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Honor Anti-Apartheid Hero Nelson Mandela's Words: “Our Freedom Is Incomplete
Without The Freedom Of The Palestinians”

By Dr Gideon Polya

08 December,2013

The world is farewelling world hero Nelson Mandela (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) who is universally admired (except in Apartheid Israel) for his courageous persistence for decades until the evil racism of Apartheid was dismantled and equal rights were finally delivered to Africans, Chinese, Indians and Coloureds as well as Whites in South Africa. He has accordingly been greatly admired by the Palestinians for his courage and persistence and his support for Palestinian human rights. Thus Nelson Mandela in an address at the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, 4 December, 1997: “The UN took a strong stand against apartheid; and over the years, an international consensus was built, which helped to bring an end to this iniquitous system. But we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians” [1].

In the memory of Nelson Mandela and of 2 million Palestinians who have died from violence (0.1 million) or imposed deprivation (1.9 million) [2, 3] decent people must apply Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Apartheid Israel and its racist supporters until the 12 million Palestinians secure one-man-one-vote, self-determination, freedom and justice.

Jailed-for-life Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti (dubbed the “Palestinian Mandela”) in an open letter to Mandela sent from Cell 28 of Hadarim prison in Israel, which was published by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) a day after the South African liberation leader's death: “You said: “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians” And from within my prison cell, I tell you our freedom seems possible because you reached yours” [4].

From Sasha Polakow-Suransky's book “The Unspoken Alliance: Israel's Secret Relationship with Apartheid South Africa” ( Pantheon, 2010): “Countless authors have chronicled, with varying degrees of fairness, how the Jewish state betrayed its founding ideals, abandoned socialist Zionist principles, and saw its democratic soul corrupted by occupation after 1967. But Israel's domestic policies are only part of the story; its foreign policy, especially its ties with some of the world's most reviled regimes, also contributed to its moral decay and the rise of anti-Israel sentiment abroad. Israel's intimate alliance with apartheid South Africa was the most extensive, the most lucrative, and the most toxic of these pacts. Just as expanding settlements in the West Bank and Gaza eroded Israel's democratic values at home, arms sales to South Africa in the early 1970s marked the beginning of an era in which expediency trumped morality in Israeli foreign policy and sympathy for the conquered gave way to cooperation with the conqueror [5].

Apartheid Israel's immoral military collaboration with Apartheid South Africa involved obscene nuclear weapons collaboration with the explicitly Nazi Apartheid South African Apartheid regime. The post-Apartheid South African Government surrendered its nuclear weapons but US-, UK-, EU- and Apartheid Australia-backed, nuclear terrorist Apartheid Israel reportedly has several hundred nuclear bombs as well as biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction [6, 7].

Nelson Mandela visited Australia in 1990 and stated: ““We identify with them [the Palestinians] because we do not believe it is right for the Israeli government to suppress basic human rights in the conquered territories… We agree with the United Nations that international disputes should be settled by peaceful means. The belligerent attitude which is adopted by the Israeli government is to us unacceptable… If one has to refer to any of the parties as a terrorist state, one might refer to the Israeli government, because they are the people who are slaughtering defenseless and innocent Arabs in the occupied territories, and we don't regard that as acceptable” [8].

Other non-Jewish and Jewish heroes in the fight against Apartheid have similarly spoken out against Israeli war crimes, genocide and apartheid [9-11].

Thus Winnie Mandela (former wife of Nelson Mandela) on defeating Apartheid Israel: "Apartheid Israel can be defeated, just as apartheid in South Africa was defeated"[12].

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu in support of BDS against Apartheid Israel (2012): “ Black South Africans and others around the world have seen the 2010 Human Rights Watch report which "describes the two-tier system of laws, rules, and services that Israel operates for the two populations in areas in the West Bank under its exclusive control, which provide preferential services, development, and benefits for Jewish settlers while imposing harsh conditions on Palestinians." This, in my book, is apartheid. It is untenable. And we are in desperate need of more rabbis joining the brave rabbis of Jewish Voice for Peace in speaking forthrightly about the corrupting decadeslong Israeli domination over Palestinians. These are among the hardest words I have ever written. But they are vitally important. Not only is Israel harming Palestinians, but it is harming itself. The 1,200 rabbis may not like what I have to say, but it is long past time for them to remove the blinders from their eyes and grapple with the reality that Israel becoming an apartheid state or like South Africa in its denial of equal rights is not a future danger, as three former Israeli prime ministers — Ehud Barak, Ehud Olmert and David Ben Gurion — have warned, but a present-day reality. This harsh reality endured by millions of Palestinians requires people and organizations of conscience to divest from those companies — in this instance, from Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions and Hewlett Packard — profiting from the occupation and subjugation of Palestinians. Such action made an enormous difference in apartheid South Africa. It can make an enormous difference in creating a future of justice and equality for Palestinians and Jews in the Holy Land” [13].

Ronald (Ronnie) Kasrils ( South African Jewish hero in the fight against Apartheid, a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the African National Congress (ANC) (1987- 2007), member of the Central Committee of the South African Communist Party (SACP) (1986-2007) and Minister for Intelligence (2004-2008): “Travelling into Palestine's West Bank and Gaza Strip, which I visited recently, is like a surreal trip back into an apartheid state of emergency. It is chilling to pass through the myriad checkpoints -- more than 500 in the West Bank. They are controlled by heavily armed soldiers, youthful but grim, tensely watching every movement, fingers on the trigger… The West Bank, once 22% of historic Palestine, has shrunk to perhaps 10% to 12% of living space for its inhabitants, and is split into several fragments, including the fertile Jordan Valley, which is a security preserve for Jewish settlers and the Israeli Defence Force. Like the Gaza Strip, the West Bank is effectively a hermetically sealed prison. It is shocking to discover that certain roads are barred to Palestinians and reserved for Jewish settlers. I try in vain to recall anything quite as obscene in apartheid South Africa” [14].

Sidumo Dlamini ( President of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) on South African Labor support for Palestinians against Apartheid Israel) (2010): “Almost a year ago, Gaza was run down by the occupying forces of Israel in a barbaric show of might and in pursuit of their colonial expansionist ambitions. Schools, clinics, UN buildings, social services, water and electrical installations, cultural institutions and businesses literally crumbled under the weight of heavy bombs and artillery. Dangerous and banned warfare chemicals, like white phosphorus were used in an attempt to annihilate the entire population, in which case women and children were the worst victims. That was Israel at its best, doing what it knows best and what it has always done over the years to instill fear and terror amongst the occupied people. Funded and supported by the US, Israel has no regard, whatsoever, for international law and continues to expand its colonial project to-date. Illegal settlements are all over Palestine and the inhumane treatment of the people of Gaza bears testimony to the savage occupation that some refuse to see, even when evidence is so naked...COSATU has, on several occasions, been asked by opportunists why is it interested in a matter so far away from our land. The answer is simple, solidarity knows no boundaries or even geography, its about living people and their plight. Our destiny is tied to theirs, our liberation is tied to theirs, our humanity is tied to theirs. Therefore, no worthy human being would tolerate the suffering and pain of others, wherever they are, worst still, those of us who have fought heroic struggles against apartheid, colonialism and occupation immediately feel it however far. We received solidarity from people we have never seen and were far away from Africa, let alone our country. They heard and responded to our cries. They did not ask how far are we from them. They asked what can we do to assist and they assisted, hence we are free. Finally, dear comrades, we salute the courageous efforts of the Palestine Solidarity movement for organising these bold initiatives and they have our full support. We shall not be intimidated by attempts to silence us or some of our comrades. We shall be inspired to speak out even more louder and anger for the threat to deny us our right to shout loud against savagery. We are here to affirm the correctness of our legend, Nelson Mandela's words,“… our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians”. On our part, we do not promise to do everything, but our most humble, yet effective contribution which we have no doubt shall make a decisive difference. Each one of us must do our part and together we shall conquer. Amandla intifada!!” [15].

Currently leaders from the US, UK and Australia are disingenuously offering praise for Nelson Mandela. However the historical record exposes their shameful hypocrisy. Thus the US and the UK disgracefully supported Apartheid South Africa diplomatically as did racist White Australia (I remember the huge Australian police presence when we demonstrated against the visiting Apartheid South Africa Springboks at Manuka Oval in Canberra in 1971). For the disgraceful UK and US voting record at the UN General Assembly over Apartheid see Chapter 20, “The US versus the world as the United Nations” in William Blum's book “Rogue State” [16]. The US and UK only permitted the removal of Apartheid in South Africa on condition of Business As Usual otherwise – ordinary African South Africans still have appalling housing and unemployment and rampant HIV/AIDS meant an enormous increase in the death rate in South Africa after the fall of Apartheid in 1993 (jumping in deaths per 1,000 from 7.9 1990-1995 to 9.6 in 1995-2000 and at 13,7 (2000-2005), 14.8 (2005-2010), 12.9 (2010-2015) [17, 18].

And of course the US, UK and their warmongering lackey, racist White Australia, still support the Apartheid rogue state in the Middle East where of 12 million Palestinians only 7% (the adults of Palestinian Israelis) can vote for the government ruling all of the former Mandated Palestine and 6 million are forbidden to even step foot in their own country by democracy-by-genocide Apartheid Israel (one notes that in similar vein Aung San Suu Kyi's party has only 7% of the seats in the Myanmar parliament despite overwhelming popular support [19].

Thinking Americans and Brits will be disgusted at the hypocrisy of statements war criminal warmongers and Apartheid Israel supporters like Barack Obama and former PM Tony Blair. Decent Australians will be disgusted by the utter hypocrisy involved in the attendance at Nelson Mandela's funeral of pro-Zionist Coalition PM Tony Abbott and pro-Zionist Labor Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and will accordingly vote 1 Green and put the Coalition last (one notes that an overwhelming 60 to 40 per cent majority of ordinary Australian Labor Party members voting in the recent leadership ballot rejected pro-Zionist right-winger Shorten). Decent people around the world will honour the memory of Nelson Mandela by heeding his words “Our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians” [1] and applying Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Apartheid Israel and its racist supporters until the 12 million Palestinians secure one-man-one-vote, self-determination, freedom, human rights and justice.


[1]. Nelson Mandela quoted in “Nelson Mandela quotes: A collection of memorable words from former South African president”, CBS News, 5 December 2013: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/nelson-mandela-quotes-a-collection-of-memorable-words-from-former-south-african-president/ .

[2]. “Palestinian Genocide”: https://sites.google.com/site/palestiniangenocide/ .

[3]. Gideon Polya, “Review: “The Plight of the Palestinians. A long history of destruction”, Countercurrents, 17 June 2012: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya170612.htm .

[4]. Marwan Barghouti quoted in “Barghouti: Mandela gave Palestinians hope for freedom”, Ma'an News Agency, 6 December 2013: http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=654797 .

[5]. “The unspoken alliance: Israel's secret relationship with apartheid South Africa”. Mondoweiss, 6 December 2013”: http://mondoweiss.net/2013/12/alliance-relationship-apartheid.html .

[6]. “South Africa and weapons of mass destruction”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa_and_weapons_of_mass_destruction .

[7]. “Nuclear weapons and Israel”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_weapons_and_Israel .

[8]. Nelson Mandela, quoted in Kim Bullimore, “Nelson Mandela, Palestine and the fight against apartheid”, Live from Occupied Palestine, 6 December 2103: http://livefromoccupiedpalestine.blogspot.com.au/2013/12/nelson-mandela-palestine-and-fight.html .

[9]. “Non-Jews Against Racist Zionism”: https://sites.google.com/site/nonjewsagainstracistzionism/ .

[10]. "Jews Against Racist Zionism": https://sites.google.com/site/jewsagainstracistzionism/ .

[11]. "Boycott Apartheid Israel ": https://sites.google.com/site/boycottapartheidisrael/ .

[12]. Winnie Mandela quoted in Edward. C. Corrigan, “Israel and apartheid: a fair comparison?”, rabble.ca, 2 March 2010: http://www.rabble.ca/news/2010/03/israel-and-apartheid-fair-comparison .

[13]. Desmond Tutu, “Justice requires action to stop subjugation of Palestinians”, Tehran Times, 5 May 2012: http://www.tehrantimes.com/component/content/article/84-perspectives/97555-justice-requires-action-to-stop-subjugation-of-palestinians- .

[14]. Ronnie Kasrils, “Israel 2007: worse than Apartheid”, Mail & Guardian On-line, 21 May 2007: http://www.mg.co.za/article/2007-05-21-israel-2007-worse-than-apartheid .

[15]. “COSATU President Sidumo Dlamini addresses Gaza reportback: Isolate Apartheid Israel!”, Labor for Palestine (US), 31 January 2010: http://www.laborforpalestine.net/wp/2010/01/31/cosatu-president-sidumo-dlamini-addresses-gaza-reportback-isolate-apartheid-israel/ .

[16]. William Blum, “Rogue State”.

[17]. UN Population Division: http://esa.un.org/wpp/unpp/p2k0data.asp .

[18]. Gideon Polya, “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950”, a book that provides an avoidable mortality-related history of every country since Neolithic times and is now available for free perusal on the web: http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com.au/2012/01/body-count-global-avoidable-mortality_05.html .

[19]. Gideon Polya, “Sanctions needed against anti-democracy Myanmar and anti-democracy Apartheid Israel”, Countercurrents, 4 April 2012: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya040412.htm .

Dr Gideon Polya has been teaching science students at a major Australian university for 4 decades. He published some 130 works in a 5 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text "Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds" (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, New York & London , 2003). He has published “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com/ ); see also his contributions “Australian complicity in Iraq mass mortality” in “Lies, Deep Fries & Statistics” (edited by Robyn Williams, ABC Books, Sydney, 2007: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/science/ockham/stories/s1445960.htm ) and “Ongoing Palestinian Genocide” in “The Plight of the Palestinians (edited by William Cook, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2010: http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/4047-the-plight-of-the-palestinians.html ). He has published a revised and updated 2008 version of his 1998 book “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History” (see: http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com/ ) as biofuel-, globalization- and climate-driven global food price increases threaten a greater famine catastrophe than the man-made famine in British-ruled India that killed 6-7 million Indians in the “forgotten” World War 2 Bengal Famine (see recent BBC broadcast involving Dr Polya, Economics Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen and others: http://www.open.edu/openlearn/history-the-arts/history/social-economic-history/listen-the-bengal-famine ). When words fail one can say it in pictures - for images of Gideon Polya's huge paintings for the Planet, Peace, Mother and Child see: http://sites.google.com/site/artforpeaceplanetmotherchild/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideonpolya/ .



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