- Politics and Social Issues»
- Middle East Political & Social Issues
Nelson Mandela and the Israeli Connection
The Israeli government in 1962-64, did not approve of the South Africa political system and internally called for an economic boycott. Golda Meir even voiced her disgust with apartheid. During the Mandela trial for sabotage in 1964, the Israelis thought that a death sentence might spread some anti-semitism against Jews. Half of the defendants at the trial were Jews. The Rivonia trial is where Mandela was convicted to life in prison.
Nelson Mandela did receive para-military training in Ethiopia that year and also visited many African countries for undisclosed reasons. A 50-year old letter from a Israeli Mossad agent was found clearly showing that Israeli agents had provided training to "a Nelson Mandela, among others". This was a much younger Mandela and more radical than what the world remembers him now by. The Israelis provided such training to him while in Ethiopia in 1962. Of course, Mandela was just another radical black man fighting the freedom, little did one think then tat he would be a Nobel Prize winner or a future president of South Africa! But, this just shows how life can be a surprise. In February, 1962, Mandela left South Africa for support from foreign governments for the goals of the ANC and to receive six months of military training is Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Apparently, Mandela went to the Israeli Embassy in Ethiopia , seeking the para-military tactics of the Hagana, the Israeli fighters who fought the British for freedom in Palestine in the 1940's. Mossad agents provided the young Mandela judo training, sabotage tactics and light weapons training. When Mandela sought the training, he wisely used an alias name and told Mossad that he was from Rhodesia.
Israel was more than willing to provide training to Africans seeking to overthrow oppressive governments, hoping they would be friends later. But after the 1973 war, Arab pressure forced many African nations to break ties with Israel. Today, the relationship between South Africa dn Israel is cool because SA supports the Palestinians and view it as fight like their own for freedom.
It was not until the Mandela sabotage trial in 1964 that Mossad realize who the man they had trained in 1962, was, by comparing photos and discovering his real name. But even in 1964 Nelson Mandela was not famous outside South Africa. In June, 1960, Mandela proposed to the ANC executive the undertaking of an armed effort against the South African government. In 1961, Mandela was the main leader of an armed group called, "Spear of the Nation", and over many months performed sabotage and bombing attacks in South africa. A favorite target was power poles and other infrastructure.
The Rivonia trial is for the Johannesburg suburb that was the hideout location for a militant wing of the African National Congress known for sabotage and conspiracy. It is where the leaders of the ANC met and planned guerilla operations. A document marked "Top Secret," found at Rivonia, discussed "revolution" and mentioned possible support from people in the USSR, China, Germany, and Yugoslavia, among other countries. Methods of obtaining weapons, including explosives, were outlined in some detail. Now, the ANC and Mandela may have been seeking international interference.
Mandela was in jail when the raid occurred. He got there courtesy of the CIA who had informed South Africa of his training outside of the country. So, when Mandela returned in October, 1962, he was arrested and convicted of conducting terrorism.