web analytics
April 2, 2015 / 13 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


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.

Current Top Story
Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ)
Biggest Democratic Foe of Obama on Iran Indicted
Latest Sections Stories
Food-Talk---Eller-logo

While we are all accustomed to the occasional recipe substitutions – swapping milk for creamer, applesauce for oil – gluten-free cooking is a whole different ballgame.

Until the year I decided to put a stop to all my tremors. I realized that if I wanted my family to experience Pesach and its preparations as uplifting and fulfilling, I’d have to relax and loosen up.

David looked up. “Hatzlacha, Dina,” he smiled. “I hope everything goes well.”

In 1756, when the ominous threat of Islamic terror against Jews reached Tunis as well, Friha became one of its tragic victims.

Are we allowed to lie for shalom bayis? It would seem so, but what might be a healthy guideline for when it’s okay and when it’s not?

The connection between what I experienced as a high school teenager and the adult I am today did not come easy to me.

Isn’t therapy about being yourself; aren’t there different ways for people to communicate with each other?

Jack was awarded a blue and gold first-place trophy, appropriately topped off with a golden bee.

Participating in ManiCures during the school day may feel like a break from learning, but the intended message to the students was loud and clear. Learning and chesed come in all forms, and can be fun.

Building campaign chairman Jack Gluck has led the effort over many years.

When using an extension cord always make sure to use the correct rated extension cord.

There was no question that when Mrs. Cohen entered the room to meet the teacher she was hostile from the outset.

More Articles from Shelley Benveniste
South-Florida-logo

Jack was awarded a blue and gold first-place trophy, appropriately topped off with a golden bee.

South-Florida-logo

Participating in ManiCures during the school day may feel like a break from learning, but the intended message to the students was loud and clear. Learning and chesed come in all forms, and can be fun.

Building campaign chairman Jack Gluck has led the effort over many years.

My friend is a strong and capable Jewish woman, but she acted with a passivity that seemed out of character.

The recent holiday of Purim, however, debunks the idea that all females need to be given coaching in the art of moxie.

Close to 100 guests attended the event that took place at Bloomingdales in the Aventura Mall.

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: