The ongoing violence, despair and apparent paralysis in Israel/Palestine resemble a similar gloomy mood in South Africa during the late 1980s. Analogies with the South African case are increasingly applied to Israel/Palestine for two different purposes: to showcase South Africa as a model for a negotiated settlement and to label Israel a 'colonial settler state' that should be confronted with similar strategies (sanctions, boycott) as applied against the apartheid regime. Heribert Adam and Kogila Moodley show that both assumptions are problematic, because of the different historical and socio-political contexts. Peace-making resulted in an inclusive democracy in South Africa, while territorial separation in two states is widely hailed as the solution in Israel/Palestine.
Adam and Moodley speculate on what would have happened in the Middle East had there been what they call 'a Palestinian Mandela' providing unifying moral and strategic leadership in the ethnic conflict. Unresolved issues in comparative politics and practical questions for conflict resolution can be clarified from the real-life laboratories of Israel and South Africa. A timely, relevant look at the issues of a polarized struggle, Seeking Mandela is an original comparison of South Africa and Israel, as well as an important critique of contemporary peace-making strategies.
Professor Heribert Adam was born in Germany and received his university education at the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory. He has been teaching political sociology at Simon Fraser University, Canada, since 1968 and also held fellowships at Berkeley, Yale, the American University in Cairo and since 1987 lectures regularly at the University of Cape Town. He has published extensively on ethnic conflicts and nationalism, particularly socio-political developments in South Africa. In 1998 he was awarded the Konrad Adenauer PRize of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and in 2000 he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the highest recognition that a Canadian scholar can achieve. Kogila Moodley is Professor of Sociology in the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia, Canada, and was first holder of the David Lam Chair. Raised in the Indian community of apartheid South Africa, she moved to Canada in 1968, with her research focused on critical multiculturalism, anti-racism education, comparative ethnic relations and citizenship. She served as President of the International Sociological Association's Research Committee on Ethnic, Minority and Race Relations from 1998 to 2002.
Acknowledgments; Preface: Reflections on Moral Literacy; Introduction: Political Travel Through the Holy Land; Part I. Probing the South African Lessons; 1. Controversial Issues on Overview; 2. A Brief History of South Africa and Apartheid; 3. The Problematic Israel-South Africa Analogy; 4. Visions of an Endgame; Part II. After the Violence; 5. Collective Memory: How Democracies Deal with the Crimes of Previous Regimes; 6. The Politics of Reconciliation and Transitional Justice; 7. An Israeli/Palestinian Truth Commission?; Part III. Conclusions: Solutions Revisited and Lessons Drawn; Notes; Bibliography; Index.