Anti-Semitic Attacks ‘diminish dignity’
16 April 2013
The South African Jewish Board of Deputies has filed a hate speech complaint in the Equality Court against Snowy Smith, the Durban man they accuse of bombarding their members with e-mails, CDs and DVDs referring to “Zionist Jews” as the enemy and orchestrators of wars. The board is calling for an unconditional apology from Smith and for him to be restrained from disseminating further alleged “hate speech” against Jewish people. He has threatened to sue the board for R10million for defamation.
Smith, who described himself in his e-mail signature as a senior complaints investigator for Fair Civil Law, a company that investigates and exposes conspiracy theories and propaganda lies, said yesterday that he had not received the court documents and denied being anti-Semitic.
The board’s national spokes woman, Mary Kluk, said most of the e-mail recipients lived in Cape Town and that the messages were unsolicited. “Our members have been bombarded with these e-mails, and the CDs and DVDs containing this hate speech also made their way, in bulk, into the public domain,” she said. “At the moment the court matter is up in the air because it has been a battle to find Snowy Smith to serve him with the summons to appear in the Cape Town Equality Court.”
The board is an umbrella organisation of the South African Jewish community and its aim is to protect the civil liberties of Jewish people and to combat racism, including anti-Semitism. Its lawyer, Tzvi Brivik of Malcolm Lyons & Brivik Incorporated in Cape Town, said the court’s registrar had served the complaint and summons via registered mail to Smith, but it was unclear whether he had received it. Brivik said they were working with the court registrar to try to get a fixed address for Smith. The matter had been set down for the middle of next month when the court would consider whether it should be heard in Durban or Cape Town. In its court papers, the board said Smith was well known to it for his propagation of anti-Semitism and expression of “anti-Jewish” hate speech.
The complaint refers to e-mails sent from October 2010 to May last year. The board contends that thee-mails fell within the exceptions of one’s right to freedom of expression as they amounted to the “advocacy of hatred that is based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion which constitutes incitement to cause harm”. The target, the board alleges, were people of the Jewish faith, a small minority in South Africa.
The e-mail recipients included a Durban attorney, a Cape Town news editor, a Cape Town teacher and a prominent South African businessman and former high court judge, all of whom are Jewish. The e-mail content included:
- “The enemy is Zionist Jew, freemasons, communism, fascist, military dictatorship new world order. Most Zionist Jews re freemasons.”
- “The Zionist Jew NWO (new world order) orchestrated and systematically planned the downfall of every White Owned, White Run Country in Africa, including South Africa using communism.”
- “The Zionist Jew NWO orchestrated and systematically planned the last World War and almost every war and or major revolution in history.”
- “There is only one group of terrorists in the world today and they are Zionist Chabad Freemasons, Illuminati Jews and the Billionaire Wall Street Bankers. We know exactly where they are.”
The court papers referred to all of the e-mail contents “every idea and statement expressed” – as being an example of hate speech. The board said Smith’s statements diminished their self-worth and dignity as an individual and group. Other effects of the e-mails noted in court papers included feelings of being “implicitly threatened” and “psychologically harmed”. The board also felt that the strong sense of “ill will” would be instilled in the public against Jewish people should they be exposed to those e-mails.
However, Smith has denied being anti-Semitic. “I am pro- Semitic. I love and support the Palestinian people and the Arabs who are ‘Semites’,” he said.