In Mandela’s autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom" you can find that it is full of positive references to Jews and occasionally even
In his 1994 autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom,” he wrote of his respect for the Jewish law firm Witkin, Sidelsky and Eidelman that hired him in the 1940's as a young black clerk during the height of South African apartheid. In his autobiography he specifically mentions Lazer Sidelsky, one of the firm’s partners, who was among the first whites to treat him with “enormous kindness” and respect. Mandela wrote,“I have found the Jews to be more broad-minded than most whites on issues of race and politics, perhaps because they themselves have historically been victims of prejudice.” Furthermore in his 1994 autobiography, Mandela acknowledged the disproportionate role that Jews played in the struggle against apartheid. In his memoir Mandela states that he learned about guerrilla warfare from Arthur Goldreich, a South African Jew who fought with the Palmach during
The associate director of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies David Saks stated that “Mandela always strove to be scrupulously fair to both sides, even though his inclination was very much towards the Palestinian side”. “He was deeply supportive of the Palestinian struggle for independence, but never deviated from his view that this could only be attained through all parties recognizing Israel’s legitimate right to exist within secure borders.”
"The ANC has, on numerous occasions, maintained that the PLO is our comrade in arms in the struggle or the liberation of our respective countries. We fully support the combat of the Organization for the Liberation of Palestine for the creation of an independent state".
With the passing of Nelsom Mandela there has been a literal flurry of Blog pages and news articles alluding to a dark side of Nelson Mandel's view towards Israel. Now though Mandela did make some highly controversial statements –some that I have seen have been posted on web sites and Blogs. I defer to acknowledge them since there are no confirmed citations that Mandela actually made these statements.
Mandela, Communism and the Jews:
The organization became radicalized by members of the Communist Party of South Africa (CPSA) who joined it and served in its upper and lower structure. These Jewish servicemen of Eastern European origins such as; Joe Slovo, Harry Schwarz, Lionel Bernstein and Wolfie Kodesh were founders of the ANC African National Congress and its military wing “Umkhonto we Sizwe” under the command of Nelson Mandela.
In the book the chief character Yakov Bok, the "Enlightened humanist Jew", is falsely accused by the "Black Hundred" of murdering the young Russian boy Zhenia Golov for his blood for the making of Passover matzos. This same story of the "Blood Libel" still thrives in the Arab world and on YouTube today. It is due to these types of revolting anti-Semitic stories learned from his association with the South African Jews that Mandela was aware of the sensitivities of the Jews to Apartheid race issues and oppression.
Matzpen (Hebrew: מצפן, lit. 'Compass') was the name of a revolutionary socialist and anti-Zionist organisation, founded in Israel in 1962 by former members of the Israeli Communist Party who viewed Zionism as a colonizing project, and strove for Arab–Jewish coexistence, based on full equality.Matzpen offered a more radical analysis of and opposition to Zionism.
Mandela in this decision was influenced by the fact that Gandhi himself never ruled out violence absolutely and unreservedly. That Mohandas Ghandi conceded the necessity of arms in certain situations. Ghandi is quoted as saying, "Where choice is set between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence... I prefer to use arms in defense of honor rather than remain the vile witness of dishonor ..."
In the first paragraph below from the address if we “read between the lines” we see that Mandela does equate the Palestinians dilemma to that of his as an African. That Mandela though he was deeply supportive of the Palestinian struggle for independence, he ... never deviated from his view that this could only be attained through peaceful negotiations. And that the "Palestinians" and their backers must,"...recognize Israel’s legitimate right to exist within secure borders”.
"When in 1977, the United Nations passed the resolution inaugurating the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people, it was asserting the recognition that injustice and gross human rights violations were being perpetrated in
Palestine. In the same period, the UN took a strong stand against apartheid; and over the years, an international consensus was built, which helped to bring an end to this iniquitous system.
(Mandela who strived to receive backing from the UN Arab Block stated;) "But we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians."
Indeed, all of us marveled at the progress made a few years ago, with the adoption of the Oslo Agreements. Leaders of vision, who saw problems not merely from the point of view of their own narrow constituency, had at least found a workable approach towards friendship and peaceful co-existence in the
Middle East. – (here Mandela tries to point to hope by those who can envision peace.)
I wish to take this opportunity to pay tribute to these Palestinian and Israeli leaders. In particular, we pay homage to the memory of Yitzhak Rabin who paid the supreme sacrifice in pursuit of peace.
We are proud as humanists, that the international consensus on the need for the implementation of the Oslo Agreements is finding expression in the efforts of the multitude of Israeli and Palestinian citizens of goodwill who are marching together, campaigning together, for an end to prevarication. These soldiers of peace are indeed sending a message to us all, that the day is not far off, when Palestinian and Jewish children will enjoy the gay abandon of children of God in a peaceful and prosperous region.- (here Mandela paraphrases Martin Luther Kings famous “I have a dream” speech as a show of hope.)
These soldiers of peace recognize that the world we live in is rising above the trappings of religious and racial hatred and conflict. They recognize that the spurning of agreements reached in good faith and the forceful occupation of land can only fan the flames of conflict. They know from their own experience that, it is in a situation such as this, that extremists on all sides thrive, fed by the blood lust of centuries gone by.
These Palestinian and Israeli campaigners for peace know that security for any nation is not abstract; neither is it exclusive. It depends on the security of others; it depends on mutual respect and trust. Indeed, these soldiers of peace know that their destiny is bound together, and that none can be at peace while others wallow in poverty and insecurity.
Thus, in extending our hands across the miles to the people of
Palestine, we do so in the full knowledge that we are part of a humanity that is at one that the time has come for progress in the implementation of agreements. The majority of the world community; the majority of the people of the Middle East; the majority of Israelis and Palestinians are suing for peace."
Mandela rightly believed in justice for the Palestinian people but above all he believed in non-violence.
Yet, even as an outspoken critic of Israel's "Occupation" beyond the 1967 "Green Lines" Mandela was just as adamant that Israel had the right to exist within secure borders.
Mandela fervently believed that only by teaching love and understanding in the manner of Ghandi can both sides realize a peaceful end to the conflict. And that the only rational path to peace was in negotiations not war.
Mandela's major failure was that he did not openly admonish Yasser Arafat for his deceitful conduct in the instigation of the wave of suicide bombings that ended all hope in the Oslo Accords. Mandela also failed in not ending the outrageous Palestinian curriculum of continual hatred and glorification of death within the Palestinian schools in the territories controlled by the Palestinian Authority under Abbas. Both of these issues once again were major failures on the part of the Palestinian leadership to grasp a chance at a just and lasting peace.
Mandela's greatness was in his humanity and his achievement for the end of Apartheid in his beloved South Africa. He was a symbol of humanity. It is too bad that his "Palestinian" friends used him for propaganda purposes and ignored his words.