Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #469) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #469)
Transcript: better houses, introduction of educational reforms, improvement in the living standards of both urban and rural populations, the building of the Aswan Dam and of a modern army. Egypt under Nasser was a striking contrast to the feudal and poor country that it was under the pharaohs.
But there was another aspect which interested me about the Nasser development programme. Although she was the leader of the Moslem world in the Middle East and North Africa, she was also the most powerful African state on our continent and perhaps the only black state then with an army, navy and airforce that could compare with that of South Africa. The mere existence of such a state was a matter of strategic significance to those who were planning armed operations against oppressive regimes in their own countries in Africa.
Prior to my visit to Egypt I had read a voluminous manual issued by the Israeli army on the 1956 war between the two countries. As was to be expected the account was written from the point of view of the Israeli army and skillfully concealed the fact that the whole operation was an imperialist plot of aggression which was simultaneously launched by Britain, France and Israel and which was foiled only by the threat of armed intervention by the Soviet Union.
Nevertheless I always thought it unrealistic to ignore the existence of Israel and maintained that the Jewish people are as entitled as any other nation in the world to have their own national home. I have always wished and still do for the establishment of harmonious relations between all people and more particularly between the Arabs and Israel and the end of all hostilities between them. But I
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