There are many who want to walk past the idealized figure of Mandela and include in his bio some of his early activities.
Such eagerness is both in good faith and bad. Many have called Mandela a terrorist, or have accused the press of glossing over the more 'gory' details of his rich and long life.
But some other just want to include the lesser known details because they increase the stature of a man who neared a point of no return and pulled back, availing himself of a great mind and even greater discipline, and went from a position of what some call armed resistance, to become instead a Nobel prize winning pacifist.
For those who want to detract from Mandela's accomplishments, the news this week that he trained with the Mossad comes as a bit of a surprise.
In 1962 Mandela was trained in sabotage by the Mossad. A few months later, he would go to trial and subsequently begin his very long jail term.
Haaretz has published a report that Mandela, during such a training, was interested in the Haganah, the paramilitary forces that operated in Palestine between the two world wars and later became the Israeli Defense, and the Jewish resistance and underground movements.
Observers in the Mossad, also believed that Mandela secretly harbored communist ideals.
The training would have taken place in Ethiopia, where Mossad forces were stationed. They however, did not know who he was. This was during Mandela's 'escape' from South Africa, at a time when he was trying to drum up support for the ANC and possibly even have direct aid from one of the African nations he visited.
Mandela presented himself under false identity to the Israeli Embassy in Ethiopia. He learned Judo, Sabotage and Weaponry, according to a letter circulated by the Mossad. The Mossad also tried to make Mandela join the Zionist movement, but he was more interested in underground warfare and other related subjects, although the document released by Haaretz reveals that he was well informed of the Jewry's problems in Palestine and that the Mossad agents did understand he was no mere freedom fighter, having all the indications that he was an intellectual.
After Mandela was arrested, the Mossad realized that the man who came to the Embassy in Ethiopia was none other than the black pimpernel, as Mandela was called in South Africa, and that he had successfully completed his training under false pretenses.
Source: France 24/ 12.22.13