web analytics
October 21, 2014 / 27 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



It’s My Opinion: A True Leader

South-Florida-logo

The recent death of Nelson Mandela grabbed the attention of the world. Mandela led the fight against apartheid, the discriminatory white minority rule in South Africa. He was incarcerated for 27 years and then emerged to become the first black president of his country. His journey had many twists and turns but his goal never wavered.

Mandela was 95 when he died. He led a long and controversial life. He was a communist, a socialist and a capitalist at different times and circumstances. He was considered an activist, a terrorist, a man of peace and a man of violence.

My own brief brush with Nelson Mandela was at the time of his visit to South Florida in June of 1990. It was only four months after his release from prison. Mandela was an incredibly popular figure and lauded by huge crowds wherever he went.

Mandela remained loyal to the rogue leaders and regimes that backed him through the many years he’d been imprisoned: Cuba’s Castro, Libya’s Khaddafi and the PLO’s Arafat.

The Cuban community was particularly incensed by Mandela’s relationship with Castro. Mandela had referred to Castro as “a brother,” “an inspiration,” and “a tower of strength.” Cubans and Cuban-Americans were incensed.

Activist Jews were upset with Mandela’s embrace of Arafat and Khaddafi, two of the most anti-Israel and anti-Jewish figures of the era.

Mandela addressed 6,000 union workers in the Miami Beach Convention Center. Outside, a noisy demonstration ensued. About 3,000 mainly black demonstrators were chanting and waving pro-Mandela placards. About 300 mostly Cuban demonstrators were chanting and waving anti-Mandela placards. About 75 Jews from the JDL were chanting and holding placards. Our signs read: “Down with Apartheid, Khaddafi, Arafat and Castro.”

The mayor of Miami and Miami commissioners did not officially welcome Mandela to the city. They were dealing with the sensitivities of a major portion of their population. The Miami officials signed a letter. They said the comments made by Mandela about Castro were “beyond reasonable comprehension.”

What followed was a three-year boycott of the city and its tourist attractions by various organizations. The NAACP was furious with the city, declaring that “To reject Mandela is to reject us.”

Now it is December 2013. South Africa is a stronghold of anti-Israel activity. The sympathetic identification with the Palestinians that was put in place by Mandela has blossomed. Recently, South Africa’s international relations minister declared that there would be no traveling to Israel by government officials as a sign of solidarity with the Palestinians. She spoke of Israel’s “illegal occupation” and disclosed that “our Palestinian friends have asked us in formal meetings to not engage with the (Israel) regime.”

Over ninety heads of state attended Mandela’s funeral in South Africa. It is quite ironic, given the atmosphere that prevails, that opposition Labor leader MK Yitzchak Herzog decried Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s decision not to attend. Netanyahu sent Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein instead. Herzog accused Netanyahu of “insensitivity or plain stupidity.”

Nelson Mandela’s life was not a simple case of black and white on many different levels. He had one frame of reference, and that remained his steadfast goal. Mandela’s only concern was what was in the best interest of his cause. He crossed political affiliations. He made friends with the devil. He was determined. He won.

There is much to debate about Nelson Mandela and his life, but one thing is clear: He devoted his life to his people. He was a true leader.

About the Author: Shelley Benveniste is South Florida editor of The Jewish Press.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “It’s My Opinion: A True Leader”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Facebook post from man believed to be Canadian convert to Islam who rammed soldiers with his car in possible terrorist attack, Oct. 20, 2014.
‘Radicalized’ Convert to Islam Attempted to Murder Canadian Soldiers [video]
Latest Sections Stories

Sadly, there are mothers who, due to severe depression are unable or unwilling to prepare nourishing food for their children.

Michal had never been away from home. And now, she was going so far away, for so long – an entire year!

Though if you do have a schach mat, you’ll realize that it cannot actually support the weight of the water.

Social disabilities occur at many levels, but experts identify three different areas of learning and behavior that are most common for children who struggle to create lasting social connections.

Sukkot is an eternal time of joy, and if we are worthy, of plenty.

Two of our brothers, Jonathan Pollard and Alan Gross, sit in the pit of captivity. We have a mandate to see that they are freed.

Chabad of South Broward has 15 Chabad Houses in ten cities.

Victor Center works in partnership with healthcare professionals, clergy, and the community to sponsor education programs and college campus out reach.

So just in case you’re stuck in the house this Chol HaMoed – because there’s a new baby or because someone has a cold – not because of anything worse, here are six ideas for family fun at home.

We are told that someone who says that God’s mercy extends to a bird’s nest should be silenced.

Our harps have 22 strings. This gives musicians a wide musical range and yet stays within Biblical parameters.

More Articles from Shelley Benveniste
South-Florida-logo

Two of our brothers, Jonathan Pollard and Alan Gross, sit in the pit of captivity. We have a mandate to see that they are freed.

Chabad of South Broward has 15 Chabad Houses in ten cities.

Victor Center works in partnership with healthcare professionals, clergy, and the community to sponsor education programs and college campus out reach.

It’s Rosh Hashanah. A new year. Time for a fresh start. Time for a new slate. Time for change.

Governor Rick Scott visited North Miami Beach/Aventura on the morning of Wednesday, September 17.

While the cost per student is higher than mainstream schools, Metzuyan Academy ESE is a priceless educational opportunity for children with special needs in South Florida.

Challah-pa-looza helped get the community ready and excited about the upcoming Jewish New Year.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/community/south-florida/its-my-opinion-a-true-leader/2013/12/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: