Palestine – Mandela’s Elders Malign and Vilify Israel

October 18, 2010 by David Singer
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The Elders – an independent group of eminent global leaders  founded in 2007 by airline mogul Sir Richard Branson and co-founder of Genesis Peter Gabriel – has sent four of its members – including Mary Robinson and  Jimmy Carter – on its second visit to the Middle East this week.

As The Elders web site explains:

“Inspired by the role that elders play in traditional societies, as a source of advice, wisdom and experience, they [Branson and Gabriel] took the idea to Nelson Mandela and were thrilled when he agreed to help bring a group of ‘global elders’ together… The Elders comprises ten visionary leaders including Graça Machel, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Kofi Annan and President Carter. They work both publicly and behind the scenes, collectively and individually, in areas of conflict such as; Kenya, Cyprus, Darfur and Zimbabwe and also work on a number of global issues, such as health and gender equality.

No mention is made of The Elders becoming involved in the Arab-Jewish conflict which still remains unresolved after 130 years of bitter confrontation.

One would have thought that was a wise decision – given that an established  negotiating process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority – the Roadmap – sponsored by America, the United Nations, Russia and the European Union has been ongoing for the last seven years.

Yet the Elders have been unable to resist the temptation to interfere. Their website separately claims that The Elders also wish to promote

“a just and secure peace for all that embraces human rights principles under international law,and guarantees the right to live in equality, dignity and security to all Palestinians and Israelis.”

In failing to recognize that the conflict is one between “Arabs” and “Jews” – not “Palestinians” and “Israelis“ – this group of sage elders has found itself unable to rise above Arab propaganda – which seeks to deny the Jewish people the right to their own independent State in their ancient and biblical homeland as legally envisioned for them by the League of Nations and the United Nations.

Mary Robinson herself told the Conference of the High Contracting Parties  to the Fourth Geneva  Convention on 5 December 2001:

“Each of us knows that it is a difficult time, and that words matter and will be noted. “

Words do matter – especially in the Arab-Jewish conflict which has been turned on its head  from being an existential struggle for Jewish independence and survival to one represented as a dispute between two groups of people – Palestinians and Israelis – competing for the same piece of land.

As they embark on their latest visit – statements emanating from The Elders have already invoked  memories of the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion – the most notorious and widely distributed anti-semitic publication of modern times. Its lies about Jews, which have been repeatedly discredited, continue to circulate today, especially on the Internet and can be freely purchased in many Arab capitals.

In 1921, the London Times presented conclusive proof that the Protocols was a “clumsy plagiarism.” The Times confirmed that the Protocols had been copied in large part from a French political satire that never mentioned Jews — Maurice Joly’s Dialogue in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu (1864). Other investigations revealed that one chapter of a Prussian novel, Hermann Goedsche’s Biarritz (1868), also “inspired” the Protocols.

The current Elders are not anti-Semites.

However their statements need to be critically analyzed and carefully scrutinized since the weight they carry has the power to materially influence public opinion at a time when campaigns to delegitimize Israel and threats to eradicate the Jewish State are on the rise.

Jimmy Carter was interviewed prior to setting out on his current tour and the following exchange appeared in an article written by Akiva Eldar in Ha’Aretz on 15 October:

QUESTION: Did you ever encounter an Israeli demand that the Arabs recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people?

ANSWER: This demand is completely new. The first time I heard of it, I was in East Jerusalem after Obama’s Cairo speech [on 4 June 2009], to which Netanyahu responded with a call for the Arabs and Palestinians to acknowledge Israel as a Jewish state – which was a move probably initiated by Lieberman and his party. I don’t see how it’s possible – there are 1.5 million Arab citizens in Israel, and 320,000 who are neither Jews nor Muslims – so I don’t know if it will be possible. For the Arabs to acknowledge that the Arabs who live in Israel are Jewish will be very difficult.

Granted Jimmy Carter is now 86.

However is he so ill-informed that he is unaware that Israel’s demand is not “completely new” – that:

1.    Israel raised this demand in the Reservations it raised to the Roadmap on 27 May 2003 stating

“declared references must be made to Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state”

2.    America made the following written commitment to Israel on 14 April 2004:

“The United States is strongly committed to Israel’s security and well-being as a Jewish state”

3.    Israel’s former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert reiterated this demand as the basis for further negotiations with the Palestinian Authority in a speech to the  international

community assembled in Annapolis on 27 November 2007.

If Mr Carter is that uninformed or seeks to claim memory loss for his otherwise inexplicable lapse then he should retire gracefully rather than making misleading statements that have the capacity to persuade public opinion that the Jews are attempting to subvert the negotiating process by raising belated demands.

Mary Robinson is no better.  After visiting Gaza on 16 October she declared:

“It is unconscionable and unacceptable that Israel and the international community have not lifted the blockade fully to allow Gazans to rebuild their lives and be part of the interconnected world that we take for granted.”

The blockade is also being imposed by Egypt. Why would Mary Robinson fail to mention that salient fact?  How many readers will be quick to blame the Jews alone for imposing the blockade and exonerate Egypt from any similar criticism?

If The Elders are to make any worthwhile contribution to resolving the Arab – Jewish conflict they need to quickly disavow themselves of such irresponsible and highly inflammatory statements or become known as the purveyors of canards and falsehoods whose effect is to malign and vilify the Jewish people.

Yes – Mary Robinson and Jimmy Carter – words do certainly count. Just make sure you  use them in a manner that is not unfair, deceptive or misleading.


16 Responses to “Palestine – Mandela’s Elders Malign and Vilify Israel”
  1. david singer says:

    # Harold Zea

    Mary Robinson and Jimmy Carter’s title as “Elders” evoked memories for me of the earlier Elders as these latest soi-disant Elders made statements that were untrue in the case of Carter and misleading in the case of Robinson.

    Carter and Robinson’s statements that I referred to were not forgeries but actually verifiable untrue or misleading statements uttered by them as I pointed out. They were not merely “criticisms” as you allege.

    Israel is not “Soi- disant” as you claim. It is the Jewish National Home reconstituted pursuant to the Mandate for Palestine and the UN Charter. Only the Arabs still refuse to recognize this legal and historical fact. Until they do so peace between Jews and Arabs will never be achieved.

  2. Harold Zea says:

    You said:
    “As they embark on their latest visit – statements emanating from The Elders have already invoked memories of the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion – the most notorious and widely distributed anti-semitic publication of modern times. Its lies about Jews, which have been repeatedly discredited, continue to circulate today, especially on the Internet and can be freely purchased in many Arab capitals.

    In 1921, the London Times presented conclusive proof that the Protocols was a “clumsy plagiarism.” The Times confirmed that the Protocols had been copied in large part from a French political satire that never mentioned Jews — Maurice Joly’s Dialogue in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu (1864). Other investigations revealed that one chapter of a Prussian novel, Hermann Goedsche’s Biarritz (1868), also “inspired” the Protocols.”

    Did they intentionally evoke these memories? Did they cite the Protocols as authority for what they did say? Did they bring the Protocols to your mind in some way? Maybe because they dared to criticise the soi-disant Jewish State, and the Protocols were antisemitic? I fail to see the connection between these two paragraphs and the Elders’ visit…unless the word ‘Elders’ itself is one you feel to be tainted by a poor forgery?

    I suggest you take a little of your own medicine – “words do certainly count. Just make sure you use them in a manner that is not unfair, deceptive or misleading.”

    Oh, yes.

  3. Rita Liddle says:


    I’m rather a bit old-fashioned and dont know anything about Bono, except that I dont like his kind of music. (I am more in to Mozart, Schubert and Folk). I looked at your links but dont understand the “lyrics/message” nor can I read what seems to be arabic at the beginning of the first link on that green carussel.

    Has Bono also jumped onto the bandwagon of the fashionable “In-Herd” who not only moronically swallows the islamist narrative, but actively contributes to the vilification of Israel and the Jewish people by propagating it?

  4. Gavin says:

    “So, speak up, because to say nothing is to say yes.”

    On that basis, is Australia prepared for the next visit, very soon, by U2 frontman Bono? Bono might also be called the frontman for the global agenda being pushed by The Elders. A recorded speech by Desmond Tutu is central to the “U2 360” mega-show which is soon to fill Australian stadiums. Not only is Tutu chairman of The Elders, he has also been international patron of Bono’s ONE campaign, as well as Earth Hour.

    Will Bono meet with Prime Minister Julia Gillard in December? Almost certainly. John Howard remains perhaps the only leader of a country visited by Bono to have rejected his advances. That was four years ago.

  5. Rita Liddle says:


    You say: “…I hesitate to ca ll Mary Robinson and Jimmy Carter anti-semites because I think their record indicates otherwise…”.

    Their remarks which you question above will further assist the demonisation of the Jewish People and Israel and they are both intelligent enough to know that. But, perhaps, instead of calling them anti-semites, I should put it more “diplomatically” and say: they simply like those who want to destroy Israel better than they like Israel.

    As to the Bishops quoted above: I am completely disgusted that they seemingly have not left the dark ages yet, and strongly suspect that they are still stuck in those ugly times, when Christians blamed the Jews for “killing Jesus”. Arrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggghhhhhhhhhh!

    Incidentally, I am german born and catholic educated.

  6. david singer says:


    I hesitate to call Mary Robinson and Jimmy Carter anti-semites because I think their record indicates otherwise.

    They are perfectly entitled to support the Palestinian Arab cause but my objection is that they seek to do so by uttering statements that demonstrably are factually wrong, deceptive and misleading. When this happens one is entitled to question their motives in doing so.

    Such statements indeed do damage to Israel and the Jewish people and these statements need to be identified and questions asked as to why they are being made when they are factually inaccurate.

    The article containing Carter’s untrue remarks that I criticised in my article now has over 5000 references to it on Google. That is how quickly canards are spread these days and how difficult it is to rebut them. That is why people like Carter – and Robinson – need to make sure that what they utter is 100% accurate.

  7. david singer says:


    Thanks for the article regarding Bishop Power.

    Note that the Bishop only talks about Israel and does not mention Egypt as also instituting the blockade of Gaza.

    Bishop Power protested in front of the Israeli Embassy but not the Egyptian Embassy.

    When people of such eminence act in such a one sided manner they give fuel to those who mount a campaign of delegitimization against Israel.

    Such people need to be exposed and one must certainly query their motives in focusing on Israel to the total exclusion of Egypt.

    Of course the canard gets repeated over and over again. It is wrong, unfair and deserves to be condemned.

  8. Rita Liddle says:

    correction please: ‘
    (line 6):
    the trend in the media and the intelligenzia are anti-Semitic

    the trend in the media and the intelligenzia IS anti-Semitic.’

    (line 9):

    As to Jimmy Carter, he qualifys
    As to Jimmy Carter, he qualifies


  9. Rita Liddle says:

    You say in your very interesting article:

    “…The current Elders are not anti-Semites…”

    I think, where these two (Carter and Robinson) are concerned, you are too generous. They certainly behave like anti-Semites.

    Mary Robinson was a media floozie and a trendoit from way back. Unfortunately, these days, the trend in the media and the intelligenzia is anti-Semitic and, increasingly, the arab/islamist/anti-jewish narrative is swallowed by the majority. So, Robinson is just running with the pack, while (no doubt) smiling as sweetly as the proverbial crocodile.

    As to Jimmy Carter, he qualifies – at best – as that species, they call a “useful Idiot”. Melanie Phillips writes in her oustanding book “The World Turned Upside Down” (which contains the best analysis of the Misrepresentation of Israel I have read):

    “…Jimmy Carter devoted an entire book, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid” to making the claim that Israel was perpetrating “worse instances of apartheid, than we witnessed even in South Africa”…”

    And yes, of course, as see-through as those two Jew-haters are to people with a sense of Justice, they DO do a lot of damage to Israel and the Jewish people.

    So, speak up, because to say nothing is to say “yes”.

  10. Lynne Newington says:

    My printer is being serviced so I shall have to enter the artilcle here.
    UNDATED ARTICLE: Catholic Voice; Bishop ‘ashamed’ on Gaza
    Auxillary Bishop Pat Power has told Prime Minister Keven Rudd that he is ashamed Australia had been complicit in allowing the Israelis to ruthlessly crush Palestinians.
    “My visits to the Holy Land in 1973 and 1988 convinced me of the brutality of the Israelis towards the Palestinian population. Everything I have observed since has hardened my convictions.
    “I have been appalled over the years to witness the United States giving a ‘wink and a nod’ to Israel as well as financial backing enabling the Israelis to ruthlessly crush the Palestinians.
    “The fact that so many other countries are complicit, including I am ashamed to say, Australia, is a scource of great shame to me.
    “I recognise how futile (stupid) are the rocket attacks which were launched by
    Hamas into Israel, but I can understand how a desperate population of 1.5 million people crowed into such a small land mass and systematically deprived of essential food, water, fuel and medical supplies are pushed to desperate measures”.
    In the letter which he wrote at the height of the Gaza conflict, Bishop Power called on Mr Rudd to do all he could to halt “this dreadful blight on our times”.
    Bishop Power spoke in a rally which began at the Israeli Embassy and ended at Mr Rudds residence, The Lodge. He also took part in a candlelight vigil outside Parliment House.
    “I was struck by the large number of beautiful young Palestinian children who were present. I wept at the thought of children of their age who have been slaughtered in Gaza in the past two weeks. They are today’s ‘holy innocents’ suffering a similar fate as thatwhich Herod inflicted 2000 years ago”.
    Bishop Power added his voice to an apeal by Canberra church leaders for “peace and justice in Gaza.
    In a statement issued during the fighting, they said they were “appalled by the ever-increasing death toll and injuries involving, in no small measure, children and civilians.
    “We call upon the Australian goverment to take a stronger stance for peace and to use all in it’s power diplomatically to bring pressure to bear on Israel and the United States to bring an end to the hostilities.
    “We recognise that there can be no lasting peace without justice and we pray that all parties will be open to negotiation, respecting the rights of all concerned. It is only when every human being, regardless of race or religion, is seen as our brother or sister, that there will be peace and harmony in the human family”.
    The leaders who issued the appeal were Bishop Power, Anglican bishop-elect Stewart Robinson, the Rev Jim Barr, of the Baptist Church, and the Rev Gregor Henderson of the Uniting Church.

  11. Lynne Newington says:

    David I’m looking. I was going to forward it to you some time ago when the National Council of Churchs issue presented itself.

  12. david singer says:


    I would be interested if you could find the remarks made by Bishop Power to which you refer.

    I do not think however that remarks such as those made by Jimmy Carter and Mary Robinson as set out in my article – which I have demonstrably proved to be misleading or deceptive or misrepresent the factual details of the conflict – should be regarded as anything but deserving of condemnation.

    Persons of such eminence must be especially careful in their choice of words because for better or worse their statements are more likely to be accepted by the public as being fair and accurate and to thereafter be used to beat Israel over the head.

    Repeat a lie often enough and people will come to accept its truth. The Nazis made good use of that doctrine and they have been emulated by Arab propagandists with stunning success.

    False accusations or claims should have no part to play in resolving the Arab-Jewish conflict. This is a matter of commonsense – not one that should be left to one’s own discernment.

  13. Lynne Newington says:

    Actually Bishop Patrick Power of the Canberra Goulburn Diocese made a similar comment to that of The Elders and Mary Robinson some time ago. I may still have it somewhere.
    You will just have to use your own discernment in these matters.

  14. joe d says:

    good article, curious to hear if Maya actually has something to say, or just exposing him/her self as the brainwashed one. This article has legitimate points.

  15. david singer says:

    Dear maya

    Shooting the messenger is a waste of your time and everyone’s time and adds nothing to discussing the content of the article.

    If you have any criticism of the matetrial in the article then by all means tell me what irks you.

    I have pointed out the misrepresentations made by Jimmy Carter and Mary Robinson that amount to vilification of Israel.

    When you have these sage Elders engaging in such reprehensible conduct then I intend to expose them. Their status does not preclude them from being criticised because of the unfair, deceptive and misleading words they utter.

    Get the message now maya?

  16. maya says:

    you my friend are the most brainwashed human being . Who gave you a degree? People like you should not be allowed to use the internet let alone write a political article. I would strongly advise the owners of this website to ban you for the sake of humanity and for the sake of eductation.

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