A site devoted to to understanding the world we live in and to making a difference.


SOLAR PLEXUS is committed to the survival and safety of Israel in whatever form it and its citizens decide freely for themselves. Our hope is that in time Israel can become more fully a democracy in which all its diverse population feel safe and welcome, free to exercise their chosen way of life with due respect for the rights and dignity of others.

SOLAR PLEXUS will provide news and hard, factual analysis of matters pertaining to Israel and the Middle East and counter the shallow and biased versions being propagated by much of the mainstream newspapers. It will contain audiovisual material and links to useful sites for further reliable information. The blog is intended to be serious but not dull.

 The regional conflict is between a small, imperfect but remarkable Jewish  democracy and backward, extremist, xenophobic cultures possessing, at best, only rudimentary understanding and even less commitment to the rights of the individual, democracy and religious and cultural diversity. It is at its core a Darwinian war between different concepts of civilization with global implications.Israel-flag

The outcome has enormous implications for humanity and Israel at the moment is the litmus test of democratic resilience. 

Mike Berger (SOLAR PLEXUS)


4 responses to “ABOUT

  1. fvg9 December 13, 2016 at 2:27 am

    Dear Prof. Berger,
    After reading “Time is not our side” I browsed through your blog, and would like to express my respect. More than that: I would like to say that I’ve spent the best part of a professional career covering much the same ground, from a rather similar background. On 9 January next, at the Cape Town Holocaust Centre, in the context of the Eva Schloss exhibition there, I intend to try and give some of my own impressions on these things. It strikes me that it would be a unique opportunity to introduce myself, and perhaps exchange some views. If you should perhaps be interested to come to the film presented there.
    Best regards,
    Frederik van Gelder


    • solarplexuss December 13, 2016 at 8:49 am

      Dear Frederik Thank you for your complimentary comment. Before replying I visited your website and see you are a scholar of considerable note in the field of the Holocaust studies, the Frankfurt School and Critical Theory – and more. Given my almost complete ignorance in such matters you may not find our meeting of great personal interest. But yes I would be delighted to meet you and to attend your film. To tighten up the details in due course here is my e-mail address – In the meantime I will attempt to gain a smattering of relevant knowledge. Mike Berger


  2. Terence Grant March 22, 2013 at 7:16 am

    Dear Mike,I thought you might be interested to hear that you and Nosey Peterson are not Weavers only enemies.Terence Grant AKA Terence Shelton.


  3. Terence Grant March 22, 2013 at 7:09 am

    Terence Grant
    3 Avenue Flats
    Avenue Road
    021 447 8011

    Advancing the Cause of Women’s Liberation/ Winning the War against Rape and Domestic Abuse
    If we are to advance the cause of woman’s liberation and to win the war against rape and domestic-violence, there are several things that need to be done.
    Firstly, we must stand up to those who insist that these interrelated movements have to be led by a woman rather than the best person for the job, for this blatantly sexist attitude is likely to set a bad precedent/persuade other women that men should always play a subordinate role in matters that affect women to a greater degree than men, thereby antagonising men and leading to a smaller pool of ideas, which is rather silly when one considers that women seem to have as little objection to being attended to by a male gynaecologist as they do to flying in a plane that has a male as the pilot.
    Secondly, we must recognise that progress is at its quickest when bad ideas and opinions are killed off quickly (thereby creating space for good ideas and opinions to flourish) and that the feminine habit of reacting politely and sympathetically to what others might say is – in the company of adults and professionals – counterproductive.
    Finally, we must recognise that it is not sufficient for us to work towards the vague goal of making the world a better place. What is needed is a road-map that clearly identifies the characteristics and values we wish to inculcate in our sons and daughters.
    One respectfully submits that the long-term benefit of good leadership far outweighs the short-term benefit of appointing a person on the basis of his/her gender or race.
    Those who are sceptical about my points would do well to ask themselves whether they believe that Blacks would be better off under black leadership; whether there is any conceivable reason why a black person should be better at implementing Affirmative Action than a white person.
    Terence Grant
    Cape Town.
    Postscript: In 1988 I -a white agnostic and a SACS Old Boy – chaired an affluent and largely Jewish table-tennis club at Glen Country Club in Clifton, served on the WPTTA as tournament –organiser and convener of the umpiring and disciplinary sub-committees and managed WP ‘s senior and junior teams(Springbok captain Alan Chiat, Africa number-one Surita Odendaal, Springbok Steven Brown, ex-Sprinbok Dr David Tickin, and boys junior triple- champion Gary Shap etc)
    However, in the following year I gambled away the last of the money I inherited some 8 years earlier from my wealthy grandfather(playing very high-stakes poker at the Sea point casino of Somerset-West bookmaker Pip James) and ,while giving up table-tennis, started selling property in Mitchells Plein for a close friend Stanley Behrman(later bookmaker to West Indies cricket captain Brian Lara),expediting the subject to deals of one of Stanleys friends, the notorious Mark Lifman(later the business partner of slain underworld boss Yuri Ullianitski who then doing a development on the outskirts of Mitchell Plein for his brother-in-law ,who owned Rabie Properties)For financial reasons I rented a room in a Coloured area(Kensington)sharing with a gay black Cape Sun chef and his coloured schoolteacher lover.
    In 1997 I chaired an all-Coloured table-Tennis club in Shelley Road Salt River(Willie Hofmeyr is the only other white in its history)and in 2001 did political commentary for Zenzile Khoisan of Bush Radio, who in 2005/6 covered the municipal-elections for Weekend Argus.
    Unfortunately, I live in a lower middle-class area(Woodstock)and hence battle to get published in Cape Times, which has been assigned by its money-hungry parent to what is euphemistically known as” the top end of the market.”(un-euphemistically, as the white end of the market) Evidently, publishing my letters would set a bad precedent.

    Mr Terence Grant

    Dear Terence

    The Appointments Panel of the South African Press Council greatly appreciated you expressing your willingness to serve on the newly constituted council and your attendance at an interview. The panel was much impressed by your application but in view of the limited number of positions and the circumstances relating to the appointments to this important public institution greatly regretted being unable to offer you an appointment. However, the panel wishes to thank you for applying.

    Yours sincerely

    Judge Yvonne Mokgoro
    SA Press Council Appointments Panel
    The advantages of monogamy and greater equality between the sexes
    One of the most important thing to remember about the war between the sexes is that it is immeasurably easier for a male to satisfy the biological needs of several woman than it is for a female to satisfy the biological needs of several men, and that the need to outdo others and succeed is therefore much higher amongst men than amongst women. Consequently, when there is no law against polygamy the males became more aggressive than they would in a monogamous society while females become more submissive and less able to fend for themselves than those in monogamous society. However, higher levels of aggression amongst men in polygamous societies does not prevent them from being outperformed by their monogamous counterparts. There are two reasons for this: Firstly, because males in a polygamous society are freed of the need to compete with women (who are effectively side-lined/removed from the equation) while men in monogamous societies are forced to compete with males and females, thereby providing a more challenging environment. Secondly, because men in monogamous societies are more likely to have wives who work and hence are usually able to give their offspring a better education and start in life than their polygamous counterparts ,who often are faced with the unenviable task of raising large familys on a single income.
    Consequently, a polygamous society always will –due to less competition between females- lag behind a monogamous one .
    Simply put, competition between people who are evenly matched nearly always has a positive impact on both parties, while competition between two unequal opponents has the potential to do more harm than good.
    Terence Grant.
    Cape Town.
    Postscript : One notes that in movies Muslim suicide bombers are often told by their religious leaders that several virgins will be waiting in heaven for them. The dictum ”make love not war “ springs to mind
    Just asking
    The problem with feminism is that it is dominated by women. Consequently, no-one seems to know whether the goal is for women to develop type-A personalities and sit in the lounge killing off/butchering bad ideas and opinions -thereby creating space for good ideas and opinions to flourish- or for men to shed their type-A personalities and sit in the kitchen reacting politely and sympathetically to bad ideas and opinions. Would it be too much to ask women to put things on hold until they have come up with a road-map; a rough idea of what characteristics we males and females should be trying to bring to the fore? As Cromwell would doubtlessly have said (about the purpose of debates)if he had ever had the time or the inclination: “There are some things more important than a bruised ego”.
    Like creating space for good ideas and opinions to flourish.
    Terence Grant


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