live with a disease which was preventable!

. . . . .

It has often been asked why a seemingly intelligent man, an international statesman, and the leader of such a noble liberation movement would hold such bizarre views on HIV and Aids. These views would be regarded as iconoclastic in any other society. But in a society which has the highest number of those living with HIV and Aids, it approaches tragedy. Nay it becomes willful neglect. Pushing it to the extreme – it could be seen as being accomplice to mass murder. Sadly, for all his stupendous achievements, Thabo Mbeki will be remembered for his bizarre views on HIV and Aids.

Why he holds such views is debatable and open to speculation. Could it be to assert his independence as a thinker? Or to assert his anti-imperialist (or nationalistic) credentials by viewing the HIV issues as being driven by multi-national corporations and by “western science”? Alternatively could this threat to the African renaissance (or revolution) drive his Aids denialism?

As frightening as Mbeki’s views is the silence of leading ANC and government figures. Instead they support Mbeki’s position, if nothing else, by their silence. Not long ago a senior figure in the ANC Health Desk was castigated for deviating from the ANC view on HIV and Aids by supporting the anti-retroviral campaign. This rebuke came from the Minister herself. This suggests that there is an ANC view on this issue – which remains hidden from the public and the ANC membership. That this ideological position contradicts accepted science has not deterred its adherents sticking to it as a fundamentalist position. Those trained in the natural sciences obviously employ cognitive dissonance to adhere to their scientific training while toeing the contradictory party line.

Historically many world leaders have held iconoclastic views and Mbeki is in illustrious company. United States President, George W Bush holds such views concerning global warming and its impact on the environment. His administration continues to deny these effects despite incontrovertible scientific evidence, including from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – an agency established and wholly funded by the US Government. The evidence from this agency – that global warming exists, is a result of human activity, and has significant public health, economic and other consequences that will affect the lives of millions – is hidden from public view or discounted because it fails to fit in with the ideological position of George Bush – whose commitment to the advancement of capitalist enterprise cannot be fettered by any concerns, including environmental ones. Bush’s response: it’s just a “document put out by the bureaucracy” and he then proceeded to put out the EPA Director, Christie Whitman to New Jersey in virtual exile.  If science does not fit in with Bush’s politics, then the science must be wrong.

However, Mbeki’s most illustrious compatriot is none other than the past hero of the SACP, Joseph Stalin, who also displayed astounding political arrogance and scientific ignorance.

The 1940’s debate concerning nature versus nurture had scientists pitted against each other viewing these as polar opposites. Some scientists believed that genetics alone determines human character and behaviour – a theory supported and propagated, amongst others, by many American racists. On the other hand other scientists believed that the social environment could entirely determine human consciousness and behaviors – a view supported by largely bycommunists. The truth probably lies somewhere between these positions.

Within this context a Soviet agrobiologist, Trofim Denisovich Lysenko (1989-1976) propounded the theory – which received the support of Josef Stalin –  that Darwin’s theory of evolution and Mendel’s theory of heredity were wrong, represented  “bourgeois science,” and was not fit for a communist state. Lysenko had bought into the quack theory of earlier scientists – Ivan Vladimirich Michurin (1855-1935) and Jean- Baptiste Lamarck (1744-1829) who first postulated these views. What Lysenko lacked in scientific rigour, he made up for in political savvy – knowing exactly what the Soviet dictator wanted to hear. Stalin’s, whose self-serving brand of communism relied on absolute loyalty and deference,  believed in the absolutist theory that human consciousness was a blank slate that could be totally molded by the social environment.  Lysenko, not being a geneticist applied this social theory to biology by insisting that genetics had no role to play in Soviet agriculture, and that it is environmental conditions that determine the crop type. In other words, organisms are not genetically constrained. In the right environment he claimed, wheat seed can produce rye; winter crops could be grown in the spring, and that similar crops do not compete against each other and therefore could be grown in clusters – “the transformation of nature” was what it was called. Moreover,  he claimed that evolution occurred by acquired characteristics being transmitted to future generations – despite the lack of evidence and the glut of evidence proving the contrary. It seems that both Lysenko and Stalin had the singular capacity to ignore facts that do not suit them – being blinded by the potential that this theory represented for the Soviet Union and for Soviet agriculture. Obviously impressed by this ideologically driven science, Stalin put Lysenko in charge of Soviet science, including the National Academy. Lysenko’s theories were adopted as the pivot of all natural sciences by the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in 1948. Those who disagreed with Lysenko’s theory were purged resulting in the cream of the Soviet scientific community, including the renowned geneticist Nikolay Ivanovich Vavilov (1887-1971), losing their jobs and, in some cases, being sent to the gulag or executed. More importantly however, it had disastrous consequences for Soviet science – where no genetics texts were published nor was it taught to students, for soviet agriculture – with huge crop failures, and for the soviet economy – some of these experiments, such as cluster planting wasted over a billion roubles.

Of course it could be argued, as it is by Robert Young, that Stalin’s position vis a vis Lysenko was not only driven by power and patronage – but by historical circumstance and a conjunction of ideological, political and material conditions. It could be argued, in Stalin’s defence, that it was an attempt to consolidate the October revolution in the scientific arena – as it was being consolidated militarily, culturally and politically (also accompanied by purges that saw heroes of the revolution such as Leon Trotsky sent into exile). These include the pressures to feed an enlarging proletariat, to generate a surplus to fund industrialization, to engender national pride and national soviet science as opposed to the hegemony of western or colonial science, and to present proletarian science as opposed to bourgeoisie science. Lysenko, whose origins lay in the peasantry, also assumed power because he was committed to the revolution and its ideology, unlike the bureaucrats, scientists and technocrats inherited from Tsarist times – who however skilled they were, did not necessarily subscribe to the communist ideal. They however had to be retained because, much to Lenin’s dislike, he had to compromise with these “bourgeois scientists” in order for the revolution to survive. Thus Soviet agriculture required an ideological leader – unswerving in his commitment to the ideology of the ruling party, whatever the consequences. These reasons however noble do not mitigate the catastrophe that ensued.

Karill Rossiyano presents evidence from archival material that Stalin served as Lysenko’s editor – editing his speeches and scientific manuscripts and indeed influenced Lysenko’s thinking on the debates between creationists, geneticists and those who believed in the notion of inheritance of acquired characteristics. Stalin’s behaviour in this realm was simply a reflection on the Soviet regime under him: hierarchical organization being the dominant feature. Stalin in a sense also moved from editing texts to attempting to edit nature itself. His failure is there for all to see.

Coming back to Mbeki – the parallels with Stalin speak for themselves without painfully reiterating them, except to beg the question: is he threading on ground where Stalin failed – both in his political style as well as his intervention in science? Is Manto Tshabalala-Msimang and her coterie of third rate scientists the new Lysenkos? The experiments of Stalin and Lysenko, but more importantly its results, should serve as a dire warning to us all, not least of all to Mbeki  himself. The salient lesson is that those who ignore history are doomed to repeat its failures.

Shuaib Manjra

December 2005