By: Morton A. Klein
February 1, 2003

ZOA Condemns Nelson Mandela’s Attack On America And Israel


Mandela Has Also Defended
Iran, Syria, and Libya


NEW YORK- The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has strongly condemned Nelson Mandela’s statement accusing America of preparing a “holocaust” against Iraq and demanding that the U.S. force Israel to surrender its nuclear weapons.


ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said: “We deplore Mandela’s outrageous and immoral attempt to portray the terrorist dictator Saddam Hussein as an innocent victim of American aggression, and to put Israel on the same level as Saddam. Israel is a beleaguered, peaceful, and responsible democracy surrounded by terrorists and tyrants who have launched four wars against it and murder its citizens daily. Israel, like America, has every legal and moral right to protect itself with whatever weapons at its disposal.”


The ZOA notes Mandela’s record of troubling statements supporting Arab and Muslim terrorist dictators:


Mandela Endorsed Arabs’ Right to “Use Violence” Against Israel: Speaking to members of Yasir Arafat’s Palestinian Legislative Council in Gaza on October 20, 1999, Mandela said that a “regional peace” must include a “full Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders.” Mandela said that he, like Arafat, had endured criticism for engaging in negotiations with his enemies, but “if taking up arms is the only solution, that is what should be done,” according to Ha’aretz (Oct.21, 1999). The Jerusalem Post reported (Oct.21, 1999) that Mandela said: “All men and women with vision choose peace rather than confrontation, except in cases where we cannot proceed, where we cannot move forward. Then if the only alternative is violence, we will use violence.”


Mandela Defended Iran’s Prosecution of Jews: Mandela publicly defended the government of Iran’s trial of 13 Jews on sham “espionage” charges, claiming “the trial is fair and just.” (Africa Eye News Service, May 17, 2000) The American Jewish Committee responded by canceling its plan to give Mandela its highest award, the American Liberties Medallion, and Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy, noting Mandela’s praise of the government-appointed lawyers given to the Iranian defendants, said: “If you had to rely on such lawyers during your captivity, it is doubtful whether you would have been here today.” Mandela also called on American Jewish organizations to refrain from publicly criticizing Iran’s action. (Forward, May 19, 2000)


Mandela Embraces Qadaffi: In defiance of U.N.Security Council sanctions, Mandela traveled to Libya in 1997 and embraced terrorist dictator Moammar Qadaffi. He endorsed Qadaffi’s refusal to surrender to the U.S. the suspects in the bombing of Pan Am 103 (in which 270 Americans were murdered); called Qadaffi “my brother leader”; and said, “Those who say I should not be here are without morals. I am not going to join them in their lack of morality.” (The New Republic, Nov. 17, 1997)


Mandela Says Iran & Syria Want Peace: After a visit to Iran and Syria in 1999, Mandela said “both Iran and Syria are interested in peace and stability in the region.” (Jerusalem Post, Oct.19, 1999)


Mandela Urges Israel to Give in to Arab Demands: On a visit to Israel in 1999, Mandela called on Israel to surrender to Arab demands to retreat to the pre-1967 borders (which the late Israeli statesman Abba Eban called “Auschwitz lines”), saying Israel could safely do so since “No one has dared to attack you since the 1967 war” —prompting Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy to remind Mandela of the 1973 Yom Kippur invasion. (Ha’aretz, Oct. 22, 1999)


Mandela’s Called Arafat his “Comrade in Arms”: Mandela’s African National Congress consistently maintained close ties to Yasir Arafat and the Palestine Liberation Organization, and supported the PLO’s terrorist war against Israel. In an interview with Ted Koppel on “Nightline,” Mandela praised Arafat as his “comrade in arms.”