Saturday, December 7, 2013

Nelson Mandela The Humanist

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born in 1918 in the village of Mvezo, in the southeastern part of South Africa .Was affectionately referred to by his traditional Xhosa clan name, "Madiba" because it was a term of endearment, respect and familiarity.
In Mandela’s autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom" you can find that it is full of positive references to Jews and occasionally even Israel.

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 Israel’s War of Independence.Yet despite all these positive Jewish references, Nelson Mandela remained outspoken on the difference between his ties to the South African Jewish community and critical of Israel as a country.

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.”


With the passing of Nelson Mandela, there are statements attributed to him in many cases that have been taken out of context by the "Falestinians" and their supporters into making it seem that Mandela was totally on their side.

A prime example of this is from the Libyan International Qadhafi Prize for Human Rights for 1989 web page  On this web page “In an interview given to journalists at the airport in Tripoli, Nelson Mandela (is attributed to have) declared: "The ANC has, on numerous Palestinian State."
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.

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.
Though there are countless pictures of Mandela embracing some of the worst anti-Israel figures in modern history the impetus to make him into a totally anti-Israel / anti-Semite does seem to be an open and shut case.

Mandela, Communism and the Jews:

As we have seen it is from his close association with these Jewish Communists Mandela’s African National Congress (ANC) was closely aligned with the Soviet Union as was atypical of all post 1917 Russian Communist Revolution "Freedom Movements" against oppressive Imperialistic regimes.  Mandela and the ANC’s leanings towards communism may have originated with the Jewish Communists in the “Torch  Commando” that arose from the Springbok Legion, a South African organization of World War II veterans which was open to all servicemen regardless of race and was avowedly anti-fascist and anti-racist. 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.

The Jews of Eastern Europe had embraced communism in the later half of the 19th century mainly because of their abject poverty and their desire to be free of the yoke of Czarist anti-Semitism. The same tired old anti-Semitism from Czarist Russia so alive today in the example of that pervasive lie of the "Blood Libel" as retold in Bernard Malamud's famous book the Fixer. 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.

There are many who tend to forget that many Eastern European Jewish Partisans during WW II were also Communists because many had no choice since many of the non Communist Partisan groups were highly anti-Semitic and would either kill the Jews or turn them over to the SS for money. Also during Israel’s struggle against “Imperialist England” during the Mandate Period many Jews in Israel – mainly those of Eastern European origins continued to adhere to the Communist Party anti Imperialistic line. Israel’s communist party thrived up to and including the Post Stalinistic purges in the late 1950’s. The assumption in "todays" communism  that only by the negation of ones religious ties, beliefs and "Zionistic" nationalistic aspirations can all people be equal is still alive in today's joint Arab-Jewish Mapam and Balad political parties.

The Eastern European Jewish embrace of communism can be attributed to the mistaken and irrational belief that many late nineteenth century Czarist Jews had believed that through “HaHaskalah” - the “Enlightened or Educated” movement - the Jewish people would be free of religion so that they may unite or become absorbed into society so as to defeat anti-Semitism. It this mistaken concept of secular “acceptism” or "self-negation" that has plagued the Jewish people from time immortal. This misguided concept is still found among today's "Liberal assimilated" Jews who go out of their way to denounce not only themselves but Israel. The belief that Jews could be accepted and absorbed if they deny their religion and inheritance as exemplified in Hellenistic times and pre-World War II Europe have been shown to be a fallacy.

Mandela had recognized that there were historical parallels between the oppression suffered by South African blacks under racist white rulers, and Jews living under hostile non-Jewish rulers. The enforced separation of Jews into the “Pale of Settlement” by the Russian Empress Catherine in 1791 can be compared with the notorious Group Areas Act, which restricted black residency. Many other anti-Semitic actions like those of the 1935 Nuremberg Laws of Nazi Germany were echoed in apartheid regulations like the ban on sexual relationships between whites and blacks. 
  
Many of us of the older generation who grew up in the USA and the west during the Cold War we were taught that the “Communists” are “Boogey Men” and that they disguised themselves as “liberation movements” as was the case with Fidel Castro. Throughout it's existence the Communist regime in the Soviet Union aspired to influence “liberation movements” and their corresponding terrorist organizations from Algeria to Viet Nam to the  PLO. The communists aspired to reign over third-world dictators like; Mao Tse Tung,  Ho Chi Minh, Colonel Muammar Al Qadhafi, Ahmed Ben Bella in Algeria and Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt.

There are those who defend the ANC for its “Gandhian” influence which dominated the freedom struggles on the African continent right up to the 1960s. Theoretically the official stance of all major African coalitions was nonviolence, and the South African A.N.C. remained implacably opposed to violence for most of its existence. The communists on the other hand strived to convince the African freedom movements to chose violent means as was seen in the Congo, Uganda and Rhodesia. 

According to Mandela he remained committed to nonviolence; "I followed the Gandhian strategy for as long as I could, but then there came a point in our struggle when the brute force of the oppressor could no longer be countered through passive resistance alone. We founded Umkhonto we Sizwe and added a military dimension to our struggle. Even then, we chose sabotage because it did not involve the loss of life, and it offered the best hope for future race relations. Militant action became part of the African agenda officially supported by the Organization of African Unity (O.A.U.) following my address to the Pan-African Freedom Movement of East and Central Africa (PAFMECA) in 1962, in which I stated, "Force is the only language the imperialists can hear, and no country became free without some sort of violence."

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 ..."

As to the whole Israel = Apartheid scam started with a fabricated a letter linking Israel with apartheid, purportedly written by Nelson Mandela but in actuality was written by a Palestinian activist named Arjan el Fassed. Today’s advocates of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement cite the fabricated a letter when claiming Nelson Mandela as one of their own. In actuality it is Mandela’s comrade Archbishop Desmond Tutu the major duped individual who wanted to push the "Palestinian" agenda for the equation of Israel’s democracy with apartheid and not Nelson Mandela.

The true stance of Nelson Mandela can be found within the wording of his address at the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People from the 4th December 1997, in Pretoria. 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 was deeply supportive of the Palestinian struggle for independence. Yet as David Saks had stated, Mandela  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.
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."

We need to do more as government, as the ANC and other parties, as South Africans of all religious and political persuasions to spur on the peace process. All of us should be as vocal in condemning violence and the violation of human rights in this part of the world as we do with regard to other areas. We need to send a strong message to all concerned that an attempt by anyone to isolate partners in negotiations from their own mass base; and attempt to co-opt this is bound to hurt the peace process as a whole.”

Mandela rightly believed in justice for the Palestinian people but above all he believed in non-violence. Yet even as an outspoken critic o f 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 outspokenly 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.


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