Netanyahu’s Deplorable Choice


I deplore Israeli PM Netanyahu’s refusal to travel to South Africa for celebrations and observances of Nelson Mandela’s life. As a counter to that decision. I’m going share a celebratory photo of then-President Nelson Mandela taken with South African Jews. His decision shamed and dishonored the noble legacy of many Jews typified here, of Jewish people–in South Africa and abroad, the latter category of which I am one–who all worked to end apartheid in our lifetimes. Photo credit to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency who also published a comprehensive timeline chronicling the relationship between Mandela and the Jewish community.

One of the best commentaries I’ve read on this issue was by columnist Bradley Burston in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Nixing Mandela Funeral as too Costly, Bibi Shows World What He’s Truly Made OfMandela-and-the-Jews JTA. Here’s how it ends:

“Never has Netanyahu sent a message quite this infuriating, with so much apparent success. He is betting, apparently, that the moderate majority has expectations so low, its resources of outrage so overtaxed and depleted, its capacity for response so beaten flat, that it will do little more than shrug and trudge on. And this bet may well be the smart money. What we are stuck with, in the end, is the message that Netanyahu is sending to the world. The world that Netanyahu’s Israel is determined not to be a part of. “The whole world is coming to South Africa,” foreign ministry spokesman Clayson Monyela said at the weekend. The world, yes. Israel, maybe not.”

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