“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” Nelson Mandela.
These wise words from a South African icon are the inspiration behind the extraordinary Moshal Scholarship Program. Founded in 2009 by Durban-born internet entrepreneur and venture capitalist Martin Moshal, the program aims to provide financial support to promising young students who would otherwise not have access to tertiary education. Believing that higher education builds bridges from impoverishment to economic freedom, the Moshal Scholarship Program provides students with access to university and thereby endeavours to break the cycle of poverty. By opening the doors to a better life the lives of the students, their families and communities are also uplifted. The Moshal Scholarship Program already supports over 250 students with full scholarships at top universities across South Africa and Israel, with the first cohort of students graduating at the end of this year.
The Russell Tribunal on Palestine South African session has come and gone but not without its fair share of controversy.
Held in Cape Town on November 5th and 6th, the RToP set out to be a ‘people’s court’ investigating whether Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people fits the international legal definitions of the crime of apartheid.
To most onlookers, Judge Richard Goldstone’s prior assessment of the tribunal that, “it is not a ‘tribunal’ … the 'evidence' is going to be one-sided and the members of the ‘jury’ are critics whose harsh views of Israel are well known,” was seen to have been largely vindicated by the proceedings which found in favour of what many argued was a predetermined conclusion.
Stretching back into history from the moment Moses raised his hand against the oppressive Egyptian overseer and led his people from slavery into freedom; to the instant that Abraham smashed the morally bankrupt idols of his day and opened his home to the stranger; through the modern revolutionary ideas of Marx and Freud and beyond, Jewish radicalism has emerged as a profoundly powerful force that has weaved itself through the epochs. By drawing on the great humanist and cosmopolitan notions of identity and justice within Judaism, a radical Jewish ideology and worldview has formed a tradition within a tradition. Profoundly motivated by the historical memory of the suffering of their own people throughout the ages, Jewish radicals have eternally sought to overturn the corrupt status quo of the day and transform humankind’s structures of thought.
“Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people, right on
Say you want a revolution
We better get on right away
Well you get on your feet
And out on the street
Singing power to the people”
With waves of revolution convulsing across the Middle East and North Africa, a new era of democracy seems to be dawning. Oppressed peoples living under the heel of various despots are courageously standing up against the machinations of dictatorship and demanding their long withheld human rights.
Lawfare - the use of the law as a weapon of war. It is described as a way in which people manipulate legal and judicial systems and human rights laws to achieve their strategic ends for purposes other than those they were originally enacted for.
In practical terms, lawfare is employed to prevent political and other leaders or officials of a state from traveling abroad through engineering legal threats against them that, in most cases, have no reasonable basis.
As identified by The Lawfare Project, Lawfare has three main goals: "To silence and punish free speech about issues of national security and public concern, to delegitimize the sovereignty of democratic states, and to frustrate and hinder the ability of democracies to fight against and defeat terrorism". These goals threaten modern liberal democracies by turning the values and ethics of democracy, its rules and regulations, into tools with which to harm and destroy it. Where they cannot win and build sympathy with violence, many groups today attempt to undermine their opponents through legal means.