Nelson Mandela was an icon of resistance and one of the most influential figures in modern history, but what was his relationship with the Jewish community like?
Here at jewishnews.co.uk we’re running 50 facts about Nelson Mandela and the Jewish community that you may not know. 10 facts a day, all week long!
Click here for facts 31-40 [divider]
21. October 1990 – On a visit to Australia, Mandela angers the Jewish community by calling Israel a “terrorist state” responsible for “slaughtering defenceless, innocent Arabs”. [divider]
22. July 1991 – Israel lifts four year old cultural and economic sanctions against South Africa. [divider]
23. April 1992 – On erev-Pesach, Mandela publically acknowledges the “particularly outstanding contribution” the South African Jewish community made to his people’s “struggle for freedom and social justice”. [divider]
24. Cyril Ramaphosa, the secretary-general of Mandela’s ANC is the first Black speaker to address South Africa’s Jerusalem Club, helping to build bridges between the Jewish committee and the ANC. [divider]
25. August 1992 – Mandela moves to the affluent Jewish suburb of Houghton where his Jewish neighbour, a critic of the ANC and MP of the Democratic Party, Tony Leon welcomes him with chocolate cake. [divider]
26. August 1993 – Mandela addresses the annual South African Jewish Board of Deputies conference and is greeted with a standing ovation signalling improved relations between Mandela and the community. [divider]
27. Mandela nominates Yasser Arafat and Yitzach Rabin for a joint Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 that the two politicians ultimately win, highlighting improved relations between Israel and other African nations. [divider]
28. March 1994 – Mandela attended Shabbat services with the Green and Sea Point Hebrew congregation in Capetown just a few days after being voted as South Africa’s President in the country’s first all-race democratic election. [divider]
29. March 1994 – Mandela addresses the congregation of Green and Sea Point and calls for the return of Jewish citizens who left the country for security reasons. [divider]
30. August 1994 – Mandela awarded the Anne Frank medal in Amsterdam for outstanding contributions towards promoting and achieving democracy in South Africa. [divider]
Be sure to check back tomorrow for more facts about Nelson Mandela and his relationship with the Jewish community!