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
With his willpower he changed the world.
May his memory be a blessing.”
2) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – Ruler of the land between the river and the sea
“Nelson Mandela was one of the most exemplary figures of our time. He was the father of his people, a visionary, a freedom fighter who opposed violence. He set a personal example to his people through the years he sat in jail. He never became haughty.
He worked to mend the tears in South African society and succeeded with his personality to prevent outbursts of hatred based on racism. He will be remembered as the father of the new South Africa and as a leading moral leader.”
3) President Shimon Peres – Symbolic leader of the land between the river and the sea
4) Justice Minister Tzipi Livni – Represents and works for “justice” between the river and the sea.
“Nelson Mandela is gone. The death of a great leader and true warrior for human rights against the racism and hatred is difficult not only for the citizens of South Africa, but for anyone who believes deeply in humanity, in the values of freedom and equality opposite violence, ignorance and racism. He sat in jail for 27 years, but when he walked through the iron gates outside the jail it was without a need for vengeance or hatred in his heart. ‘If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner,’ he wrote in his book ‘Long Walk to Freedom.’ On racism he wrote: ‘No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.’ A leader who beat evil and gave millions of people hope, honor and freedom.”
5) Shelly Yacimovich – Former leader of the Labor Party who during the last election said nothing about the occupation.
“It’s a long road to freedom. Nelson Mandela, the warrior who won the war against apartheid, has passed away. Mandela was one of the greatest freedom fighters the world has known. He went down the longest and most wonderful road possible: from determined military resistance to the regime, who sat in jail nearly 30 years, to the elected president of the state that incarcerated him. The first black president in the state that was the definition of brutal racism. With his own hands, through reconciliation and democracy, together with whites, he ended racial segregation. To be free, said Mandela, is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. Mandela is considered the father of his nation, but his great spirit of freedom, crosses borders of time and space, and it is a source of inspiration to anyone who fights for justice and equality for all humans.”