Friday, December 13, 2013


Nelson Mandela certainly deserved the accolades he received in honor of his death at age 95. He alone and virtually single-handedly avoided a predicted racial bloodbath in South Africa. After spending 27 years in prison he retained his sense of humanity and showed no overt bitterness towards the white leaders and politicians who were responsible not only for his imprisonment, but also for the terrible depredations on the Blacks of South Africa, including murders and massacres. But, although he remained a staunch proponent of racial harmony and co-existence, he failed to acknowledge Jewish national rights to re-settle in their homeland. He was also a revolutionary who supported the PLO, and called Yasir Arafat a "freedom fighter," and retained friendly relations with Fidel Castro of Cuba and with Hugo Chavez of Venezuela.

Mandela's definition of a "rainbow nation" that was applied to South Africa, and has also been applied to the US and other multicultural nations, allowed for Jews to be part of that nation, but as believers in Judaism, not as Jews with a separate nationhood. Since the PLO had supported the ANC with arms and training, Mandela felt that he owed allegiance to the PLO in its struggle with Israel. He and others on the left have a simplistic view that categorizes Israel as a neo-colonial regime, with no "native" roots in Palestine, who are simply persecuting the native Palestinian Arabs. The fact that this ignores all of history is convenient for this world view, in which imperialism is a means used by the "white man" in order to suppress the rights of the "native" (black or brown) peoples. This also ignores the terrible "imperialistic" massacres carried out by one black tribe or nation against others, such as in Rwanda, the Congo, Sudan, Mali, Somalia, etc., none of which Mandela was able to prevent.

It is this blind-spot, that sees a clear dichotomy between the colonialists and the natives that is at fault in many areas of conflict, including the Middle East. The history of the Jews returning to the Land from 1865 onwards is ignored, the national aspirations of the Jews do not fit into this simplistic analysis, so Zionism is considered a "form of racism" while Arab nationalism is "kosher." But, when it transpires that Muslim extremism, as in Hamas in Gaza, is the motivating force behind Palestinian aspirations, it is difficult if not impossible for these idealist leftists to comprehend the nature of the problem. Let me give a further example, while Jews were being transported during WWII to the gas ovens in the concentration camps in Europe, Mahatma Ghandi, a truly great man and a believer in non-violence, gave the Jews advice, in effect he said, "refuse to be intimidated, stand up to the Germans with non-violence and they will see the error of their ways." He also advised the Jews of Palestine to forego violence and depend on the goodwill of the Arabs. Only really intelligent men like Ghandi and Mandela can be that stupid. They were lucky to have as their adversaries men who were not remorseless murderers but who ultimately had a sense of civilization and scruples.


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