ANC Leaders Roll Out Red Carpet in South Africa for Visiting Hamas Delegation.


South African leaders have rolled out the red carpet for an official Hamas delegation during the past week, with a private visit to the Robben Island prison cell of Nelson Mandela, the late former South African president, along with the formal signing of a “Memorandum of Understanding” between the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and the Islamist organization.
Headed by veteran Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar, the delegation of politicians from the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) in Gaza included Nabil Abu-Ras, Muhammad Faraj al-Ghul, and Musheer al-Masri — all of them supporters of the Hamas-backed bloc in the Palestinian Parliament.
While on their visit, which commenced last Wednesday, the Hamas delegation was escorted to one of country’s most important centers for commemorating the Apartheid era: the prison cell on Robben Island where Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison, and from where he became a global symbol of opposition to South Africa’s ruling white minority.
Standing inside Mandela’s cell, al-Zahar declared that he had “a message to every mujahid who wages jihad for the sake of his land and his country.”
Comparing Hamas prisoners in Israeli jails with Mandela, al-Zahar said that “Allah willing, you will get out of your prisons and rule the country, just like Mandela got out of prison and ruled this country,” according to a video of his remarks translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), an independent think tank.
Although Mandela never made a secret of his sympathy with the Palestinian cause, he supported the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel as a solution to the conflict. Nor is there any record of Mandela ever making the comparison between the Jewish state and the former Apartheid regime that prevails in pro-Palestinian circles.

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