Posts Tagged ‘Africa’
Security personnel for the Egypt Football Association have uncovered a plot to attack 61-year-old Avram Grant, the Israeli coach of the Ghana national soccer team, when the team arrives in Alexandria for a November 13 FIFA World Cup qualifier.
The match is to be played between Ghana and Egypt, but Egyptian fans are already expressing their displeasure that Grant is scheduled to enter the country with his team. Ghanian media quoted Egyptian sources on Sunday as saying the Egypt Football Association received threats from extremist fans who planned to harass and abuse Grant upon his arrival at the airport, and from that point on, until his departure from Egypt.
“They plan to hurt him and chant at him,” an Egypt Football Association source told the “Sports Obama” website in Ghana. “People don’t want him around.”
The Israeli coach had warned the international association earlier that Alexandria might not be a safe city in which to hold the match, and called on FIFA to relocate the game to a safer place.
Grant also holds Polish citizenship. He became the manager of the Ghana national soccer team at the end of 2014 after a long career that began in 1972 at the age of 18.Hana Levi Julian
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans a multi-stop tour of the eastern hemisphere in the next three months, with visits to Australia, Singapore and Kazakhstan, all of which have never before been visited by an Israeli prime minister.
Netanyahu also will visit Azerbaijan, where he once made a stop in 1997 during a previous term as prime minister. Israel buys most of its oil from Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.
The prime minister of Singapore has already visited Israel, back in April 2016, so Netanyahu’s visit comes as a reciprocal call, and the Israeli leader has been talking for months about a visit to “down under” as well.
Netanyahu is also planning a trip to Togo in Spring 2017 to attend a summit with West African nations.
In addition, President Reuven Rivlin is set to travel to India in two weeks, following the recent visit to Jerusalem this month by India’s President Pranab Mukherjee.
“Israel’s international relations are spreading in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and many other places,” said Netanyahu in remarks at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting.
“We realize that this development flows from Israel’s technological and economic strength on one hand, and its security and intelligence capabilities on the other.
Both of these facilitate the development and flourishing of our international relations,” he added.
“This is not to say that we will not be challenged in international forums, like we saw in the scandalous UNESCO decisions, and it is likely that this will continue at the UN, but there is no doubt that even in international institutions, even in these scandalous votes, we have seen a change.”
A specific schedule for the travels of the prime minister and president has not yet been set.Hana Levi Julian
By Michael Zeff/TPS
The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) announced on Sunday that Director General Dore Gold met with the president of the Republic of Chad, Idriss Déby Itno, at the Chadian president’s palace prior to establishing diplomatic relations with the Republic of Guinea last week.
“The meeting took place in the wake of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit to four African states, reinforcing the importance with which the prime minister views Israel’s relations with Africa,” stated the MFA on Sunday.
According to the MFA, Dir. Gen. Gold and President Déby Itno discussed topics of mutual interest to both countries, including ways to expand bilateral cooperation between them.
The announcement of the meeting between Gold and Déby Itno comes on the heels of Netanyahu’s statement last week that “yet another Muslim African country will announce reestablishment of ties with Israel.”
The Republic of Chad is an Arabic-speaking Muslim-majority state in sub-Saharan central Africa. Chad used to maintain official diplomatic relations with Israel, but severed ties in 1972 following intense pressure from its Arab neighbors and from Libya and Sudan.
Déby Itno is also the current chairman of the African Union (AU), a regional organization into which Israel wishes to be readmitted as an observer.
Netanyahu visited several sub-Saharan countries—Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, and Ethiopia—earlier this month in order to gain allies in international forums such as the AU and UN.
“There are 50 countries in Africa,” Netanyahu said during his African tour. “Just about all of them, could be allies of Israel. They vote at international forums, and I know people don’t believe this, but I think we can change the automatic majorities in the U.N. and so on.”
Israeli President, Reuven Rivlin is also scheduled to meet on Monday with the president of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Marcel Alain De Souza, who is currently visiting Israel. ECOWAS is a regional group of 15 West African countries and is meant to be a single large political and economic bloc.
The UN Security Council rejected a Palestinian Authority resolution calling for Israel to withdraw from Judea and Samaria in 2014. According to Ron Prosor, then Israeli ambassador to the UN, Rwanda and Nigeria, which are now friendly to Israel, helped balance the vote in Israel’s favor by abstaining.
In addition, Rwanda, along with India and Singapore, also delivered a critical vote in June within the UN Non-Aligned Movement in favor of making Israel the chair of a UN committee (the Legal Committee) for the first time in history.
While “changing the dynamics at the United Nations is not instant pudding,” as former Ambassador Prosor commented, the Israeli Africa-facing strategy shift seems to begin to bear fruit.TPS / Tazpit News Agency
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday met with Christian supporters of Israel in Nairobi, Kenya. The following is an excerpt from his remarks:
“I am glad, I am glad I have the opportunity, the privilege really of coming to Africa to meet you.
We appreciate this friendship and we’re expanding it to the continent of Africa. Yesterday I had a remarkable meeting in Uganda hosted by the President of Uganda, and six other African leaders including President Kenyatta there. Seven leaders from seven African countries talking about how to expand Israel’s relationship with their countries but with all the countries of Africa.
“Israel is coming back to Africa. Africa is coming back to Israel.
“And I believe that this is important for all Africans, all Africans, Christians, Muslims, all Africans.
“We produce water. We’ve had a substantial decline in rainfall since the establishment of modern Israel. And our population has grown ten times and our GDP per capita has grown 40 times. We should have a big water problem but we don’t, we have a water surplus. We have a water surplus because we’ve developed ingenuity to overcome this.
“And we are eager to share all of this with our African friends. This is the importance of this meeting.
“I had an extraordinary meeting today and we’re still going to have an extension, this dinner tonight with President Kenyatta who is a real friend. And we intend to continue and expand this relationship here and in the other countries. But at the heart of it, the connection with the people is a very sound idea, it’s the right idea and that’s why I am expecting you in Jerusalem.”
Interestingly, at least part of Israel – Judea and Samaria — is experiencing daily water shortages, but mostly due to two of Israel’s most acute problems: a bureaucracy that failed to upgrade the supply systems, and hundreds of millions of gallons of water being stolen annually by Arabs.JNi.Media
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spent Tuesday “recruiting” business and investors for Kenya at an economic forum held in Nairobi.
A delegation of some 80 Israeli entrepreneurs from more than 50 leading companies joined their Kenyan counterparts from more than 150 companies, mainly in agriculture, water, communications and homeland security.
The forum was aimed at increasing bilateral economic cooperation to boost Israeli exports and strengthen bilateral ties. It was hoped both sides would benefit from increased opportunities for business meetings and work contacts.
“Come closer, come and invest in Kenya,” Netanyahu cajoled from the podium. “This is an opportunity. We have strategic interest, we have national and international interests, but I wouldn’t be asking you to do this if I didn’t think that you would benefit.
“The opportunities I think are great. I think that there is an inflection point, in a certain point that an economy can take off. You can be part of that, the yeast in this cake. And I think that when you have the backing of our governments together, we can help you.”
Prudently, Netanyahu did not deny the risk involved in doing business in Africa. But he also said the investment would be worth the risk, and he said Israel — and its partner, Kenya — would do their best to help.
“We can help reduce some of the risk. We can’t eliminate it altogether. For God’s sake, you wake up in the morning, you take a risk by crossing the street. But cross the street. We’ll help you cross the street. We can do that. And you should recognize that there are opportunities both vis-à-vis the Kenyan government and vis-à-vis private companies here. And that includes security.
Security means that you could operate vis-à-vis the Kenyan government with our support, but you could operate also vis-à-vis private companies, security companies that will have that relationship with the Kenyan government and the various tasks and needs that are here.”
The prime minister also shared with his audience the steps being taken to provide support and assistance for Israeli industry in penetrating the Kenyan market.
For a start, a bilateral economic cooperation agreement was signed on Tuesday, and the two sides agreed t o open a commercial attache’s office in Nairobi in the coming year.
“The Cabinet has [also] approved a plan to assist exporters to Africa” with funds for marketing and participation in fairs, and for feasibility studies, he added. In addition, Kenya and Israel are due to sign a financial protocol that is expected to lower the risks entailed in doing business in Kenya.
A similar seminar is slated to be held in Ethiopia on Thursday. The seminars are under the aegis of the Kenyan President, Ethiopian Prime Minister and the Israeli Prime Minister.
Israeli companies held successful meetings with approximately 100 Kenyan companies and relevant government representatives, according to one member of the delegation. He added that deals between Israeli and Kenyan companies were closed Tuesday and that many others were due to be closed as a result of the day’s meeting.
Prime Minister’s Office Director General Eli Groner said there was good infrastructure for productive work between the two countries’ business sectors. “Israeli businesspeople are known for not hesitating to fly around the world for commercial opportunities,” Groner said.
“In Africa they found potential customers who are thirsty for cooperation.”Hana Levi Julian
It was the 200th birthday of the United States of America, and three C-130 Hercules military transport planes silently flew through the night to land at a darkened landing strip with enough Israeli commandos and fake official Ugandan vehicles to make it through airport security.
The Israelis ultimately rescued 102 Air France passengers and crew being held hostage by Arab and German terrorists at the old terminal in the Entebbe international airport, who were under the military protection of then-Ugandan President Idi Amin.
On Monday, 40 years later to the day, Uganda President Yoweri Museveni stood beside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday to mark the 40th anniversary of the miraculous rescue. He said the Jewish State had been right to carry out the long-distance operation.
Netanyahu called the mission “a watershed moment for my people.” Operation Thunderbolt is now called Operation Yonatan in memory of his older brother who lost his life leading the mission.
The prime minister also referenced the Holocaust during his remarks, saying Jews had been murdered by the millions, stateless. “The State of Israel has changed that. Perhaps it was in Entebbe,” he said, “where this transformation was seen by the world. We were poweless no more.”
Museveni agreed, saying that for Uganda as well, the operation had marked a turning point.
“Your brother Jonathan, some Israeli hostages and some Ugandan soldiers were killed here,” he told Netanyahu in remarks at a ceremony with journalists at the airport. “Fortunately, the rescue mission succeeded.”
Netanyahu’s brother Yonatan, “Yoni” was the leader of the commando unit who raced into the terminal to rescue the passengers; he was also the sole casualty in the operation, leading the way, he was hit by terrorist gunfire in the first moments the soldiers were seen.
Benjamin Netanyahu, his younger brother, was in the same elite Sayeret Matkal unit at the time but due to the IDF rule not to allow two brothers in the same operation, he was not involved in the rescue. Instead, he learned when they returned that he had lost his brother.
Museveni told those gathered at the airport that Idi Amin’s “hobnobbing with terrorists was a crime in itself,” and called the raid “another bond” that connected “Palestine to Africa.” He slammed what he called “indiscriminate violence” and said it didn’t matter if the “cause is just.”
Prior to 1948, the Jews who came to resettle the reborn State of Israel called their endeavor the “yishuv” (settlement in Hebrew) and referred to the geographic region as “Palestine.” They called themselves “Palestinians” — just as the newspaper which today is The Jerusalem Post was at that time called “The Palestine Post.”Hana Levi Julian