Israeli Leader Cancels Plans To Attend Nelson Mandela Memorial Service

The Dalai Lama also won't attend

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Debbie Hill / Xinhua Press / Corbis

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to the press following his meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry at Ben-Gurion airport near Tel Aviv, Nov. 8, 2013.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has cancelled plans to attend memorial events for the late South African leader Nelson Mandela, citing travel and security costs, Israeli media reported Sunday.

Netanyahu, whose spending habits have recently come under fire, cited costs of about $2 million to travel to South Africa for the memorial, Haaretz reports.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Dalai Lama said Sunday that he won’t travel to South Africa either, AFP reports. It wasn’t immediately clear why, but the Dalai Lama has been visas to visit the country twice since 2009.

Recent reports have revealed that Netanyahu used almost $1 million in taxpayers’ money for upkeep on his three residences last year. Tuesday’s memorial service for the late former South African president and anti-apartheid leader is expected to draw up to 80,000 people, including more than 50 world leaders. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will be in attendance, along with Bill and Hillary Clinton. Security concerns in the large stadium where the memorial is taking place mean Obama and other world leaders are likely to observe from behind bulletproof glass, the Associated Press reports.

Mandela’s burial is planned for Dec. 15 in his childhood village of Qunu.

[AFP]

22 comments
XiraArien1
XiraArien1

Israel is probably the last apartheid government on Earth. Why would he go and support a man who challenged a government like his and won?

SuperMario27
SuperMario27

Well of course he didn't go. Israel supported the apartheid government in South Africa that was ended by Mandela...since Israel is an apartheid government as well, they can't support a man who ended apartheid in an allied nation.....

JonNewman
JonNewman

Yet, he was able to fly to England to Thatchers funeral.

Tiger-Pi
Tiger-Pi

Obviously, Netanyahu has  deep guilty feelings as Israel  over the years, has placed in  jail, many, many 'Mandelas'. He will not be able to  reply to  questions; like  the recent reports of the use of Polonium  to assassinate Arafat,  attributed to the Israeli intelligence agencies. Israel, unfortunately  has  displayed a long term contempt for the very "Gandhian' ideology espoused by NELSON  Mandela, especially in their continuing  'apartheid of inhumanity' against the Palestinians. 

amall22
amall22

Not surprising. Netanyahu is a disgraceful human being and he stands against everything Mandela stood for.

bjhanse2
bjhanse2

That is appropriate.  Netanyahu is himself a perpetrator of apart-hate (apartheid) and would be a most unwelcome presence at the memorial for a leader that stood up against such rancor and inhuman treatment towards an entire nation of people.  My only wish would be that Netanyahu actually learn from the example of Mandela and South Africa - but that is about as likely as Ariel Sharon waking from his coma to finish the peace process he started.

RoseLawsonSteinmeier
RoseLawsonSteinmeier

The funny part is that the Israeli government is sending 6 lawmakers to the Memorial Service, but apparently it's too expensive for Nutty-Yahoo to attend.  According to Isreli math sending 6 is cheaper than sending 1.

mrxexon
mrxexon

The man has become like a wart on the face of Israel. No matter what good things the country accomplishes, the dirt this man tracks across the carpet makes him unwelcome wherever he goes.


I'm not the only one who would like to see him arrested as soon as he touches down in another country.


x

SmoothEdward1
SmoothEdward1

The ghost of Gandhi sent word that he also will be unable to attend.

anonymoust1
anonymoust1

Maybe Israelis are still upset that the ANC took out the white-controlled government of South Africa.  Reports state that Israel sent South Africa nuclear weapons and the two had a very close relationship, both politically and economically.

AmitAtlantaUSA
AmitAtlantaUSA

Being just one among the nearly 1 BILLION very staunch "non-Muslim" Indian supporters of the valiant Jewish people and their dynamic leader Benjamin Netanyahu, I say this.

Mr. Netanyahu has lost a golden opportunity to rub shoulders with world leaders ( a large majority of whom are UNFAIRLY biased against the long oppressed Jewish people) and more importantly to present his case for a just & viable settlement for the "so-called" Palestinian issue by providing an opportunity for those remnants of former Jordanians to live with honor & dignity in a peaceful Palestinian state of their own, while ensuring the long elusive security for the Jewish people.

Hope Mr. Netanyahu reverses his decision.


NikNiku
NikNiku

Netanyahu showed one more time what a disgrace he is.

AriPotah
AriPotah

Thank Providence we have been spared the presence of this thug - he would have disgraced any remembrance. 

TerriRobinowitz
TerriRobinowitz

@AmitAtlantaUSA why don't you take YOUR sorry sychophantic as$%% tp Israel and live.

WE DON'T NEED OR WANT YOUR TYPE IN AMERICA!!!!

DidaNdi
DidaNdi

Go away monkeys,snakes ,elephants,and cows worshippers ,you fail to mention that Muslim ruled India for over 1000years before the British came ,if they had any hatred toward the Hindu as you have toward them you would have wiped out all you idole worshippers out of the face of the earth,the TajMahal you Indian brag about was built by muslims

Openminded1
Openminded1

@JacquelineEl-Nil just like muslims, they hate every one except muslims. jews are the same way. But muslims kill more.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@DidaNdi Muslims are religious fanatic killers and can not be trusted. they kill people all over the world every day. they are scum.

Tiger-Pi
Tiger-Pi

@DidaNdi When did you escape from a mental asylum to write drivel on these august pages? First learn HISTORY  properly before making useless comments that we readers of Time just have no time to read.