Charismatic figures notoriously neglect personal relationships and benevolent, child-focused professional persons have a habit of ignoring their own children and carpenters‘ houses never have any decent woodwork.
After his lengthy incarceration he did indeed show an astonishing lack of bitterness or resentment, considerable wisdom and apparently a great deal of charisma. However, the way he has been elevated to a level of other-worldly sanctity is regrettable. It’s probably counter-productive too, if the aim was to achieve a sort of harmonious, cohesive, rainbow nation chorus of adulation.
The BBC seems impervious to the audience’s irritation, if the comments on the BBC website are anything to go by. I bet they regret facilitating comments.
I object to the way the BBC pounced on the non-attendance of the Israeli PM. So, even if his excuse wasn’t one hundred percent genuine, (and couldn’t the BBC themselves do with a spot of financial expediency) was there any justification for what I heard from Kevin Connolly (on Today) and read by Bridget Kendall on the BBC news website:
“Among those not attending the memorial events will be Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who cited high travel and security costs.However there will be suspicion that he wishes to avoid the potential for anti-Israeli protests, the BBC's Middle East Correspondent Kevin Connolly reports. Israel had extensive links with the old apartheid regime and many South Africans identify strongly with the Palestinian cause, our correspondent adds.”
So. If the BBC is prepared to dredge up political events that allegedly occurred during the time of apartheid SA, should they be sanitising Nelson Mandela’s inglorious past in quite such a thorough fashion? Goose and Gander again.
I don’t know the ins and outs of Israel’s supposed ‘links’ with the old apartheid regime - i.e. if they existed or not, and if they did, whether they were any more extensive than any other country’s links, but I do suspect the BBC’s decision to use that reference to the apartheid regime in this context was gratuitous. It looks like an attempt to associate Israel with ‘apartheid’, and a none too subtle way of reinforcing the topsy turvy allegations that present-day ‘rainbow nation’ Israel is the apartheid state, and not the genuinely apartheid Islamic and (proposed) Jew-free Palestinian states.
They may as well have said “Israel has extensive links with apartheid politics and the BBC identifies strongly with the Palestinian cause” our correspondent adds.