Wednesday, 21 February, 2024, 4:52 AM
Advance Search
Home

A decade after Mandela's death, his pro-Palestinian legacy lives on

Published : Tuesday, 5 December, 2023 at 5:44 PM  Count : 1027

Mandela was released from prison on 11 February 1990. One of the first people he met abroad was Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian leader. [Photo by Palestinian Authorities via Getty Images]

Mandela was released from prison on 11 February 1990. One of the first people he met abroad was Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian leader. [Photo by Palestinian Authorities via Getty Images]


Days after his release from 27 years in prison in February 1990, anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela gave Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat a bear hug, symbolising his embrace of a cause his country's governing ANC party continues to champion, reports Reuters.

It was a gesture as controversial then as South Africa's support for the Palestinian cause is today, but Mandela brushed off criticism.
Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organisation had been an unwavering supporter of Mandela's struggle against white minority rule and many South Africans saw parallels between it and the Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation.

"We were fortunate that with their support, we were able to achieve our freedom ... My grandfather ... said our freedom is incomplete without the Palestinian struggle," his grandson Mandla Mandela recalled in an interview ahead of the 10th commemoration of Mandela's death.

From Dec. 3 to 5 Mandla Mandela, who is also an ANC lawmaker, hosted a solidarity conference in Johannesburg for the Palestinians.

It was attended by members of Hamas, an organisation Israel has vowed to annihilate in retaliation for its Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel that killed 1,200 people and saw around 240 taken hostage, according to Israeli tallies.

Israeli bombing of Gaza since then has killed more than 15,500 people, according to Gaza's Hamas-run government, and displaced more than three-quarters of the Strip's 2.3 million population.

Hamas, sworn to Israel's destruction, is labelled a terrorist organisation by Australia, Canada, the European Union, Israel, Japan and the United States.

Last month, the ruling ANC backed a motion in South Africa's parliament to suspend diplomatic ties with Israel until it agreed to a ceasefire in Gaza.

END/SZA






Latest News
Most Read News
Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
Published by the Editor on behalf of the Observer Ltd. from Globe Printers, 24/A, New Eskaton Road, Ramna, Dhaka.
Editorial, News and Commercial Offices : Aziz Bhaban (2nd floor), 93, Motijheel C/A, Dhaka-1000.
Phone: PABX- 41053001-06; Online: 41053014; Advertisement: 41053012.
E-mail: info$dailyobserverbd.com, news$dailyobserverbd.com, advertisement$dailyobserverbd.com, For Online Edition: mailobserverbd$gmail.com
  [ABOUT US]     [CONTACT US]   [AD RATE]   Developed & Maintenance by i2soft