Apartheid Promoters Eulogize Mandela

Weekly demonstration against the apartheid wall, Um- Solomona, Palestine, 4.4.08.

World leaders have been eager to jump on the bandwagon of the mourning of the great man and freedom fighter, Nelson Mandela, since his death on December 5, 2013. Their eulogies, however, reek of self-absorption and propaganda. While a rare few may be sincere, the vast majority of spoken and written words by prominent world leaders revel in their enormous hypocrisy, and their willingness and ability to attempt to manipulate any situation, no matter how grievous, to their advantage. Although these would comprise the vast majority of world leaders, three examples are too hypocritical to ignore.


Obama: Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Minutes after brother Mandela’s death was pronounced, United States President Barack Obama was quick to exploit the situation to use a great man’s legacy to further his personal image and ego, as well as his disguise as a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and reinforce his imaginary persona of a humanitarian who only takes military action as a last resort and with deep regret.

While Obama offered hollow praises to Mr. Mandela and his ability to “bend the arch of the moral universe towards justice,” he himself was engaged in a war of aggression in Afghanistan, an occupation in Iraq, a siege against Iran, provocations against North Korea, a continuing embargo against Cuba as well as the failure to close Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp, and drone bombing operations that have resulted in thousands of civilian casualties in Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Somalia and included the assassination of US citizens abroad.

Nelson Mandela (ANC) Addresses Special Committee Against Apartheid

President Mandela fought for justice and emancipation of oppressed people worldwide, including the Palestinians. By contrast, President Obama is responsible for the oppression and deaths of thousands of innocents worldwide, including Palestinians. The Obama administration is responsible for financially, morally, politically and militarily aiding the rogue state entity that is Israel, and providing Egypt with the military equipment, training and supervision to destroy Gaza’s lifeline to the world – the underground tunnels.


Obama is not alone in the list of US Presidents who have praised the recently deceased South African leader. Bill Clinton, who during both of his presidential terms maintained President Mandela on the US Terrorist list, recently tweeted “I will never forget my friend Madiba.” In a thorough interview, South African activist Father Michael Lapsley revealed the US role in the support of the apartheid government. He noted: “The dominant view is that the U.S. was on the right side in South Africa, that it opposed apartheid. But nothing could be further from the truth, particularly when Reagan was president. Reagan labeled the African National Congress (ANC) a notorious terrorist organization, while continuing Washington’s support for the apartheid regime.”


Cameron: The False Prophet

United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron too has engaged in some hypocritical propagandist appropriation of mourning for a great person’s demise by posting eulogistic tweets boasting that he would order the flag at Number 10 to be flown at half mast. Most of us, many of my acquaintances and I, were not even born then, and so we do not remember that in 1985, while Cameron was one of its top members, the Federation of Conservative students produced the now infamous “Hang Mandela” poster following the rhetoric of Margaret Thatcher that the now world-renowned freedom fighter was a “terrorist” (while insisting that Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was a champion of democracy).


Although Cameron has utilized the apology for Thatcher’s support of the South African Apartheid regime, one must remember that he was not merely marginally involved in one incident related to this issue, as it might be misconstrued from the above anecdote. Four years later, in 1989, and towards the end of the apartheid regime, Cameron was an enthusiastic member of an anti-sanction fact-finding mission on behalf of the Tory Policy Unit. The mission was undertaken with the direct participation of a lobby that was directly sponsored by then South African president Pieter Willem “The Big Crocodile” Botha.


Netanyahu: One With a Forked Tongue

Perhaps the most appalling of the insincere eulogies, false praises, and spoken words/written lines in remembrance of Nelson Mandela came from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. As the leader of a government that not only has continued but also exacerbated the Israeli military occupation and civilian colonization of Palestine, and the creation of an apartheid state, you would expect Mr. Netanyahu to take the moment to reflect on Mandela’s relentless support of the Palestinian people and their cause for self determination. Not so.


Carefully avoiding any mention of the word “apartheid” in his written message, which would have evoked too many links with the current plight of the Palestinians in Israel and the Occupied Territories, Mr. Netanyahu still managed to manipulate Mandela’s death to his advantage. Referring to him as “He was a father with a vision and many choices [who] gave a personal example with his [visions] as a freedom fighter,” Netanyahu attempts to gift wrap his words as a testament to his adherence to the moral values and principles promulgated by President Mandela, while nothing could be father from the truth. Lest we forget, it was a much younger Nelson Mandela who, on a warm day in Pretoria on December 4, 1997, declared: “I have come to join you today to add our own voice to the universal call for Palestinian self-determination and statehood. We would be beneath our own reason for existence as a government and as a nation, if the resolution of the problems of the Middle East did not feature prominently on our agenda…. We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”


Under “Bibi” Netanyahu, Palestine has witnessed an expansion of the illegal Jewish-only settlements into yet more Palestinian soil, an increased fractionalization of the Occupied Palestinian Territories into self-contained and almost inaccessible cul-de-sacs by the Israeli state, the continued construction of a segregation wall, a military offensive against Gaza resulting in over 160 civilian deaths, the routine sabotage of peace negotiations, the ongoing siege of the Gaza strip, and much more.


With wishes of a peaceful rest from the likes of these world leaders, Mandela might well be already turning, although his grave is not yet dug.

Editor’s Note: Photographs one and eight by Active Stills. Photographs three, four, six and seven United Nations Photo archive. Photographs five and nine by What 4. Photograph composite two by Mark Rain and photograph ten by South African Tourism.



4 Responses to Apartheid Promoters Eulogize Mandela

  1. Patrick Haseldine December 7, 2013 at 7:42 am

    Prime Minister David Cameron has a secret about Lockerbie. It’s a secret that explains why the PM was desperate to have Colonel Gaddafi blamed personally for the sabotage of Pan Am Flight 103 on 21 December 1988, and to have Gaddafi executed without a trial.

    Three months after the Lockerbie bombing, the then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the rising star in Conservative Research Department, David Cameron, visited apartheid South Africa.

    The past and future British Prime Ministers made a point of visiting the Rössing Uranium Mine in Namibia (illegally occupied by apartheid South Africa in defiance of UN Security Council Resolution 435). In 1989, the Rössing mine was jointly owned by Rio Tinto Group and the Iranian Government, and was supplying uranium to develop Iran’s nuclear programme. Mrs Thatcher was so impressed with the Rössing Uranium Mine that she declared it made her “proud to be British”, a sentiment echoed by Mr Cameron.

    It has recently been reported that Margaret Thatcher and David Cameron concluded a secret nuclear deal with the apartheid regime during their visit in 1989.

    On 21 December 1988, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and UN Commissioner for Namibia, Bernt Carlsson, was the most prominent of the 270 victims of the Lockerbie bombing. In the months leading up to his death, Carlsson had warned that he would start proceedings against the countries and firms which had been defying UN law over many years by stealing billions of pounds-worth of Namibia’s natural resources. Among those facing huge UN compensation claims were Rio Tinto Group, the government of Iran, the diamond mining giant De Beers and the apartheid regime. Because the UN Commissioner for Namibia was killed at Lockerbie, none of those prosecutions ever took place.

    The latest evidence suggests that apartheid South Africa targeted UN Commissioner for Namibia, Bernt Carlsson, on Pan Am Flight 103 and that Libya was not responsible for the Lockerbie bombing, which might explain why Cameron was desperate to have Colonel Gaddafi blamed personally for the sabotage of Pan Am Flight 103 on 21 December 1988, and to have Gaddafi executed without a trial at the International Criminal Court.

    • Ruben Rosenberg Colorni
      Ruben Rosenberg Colorni December 21, 2013 at 1:29 pm

      It is somewhat coincidental that I finally have the time to answer your comment today of all days, the 25th anniversary of the Lockerbie incident.

      My colleague John Goss has just published an article on the issue, should you want to give it a read:


      Indeed, most of the well-informed people on the subject are convinced that the Lockerbie incident was a set up to further geopolitical agendas. You have outlined it very well. Thanks!

  2. Rosario December 11, 2013 at 5:26 am

    What’s particularly disturbing is that so many of the Arab/Muslim countries represented are brutal in their gender apartheid and oppression of religious and ethnic minorities.

    • Ruben Rosenberg Colorni
      Ruben Rosenberg Colorni December 21, 2013 at 1:33 pm

      Rosario, are you a Zionist?

      A) The “so many Arab/Muslim countries” in the article that you refer to is indeed just one… Palestine.

      B) If you are referring to Palestine, can you tell me what brutal oppression of ethnic minorities you are talking about? If anything it is the complete opposite. The Palestinians are the oppressed ones in their own native land.

      C) Gender discrimination is common in all religious nations, even in the west! We just pride ourselves in it being so subtle. In either case, the argument has nothing to do with the legitimacy of a foreign and brutal aggressive occupation.

      This leads me to believe that your comment was simply intended as a (low) jab to the Palestinian cause for self-determination and Mandela’s support of it.

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