Beyond the Cusp

December 7, 2013

Eulogy for Nelson Mandela

Eulogies can be purely complimentary telling only the great and commendable acts, leaning towards humorous where some of the more quaint and amusing events are recounted usually only with those closest friends or it can be honest praising the praiseworthy while also noting those items less desirable from the person’s life, this will be an honest Eulogy for Nelson Mandela. Nobody can take away from the fact that Nelson Mandela was the right man in the right place at the right time speaking the right words for equal rights and an end to the persecution and dehumanizing effects of Apartheid in South Africa. Nelson Mandela was not the only leader or even the preeminent leader of the cause but will always remain the most noteworthy and inspirational speakers and the man credited for leading the fight against injustice. Nelson Mandela will also be remembered for his continuing to speak out against those places, people and governments from which he perceived injustice and persecution. Likely one of the singular stands that will reflect most honorable was his choice to call for calm, eschewing violence and vengeance, and taking an angry people in a constructive direction using the energies to establish constructive ends rather than destructive ends. Whether Nelson Mandela’s actions as President of South Africa and the path he placed South Africa upon after Apartheid will be measured by historians further in the future when an objective and honest assessment is possible as such a perspective would be difficult to record as an official history now so close after his passing.

 

There was another side of Nelson Mandela, the politician, who saw Communism as the only true answer to uneven wealth distribution and the system which gave the poor and formerly oppressed any chance at equality within society. It was this view which led Nelson Mandela to see Apartheid wherever he witnessed poverty, especially if the poverty was mostly found in an oppressed peoples within the society. This view led Nelson Mandela to praise Fidel Castro and declare that Communist Cuba had achieved the “systematic eradication of racism”. He also laid a wreath on the grave of Ayatollah Khomeini, the father of the Iranian revolution, and to warmly greeting his successor, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stating, “We are indebted to the Islamic Revolution”. Nelson Mandela praised Yasser Arafat upon his passing claiming that Arafat was an “outstanding freedom fighter”. Nelson Mandela was a strong supporter of the Palestinian cause which lead to his referring to Israel as an Apartheid state where racism is practiced and the Palestinians in the occupied lands were oppressed and persecuted. Seated next to Yasser Arafat in Gaza in 1999 Nelson Mandela proclaimed, “All men and women with vision choose peace rather than confrontation, except in cases where we cannot proceed, where we cannot move forward. Then if the only alternative is violence, we will use violence”.

 

The greatest detractor to claiming Nelson Mandela worthy of universal acclaim as being nearly a saint on Earth was his blind distrust of Capitalism which he viewed as another form of Apartheid. It was through this lens that he referred to the United States as a flawed nation and to declare that Israel was an Apartheid state every bit as bad and oppressive as was South Africa. This denouncing of Israel was probably the single strongest witness giving support and affirmation to the campaign against Israel and the often repeated denunciation of Israel as practicing Apartheid. It was this view of an Apartheid Israel that allowed for Nelson Mandela to condone and support Palestinian terror attacks claiming that this was their sole recourse to right the wrongs perpetrated against them. Nelson Mandela never saw, or refused to take accounting of the fact that Arabs, Muslims, Christians, Druze and every race of peoples living in Israel have equal rights and that there are Arab Muslims serving in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, and serving as judges in courts which stand to adjudicate every Israel citizen equally, and there are Muslims and every other faith and peoples working as doctors, lawyers, and every professions side by side with the Jews of Israel with total equality. All religions are permitted to be practices in Israel and every religion is free to build a place to practice their religion be it a Synagogue, Church, Mosque, Temple or other structure. But when you view the world seeking out inequality and are firm in your belief that the main cause of any inequality is because of Apartheid, then you see and bear witness to Apartheid almost everywhere you look. It is unlikely that any streets, bridges, buildings, schools, parks or other honorable titled objects will ever be dedicated to Nelson Mandela in Israel, at least not any time soon. All in all, Nelson Mandela will remain the man who liberated South Africa from Apartheid and for that reason alone the man who was Nelson Mandela will be remembered favorably and receive the honors of which he is due. No person is perfect but some rise above their detractions to greatness in their remembrance and Nelson Mandela was most certainly such a man.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 15, 2012

Human Rights Activists to Protest Israel as Passover Ends

This weekend, as Passover observance closes, a “fly-in” protest for human rights has been planned to protest Israeli presumed abuses. The timing could not be better to remind Israeli Jews, the main targets of the protest that, as the Haggadah warns, in every generation there are those who rise up against us. In these years there are many who vie for that title. The human rights protesters plan to fly into Israel and make their way to Judea and Samaria and join with the Palestinians and protest. Some will aim to throw rocks at IDF soldiers and those evil settlers. Many of these rocks are thrown with the aid of an ancient Middle Eastern instrument known as a sling, the same as David slew the giant Goliath. But those who cover such activities will assure you they were simply throwing rocks and the IDF replied with tear gas and other military responses, as if rocks propelled by a sling is warm and fuzzy and a sign of great affection.

This protest comes amid a time of great peace and tranquility throughout the Middle East where the sole area of contention is between the Israelis and the Palestinians, or so these protesters would have one believe. Never mind the persecutions being perpetrated in Egypt against the Coptic Christians who have resided in Egypt since the time of Jesus. Never mind the government of Syria slaughter of peaceful demonstrators demanding their rights from President for Life Bashir Assad which has caused the confrontation to resemble a civil war. Ignore all the upheavals which have appeared and will likely continue to sweep across the Arab and Muslim Middle East and North Africa. Bring your protest to Israel where the government is least likely to use lethal force.

Protest Israel where there exists a free press which despite having numerous outlets which vociferously oppose the government yet somehow manages to remain on the air or in print and readily available. Protest Israel where peaceful protest are not only allowed but often encouraged and attended by Ministers of the Knesset. Protest that Israel is an Apartheid state where all citizens including Bedouins, Arabs, Druze, Baha’I Jew, Christian, Buddhist, and all other religions are free to worship and pray. Protest Israel for denying Arab representation in government despite the Arab members of the Knesset and Arab Judges even to have included an Arab Judge sitting in the Supreme Court. Protest along with one of the most ardent supporters of the Palestinians, a man who was a personal aid the sainted Palestinian freedom fighter Yasser Arafat, represented the Palestinians at the 1998 Wye River negotiations, namely Minister of the Knesset Ahmad Tibi. Yes, a former Palestinian representative at the Wye River negotiation and a personal advisor to Yasser Arafat was elected to the Knesset and in a fit of denial of any rights of Palestinian representation they allowed him to serve, speak, and have equal rights with every other member of the Knesset. Another Minister of the Knesset was also on the Mavi Marmara during the Flotilla assault on the Naval blockade of Gaza and took part in the planning of the ambush of the IDF personnel, though she did not actually take part in the assault, her name is Hanin Zoabi. Both of these Ministers of the Knesset, MK Ahmad Tibi and MK Hanin Zoabi, have committed illegal acts by visiting enemy states and meeting with the leaders of countries whose sworn mission is to eliminate Israel, yet somehow those closed minded Israelis allow them to remain in the Knesset to represent the Palestinians who elected them. Remind me again, what are the presumed crimes Israel has committed other than allowing Jews to have a refuge where they can run when people who share your hatreds finally decide that the countries from whence you came should once again be free of all Jews?

Beyond the Cusp

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