|Nelson Mandela and Ezer Weizmann|
This is a must-read article at Mida. Excerpts:
Contrary to conventional wisdom, the State of Israel was never an ally of the Apartheid regime. It had relations as did many other countries. A simple review of the history of the two countries proves that and even reveals facts that are often overlooked.
As often was the case, Israel’s efforts to cooperate with third world countries was met with a fierce Arab opposition. …
In an attempt to overcome this diplomatic isolation, Israel sent Golda Meir to Africa in 1957. Deeply moved by the challenges facing the young nations of Africa, Meir establishes Israel’s international development program known as MASHAV. The objective was to confront the problems of health, education, malnutrition, development of resources and the low status of women. As a consequence of the program, Israeli experts were sent to 33 African states.
In 1961 Israel voted against apartheid at the U.N. Oliver Tambo, the then head of the A.N.C., sent a letter to the president of Israel, Yitzhak Ben Zvi, thanking him for Israel’s actions.
This stand against apartheid by Israel angered Hendrick Verwoerd, the prime minister of the South African Nationalist government at the time. He dismissed Israel’s opposition to apartheid and declared Israel itself to be an apartheid state, maintaining that the Jews took the land from the Arabs “who had lived there for thousands of years.”
It is ironic that this historically distorted accusation, made by a racist prime minister of the apartheid regime, would be adopted today and repeated by the very people he oppressed, for the purpose of vilifying Israel.
A few months prior to his arrest in 1962, Nelson Mandela underwent military training by Mossad operatives in Ethiopia, using the non de plume David Mobsari. Nelson Mandela was in no way a lone participant in this Israeli covert program. Other anti apartheid movements and individuals were involved, including Potelkako Leballo the head of the P.A.C. (Pan Africanist Congress) military wing.
At the time of the Rivonia trial (1963-64) where Nelson Mandela and others were convicted of sabotage and sentenced to life imprisonment, Golda Meir, Israel’s foreign minister at the time called for leniency at the trial and the commutation of any death sentence.
During the 1980’s Israel was singled out as being the pariah in the international community because of her trade with South Africa. The figures however paint an entirely different picture. South Africa’s main trading partners in the 80’s were the U.S.A. $3.4 billion; Japan $2.9 billion; Germany $2.8 billion; the U.K. $2.6 billion. Israeli trade was a mere $200 million, which amounted to roughly 1% of South Africa’s G.D.P.
More revealing was South Africa’s $2 billion annual oil imports, none of which came from Israel obviously. So called supporters of the liberation struggle, namely Saudi Arabia, supplied $1 billion worth of annual oil imports. Barter deals with Iran and Iraq supplied $1 billion and $750 million annual oil imports respectively.
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