Tuesday, December 10, 2013

James Zogby Hijacks Mandela's Legacy

Nelson Mandela has been dead for a matter of days, but James Zogby just can't wait to try to use his legacy to advocate for the entitled people of Palestine. In his latest essay, Mandela and Arafat, Zogby attempts to tie Mandela to the hateful, fascist cause that Arafat was the leader of. 

First, Zogby claims that Mandela supported the Palestinian cause with this quote:
In late February of 1990, just two weeks after being released from prison, Nelson Mandela met with Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasir Arafat. Afterwards Mandela spoke publicly of his affinity with the Palestinian people and his support for their struggle. He described the parallels between the two peoples' struggles for justice, saying in part. "There are many similarities between our struggle and that of the PLO. We live under a unique form of colonialism in South Africa, as well as in Israel..."
Note that Zogby left out the beginning of the quote, which states, "We expect everybody who is exploring the possibility of lasting solutions to be able to face the truth squarely." Perhaps this is because Arafat and Zogby are not interested in "lasting solutions." Note also that Zogby describes the Palestinian cause as a "struggle for justice," which is an insult both to the concept of justice and to the struggle of the black South Africans. The Palestinian cause is just as racist and intolerant as the apartheid regime in South Africa.

Next, Zogby brings out that old chestnut of Americans being silenced by Jews Israelis Zionists.
"That was 1990, when it was taboo in the U.S. to have any contact with the PLO. Because Americans had a double standard when it came to addressing Palestinian rights and/or had been cowed into silence about Israeli behavior, many were shocked that Mandela would not only praise the PLO but would also compare the Palestinian struggle against colonization and occupation with the campaign against apartheid."
 Yes, in 1990 it was so taboo for anyone in the US to contact the PLO, which is why a year later there was an international conference to conduct peace talks between Israel and the PLO and three years later the first Oslo accord was signed. Woo! So shocking!

Again, Zogby dishonestly claims the goal of Arafat and the PLO was "Palestinian rights," which continues to be hilarious. Mandela could certainly compare the occupation of the West Bank to SA apartheid with some merit, but he could not compare the Palestinian goal of an Arab state "from the river to the sea" to anything he was working on. In fact, he was a Zionist by any definition:
“As a movement, we recognize the legitimacy of Palestinian nationalism just as we recognize the legitimacy of Zionism as a Jewish nationalism,” he [Mandela] said in 1993. “We insist on the right of the State of Israel to exist within secure borders, but with equal vigor support the Palestinian right to national self-determination.”
Amazing that Zogby would not cite such a quote from Mandela. Is it because he knows that Mandela when he was alive would never have supported the Palestinian cause of destroying Israel, but now that the man is dead Zogby can simply say "Mandela supported the PLO" and leave it to the reader's imagination just how far? That's how Zogby wraps up his essay:
"That poster has hung in my office for more than two decades as a reminder of the real Mandela -- the brave and always honest fighter for justice and of his strong support for the Palestinian people."
How far did his support go? Zogby will never tell you. 

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