Deep In the Heart of Whiteness, Post-Mandela Edition
WorldNetDaily relies on cherry-picked statements -- and a few pro-apartheid dead-enders -- to trash Nelson Mandela after his death.
By Terry Krepel
Following the death of Nelson Mandela, WorldNetDaily knew what it needed to do: diminish his legacy of fighting apartheid by cherry-picking his life and call on its resident pro-apartheid dead-enders to attack him.
The first tweet WND sent out on Mandela's death stated: "Nelson Mandela's Legacy: JEW BEARS CHRISTIAN WITNESS TO ETHNIC CLEANSING."
The tweet linked to WND's Facebook page, which in turn linked to a 2011 WND article by Ilana Mercer, WND's resident apartheid-lover, touting how "a “pro-Boer Israeli human rights activist” by the name of Avigdor Eskin visited South Africa on a fact-finding tour" in which he criticized the "ANC-regime’s 'silent genocide' of the ... Afrikaner-Boers in South Africa."
The cover of WND Weekly, WND's web magazine summarizing the week's coverage, carried a picture of Mandela with the headline "iCon."
If Eskin's Wikipedia page is correct, Eskin is also a former member of Meir Kahane's violent far-right Kach movement and laid a death curse on Yitzak Rabin in response to the Oslo Accords.
Right-wing pro-apartheid dead-enders are probably not the most objective source of information about Nelson Mandela, but that didn't stop WND from continuing to rely on them.
WND editor Joseph Farah devoted his Dec. 6 column to remembering Nelson Mandela by trashing him, under the headline "Don't Mourn for Mandela":
Maybe you say: “But Farah, he was fighting against the evil of Apartheid!”
If apartheid was as evil as Farah insists, why does WND employ a columnist Ilana Mercer, who laments the end of that "evil" system?
Farah also wrote:
You will read today many stories describing Mandela as a “political prisoner.”
Farah leaves out a lot of context. Given that much of the Western world, including the United States, condoned if not outright supported pro-apartheid governments in South Africa, Mandela had to find support from somewhere.
Farah's claim that Mandela stayed in prison only because he refused to renounce terrorism ignores what Mandela actually said on the subject in 1985:
What freedom am I being offered while the organisation of the people remains banned? What freedom am I being offered when I may be arrested on a pass offence? What freedom am I being offered to live my life as a family with my dear wife who remains in banishment in Brandfort? What freedom am I being offered when I must ask for permission to live in an urban area? What freedom am I being offered when I need a stamp in my pass to seek work? What freedom am I being offered when my very South African citizenship is not respected?
In other words, his freedom would be meaningless in a country that still practiced apartheid.
(Farah repeated this claim in his Dec. 10 column, while insisting that " not a single person has questioned even one of the facts I have reported that indict his semi-official narrative.")
Finally, Farah's disdain for Mandela "attempting to overthrow the government" presumably doesn't similarly apply to anyone attempting to overthrow the Obama administration, like WND columnists Larry Klayman and Erik Rush.
WND managed to find another pro-apartheid dead-ender to bash Mandela in a Dec. 7 article:
Nelson Mandela was a radical Marxist and a firm advocate of abortion, pornography, homosexuality and legalizing prostitution, according to a prominent Christian missionary who was summoned to the home of the South African president.
What WND won't tell you, according to iViews.com:
The chairman of Frontline Fellowship is Peter Hammond, a former South African army sniper and intelligence officer. Hammond, the son-in-law of ITMI president Bill Bathman, formed Frontline Fellowship on a South African military base in Namibia, drawing on ex-Rhodesian commando units for members. Frontline Fellowship literature called the South African army under apartheid a "missionary force" which must be supported. He is also the current director of UCA (of CSI's Gunnar Wiebalck), of which Frontline Fellowship has been a member since the 1980s.
Sounds like your basic apartheid dead-ender. He denies this, of course, stating in a posting to his Frontline Fellowship website that "I was never a supporter of apartheid" and that his "Opposing communism, terrorism, and political manipulation of the churches ... is not the same thing as supporting apartheid!" Yet in that posting, Hammond does not denounce apartheid.
If Hammond is as opposed to apartheid as he says he is, why is he working so hard to downplay it?
Ellis Washington joined the party in his Dec. 13 column, starting things off by repeating Farah's out-of-context claim that Mandela refused to renounce terrorism. Washington went on to grouse:
According to the original 1963 and 1964 indictments of the Rivonia Trial: The State v. Nelson Mandela et al, Supreme Court of South Africa, Transvaal Provincial Division, Mandela was not charged for being a political dissident but for four acts of TERRORISM. Specifically, he was originally incarcerated for involvement in 23 different acts of sabotage, conspiracy to overthrow the government and treason. He and his fellow terrorist conspirators of the ANC and the South African Communist Party (SACP) were caught by the police while in the possession of 48,000 Soviet-made anti-personnel mines and 210,000 hand grenades! Mandela lied when he confessed that the ANC only adopted violence as a means of protest “when other forms of resistance were no longer open to us.”
Again, context matters (though not to Washington). Here's the full text of what Mandela said, again from his 1985 statement:
I am surprised at the conditions that the government wants to impose on me. I am not a violent man. My colleagues and I wrote in 1952 to Malan asking for a round table conference to find a solution to the problems of our country, but that was ignored. When Strijdom was in power, we made the same offer. Again it was ignored. When Verwoerd was in power we asked for a national convention for all the people in South Africa to decide on their future. This, too, was in vain.
Washington also ignored the fact that the ANC did not take to violent protest until after the Sharpesville massacre in 1960, when South African police killed 69 black anti-apartheid demonstrators and wounded dozens of others.
For Washington to claim that Mandela "lied" requires him to ignore inconvenient facts. We also suspect that Washington won't be as harsh with anyone who resorts to violence against his hated President Obama.
Finally, the person we've all been waiting for weighed in. What would the pro-apartheid Ilana Mercer have to say about the death of Nelson Mandela?
Mercer's Dec. 12 WND column largely wusses out, devoting most of it to an 11-page excerpt from her book "Into the Cannibal's Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa" in which she purports to offer "a historic corrective to the glitterati-created myth that is Mandela."
The rest of Mercer's column is dedicated to calling President Obama a "dictator" and "consummate narcissist" and complaining her work wasn't sufficiently promoted during an appearance on the Russia Today channel.
Mercer also lamented that "My homeland South Africa is a dominant-party state where might makes right." She doesn't indicate whether she's referring to the apartheid era.
But that's what happens when WND lets pro-apartheid sympathizers dictate its coverage of an anti-apartheid activist.