Intermountain Jewish News

Apr 16th

Netanyahu unwise to skip Mandela’s funeral

E-mail Print PDF

If prizes were given out for the lamest excuse of the year, surely the winner would be Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s excuse for not attending the funeral of Nelson Mandela — leaving the honors to no less than the head of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas.

Netanyahu said that the security expenses would be too high. Yeah, right. It is clear that Mandela was lukewarm on Israel; and that, if a terrorist supported Mandela, that was no problem for Mandela. He would embrace that support. The terrorist who supported Mandela — the founder of modern terrorism, in fact — was Yasir Arafat, whom Mandela embraced, figuratively and literally.

We cannot help but note the contrast between Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, Jr. King supported Israel wholeheartedly and renounced violence from and in every quarter.

Be all this as it may, Mandela is the man who ended the despicable system of apartheid and is a world hero. The time for a dispassionate analysis, for balancing his successes and failures, is not now. Funerals are not the time for policy differences. The call of the hour is honor — and, alone among major Western nations, Israel’s head of state is absent.



And memorable. Symbols count. The symbol of the absence of the prime minister of Israel will not be forgotten. It will not win Israel  friends in South Africa and other circles worldwide who rightly want to honor not just Nelson Mandela the person, but Nelson Mandela the fighter against apartheid. Netanyahu’s absence looks like Israel has hesitations about the evil of apartheid and will only confirm the ridiculous accusations against Israel that it is an “apartheid state.”

Security costs? Please. From the remarkably articulate and persuasive Benjamin Netanyahu, this excuse is a slip of major proportions.

Copyright © 2013 by the Intermountain Jewish News

Last Updated ( Thursday, 12 December 2013 02:59 )  

Get the IJN's free newsletter!

Cast Your Vote

Should recognition of Israel as a Jewish state be a deal breaker?

Shabbat Times

JTA News

Paris court dismisses racial hatred charge against Bob Dylan

Marcy Oster A civil court in Paris dismissed a case of incitement to hatred against American singer Bob Dylan for remarks he made in an interview with Rolling Stone Magazine. ... [Link]

Passover supplies arrive in Nepal in time for massive seder

Marcy Oster A large shipment of Passover supplies arrived in Kathmandu just in time for seder. ... [Link]

Hebron shooting victim laid to rest amid condemnations

Marcy Oster Hundreds attended the funeral for Israel Police Chief Superintendent Baruch Mizrahi, who was killed near Hebron while on his way to a Passover seder with his family. ... [Link]

Suspected Kansas City JCC shooter charged with murder in state court

Marcy Oster The suspect in the shootings of three people at two Jewish institutions in suburban Kansas City was charged in state court. ... [Link]

State Dept. voices support for peace talks as negotiators postpone meeting

Marcy Oster Israeli and Palestinian peace negotiators postponed a scheduled meeting, as the U.S. State Department reiterated its support for the talks. ... [Link]

Temple Mount closed to Jewish visitors following Arab rioting

Marcy Oster The Temple Mount was closed to Jewish visitors on the second day of Passover following rioting at the site by dozens of Arab youth. ... [Link]

Court allows Lev Tahor children to remain near sect in Ontario

Marcy Oster The haredi Orthodox sect Lev Tahor has successfully appealed a ruling to place 14 children in foster care in Quebec. ... [Link]

Study: Amsterdam unjustly taxed Holocaust survivors

Cnaan Liphshiz The City of Amsterdam collected more than $10 million from Holocaust survivors who were charged ground lease fees for periods they spent in hiding or in concentration camps, researchers said. ... [Link]

Intermountain Jewish News • 1177 Grant Street • Denver, CO 80203 • 303 861 2234 • FAX 303 832 6942 • •