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Nelson Mandela

  • 'If this hunger strike succeeds, it could mean revolution'

    He entered prison for the first time at the age of 10, was one of the founders of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, and became one of the representatives of Fatah’s security prisoners in Israeli jails. For the last decade, Ramzi Fayyad, who has been working to promote dialogue between representatives of released prisoners, views the the current hunger strikes as an opportunity. Orly Noy spoke to him about prison conditions, the failure to learn from past mistakes, and why the strike could help Palestinians on a global level. The hunger strike organized by Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails has been going…

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  • How the hunger strike could bring Palestinian prisoners back to the fore

    The fixation on Barghouti's op-ed bio distracts from the strike's impact on Palestinians, which is as much about restoring political direction as it is about attaining prisoners’ rights. In 2015, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) created the “Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.” Nicknamed after the renowned South African leader who spent 27 years behind bars, the “Nelson Mandela Rules” form an international blueprint for the basic rights of all prisoners regardless of the charges against them, including telephone calls, medical examinations and educational programs, among many others. [tmwinpost] The demands of the 1,200 Palestinian prisoners who…

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  • The day that Mandela Square graces Jerusalem

    Like Mandela, we in Israel have fought for our liberation from colonialism. But the world Mandela inspires is far from accepting Israel's occupation of Palestine. By Ilan Baruch On December 5th, South Africa and the world commemorated the passing away of Neslon Mandela, one of the most illustrious men in the history of modern times. In the duration of my tenure as Ambassador of Israel to South Africa, Mandela was no longer playing a role in the political dynamics of the country, and ambassadorial courtesy visits to his office were nearly impossible. Thanks, however, to the extraordinary help of a prominent…

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  • Apartheid's legacy lives on: South Africans polarized over Israel

    In South Africa's highly polarized debate on Israel-Palestine, the organized Jewish community's refusal to acknowledge the unequal treatment of Palestinians at the hands of the Israelis is seen as emblematic of all that apartheid stood for. By Heidi-Jane Esakov In what is being touted as one of the biggest demonstrations in Cape Town since Nelson Mandela’s release from prison, South Africans took to the streets last Saturday in their thousands in opposition to Israel’s ongoing assault on Gaza. Estimates vary, with some reports suggesting tens of thousands and others over 100,000 marchers taking part in the protest. A day later,…

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  • Did Mandela actually receive training from the Mossad?

    A recent report in Haaretz alleges that Nelson Mandela underwent training by Mossad agents in the early 60s. One key part of the story doesn't add up. By Ran Greenstein Let us start by asserting that the following story in question does not merit much attention for its content, that is, for what it presumes to tell us about Nelson Mandela, his stay in Ethiopia and the role of Israel and its security agencies. Rather, it is interesting because it throws light on the operation of the media and the ways in which stories can quickly circulate with little regard for…

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  • Beyond irony: Whitewashing Mandela's legacy

    It is not the least bit surprising to see Israeli political leaders praising Mandela’s memory, with some even going so far as to declare him an Israeli hero. Some of these will surely be cynical, conscious attempts to whitewash his legacy and escape criticism. Many, however, believe every word they say. By Sean O’Neill Working in Palestine from late 2006 to late 2009, mostly in the Yatta/Hebron area, I have had the distinct (and often surreal) privilege of meeting a number of Israeli settlers who had emigrated from South Africa. One such man was G., the security guard for the settlement of…

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  • Photos of the week: Bedouin perseverance and other protests

    This week: Resisting displacement of Negev Bedouin, mourning Nelson Mandela, shootings of Palestinians by Israeli forces, marching in Nabi Saleh, protesting conscription of ultra-Orthodox Jews, taking action for animal rights, and seeking asylum for Afghan refugees.                              

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  • Mandela: I was inspired by Begin's struggle against the British

    Mandela's statements about Begin on the one hand and Arafat on the other should make just about everyone uncomfortable. In Chapter 42 of his autobiography "Long Walk to Freedom," Nelson Mandela describes how, in 1961, he began forming the African National Congress' (ANC) military wing to launch guerrilla attacks on the apartheid regime. "I, who had never been a soldier, who had never fought in battle, who had never fired a gun at an enemy, had been given the task of starting an army. ... I began in the only way I knew how, by reading and talking to experts." Mandela…

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  • Why aren't Netanyahu and Peres going to Johannesburg for Mandela's memorial?

    Bibi says it's the expense, Peres says it's a flu he can't kick. More likely it's two other reasons: Israel's past and present.   Nelson Mandela’s death brought up some inconvenient memories for Israel and the Diaspora Jewish establishment: Israel’s extremely fruitful alliance with apartheid South Africa until the very, very end; the anti-Mandela stance of right-wing Zionists because of his support for Arafat and the PLO (as well as for Gadhafi); and mainstream South African Jewry’s comfort with the apartheid regime (notwithstanding the brave opposition by a greatly disproportionate number of the country’s Jews). Then there’s the present-day, ongoing…

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  • Seeing Mandela's miracle: A trip from Israel to South Africa

    This piece was originally published as 'Coming home from the land of miracles' in the Jerusalem Post, April 11, 2007, after a family trip I took to South Africa. I think it says something about the difference between that country and Israel, and is also a description of the new society that Mandela and his comrades wrought. I was watching my seven-year-old boy and some black kids chasing each other around a jumping castle at a family restaurant in Johannesburg, a sight that could not have been seen a generation ago. After the joy of it passed, I got a…

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  • The top five most hypocritical Mandela eulogies by Israeli politicians

    Israeli politicians have begun updating their Facebook pages with eulogies for the late Nelson Mandela. What do statesmen of the Jewish state - one of the last western countries to support the South African apartheid state and which today practices apartheid-like policies between the river and the sea - have to say about the man who brought racism to its knees? Here's your definitive list (which may expand - I'll update as the day goes on) 1) Naftali Bennett - Leader of the Jewish Home settler party "Nelson Mandela ** With his willpower he changed the world. May his memory…

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  • On Mandela's legacy: Three political innovations

    Political and strategic legacies tend to be obscured in the mourning over the passing of a great leader and human being. Let us honor his memory not by regarding him as a flawless saint but as a comrade. By Ran Greenstein It is difficult to say anything not full of clichés about the death of Nelson Mandela. When tributes are pouring in from all over the world to the greatness of a unique leader, elevated to the status of a global icon and a saint, it is easy to forget that before he became a widely admired statesman who led South…

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  • Israelis, Palestinians to march in joint call for Palestinian statehood

    By Eitan Grossman 'Only Free Men Can Negotiate' - Nelson Mandela   This Friday (July 15, 2011), thousands of Palestinians and Israelis will march together in Jerusalem to express their support for international recognition of the unilateral declaration of Palestinian independence. Thousands of Palestinians and Israelis will take part in a historic march organized by the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity movement and the popular committees of East Jerusalem. Marchers will set out from Jaffa Gate and walk along the border between the two parts of the city. The march will culminate in a rally in Sheikh Jarrah, a neighborhood that symbolizes…

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