Israel worked to keep Madiba & Co. alive

Golda Meir tried to help Nelson Mandela avoid the death penalty in 1964 according to newly-declassified documents this week. Then-Foreign Minister Golda Meir urged Israeli diplomats to lobby against a death sentence Philosopher Martin Buber and author Haim Hazaz among those who were asked to lobby the regime.
by ANT KATZ | Dec 10, 2013

With Dan Lavie, Yoni Hirsch, Shlomo Cesana, Yori Yalon, Reuters and Israel Hayom Staff

The Israeli Foreign Ministry tried to convince South Africa's apartheid regime not to seek the death penalty in Nelson Mandela's 1964 trial, newly released documents reveal.

According to the documents, which were declassified by the Israel State Archives on Sunday, Israel's stance resulted in a letter to the South African government urging it to negotiate with Mandela and the other defendants in the trial.

The letter also criticized the regime's segregationist policies.

Meir GoldaRIGHT: Golda Meirtried to help
Madiba and his co-accused
avoid the gallows in 1964
according to
newly-declassified documents

In 1964, after Mandela and other members of the African National Congress were indicted for sabotage and conspiracy. Israel’s then-foreign minister, Golda Meir, urged Israel's charge d'affaires in Cape Town to express Israel's displeasure with the trial. Meir also praised Mandela's now-famous speech denouncing the trial, saying it was "a great performance that put on display immense courage and voiced the pain of millions of Africans."

As a result of Meir's effort, the Israeli Foreign Ministry convinced philosopher Martin Buber and Israeli author Haim Hazaz to send a letter to the government of South Africa to protest the regime's crackdown on the ANC.

"Talk to them. Listen to them. They have something to say. You will not silence their voices by hanging them. ... From the land of Israel, we ask you to assert your faith in the nobility of man, whatever the colour of his skin. And if you'd do unto others in accordance with this faith, the future is yours, and theirs -- and the world's," Buber and Hazaz wrote.

The head of the Israeli mission in Cape Town also sent a cable to Israel detailing the dire financial straits Mandela's wife, Winnie, was facing.


  1. 2 adam levy 12 Dec
    and then provided the apartheid state with weapons to oppress Mandela's people, torture them and kill them.
  2. 1 annon 12 Dec

    There are millions of S.Africans and many members of parliament who associate and firmly believe what adam levy says. Mandela might have been a restraining factor in any action they would like to have taken against Israel while he was still alive.

    Is it not a possibility that Hashem is  spinning a wave of circumstances where S.African Jewry is left with the only rational, non-suicidal choice open to them ? It seems that similar circumstances are being created all over the galut. Circumstances to clearly show the way for all Diaspora Jews to return Home to Eretz Yisrael.

    adam levy's twisted message might very well be a circumstance and message for S.African Jewry to return Home.


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