Netanyahu did not bow down to the Mandela whitewash
I was shocked when I read that Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would not be attending the funeral of Nelson Mandela in South Africa because it was too expensive to travel there. Seriously?
It appears that the real issue was not the expense of the trip but rather the fact that Mr. Mandela had compared the situation of South African blacks under the apartheid system with the situation of Palestinians living in the so-called occupied territories, also praising Yasser Arafat.
In an opinion piece for Al-Jazeerah, Hanna Kawas, Chairperson for the Canada Palestine Association, lamented the loss of Mr. Mandela, praising him as a great friend of the Palestinians. She noted that in 1997 he stated, “But we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians,” while in 1990 he said, “I believe that there are many similarities between our struggle and that of the PLO. We live under a unique form of colonialism in South Africa, as well as in Israel, and a lot flows from that.”
In a clip played by Ted Koppel on ABC, Mr. Mandela also stated that, “We identify with the PLO because, just like ourselves, they are fighting for the right of self determination. . . . Arafat is a comrade in arms.”
And in a 1990 interview with Australian media, he said, “We agree with the United Nations that international disputes should be settled by peaceful means. The belligerent attitude which is adopted by the Israeli government is to us unacceptable,” also explaining that his organization, the ANC, does not consider the PLO a terrorist group.”
He added: “If one has to refer to any of the parties as a terrorist state, one might refer to the Israeli government, because they are the people who are slaughtering defenseless and innocent Arabs in the occupied territories, and we don’t regard that as acceptable.”
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).