Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

By Paul Jeser

It seems that the AJC doesn't think the killing of Israelis by the PLO is an important issue


I was shocked when I heard AJC’s David Harris radio piece painting Mandela as a saint. I responded by writing: I don’t understand.

How can David Harris fawn over Mandela—painting him as a saint—when the AJC canceled an event honoring him in 2000 after Mandela said that 13 Jews tried for “espionage” in Iran were receiving a “fair trial.”

How can David Harris fawn over Mandela—painting him as a saint—when Mandela supported Arafat and the PLO.

How can David Harris fawn over Mandela—painting him as a saint—when Mandela was a member of the Elders.

Sure, praise Mandela for the good he did—and there was plenty—but be honest and paint a full picture.

This was AJC’s response:

Dear Paul Jeser,

AJC did not always agree with the late Nelson Mandela on Middle East-related issues, but we consistently admired his exceptional courage in helping liberate his country from oppressive minority rule, and then seeking reconciliation, not revenge. There is much for all of us to learn from his inspiring example.—AJC

Their response was as absurd as the Harris piece. What does AJC mean, “not always agree...”? And what is there to learn from Mandela... that it’s ok to support terrorists, tyrants, killers?

In 1990, Mandela likened Israel to a “terrorist state” and declared that “we do not regard the PLO as a terrorist organization.” When the terrorist Arafat died, Mandela called him “outstanding freedom fighter.” Mandela embraced brutal dictators throughout the Third World, such as Libya’s Gaddafi and Cuba’s Castro, singing their praises and defending them publicly even as they trampled on the rights and lives of their own people.

What was Harris thinking?

My response to the AJC:

Not arguing your points—but the Harris piece was morally bankrupt in that it only referred to the ‘good’ things and not the whole man. I’d hope that the AJC would be more than just ‘not always agree...’ when Mandela embraced killers—especially of Israelis. For sure Harris should have mentioned that AJC even canceled an event honoring Mandela—why did Harris hide that fact? And, what about—a non-Middle-East issue—when Mandela supported terrorists who shot up the U.S. House of Representatives? I hope that Harris will issue a more honest evaluation.

The AJC, in painting Mandela the way it did, shows that the killing of Israelis is not an important issue to them. If it was, it certainly would have painted a more balanced picture.

Read Rabbi Yitz Greenberg’s much more honest piece http://www.thejewishweek.com/editorial-opinion/opinion/mandela-apartheid-and-jews.

Even the NY Times was more honest than the AJC’s Harris: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/07/world/africa/mandela-politics.html?_r=0.

Read Rabbi Avi Weiss’ much more honest piece: http://forward.com/articles/189138/why-i-had-to-protest-nelson-mandela.

Shame on the AJC!


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