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Posts Tagged ‘Nelson Mandela’

Report: Mandela Received Mossad Training

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

Nelson Mandela received training from Israel’s Mossad in the 1960s, an Israeli government document has revealed.

Mandela, the former South African president and anti-apartheid leader who died earlier this month, was trained by Mossad agents in weaponry and sabotage in 1962, according to a report Thursday in Haaretz that was based on a document in the Israel State Archives labeled “Top Secret.”

The document, a letter sent from the Mossad to the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, said Mossad operatives also attempted to encourage Zionist sympathies in Mandela, Haaretz reported.

Mandela led the struggle against apartheid in his country from the 1950s. He was arrested, tried and released a number of times before going underground in the early 1960s. In January 1962, he left South Africa and visited various African countries, including Ethiopia, Algeria, Egypt and Ghana.

Mandela met with the Israelis in Ethiopia, where he arrived under the alias David Mobsari.

The letter noted that Mandela “showed an interest in the methods of the Haganah and other Israeli underground movements “ and that “he greeted our men with ‘Shalom,’ was familiar with the problems of Jewry and of Israel, and gave the impression of being an intellectual. The staff tried to make him into a Zionist,” the Mossad operative wrote.

“In conversations with him, he expressed socialist worldviews and at times created the impression that he leaned toward communism,” the letter continued, noting that the man who called himself David Mobsari was indeed Mandela.

This letter was discovered several years ago by David Fachler, 43, a resident of Alon Shvut, who was researching documents about South Africa for a master’s thesis.

The Day Mandela Went to Shul and Preached against Aliyah

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

One of the first things that Nelson Mandela did after being elected president of South Africa in 1994 was visit a synagogue and preach against aliyah at Cape Town’s Green and Sea Point Hebrew Congregation on the Shabbat after his election.

Here is an excerpt from JTA’s report:

“The congregants heard Mandela make an appeal from the pulpit for Jewish expatriates to return to South Africa.

“Pointedly excluding aliyah by saying he understands the Jewish community’s commitment to Israel, Mandela said, ‘We want those who left (for other countries) because of insecurity to come back and to help us to build our country.’

“He added that those who do not return should contribute their money and skills to South Africa.

“Mandela thanked the Jewish community for its contribution toward the development of South Africa and assured Jews they have nothing to fear from a government of national unity.

“He said he felt an affinity with the Jewish community, since it was a Jewish firm that gave him an apprenticeship in the early days of his law career, when discrimination was rife.

“He also said that he had befriended his Jewish defense counsel during the treason trial which led to his imprisonment in the 1950s and that he was still in contact with the lawyer.

“He stated that he recognizes the right to existence of the State of Israel, along with the right of Palestinians to live in their own homeland.

“He noted that he considered it significant that Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat last week signed an agreement in Cairo implementing Palestinian self-rule — the same week that South Africa elected its new leadership.

“At the reception following the service, some of the younger members of the congregation raised clenched fists in solidarity with the ANC, while the shul choir led in the singing of the country’s new national anthem, “Nkosi Sikelel’ IAfrika.”

Mandela often said Israel should be a “secure“ state, but on the other hand, his citing the Palestinian-Israel conflict as dating back to 1948 clearing showed his definition of “secure” as twisted.

He wrote Thomas Friedman of The New York Times in 1991, “You incorrectly think that the problem of Palestine began in 1967…. You seem to be surprised to hear that there are still problems of 1948 to be solved, the most important component of which is the right to return of Palestinian refugees. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is not just an issue of military occupation and Israel is not a country that was established ‘normally’ and happened to occupy another country in 1967.

“Palestinians are not struggling for a ‘state’ but for freedom, liberation and equality, just like we were struggling for freedom in South Africa.”

Arabs in Judea and Samaria, who did not refer themselves as “Palestinians,” never ”struggled” for freedom under the Ottoman Empire, under the British Mandate and under the Jordanian occupation.

It was only when Jews re-established the modern State of Israel that they “struggled,” not for freedom but rather for the annihilation of Israel.

That explains how Mandela, more blind than the blindest American Secretary of State, could proclaim that Iran had no aggressive aims towards Israel. “We are indebted to the Islamic Revolution,” he one said while laying a wreath at the grave of the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, whose idea of freedom meant a world free of Israel.

Mandela not only called Israel an “apartheid state” but also asserted that the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) was not a terrorist group.

He publicly supported violence against Israel during a visit to Yasser Arafat in Gaza in 1999, when he declared. “All men and women with vision choose peace rather than confrontation, except in cases where we cannot proceed, where we cannot move forward. Then if the only alternative is violence, we will use violence.”

Thoughts on Nelson Mandela and Israel

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

The recent death of Nelson Mandela has prompted some interesting discussion. For example, was Mandela a friend or an enemy of Israel? He certainly saw the PLO as a ‘national liberation movement’, but he also said “I cannot conceive of Israel withdrawing if Arab states do not recognize Israel within secure borders.” Mandela saw the world through the lens of his experience, but although he couldn’t help but sympathize with Palestinian Arabs that presented themselves as an oppressed people, he did not embrace their cause of ending the Jewish state.

The subject of Israel’s cooperation with the apartheid regime has come up also. It’s become known that Israel and South Africa shared intelligence about Soviet and terrorist activities, and Israel provided weapons and technology in return for uranium.

It is very easy for Americans to criticize Israel ensconced in our relatively safe (for now) homeland, with our huge resources and strategic depth. Israel does not have these things (and the Obama Administration is doing its best to further damage Israel’s strategic position).

Israel’s leaders have a mission, an overriding moral duty that is tested every day: to preserve Jewish sovereignty, and therefore to protect the Jewish people. Sometimes moral duties conflict, and when this happens, one is obliged to choose. Apartheid was clearly evil, and I don’t doubt that Shimon Peres (the architect of Israel-South African cooperation) was aware of this.

But Peres chose the uranium because Israel needed it to survive. It is as simple as that. Israel’s enemies had massive amounts of non-nuclear weapons of mass destruction. In 1973 — before the deal with South Africa — US President Nixon was moved to resupply Israel’s armies, something which arguably saved the state, when Israel began to deploy its then rudimentary nuclear arsenal. Just the possession of nuclear weapons has added immeasurably to Israel’s strength.

Apartheid is gone and Israel is not. So it seems that Peres made the right choice after all.

As an aside, I can’t resist mentioning that we heard this on NPR:

This is a leader who had, certainly, a profound impact on the world but also a profound impact on Barack Obama as a man. Symbolically, you have these two men who are both the first black leaders of countries that had a history of deep racial tensions. And we know that President Obama saw echoes of Mandela’s legacy in his own story.

It is entirely consistent with NPR’s Pravda-like adulation of Obama to compare him to Mandela, but it’s still shocking (I am waiting for their special Christmas program that will compare him to Jesus). Mandela paid his dues, in struggle and in suffering, while Obama was given everything from a Senate seat to the Nobel Peace prize as affirmative action. Mandela was about reconciliation, while Obama is about punishing his enemies. Mandela was tough but warm, Obama is flabby and cold. Mandela was humble, while Obama is arrogant.

Well, Mandela is gone. I think the world is a worse place without his moral force. If he was indeed an enemy of Israel, would that more of our enemies were like him.

Visit Fresno Zionism.

Flu Grounds Peres from Attending Funeral for Mandela

Monday, December 9th, 2013

President Shimon Peres is under the weather with the flu and will not be able to attend the memorial for Nelson Mandela in South Africa. His absence will make even more obvious the non-appearance of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, whose spokesmen said that complicated and expensive security arrangements are the reasons he will not be attending.

Nevertheless, one local newspaper headlined Monday that the Prime Minister “snubs” the memorial.

Peres reportedly has been weak lately because he was sick during his recent trip to Mexico and was caught napping on another official occasion. His office denied reports that his health is failing.

Approximately 70 heads of stated will be at the memorial for Mandela.

The Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, also will be there. The church is infamous for its protests of Sandy Hook victims, fallen soldiers, and “Fast and the Furious” star Paul Walker. The members; problems with Mandela is that he divorced and remarried. The church alleged that Mandela “pursued every lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life; he loved the praise of man more than the praise of God.”

Dutch Paper Mourns Mandela with Black-Face

Saturday, December 7th, 2013

De Telegraaf, Holland’s most popular newspaper, is besides itself with apologies over a highly un-PC faux pas committed on its website: an article rounding up global reactions to the passing of the South African freedom fighter Nelson Mandela, linked his death with a black-face character in the traditional Dutch celebration of Sinterklaas.

Sinterklaas, or Sint Nicolaas, is celebrated annually on Saint Nicholas’ eve (December 5) in the Netherlands.

According to the AP, the opening sentence of the article said Friday that Mandela “died on the very night of St. Nicholas (with Black Pete).”

Saint Nicholas’ helper Black Pete is traditionally portrayed by actors in black-face makeup.

AP reports that this character has been the focus of a debate in the Netherlands between fans of traditional Sinterklaas and those who see Black Pete as a racist phenomenon.

The White rulers of South African who enacted the racist laws which Mandela spent his life fighting, were mostly descendants of settlers from the Netherlands and Britain.

The Telegraaf apologized, blaming the “tasteless link” on “an unfortunate convergence of circumstances.”

Chabad in South Africa: Mandela Brought the Country Together

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Originally published at Chabad.org.

By Karen Schwartz and Carin M. Smilk

Chabad-Lubavitch leaders in South Africa expressed their condolences following the passing of Nelson Mandela at the age of 95. He served as president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, the first black to hold the office, voted in as part of the country’s first-ever multi-racial election.

Mashi Lipskar, who with her husband, Rabbi Mendel Lipskar, was sent in 1972 by the Rebbe—Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory—to direct Chabad-Lubavitch of Southern Africa, said while few knew him personally, “we saw him, we encountered him, we observed him.”

Mandela was “head and shoulders above the people in stature. He was a very tall man, but he had a gentleness, a humility, and this pervaded his attitude, his approach,” she said.

Lipskar, who lives in Johannesburg, was in New York visiting family when she heard the news of Mandela’s passing.

When she and her husband arrived in South Africa as newlyweds, Lipskar said the country was a “powder keg.”

To Inspire the People

Four years after the Lipskars arrived—in 1976—they brought over Rabbi Yossy and Rochel Goldman to help them with their work.

The rabbi recalled the then-norm of apartheid, when there were park benches for whites and others for blacks, when there were different buses and different lines for the post office.

“It was quite an institutionalized racism, and we didn’t come to get involved in politics,” said Goldman, who now serves as senior minister of Johannesburg’s largest Jewish congregation, Sydenham Highlands North Synagogue. “We came to serve and hopefully inspire the Jewish people, but it was impossible not to be affected and sensitive to the plight of innocent people.”

Mandela’s relationship with the Jews in South Africa was a long one, noted Goldman. He had a Jewish doctor and was backed by a number of Jewish philanthropists. “He had many Jewish comrades,” said the rabbi, explaining that Mandela got his first job from a Jewish firm and was later represented by Jewish lawyers when he was tried for treason.

“What’s really most important to me is that after 27 years in prison, to come out and not seek revenge, but to preach peace and reconciliation between blacks and whites is really a sign of true greatness.”

He cited Mandela as a revered politician and powerful icon respected by people of all races and faiths for his humanitarianism and for, as Goldman said, “really putting South Africa on the right path.”

On a more personal level, he said that his children used to ride their bikes by Mandela’s house, and that he has a picture of Mandela with one of his sons when the boy was about 9.

“I was coming home from a meeting and there was Mandela, taking a Sunday-afternoon stroll,” he said. “I told the kids to come quickly, so we can all say hello to Mr. Mandela.”

As for Lipskar and her family—she and her husband raised nine children there—when asked if she ever thought about leaving South Africa in its fiercest days, when both blacks and whites lived in fear, she responded: “Never. Never once did we consider leaving.”

Of Mandela, she said: “This was a man who was blessed … to put those years in prison behind him and rise in leadership. He brought healing to the country in so many ways. He wasn’t a great politician, but he was a great statesman, and that’s what the country needed at the time. He was loving and he was inclusive; he brought the country together—and that was no mean feat.”

Nelson Mandela (95)

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela passed away Thursday night in his Johannesburg home, at the age of 95.

Mandela spent 27 years in a South African jail, until he was freed in 1990. He served as president of the African National Congress (ANC) from 1991 to 1997.

In 1994, Mandela became the first black president of South Africa serving until 1999, and was an anti-apartheid icon.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/nelson-mandela-95/2013/12/06/

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