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Ron Radosh

David Fachler, a writer who found the once-secret document, explains in yet another Haaretz article the motivation for Mandela’s training:

Israel was keen to court the recently decolonized African states and so went out of its way to show solidarity with the latter by consistently voting in UN resolutions condemning the apartheid state and the regime behind it.

This, of course, took place simultaneously with the arms trade between Israel and the South African government, which the military believed was a necessity for guaranteeing the Jewish state’s survival in a hostile area. While the world that is hostile to Israel today always brings up the arms trade with South Africa as an example of how Israel supported apartheid — which is demonstrably not the case — Fanchler makes the following important point:

This episode is remarkable for a number of reasons. First of all, Mandela was in no way a lone participant in a covert Israeli training program: Israel had established ties with various movements considered subversive by the South African government. A number of Israeli embassies stationed in Africa provided training, advice and transport vehicles to members of the Pan Africanist Congress, including Potlkako Leballo, the head of its militant Poqo wing. Since the PAC was considered anti-Communist and not aligned with the Soviet Union, they were more attractive for a prospect for Israel to deal with than the ANC. Yet what makes this tentative contact with the pre-incarcerated Mandela so fascinating is his willingness to engage with these Israelis in the first place.

On that last point, Fanchler seems naïve. From Mandela’s viewpoint, the Mossad could give him good training, and as Fanchler himself notes, it did not lead to a conversion to Zionism. If the Mossad thought they were using Mandela, he got the better part of the deal, and was using them for his own purposes.

Writing from today’s hindsight, Fanchler criticizes the Likud government that was in power when Mandela was released. An editorial in the pro-Likud Jerusalem Post on June 25, 1991, stated:

If ANC leader Nelson Mandela assumes power in South Africa it will certainly not be a democracy. … If he or his like rule South Africa, the country will be an unmitigated totalitarian disaster and an economic basket case. … If full, non-segregated political equality is achieved in South Africa, it will not be the violent ANC, whose membership is 300,000, that will rule. The Zulus and their followers, numbering six million; the three million coloreds (people of mixed blood) who have been alienated by the ANC’s Communist ideas; the million Indians, and the five million whites will probably form the ruling coalition one day. Only then is there a chance that South Africa will be both free and prosperous.

Although Fanchler, who obviously is a leftist scholar and lawyer, thinks that editorial has been discredited, it is only partially the case. The downfall and end of the Soviet Union gave the new ANC government no Communist power to aid it, and opened up the ANC to move away from what might have been a Soviet-type state in South Africa. But while industry grew and a private sector thrived, the country has in fact fallen to new lows economically and politically, as a new and corrupt black elite rules in a manner that never would have been tolerated by the Afrikaner regime that imposed apartheid on the country. Mandela should be credited with setting the stage for reconciliation and creation of a political democracy. He achieved that, but did not manage to create a truly equitable or thriving social order.

At least, with this new revelation, those who argue that Israelis never were friendly to the South African liberation movement have to reconsider some of their old arguments as well.

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43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
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43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Radosh should keep in mind that Israel was ruled by a team of committed Socialists, who shaped and molded the spirit and ideolofy of the nation for some 100 years, from the first days of the Aliyah, the early days during the late 19th Century when Russian Jews left to establish in Israel the true Socialist Dream, under Turkish rule, they were living in a cloud of naivite which has not been expunged to these days. 1960 was the high point era of Israeli Socialismo, the peak. They were shooting in every direction. Developing civil projects in Africa, promoting relationships with the Third World, giving hundreds of grants to thankless Africans to study medicine, civil service management, water and irrigation, etc.
The fact that a fella like Mandela, a known entity among the Jewish community in SAF, was coming over to pick a few tips on weapons only shows how detached the Israelis were, not realizing who he was. This is the same year the Mossad pulled the stunt of putting Adolf Eichman on a plane bound to Tel-Aviv, dressed as a drunk El-Al crew. Because they were Socialists, and he looked like one, or appeared like one, and said Shalom, they were so nice to him, not realizing he also had some earlier training with the Algerian FLN in the Western deserts during the French rule, a pretty daring stunt. This is a comic story and a tragedy, in fact by than the Mossad clocked one of the worst historical fiascos in Cairo, the entire outfit was running wild with what is known as the Lavon Affair, the "Third Man", a stigma which they never got over with ever since. They appear amateurish and naive. I pin it all on Golda, the U.S Socialist from Red Wisconsin. She was clever by half, and it showed so well in 1973, Israel was taken by surprise, and as the "galamorous" Socialist Defense Minister, General Dayan, was murmuring in genuine fear inside the "Hakirayh Bunker-the "Hole" (where the Defense Ministry is located on Sokolov Street, Tel-Aviv) than, the Third temple could come down. All, because these half baked, dreamy Socialists thought that the world would behave according to their ideology, not based on natural laws. Mandela was heavily supported, by a battery of Jewish lawyers, cadres, rabbis, etc. How come the clever Mossadniks were so clueless?
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
I could have helped them out. Communism is the arch-enemy of Jews and Christians. Always has been, always will be. There was never any chance they were going to turn him to their side.

There was a really good chance he would use them.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Greetings:

Mr. Mandela was also a recipient of the Enron Prize for Distinguished Public Service.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
So what? In the early 1960's Israel had little to offer anyone. The state was besieged and not even 20 years old with no clear ally. Mandela, despite the rumors was not anti Zionist. That in itself was a good thing.

How many CIA, KGB, BNB, MI6, whomever the real players at the time interacted with him? Israel was nothing then. So he was a socialist, well so was Golda Meir, and Ben Gurion. All of the early zionists were socialists. This is a revelation?

Israel has no apology needed. Our president acting like an idiot clown at the state ceremony is far worse.

Netanyahu, citing security concerns politely declined. The president of the United States stood next to a psychotic sadistic criminal before the entire world and blathered on off the Prompter speech. How did that happen?

Then he took selfie photos.

Great job America.



44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
The socialism of fools.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's worse than a crime.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
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