Netanyahu skips Mandela memorial. Israelis say ‘are you kidding?’

This week I’ve been following the story of Israel’s Prime Minister’s absence at Mandela’s memorial, made more ‘stark’ by the fact that leaders from most every Nation in the world did have important heads of State there representing them, and this author is correct: the comments under every article I’ve read at a number of Israeli news sources, made by Israeli citizens, agree this was a foolish mistake on the part of Netanyahu. And that’s putting it mildly…many were outraged. 

Christian Science Monitor

As VIPs gathered in the rain for Nelson Mandela’s memorial in South Africa today, the emcee announced the attendance of world leaders from US President Barack Obama to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Apparently, no one told him that Mr. Netanyahu couldn’t make it after all.

While the Israeli leader’s absence may have gone relatively unnoticed in South Africa, it has caused consternation in Israel. Detractors argue that missing the memorial of a man who championed freedom and brought down apartheid gives fresh fodder to critics who say Israel, too, has constructed an apartheid system and is insincere about reconciling with Palestinians after decades of conflict.

“The anti-Israel lobby could not have wished for a better Christmas present,” wrote Times of Israel blogger Neil Lazarus, author of “The 5 Rules of Effective Israel Advocacy.”

“Today, many of the pro-Israel organizations are having to employ damage control as the government’s shortsightedness has led once again to a self-made public relations mess.”

Worse, said Mr. Lazarus and others, was the reason Netanyahu gave: the cost of the flight. This, coming from a man who budgeted 10,000 shekels ($2,850) for his personal ice cream parlor and spent 6,000 shekels ($1,700) of Israeli taxpayers’ money on scented candles for his homes.

Netanyahu may well have learned his lesson on unnecessary spending, especially after a report last week revealed it costs Israeli taxpayers 3.3 million shekels ($940,000) to maintain his three residences. The trip to Mandela’s memorial indeed would have been expensive; the Israeli government estimated it would have cost about 7 million shekels ($1.9 million) for the flight as well as the security necessary – far more than if Netanyahu had been able to attend the smaller ceremony in Mandela’s home village this weekend, as originally planned. That reasoning sat particularly badly with South Africa’s Jewish community, which long donated more per capita to support Israel than Jews in America, Britain, and Canada.

But despite the considerable expense, the issue here has more to do with Israel’s complex relationship with South Africa, wrote Ilene Prusher for the liberal Haaretz newspaper in a piece examining Mandela’s views on Israel.

… tight budgets and sick notes do little to mask the lingering discomfort between the two nations. Jerusalem maintained close military and economic ties with Johannesburg even in the final days of the apartheid regime, when most of the world was backing away, and the then-leader of the African National Congress never forgot it,”

… he was indeed highly critical of the Israeli occupation and the absence of an independent Palestine from map of the world. But Mandela fully endorsed Israel’s right to exist – and thought the Arabs states would need to reconcile fully with Israel in the context of a peace agreement.

Palestinians have championed Mandela as one of their own, but most seem to agree that now is not the time or the place for Mandela-like gestures toward Israel. Perhaps Israel’s leader, too, is reluctant to take such a decisive step to support a man who so openly supported Palestinian statehood.

Another reason for posting this is to point out how strange it has been to read the comments made by Israel’s own citizens, condemning their Prime Minister’s actions…WHEN, on the other hand this same story of Netanyahu skipping Mandela’s memorial, when posted at a number of American Christian websites, has brought out a completely opposite reaction from many commenters. 

For instance, see the comments under Michael Browns article at the Christian Post: Missing at Nelson Mandela’s Funeral: Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu

I’ve reached the conclusion that many American (gentile) Christians are more Zionist-leaning then the majority of Jews living within Israel today: the results being what it’s always been–“never speak a word of criticism against anything concerning Israel, OR the Israeli Government and it’s leaders.”

More bad fruit on the distorted/twisted tree called Christian Zionism and another consequence of dispensational teaching.  


8 comments on “Netanyahu skips Mandela memorial. Israelis say ‘are you kidding?’

  1. Politics will always have their prejudice and bigotry and even hatred. It comes from all corners of the political spectrum whether it is liberal or conservative. That is why when a believer becomes invested in politics or in the government under which he lives that believer is poisoned by that same prejudice. I am sure Netanyahu’s friend John Hagee also had verbal disdain for Mandela.
    And the friendship that Hagee has with Netanyahu is a great stumbling block to millions of Jews who see the violent tendencies in Netanyahu and assume that is how Christians are as well.

    • Amen Rick. When the truth surrounding Christian Zionism is finally revealed, we will see it as the stumbling block it really is: Not only a stumbling block, but an enemy of the Cross.

  2. I don’t have a fondness for the Zionist movement and hopefully have made it clear?

    Having said that I suppose there’s another possible reason Netanyahu did not attend? It could be for the very same reason I would decline an invitation to attend if invited?

    Please google Dr. Peter Hammond or search YouTube’s data base, better yet?

    Dr. Hammond has a two part YouTube interview on his visit with Nelson Mandela while he was President and the repercussions he experienced after it. The two parts only add up to about 12 or 13 minutes total between them. It’s any easy listen but SHOCKING.

    I’d venture to say knowing what I know about Mandela you too, if you knew would decline going to pay your respects to his family, friends and his life!

    Just saying, even in light of some of what is known about Bebe’s personal and political decisions that have brought anguish and grief to many in and around present day Israel.

    • Michael, in googling his name i came up with 2 stark pictures of Hammond. One pro the other con. And this from Christian websites. Aha. So i guess even this, as far as which picture one believes is the ‘real’ Peter Hammond, depends on one’s starting point.

      As far as the Israeli Prime Minister not attending, from what i’ve read at a number of Israeli news sources, he was suppose to attend. In fact it had already been announced in the Israeli news, when he suddenly decided to call the trip off. Why? this was what many Jews in Israel wanted to know, and because the official answer given (the monetary cost) was, in their minds, ridiculous, they’ve speculated…many believing it was because he feared what his reception might be if he went: this due to the majority of those living in South Africa believing the Israeli government is practicing apartheid.

  3. PJ

    If you can stomach more graphic and criminal evidence about Mandela Google Todd Friel’s Wretched TV interview with Dr. Hammond. It’s not a long interview about 10 minutes long but there is some graphic photos that a weak heart and soul might find very very difficult to see?

    Dr. Hammond explains his Godly and Christian points above Mandela. It is as eye opening as the two YouTube interviews about him.

    My guess is Israeli Intelligence has fully vetted Mandela to Netanyahu which may be one factor he weighed when deciding in not going to the Memorial in Johannesburg SA?

  4. In my above comment i mentioned some of the recent news articles at Israeli news sources concerning Netanyahu’s canceling his trip. This article below may be the best explanation for why he decided not to attend.

    It can be found at today’s Haaretz,

    Time to ask South Africa for forgiveness

    For years, most of us Israelis remained silent while our country became the most loyal ally of the apartheid regime.

    At the time I didn’t know anything; it didn’t interest me and I didn’t want to know. Some of Israel’s most senior journalists had traveled to South Africa as guests of the apartheid government, which wined and dined them, to which they responded in kind, with complimentary stories; to this day, most of them don’t see anything wrong with that. At the time I was jealous that I hadn’t been invited; I was a good Tel Avivian who, like the overwhelming majority of Israelis, didn’t see anything wrong with apartheid or with the relations my country had with South Africa.

    The apartheid prime minister and some members of his cabinet came to the Israel of Yitzhak Rabin (and Shimon Peres), the one they remember so fondly now – another chapter of the “Rabin Legacy” – and they were granted a reception here that they would not have received in any other country; Israel Aircraft Industries made some huge deals with South Africa that “saved” the company, as Aluf Benn recently revealed here, as did other Israeli weapons manufacturers. Foreign reports have revealed nuclear cooperation, with the defense minister at the time, Ariel Sharon, quoted as saying that Israel had to supply more weapons to its fellow “leper” state, in order to “stop communism,” which certainly sounds possible.

    In Europe, hundreds of thousands of young people had taken to the streets in protest against apartheid and to call for the release of Nelson Mandela, while here there was shameful silence and embarrassing weapons deals.

    Some radical left-wing organizations tried to protest, and their protests were greeted with the standard delegitimization. My colleague at Army Radio, Yoav Karni, tried to raise a storm, and was considered a troublemaker. Yossi Beilin then tried to take action as director-general of the Foreign Ministry, and he was also considered a troublemaker, someone who understood nothing about “interests” and “security,” until he succeeded in making some, albeit small, change in policy.

    For several years, Israel was the most loyal ally of that South Africa, the only democracy that did not join the sanctions regime until it was forced to do so under American pressure, and it’s doubtful whether it really observed the sanctions (one must consider what Israel would say today about a country that didn’t join the sanctions against Iran). Even the support that the white regime had given to Nazi Germany didn’t deter Israel. Weapons, weapons, you shall sell.

    And we – all Israelis, except for a few select individuals, were silent. We supported and were even proud of our despicable ally. When talking about brainwashing and the terrible blindness in Israeli society, we need to remember this, too. When we speak about Mandela, we must not forget this. We were practically the only country that traded and supported and trained and sold and bought and built and conducted experiments with it – overtly and covertly, a friend of the department, the department of evil. We were members of the same cohort — lo and behold, the apartheid regime and Israel were established in the same year – and Israel found itself a host of justifications as part of the fellowship of justifications. It upheld a covenant of two representatives of enlightened minorities standing in the breach against dark and wild majorities, both justifying their actions with religious and messianic arguments. The biblical Amnon and Tamar, Israel and South Africa.

    We have to remember this now, but it’s not enough. I’m writing these lines from the Eastern Cape of South Africa, en route to Qunu, to cover Mandela’s interment there today. Neither Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nor President Shimon Peres will be at the ceremony. What else is there to say about someone who saw attending British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s funeral as more important than attending Mandela’s, and about Peres, who, of all the trips he’s taken, was unable to make this one.

    But there is something much more important than participating in ceremonies that Israel should have done long ago. Israel should have begged Mandela’s forgiveness in his lifetime, and must apologize to South Africa at any time. It’s not too late. Mandela forgave Israel, but Israel must not forgive itself. Now, as the world bows its head in such an impressive manner before Mandela’s achievements, the prime minister must apologize for the shameful collaboration, for the arms deals, and for the indifference and moral obtuseness. Sometimes a country may also ask forgiveness, and in this case, it’s even required.

    As one commenter wrote Michael:

    “…apartheid is alive and well in Israel. Not even Bibi had the brass neck to go to Mandelas funeral”

    And that is the most likely reason why Israel’s Prime Minister refused to attend.

  5. As I read your latest article post I remembered there’s a couple more “underbelly” issues that most likely won’t get into Main Street media or otherwise? I know a bit about what I’m going to share now.


    In the latest article there was mention of the Israeli military support but nothing in detail about the various powers that Israel sells there arms to down there. I’m not going to say much more about it except to say there is a healthy brisk business here that ties into those five points mentioned above.

    There are not a lot of “hallmark” gold refineries in operation in the world. Most of them if not all are owned, operated or controlled by Jews.

    The largest diamond producers in the world are organizations or their subsidiaries owned by The Rothchilds, the Oppenheimers and DeBeers!

    The whole region of that part of the world has been and still is exploited by those three wealthy power groups and their privately held entities.

    Every major controlling or producing entity in the world is influenced by these three groups.

    I don’t want to detail my unique experiences in their world except to say I have some personal knowledge and “experience” in these realities.

    And like I mentioned in the other post Israeli Intel certainly has vetted to Netanyahu Mandela and discussed the “long bloody history” that isn’t being told.

    And I can say from other experience I won’t waste much time believing any news articles published and produced by the media. If I can listen to “in person” prima facia accounts by those present or watch an interview by a Dr. Hammond I’m more inclined to give that far more weight as credible.

    So whatever the cause and reason for Netanyahu not going will remain speculation unless you are fortunate to hear directly from him or his handlers who can speak to the why and why not.

    Our best evidence is still to be informed by the Word of God and the breath of the Holy Spirit as He breathes upon our Spirit. It is God’s call and it is God who is still in control of all the plans of men!

    Psalm 33:10 The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples.
    11 The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations.
    12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!
    13 The LORD looks down from heaven; he sees all the children of man;
    14 from where he sits enthroned he looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth,
    15 he who fashions the hearts of them all and observes all their deeds.

    • So whatever the cause and reason for Netanyahu not going will remain speculation unless you are fortunate to hear directly from him or his handlers who can speak to the why and why not.

      This is why i frequent Israeli news sources: to read news articles written by those who would have a better understanding (as, they are there) concerning Israeli policies, their government’s decisions, etc etc. And to also read the comments left by average Israeli citizens concerning these, and other issues pertaining to Israel and it’s government leaders. It can be a very eye-opening experience…especially hearing what Israeli citizens believe about current issues–in and outside Israel–in this instance, why their prime minister refused to attend Mandela’s memorial.

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