As world leaders seeking absolution fall over themselves to mourn, praise and celebrate Nelson Mandela, astute observers are increasingly calling them out on what Mandela himself fearlessly charged was their too-frequent willlingness to "change their tune" when it suited their political purpose. The complicit list of those on the wrong side of history whose own hypocritical governments either did too little to get Mandela out of prison for 27 years or did too much to support the regime that put him there runs from Thatcher and Reagan to Clinton, Blair and Peres. But it's topped by Benjamin Netanyahu, who in "the most shameless piece of historical revisionism" has proclaimed Mandela "a freedom fighter who disavowed violence" - even though Mandela stood by the right to violent resistance to injustice, blasted Netanyahu's warmongering and occupation as "narrow and chauvinistic," and repeatedly charged that Israeli apartheid was as morally and legally reprehensible as South Africa's.
This week, Netanyahu announced he was going to the Mandela memorial, and then suddenly reversed course. He cited the $2 million cost (?!?) at a time when Israelis are suffering under austerity measures - and, thanks to recently released figures, slamming him for a lavish life style that includes three homes they pay almost a million bucks to support, a $23,000 water bill for his pool, and a $127,000 bed installed on a plane so he could arrive rested at Margaret Thatcher's funeral. Some suggest Bibi also doesn't want to deal with the likelihood of protesters calling for an end to his own system of apartheid against Palestinians. Still, the writers at Mondoweiss feel his pain, and want to help. Having found a Turkish Airlines flight for $3,450, they are asking for donations to send Bibi to South Africa. (Sort of. Actually, the donations are to help them do their terrific work. If you give $60, you get a copy of Max Blumenthal’s Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel.) And just think: After South Africa, maybe Netanyahu could go to the Hague.
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Bibi hearing he can't afford to go to South Africa
At the Mandela memorial