In every generation there is at least one ‘ hero’ who stands head and shoulders above the rest; and Maurice Ostroff embodied that title to perfection. Originally South African, and having made Aliyah to his beloved Israel in 1980, he dedicated the latter years of his life to defending Israel in the most professional, honest and brilliant way possible. In the face of the vitriolic criticism that characterised the descriptions of Israel emanating from so many of her enemies, he upheld and preserved her human rights reputation; he worked tirelessly to enhance and build Israel’s image in the public domain; his knowledge of and background to the history and politics of Israel were almost unsurpassed; and in his quiet and unassertive way, he managed more than once to turn the tide of hatred and venom into one of questioning motives and challenging those inaccurate and false perceptions.
There can be no finer tribute paid to him than that appearing in the Jerusalem Post, which described him as having “the tenacious spirit of a warrior who fought passionately to his last breath for the right of the Jewish People to be free in their ancestral homeland.” Israel has lost one of its most admired advocates.
On behalf of the Chairman, Executive and his friends of the S A Zionist Federation , we offer our sincere condolences to the family of Maurice Ostroff, and indeed to all the people of Israel.