Nov. 30, 2017
An Open Letter to Mandla Mandela – Dr. Avraham Neguise (Times of Israel)
Dear Mandla Mandela, your grandfather Nelson Mandela was a man who always listened, even to his opponents, and fought hard for dialogue and understanding. It appears that you have not inherited these vital qualities. In recent comments during your visit to the Palestinian Authority, you claimed that Israel is the “worst version of Apartheid.”
You made no attempt on this visit to meet with any Israeli official, organization or individual. If you had, you would have found that Israel is actually the opposite of Apartheid, it is a story of liberation, emancipation and anti-colonization.
Unfortunately, even while continually extending our hand in peace and friendship to those whose ancestors came to our region as an occupying and colonizing force, our opponents and enemies continue to seek our destruction.
The Jewish people were the colonized, not the colonizers; the indigenous, not the occupiers; and the liberators and not the conquerors of this land.
Comparing Israel – a nation that took in more refugees per capita than any nation in history, and where people of any religion, ethnicity and background can reach every level of office – to Apartheid dishonors your grandfather’s legacy.
I invite you personally to visit Israel, to see for yourself how hopelessly far from reality is the image you are perpetrating, and hear, perhaps for the first time, the story of a people, who, like yours, successfully threw off oppressive foreign colonialism and strove towards national liberation in their historic, ancestral and indigenous homeland.
The writer is an Ethiopian-born Member of Knesset, Chairman of the Knesset Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs, and Chairman of the Knesset Caucus for Relations between Israel and African Countries.
(Click on the article’s title to see the whole article…Ed.)