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 1-10
Click here for facts 11-20
Click here for facts 21-30
Click here for facts 31-40
41. October 1999 – Mandela visits Israel for the first time and states that “I cannot conceive of Israel withdrawing if Arab states do not recognise Israel within secure borders”. [divider]
42. In 1999, Mandela stated “I owe a debt of honour to the Jews, even if sometimes I have made restrained remarks about Israel”. [divider]
43. February 2000 – Mandela becomes the patron-in-chief of Tikkun, a Jewish social charity that provides interracial adult education, skills training and AIDS relief work. [divider]
44. May 2000 – An American Jewish Committee cancels a lunch honouring Mandela after he displays support for Iran’s trial of 13 Jews on suspicion of them being spies. [divider]
45. December 2000 – Mandela attends and speaks at the opening of the new South African Jewish museum. [divider]
46. April 2001 – Following the fight between Hassim Rahman and Lennox Lewis, a Jewish South African boxing promoter states that Mandela called him to thank him for his hard work. [divider]
47. January 2002 – Mandela upsets the Jewish community by retracting previous statements in support for the U.S led war in Afghanistan and the labelling of Bin Laden as a terrorist. [divider]
48. November 2011 – South African Jewish community hails Mandela the “greatest peace-maker and reconciliator of all times” at the Jewish Board of Deputies book launch of “Jewish Memories of Mandela” in Cape Town. [divider]
49. In his 2011 book “Jewish Memories of Mandela”, David Saks reports that in the 1950s, more than half of the white anti-apartheid activists in Johannesburg were Jews. [divider]
50. 2011 – Sally Krok, a Jewish philanthropist, told Saks that Mandela’s peaceful negotiations with the men who jailed him for 27 years always led him to believe he could mediate in a similar fashion with Israel’s enemies. [divider]