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‘Dangerously Reminiscent of Nazi Germany’: Anger as Jewish Captain of South African U-19 Cricket Team Stripped of His Role

South African U-19 cricketer David Teeger. Photo: Screenshot

South African Jews reacted with outrage on Friday after the country’s governing body for the sport of cricket stripped the Jewish captain of the U-19 national team of his role, citing the “risk of conflict or even violence” as the reason.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced that David Teeger, who is Jewish, would no longer captain the side just one week before the opening of the U-19 Cricket World Cup, when teams from 16 nations will compete in South Africa for the sport’s top prize.

In a statement released on Friday, CSA said that its security team had advised “that protests related to the war in Gaza can be anticipated at the venues for the tournament.”

It added that such protests would likely focus on Teeger — an observant Jew and resident in Johannesburg who made his professional cricket debut in 2023, scoring an impressive 51 runs for the South Africa Emerging Players side against North Cape. Teeger was only appointed to the captaincy of the U-19 team last month.

The targeting of Teeger could result “in conflict or even violence between rival groups of protestors,” CSA said. Invoking its “duty to safeguard the interests and safety of all those involved in the World Cup,” it said that Teeger had been “relieved of the captaincy … in the best interests of the players, the U-19 team, and David himself.” Teeger would “remain an important and active member of the team and we wish him and the team every success in the tournament,” CSA concluded.

CSA’s decision — against the background of rising antisemitism in South Africa, widespread support for Hamas in the wake of its Oct. 7 pogrom in Israel, and the charge of “genocide” brought by South Africa against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) — provoked fury in South Africa’s Jewish community.

Prof. Karen Milner, chair of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD), told The Algemeiner that CSA’s decision was “an outrageous act of antisemitism.”

“There is no basis for this decision, other than the fact that Teeger is Jewish,” Milner said. “It is shameful that CSA is embarking on a path that is dangerously reminiscent of Nazi Germany, when Jews were actively discriminated against, including among sporting clubs.” She stressed that the SAJBD “would do everything in its power to fight against this vicious prejudice.”

In a separate statement, the South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) said it would be calling on the International Cricket Council (ICC), the sport’s global governing body, “to investigate the CSA’s blatant act of discrimination.”

“The ANC [ruling African National Congress] government’s political hostility to Israel and its friendship with Hamas has created a climate in which it is entirely acceptable to target a sportsman because he is proudly Jewish,” the SAZF stated.

Among those expressing sympathy for Teeger on social media was three-time MLB All-Star Kevin Youkilis. “Heart goes out to this young Jewish man,” Youkilis posted on X/Twitter. “The ‘security risk’ excuse is bullshit.”

Former Boston Red Sox star Youkilis also referred to a speech that Teeger made just weeks after the Hamas pogrom, delivered after he received the “Rising Star” Award at a Jewish community ceremony. Teeger paid tribute to the Israeli military, saying, “Yes, I’ve been [given] this award, and yes, I’m now the Rising Star, but the true rising stars are the young soldiers in Israel.” He went on to dedicate the award to “the State of Israel and every single soldier fighting so that we can live and thrive in the diaspora.”

Teeger was being “punished for showing gratitude to the State of Israel,” Youkilis commented.

Heart goes out to this young Jewish man. Punished for showing gratitude, in October, to the state of Israel while receiving a Jewish Achiever Award. The “security risk” excuse is bullshit. They’ll try to punish and silence us but we will stand up!

— Kevin Youkilis (@GreekGodOfHops) January 12, 2024

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Brown University Investigating Threats of Violence Sent to Hillel Officials

More than 200 Brown University students gathered outside University Hall where roughly 40 students sat inside demanding the school divest from weapons manufacturers amid the Israel-Hamas war. Photo: Amy Russo / USA TODAY NETWORK via Reuters Connect

Two officials of Brown-RISD Hillel, a Jewish life  center serving both Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design, were sent “violent threats” early Sunday morning, according to a report by The Brown Daily Herald.

After being alerted of threats, which were sent via email, the university’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) conducted a search of Brown-RISD Hillel and determined there is “no evidence of any one-site threat.” DPS vice president Rodney Chatman told The Brown Daily Herald that “local, state, and federal authorities” are investigating the incident.

“This comes at an especially difficult time of distress on our campuses,” Brown University president Christina H. Paxson said in a statement addressing the incident. “Our students, faculty, and staff continue to grapple with the deaths of Israelis, Palestinians, and others in the wake of the October 7 attacks, as well as a despicable act of violence against a member of the Brown community here in the United States last November, and increases in reports of antisemitism, Islamophobia and other forms of hate.”

In Sunday’s statement President Paxson said that “robust” security measures will be implemented to protect Brown-RISD Hillel, as well as the officials who were threatened, from harm.

The incident is not the first antisemitic act of hatred since Hamas’ massacre across southern Israel on Oct. 7.

In December, the university’s Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity opened an investigation into an incident in which someone slipped a threatening note underneath the door of an off-campus apartment rented by Jewish students.

“Those who live for death will die by their own hand,” said the note, which, according to the Brown Daily Herald, matches lyrics from a song by an early 1980s punk band. The paper added that the note was found by an electrician, who brought it inside.

A similar incident occurred last November at a Brown-RISD Hillel. Additionally, in 2020, a swastika was graffitied in Brown’s Hegeman Hall. In 2017, another was found in a gender-neutral bathroom at RISD. It was drawn using human feces, according to the Brown Daily Herald.

Last week, President Paxson rejected the demands of anti-Zionist students who were participating in a hunger strike in an effort to force the Brown Corporation to vote on a boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) resolution against Israel and make other concessions.

The university has twice ordered the arrests of extremist anti-Zionists student protesters, who have held unauthorized demonstrations in administration buildings, sometimes occupying them for hours after being asked to leave. Over 40 were arrested in December while onlookers shouted “Shame on Brown, Shame on Brown!”

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

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‘Free Palestine:’ Texas Church Shooter Suspected of Having Pro-Hamas Ideology

Genesse Ivonne Moreno, 36, shot a man at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, on February 12, 2024. Photo: Twitter

A woman who stormed a church in Houston, Texas, on Sunday with an AR-15 rifle and shot one person before being killed by police was apparently a Hamas supporter, according to details on the incident reported by CNN.

On Monday, the outlet reported that “Free Palestine” was written on the shooter’s rifle.

According to the Houston Chronicle, the shooter has since been identified as Genesse Ivonne Moreno, 36. The woman has an extensive criminal history which includes arrests for marijuana possession, assault, theft, and forgery.

On Sunday afternoon, Moreno walked into the Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas — an institution famous for being the church of charismatic Christian preacher Joel Osteen — with a child and a gun. Wearing a trench coat and a knapsack, she threatened to have explosives, according to multiple reports. Most of the worshipers in attendance were Hispanic and attending a Spanish language service.

Moreno shot one man, leaving him critically injured, and was shot and killed by Houston Police. A child was also shot during the incident, but police are still unsure of whether they or Moreno are responsible for doing it.

“I want to commend those officers. She had a long gun and it could have been a lot worse,”  Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said during a press conference later in the day.

An investigation of Moreno’s motives is ongoing.

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

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London Theater Facing Legal Action After Comedy Show Turns Into ‘Antisemitic Rally’

British comedian Paul Currie. Photo: Instagram

A London theater is facing legal action after an Israeli man was hounded out of a comedy show on Saturday night by a comedian performing a one-man show that turned into what some audience members compared to an “antisemitic rally.”

A spokesperson for the UK’s Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) said the group was in touch with the Israeli man and other members of the audience who fled from the theater.

“What the Jewish audience members have recounted is atrocious, and we are working with them and our lawyers to ensure that those who instigated and enabled it are held to account,” the CAA spokesperson told London’s Evening Standard news outlet. “These allegations are of deeply disturbing discriminatory abuse against Jews. Comedians are rightly given broad latitude, but hounding Jews out of theaters is reminiscent of humanity’s darkest days, and must have no place in central London in 2024.”

The comedian, Paul Currie, had been performing a one-man show entitled “Shtoom” at London’s Soho Theater. Towards the end of his performance, he retrieved a Ukrainian and Palestinian flag and invited members to stand and applaud.

After the round of applause was over, Currie pointed to a man in the second row of the theater and quizzed him over why he had not stood up.

The unnamed man, an Israeli, replied, “I enjoyed your show until you brought out the Palestinian flag.” An infuriated Currie began screaming, “Leave my show now! Get out of my f—-ing show!” in response.

As the man and his partner rose to leave, accompanied by a handful of other shocked audience members, the assembled crowd began chanting “Get out” and “Free Palestine.”

In a written complaint to the theater over his treatment, the man wrote: ” Shaken and feeling threatened by the growing antagonism, we exited and tried to complain/ get some support from the front-of-house team at the theatre, who were not very sympathetic but did give us an email address to make a complaint. By this time, the show had ended and the audience started exiting, a number of whom were glaring at us aggressively and in a very threatening way. We all left the scene.”

He added: “Our friends later received a message from someone they knew who had also been at the show, saying that after we left, the situation became even more inflamed. What had been intended to be an evening of comedy turned out to be what felt like an antisemitic rally.”

The theater eventually apologized, issuing a statement expressing regret an “an incident that took place at our venue at the end of a performance of Paul Currie: Shtoom on Saturday 10 February, which has caused upset and hurt to members of audience attending and others.” It added: “We take this very seriously and are looking into the detail of what happened as thoroughly, as sensitively, and as quickly as we can. It is important to us that Soho theatre is a welcoming and inclusive place for all.”

Currie has remained largely silent since the incident, save for a post on Instagram which quoted Mexican poet Cesar A. Cruz saying: “Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.”  He then added: “If you were at my show last night… you’ll know.”

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