Posted from Jerusalem, Occupied Palestine by Rick C
It's snowing here & I didn't bring warm clothes, but why should you care? The Israeli press, like the US media, is having trouble sizing up Nelson Mandela's place in history. The US media wants to cover up Mandela's close association with the South African Communist Party (it was a long-term, strategic relationship, not a passing one); his support for the Palestinians; his close ties with Cuba; his attacks on US imperialism; etc. etc. They want him to become a neutered, bland, nice, non-threatening goody-two-shoes (the same job they did on ML KIng, who, in his last year of life strayed too far to the left for the establishment's liking).
The Israeli press acts as if it wished no one acutally remembered that guy (Nelson....who?)and it grudgingly has to say he was a freedom fighter (sort of, when he wasn't supporting the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel). The US was forced, at the end, to impose sanctions on South Africa like the rest of the world, because it made Washington look so bad. But Israel helped the Apartheid regime to the bitter end. An article yesterday in Haaretz described how South Africa resuced the Israel aircraft industry. Because of sanctions, South Africa couldn't buy F-16s, or Mirage Jets, so they went shopping in Israel. Israel had the planes to sell to South Africa and desperately needed the money to refinance the avaition industry.
Other things could be pointed out, like Ariel Sharon's going to South Africa to study the Bantustan program where the Apartheid government tried to create "homelands" by cramming in a lot of blacks into a small area in order to control and segregate them and then claim that they had given them self-determination.
To be sure, there have been articles and newscasts running down the image of Mandela for his non-western and anti-zionist misdeeds, but they don't want to be seen as out of step with the western countries by badmouthing him too much.
The comedy of Israel trying to not attend the funeral of Mandela while really attending it, has been reported on extensively. It looked like they really wanted to send the Knesset janitor to represent them.