Mandela’s Elders Have the Solution
Nelson Mandela has appointed a group of “elders” who will solve the world’s problems by acting as moral role models, and offering wise counsel: Jimmy Carter, Kofi Annan, and Mary Robinson.
As befitting the world’s most popular statesman, Nelson Mandela marked his 89th birthday yesterday with songs, tears and a host of tributes from fellow world leaders, past and present.
“Madiba”, the clan name he is affectionately known by, used the occasion to launch an international group of elder statesmen that will help to solve world problems from climate change to poverty.
The Elders, which is based on the idea of traditional African village elders offering wise counsel, will include the talents of former US President Jimmy Carter, the former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and the former Irish President Mary Robinson.
“I am confident that the Elders can become real role models. They will support courage where there is fear, foster agreement where there is conflict and inspire hope where there is despair,” Mr Mandela said to wild applause and enthusiasm.
Jimmy and Kofi are well-known for their anti-Israel warp, but Mary Robinson really rounds out the cast. Her organizational skills are legendary; shortly before the September 11 attacks, as the UN’s High Commissioner on Human Rights, she presided over the infamous antisemitic conference in Durban, South Africa, with the Orwellian title “World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.”
The hate literature distributed during the NGO conference included caricatures of Jews with hooked noses, Palestinian blood on their hands, surrounded by money, and Israelis wearing Nazi emblems. At the Government Conference, there was daily distribution by NGO participants of literature reading “Nazi-Israeli apartheid,” while inside the drafting committees, states such as Syria and Iran objected to the inclusion of antisemitism or the Holocaust on the grounds that antisemitism was a “complicated,” “curious,” and “bizarre” concept, and reference to the Holocaust would be imbalanced or “favoritism.”
Meanwhile, outside the conference hall, as one delegate reported in the Los Angeles Times, he and other representatives of Jewish groups were subjected to taunts and physical intimidation. At one point, thousands of South African Muslim demonstrators marched bearing banners proclaiming “Hitler should have finished the job.”
Thus, success on the political battlefield was to be accomplished by utilizing the language of human rights to demonize, and then dismember, the opponent. In this way, the Durban Conference provided rampant antisemitism with a global platform under UN auspices, in a conference allegedly against racism and xenophobia. It also revealed the malevolent antisemitism underlying the campaign to delegitimize the state of Israel.