Nelson Mandela is remembered as a hero, as a man who stood up against his oppressive government and fought for freedom and equality. He will be remembered as a man who believed every person should be given fundamental human rights. He will be remembered for the great man that he was. But he was also a man who was not afraid to fight for what he believed in, he was not afraid to stand up against the government and die for his country and his people. He was a man who spent 27 years of his life in prison because he believed in freedom from apartheid. Nelson Mandela was a leader, but he was also viewed by many as a terrorist. In 10, 20, 30 years, how will we view those who are called terrorists today? How will we treat or think about the people who are fighting for their freedom from their oppressive governments? 

“I was called a terrorist yesterday, but when I came out of jail, many people embraced me, including my enemies, and that is what I normally tell other people who say those who are struggling for liberation in their country are terrorists. I tell them that I was also a terrorist yesterday, but, today, I am admired by the very people who said I was one.”

RIP Nelson Mandela

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Why isn’t Palestine playing ball in The Hague? Those responsible for rocket launches from Gaza targeting Israeli population centers could be held criminally responsible at the ICC, but that should not deter the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah from seeking the court’s jurisdiction, since it has stated that it is against such attacks.

The main reason, current and former Palestinian officials say, is that Israel has threatened unspecified retaliation if it seeks the court’s jurisdiction, and the US has reinforced the threat. As a former Palestinian legal adviser told me, “The US said to us clearly, conveying Israel’s position, ‘Don’t touch it.’” US Secretary of State John Kerry said during his Senate confirmation hearings that the US was “very, very strongly against” any “effort to take Israel for instance … to the ICC.”

Today we honor a man who has taught us that even one person can make a difference in the world. Too often we stand by and watch oppressive and discriminatory acts happen everyday thinking there is nothing we can do to change it or make it stop. Too often we brush things off thinking it happens everyday so why start worrying about it now. Today we honor a man who has shown us that even the worst of oppression can come to an end if we stand up for what we believe in and live to make the world a better place.
"It always seems impossible until it’s done." ~ RIP Nelson Mandela

Today we honor a man who has taught us that even one person can make a difference in the world. Too often we stand by and watch oppressive and discriminatory acts happen everyday thinking there is nothing we can do to change it or make it stop. Too often we brush things off thinking it happens everyday so why start worrying about it now. Today we honor a man who has shown us that even the worst of oppression can come to an end if we stand up for what we believe in and live to make the world a better place.

"It always seems impossible until it’s done." ~ RIP Nelson Mandela