Sunday, December 08, 2013

Menachem Begin's South African Experience

In an article published in Herut on December 1, 1961, Menachem Begin related an experience he had several years earlier on a visit to South Africa when he encountered that country's policy of apartheid.

From the original:

Begin relates how he was amazed to discover that Blacks were not being allowed into the lecture room where he was scheduled to speak.  One, a doctor, asked Begin to intervene (was the other Nelson Mandela?).

Begin attempted but to no avail.  It was explained to him that not only would the Blacks be arrested if the police caught them in a mixed audience but that the owners of the hall would be punished as well.

Begin notes that the sppech he gave that evening was probably the worst he ever delivered in that his spirt was strongly affected by the reality of injustice over which he had, at that moment, no control.


Chairman of the South African Zionist Federation Avrom Krengel said in a statement...Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin had been a major influence of Mandela's. "The strength he drew from Zionism came from Menachem Begin’s book which inspired him to initiate the creation of Umkonto We Siswe. In turn, people across the world drew inspiration from him and his amazing ability to draw people together."


1 comment:

Mark said...

or... he could have refused to participate or change his remarks to a rebuke of the injustice.