The international Jewish community praised former South African President Nelson Mandela, who died Thursday at 95 in his Johannesburg home.
Israeli President Shimon Peres called Mandela “a great leader who changed the course of history. He was a passionate advocate for democracy, a respected mediator, a Nobel peace prize laureate and above all a builder of bridges of peace and dialogue who paid a heavy personal price for his struggle in the years he spent in prison and fighting for his people.”
As the deteriorating health of Nelson Mandela, the first president of post-apartheid South Africa, dominated citizens’ thoughts and newspaper headlines in recent months, the legacy of another opponent of the country’s former policy of racial discrimination became the subject of debate.
Geoff Sifrin |
Special To The Jewish Week
Nelson Mandela’s amazing attitude of reconciliation after his release in 1990 from 27 years in prison reassured very nervous South African Jews — and whites generally — that after living with “packed suitcases under the bed” during apartheid, they had a future here after all.
The Israel Defense Forces emergency medical team left the Philippines 11 days after arriving there to aid typhoon victims.
The 148-person medical team vacated the IDF’s emergency field hospital in Bogo City on Monday after treating more than 3,000 patients, including 800 children, according to the IDF spokesperson. The team also conducted 52 surgeries and delivered 36 babies.