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Nelson Mandela was not just a campaigner and leader for his own people. He was an advocate for freedom, justice and democracy everywhere.
He is famously quoted as saying “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians”. Today, the Palestinian people are surrounded by what might be called the ‘new’ Berlin Wall. They face apartheid-like restrictions on travel, trade and peaceful assembly.
People like Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Professor Stephen Hawking, Roger Waters, Stevie Wonder and Emma Thompson have joined the growing ‘Boycott Israel’ campaign, reminiscent of the anti-apartheid era boycott of South Africa.
As we say goodbye to Mandela it is worth considering his legacy in the context of the world’s modern day struggles, regardless of how difficult and unpopular they may be. Acting to end the suffering of the Palestinian people would be a fitting way of remembering Mandela and keeping his spirit alive.
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