If its propaganda, let it be shown for what it is, if it is our history, how do we deal with it?
This past weekend we are introduced to claims made by some who were part of the MOSSAD, Israel’s Military Intelligence. The claims are particularly disturbing for some when it is understood how notorious MOSSAD is thus to link it to the belated Icon of 20th and 21st century Nelson Mandela makes it more sensational.
The claim is Mandela aka ‘the Black Pimpernel’ was during his now much-publicised visit to Ethiopia among others trained by MOSSAD. Mandela according to the letter from a MOSSAD official dated October 11, 1962 recalls a conversation in which a trainee in Ethiopia named David Mobasari with country of origin given as Rhodesia was given training in judo, sabotage, and weapons. According to HAARETZ newspaper, which first reported the story, the term “Ethiopians” was probably a code name Israeli MOSSAD agents working in and operative in Ethiopia.
The Nelson Mandela foundation has condemned these claims as baseless and empty in defence informed by the information they preside over, yet its condemning at this stage cannot be conclusive thus we have to ask what does this mean if it remotely can be found truthful?
1. Is this Israel’s belated yet redemptive claim in role and hand in our liberation struggle, because all evidence proves Israel supported apartheid and its ungodly regime to the hilt if the trade and military relations attest?
2. Is this revelation surfacing an attempt at rendering suspicion on the person and identity of Mandela as a sell- out for being trained by what was generally termed the enemy of our freedom? Does it render him a compromised first ‘MK Soldier’ of Umkhonto we Sizwe? What are the direct implications and ramifications if any all for this claim for him in legacy context and description?
3. Who introduced him to MOSSAD, was it a South African ‘comrade’ were it Ethiopian cadres just who brought him into the sphere and realm of a MOSSAD. A MOSSAD who simply do not sit well with the liberation struggle ethos.
4. Does it simply say the ANC received and took help from any corner? Are we to reduce that the ANC as a scarcely resourced organisation at the time was at the mercy of anyone who could lend a hand, whatever that hand was at the time. What does this say about the intelligence work of the ANC at the time, off course it could not in resource and capacity be compared with any of the state sponsored programmes and initiatives. Can the case of infiltration by anti-revolutionary influences be made as early as this if not earlier in the liberation struggle history?
5. The relevance or irrelevance of this claim equally asks of us questions concerning how this may if proven correct be interpreted to have bearing on an existing diplomacy platform with Israel. What does it say for how we should engage in diplomacy with Israel – if this is true, can we persist to be anti- Israel, as our modern platform dictates in praxis? Do we owe Israel any more or less respect for this?
6. It is noted that South Africa in post – apartheid setting does not share a political stance with Israel on the subject of Palestine. South Africa agrees on the two independent states and a halting of the further settlements of invasion in what is termed Palestinian territory. South Africa also is vocal in rejection of the deplorable context often described as modern apartheid exacted by Israel to its neighbour Palestine.
Yet South Africa is not unique in this stance, another BRICS partner India shares the same political sentiments on Israel and Palestine. Yet India has proven more circumspect and wise to continue its trade agreements with Israel. Are we not shooting ourselves in the proverbial foot with our confirmed all or nothing stance on Israel. Should we not tale a leaf out of India’s approach on diplomacy and ask for what is termed a more economic diplomacy paradigm?
7. Beyond the definitive condemning of Israel’s praxis on its neighbours, and the rhetoric we often fall in, can we afford to be this anti- Israel in our diplomacy praxis? In whose interest is our advanced stance? South Africa has registered a consistent theme of abhorrence towards Israel, evidenced in a UJ resolution, pronouncements from the DIRCO political leadership at various levels and times. We are engaging with China and China has a chequered human rights record, why the ambiguity?
8. Are we too naturally assume the apartheid watchdog – human rights police officer of the World? If we do so is it because we have narrowly interpreted our own apartheid history and thus assume a form of exceptionalism that dictates we out of our history must lead the world. The latter is not a bad ideal, yet that ideal does not live and breathe on its own but co-exists with other aspects that make us a nation that is conscious of a future the same we seek to build with others. If we assume this Apartheid Watchdog of the world, who appointed us, and who is paying us for this?
9. Can we rise above our detesting of this claim regardless to how nauseating it may render us? Can we look beyond the fact that a MOSSAD presents despicable and sober to the reality that the possibility very well might exist that the icon of our liberation struggle was trained by the enemy of the struggle of our freedom. Can we accept this history if it can be proven as truthful. Can we equally reject it with the disdain it deserves if proven a sophism?
10. Is it propaganda, because this news hits us now and has never surfaced before, yet many secrets usually manifests after ones death. If it is propaganda let it be exposed for what it is, yet if it is our history we cannot detox or sanitise it for whatever reason we deem fit in this epoch. If it is aimed at casting aspersions on his character, it would can confirm he is not the first neither the last because our history is replete with claims of a similar kind. Other freedom fighters in their deaths had claims of CIA connections. We think of a Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Stokeley Carmichael even Ghandi at some stage it was speculated were in the pockets of the Agencies such as MOSSAD or CIA etc.
In the final analysis, it is immaterial now if he Mandela was trained or not by MOSSAD. It is immaterial if someone sold him out, it is off less relevance who it is that set him up, liberals or conservatives, it may even be also less valuable who infiltrated the liberation struggle, Mandela is dead and we are politically liberated. The Mandela Foundation as thorny as this may be must accept it too has no conclusive evidence that he Mandela was not trained by MOSSAD.
All the aforementioned is perhaps irrelevant, what is of relevance is how we interpret this for our future, how we deal and engage with this and how this shapes our application of diplomacy when we have become trained to think and articulate in one –dimensional fashion akin to Anti-Israel stance.
If it is true Mandela than in his death as in his life, presents his movement and this government with more curve-balls in pensive reflection demanding a response less in emotion, rhetoric but circumspect conscious of this possibility and congruent with what we have determined his legacy of reconciliation.
It reminds me off the age-old theological question ‘what shall we do with Jesus who is called Christ’? If I may borrow this text and make it relevant here, it must be that this revelation truth or fallacy demands of all of us who loved a Mandela to ask what shall we do with the Black Pimpernel, who was trained probably by Mossad? Can we let him speak to us even if we desire not to listen? Can we afford this piece of history equal space and relevance and learn lessons from such without a bias of shortsightedness.
Perhaps the historical aspects of the revelation does not matter and should not matter at all because he is dead, and did not let us in on such, perhaps because he did not know, perhaps he may have known and could not deal with that piece thus leaving the puzzle for us to conclude. Maybe he was embarrassed, here he is trying to establish the first military wing of the ANC, and he lacked discernment to know whom he is dealing with?
It does not matter now because he is dead and we are politically liberated, to those who helped enemy and friend thank you.
To South Africans Mandela have many shades; be careful how you interpret him.Is there a place when fiction becomes fact and facts become indifferent?
Clyde N. S. Ramalaine
******Article appears courtesy – ‘Dusty Musings’ Political Commentary Due March 30, 2014
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