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Opinion Editorials, December 2013


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Mandela and the Israeli Apartheid State

By Mazin Qumsiyeh

Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, December 10, 2013

Nelson Mandela wearing the Palestinian Kufiya (symbol of resistance) in Algeria, in May 1990.

Nelson Mandela and his comrade Robert Resha received training from the Algerian FLN in Morocco in 1962. Shortly thereafter he returned to South Africa and was captured, tried, convicted of sabotage, and imprisoned until February 1990. In May 1990 he visited Algiers to meet his former FLN comrades. (Resha died in exile in London in 1973.)


"We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians" Nelson Mandela

Israeli Apartheid gift to Mandela: Martyrs and injuries

In this week’s compilation from occupied Palestine:  Today, a 14-year old child shot by Israeli sniper in the back in Jalazoun Refugee Camp. A Bethlehem young man was shot by the Israeli apartheid soldiers using live ammunition yesterday. Another lost his life after being in a coma for 7 months from an Israeli bullet. The Apartheid state of Israel exonerated itself from the murder of Mustafa Tamimi of Nebi Saleh so today we joined with the Nebi Saleh community to protest and also to commemorate Nelson Mandela (we carried his pictures).

Our friend Ashraf from Bili’n was Mandela. We faced a barrage of rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades.  Mustafa’s younger brother Udai Tamimi was shot in the face and in now in a Ramallah hospital with broken jaw. Watch what Nelson Mandela had to say in 1990 about the PLO, Yasser Arafat, and attack on him from Henry Siegman (the immoral Executive director of the “American Jewish Congress”). Christian communities throughout Palestine will hold special services tomorrow,Sunday December 8 in honor of Mandela. 

In Ramallah and Haifa there were conferences on nuclear weapon-free Middle East.  We recalled the very close military and nuclear weapons ties between Apartheid South Africa and Apartheid Israel.  And some data that is clear about the Apartheid Israel-Apartheid South Africa cooperation including on nuclear weapons. (BTW, the previous speaker of the Israeli Knesset Avraham Burg just confirmed Israel indeed has nuclear weapons).  Palestinian Knesset members just urged US Secretary of State Kerry to oppose Prawer Plan of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from the Naqab (and a new demonstration with hundreds gathered in Jaffa also carrying pictures of Mandela). 

Palestinian teenager shot dead by Israeli sniper near Ramallah
In Bethlehem a Christmas gift from Israel: Israeli forces shoot Palestinians with live fire in Bethlehem

Palestinian churches to hold Sunday services in honor of Mandela
Watch what Nelson Mandela had to say about the PLO, Yasser Arafat, and attack on him from Henry Siegman (the immoral Executive director of the “American Jewish Congress”)

“The Unspoken Alliance": Book Documents Arms, Nuclear and Diplomatic Ties Between Israel and Apartheid South Africa.  Israeli President Shimon Peres has denied reports he offered to sell nuclear weapons to apartheid South Africa when he was defense minister in the 1970s. On Sunday the Guardian newspaper of London published top-secret South African documents revealing that a secret meeting between then defense minister Shimon Peres, and his South African counterpart PW Botha, ended with an offer by Peres for the sale of warheads "in three sizes."

The documents were first uncovered by senior editor at Foreign Affairs Sasha Polakow-Suransky, author of the new book "The Unspoken Alliance: Israels Secret Relationship with Apartheid South Africa." (part 1) (part 2)

(BTW, the previous speaker of the Israeli Knesset Avraham Burg just confirmed Israel indeed has nuclear weapons)

Good action: Palestinian Knesset members urge Kerry to oppose Prawer Plan


Palestinians Remember Mandela as an Inspiration

RAMALLAH, West Bank December 8, 2013 (AP)

By KARIN LAUB Associated Press

Palestinians mourned Nelson Mandela as their most loyal champion, lighting candles in special prayer services Sunday and holding his picture like a shield in confrontations with Israeli troops.

But the death of the South African leader who famously said that "our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians" also reminded many here of how far they are from establishing a state of their own.

U.S.-mediated talks between Israelis and Palestinians on the terms of such a state have reached their mid-way point and appear bogged down.

"I don't think our leaders or the Israeli leaders or the American leaders will make peace here," Wael Shihadeh, 52, said Sunday while chopping eggplants in the kitchen of a Ramallah restaurant. Palestinians lack a leader of Mandela's caliber, he said.

Palestinian activists have compared Mandela's struggle against apartheid to theirs against Israeli occupation — a parallel Israel rejects — and some increasingly look to South Africa for help in pressure campaigns against Israel.

Many South Africans also equate the Israeli treatment of Palestinians with their former apartheid regime's abuse of blacks.

Last year, South Africa's government decided that goods imported from Israeli West Bank settlements cannot not be labeled "product of Israel." In 2011, the University of Johannesburg became the world's first to impose an academic boycott on Israel.

In October, veteran anti-apartheid leader Ahmed Kathrada, who was convicted alongside Mandela in 1964, launched a campaign from Mandela's former prison cell for Marwan Barghouti. The Palestinian uprising leader was jailed 11 years ago and is serving five life terms after being convicted of a role in the uprising-related killings of four Israelis and a Greek monk.

Asked about the use of violence by the Palestinians, Kathrada noted that Mandela's African National Congress also turned to it at one point.

"When everything failed, every peaceful method failed, we also had to resort to armed struggle, realizing that the main struggle will be where masses of people were involved," the 84-year-old said by phone from South Africa.

"We cannot prescribe to the Palestinian people how they should conduct their struggle," added Kathrada, who spent 26 years in prison, or a year less than Mandela, much of it in the same place.

Palestinians want to establish a state in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, lands Israel captured in 1967. More than 20 years of intermittent talks with Israel have been fruitless. A decade ago, Palestinians waged an armed uprising that was met by Israeli retaliation, and the fighting left more than 1,000 Israelis and more than 3,600 Palestinians dead.

The violence subsided after Mahmoud Abbas, who views negotiations with Israel as the preferred path to statehood, was elected Palestinian president in 2005, replacing one-time guerrilla leader Yasser Arafat. Two years later, Palestinians split politically, with the Islamic militant Hamas seizing Gaza, refusing to renounce violence and calling for an Islamic state in historic Palestine, including what is now Israel.

Mandela's ANC and Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization have cooperated closely since the 1960s, including in joint military training.




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