Iranian Fars News praised Nelson Mandela today for his hatred of Israel.
The world has lost a man of ages that will be never forgotten. An icon of peace and reconciliation, Nelson Mandela, 95, passed away Thursday (Dec 5) after a long battle against lung illness.
Mandela, often known as Madiba, was an outspoken critic of the Zionist regime policies who remarkably proclaimed in a 1997 speech that his people’s “freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians”.
A keen supporter of the Palestinian cause, Madiba, was one of the greatest human rights activists the world has ever known, a man who led South Africa’s transition from white-minority rule in the 1990s and guided this country from the chains of apartheid to multi-racial democracy.
Mandela has garnered praise from a wide range of political figures, Palestinian officials in particular, who all praise him for promoting peace and bringing a post-apartheid nation together.
Acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas is one of the hundreds of the world officials who have expressed deep sorrow over Mandela’s demise, and praised his commitment to the Palestinian cause. “This is a great loss for all the people of the world, and for Palestine,” Abbas said, describing Mandela as a “symbol of freedom from colonialism and occupation”.
Imprisoned for nearly three decades for his fight against white minority rule, Mandela took office as South Africa’s first black president in 1994. In his inauguration speech as South Africa’s first black president, he said, “The time for the healing of the wounds has come. The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come.”
In their struggle to halt Israeli occupation, Palestinians draw inspiration from Mandela’s efforts to bring down the apartheid regime that cruelly repressed black South Africans for 46 years.
His example has encouraged a growing Palestinian embrace of boycotts and sanctions against the Zionist regime that also were used to end the white rule in South Africa.
Like the other national liberation movements that emerged in the post-colonial era, the PLO leadership under the late Yasser Arafat espoused similar ideals as Mandela’s African National Congress (ANC) which waged a decades-long struggle to end white domination in South Africa.
One of the first foreign leaders Mandela met after being released from prison in 1990 was Arafat. Meeting in Zambia, Madiba praised the PLO chairman as “a fellow freedom fighter”.
When Arafat died in 2004, Mandela called him “one of the outstanding freedom fighters of this generation, one who gave his entire life to the cause of the Palestinian people”.
Nelson Mandela (L) warmly greets Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) chairman Yasser Arafat on his arrival in Lusaka, 27 February 1990. It was the first visit of Nelson Mandela to a foreign country since his release from jail. (Mid-Day.com)