Mandela and the Middle East Propaganda War

THIS week the Middle East propaganda war intensified with the redeployment of the late Nelson Mandela.  First there was the revelations published by Haaretz that “Mandela received weapons training from Mossad agents in Ethiopia” detailed in a letter classified top secret and dated October 11, 1962 – about two months after Mandela was arrested in South Africa, shortly after his return to the country.

Then the denials and juristic counter-narrative issued by the Nelson Mandela Foundation stating that it “had not located any evidence in Nelson Mandela’s private archive… that he interacted with an Israeli operative during his tour of African countries in that year.”

The foundation went on to say that in “1962 Mr Mandela received military training from Algerian freedom fighters in Morocco and from the Ethiopian Riot Battalion at Kolfe outside Addis Ababa, before returning to South Africa in July 1962.”

In 2009 the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s senior researcher had apparently “travelled to Ethiopia and interviewed the surviving men who assisted in Mandela’s training and no evidence emerged of an Israeli connection,” read the statement.

The Jewish Algemeiner has weighed in by raising some problematic facts surrounding  Mandela’s Treason Trial. The evidence of a Jewish plot to overthrow the apartheid state is hard to deny. Goldberg, Bernstein, Hepple, Wolpe, Kantor and Goldreich were all Jews, but according to the Algemeiner, it was Goldreich who was the Zionist operative in question and who may turn out to be the person named in the top secret letter:

“Mandela’s memoirs are full of positive references to Jews and even Israel. He recalls that he learned about guerilla warfare not from Fidel Castro, but from Arthur Goldreich, a South African Jew who fought with the Palmach during Israel’s War of Independence. He relates the anecdote that the only airline willing to fly his friend, Walter Sisulu, to Europe without a passport was Israel’s own El Al. ”

It would seem odd that Mandela, an avowed Black Nationalist and non-sectarian, would have received military training from a radical Muslim group, only to be caught some months later on the run with a gang of Jewish communists and ANC sympathisers.

Whatever the truth of the much feted Mandela journey to Ethiopia, and whether Mandela the ‘black pimpernel’. actually met with members of Israel’s Haganah or was a closet Zionist, the issue is bound to perplex Mandela’s supporters and critics alike, for years to come.

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