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September 30, 2016 / 27 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Rwanda’

Netanyahu to Rwanda President: ‘We Cannot Outsource Our Safety’

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned in a joint news conference Wednesday with Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame that neither of their nations can afford to “outsource [their] safety and security.”

Netanyahu and his wife Sara were welcomed by Kagame and his wife upon their arrival on Wednesday morning. The two leaders met privately at the Rwandan president’s residence after a visit to the memorial museum, where Netanyahu signed a guest book in a wing dedicated to the Rwandan genocide. He also saw the wing dedicated to genocide in other countries and the Children’s Room at the museum.

The two leaders met privately at the Rwandan president’s residence after a visit to the memorial museum. Netanyahu signed a guest book in a wing dedicated to the Rwandan genocide. He also saw the wing dedicated to genocide in other countries and the Children’s Room at the museum.

Speaking to reporters after the visit, Netanyahu said he was “deeply impressed” with the country, calling “vibrant” and “resolute.” He complimented the president, saying the nation and people have accomplished “amazing things, and these achievements are even more impressive given the horrors that you had to overcome.”

Speaking at a joint news conference following the visit to the museum, Netanyahu called the morning’s tour “exceptionally moving, jolting even… to see the pictures of children, sometimes babies, their briefest life stories put before us. Families that were cut down by neighbors, murdered by people, they lived next to them all their lives. And there are haunting evocations of your tragedy with our tragedy.

“My people know the pain of genocide as well, and this is a unique bond that neither one of our peoples would prefer to have. Yet we both persevered. Despite the pain and despite the horror, we survived. We never lost hope; and you never lost hope.

“Today Israel and Rwanda are successful states and models for progress. We have learned, both our peoples, I think a valuable lesson from our tragic pasts: Genocide is preceded by incitement to mass murder. Words matter. They have the power to kill. And broadcast words, whether on the radio or now through other means, they have the power to kill even further.

“In Rwanda, radio broadcasts dehumanized people long before they were slaughtered. You asked for those broadcasts to be stopped as part of your battle against genocide, and you were unsuccessful.

“The Nazis too began dehumanizing Jews long before they started murdering millions of our people. So today, when we see leaders in Gaza calling for the murder of every Jew around the world, we all have a duty to speak out. When we hear the Supreme Leader of Iran calling for the annihilation of Israel, we have a duty to speak out. We have a duty to alert the world to the danger of these hateful words.

“This the first lesson we learned, but we learned another one and that in difficult times, we must be able to defend ourselves by ourselves. In Rwanda, UN peacekeepers failed to keep the peace. They not only failed to keep the peace, they failed to respond to urgent calls for salvation against an impending genocide. They ran away. We cannot, neither one of us, outsource our safety and our security,” Netanyahu warned.

Hana Levi Julian

Netanyahu First Israeli PM in Decades to Visit African Countries

Monday, July 4th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is leaving on an historic visit to Africa Monday, after decades in which no Israeli prime minister has visited the continent. The Prime Minister has set improving and strengthening relations with African countries as a goal; he will visit Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia.

On the occasion of Prime Minister Netanyahu's visit, the National Information Directorate has designed a special logo featuring the flags of the countries on his itinerary.

On the occasion of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit, the National Information Directorate has designed a special logo featuring the flags of the countries on his itinerary.

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit to Africa will begin in Uganda where President Yoweei Museveni will welcome him in an official ceremony with a 19-gun salute (21-guns is for presidents). Afterwards, an official ceremony will be held at Entebbe to mark 40 years since the Entebbe raid.

Later the Prime Minister will meet with East African heads of state who are traveling to Uganda especially for a diplomatic meeting with him. Participating in the meeting will be Ugandan President Museveni, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn Boshe, Zambian President Edgar Lungu and Tanzanian Foreign Minister Dr. Augustine Philip Mahiga. Prime Minister Netanyahu will also visit Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia where he will hold meetings with their heads of state and security and economic leaderships. He will make an historic speech before the Ethiopian Parliament.

Beyond its diplomatic aspects, Prime Minister Netanyahu also has major economic significance. The Prime Minister will be accompanied by approximately 80 businesspeople from 50 companies, all eager to establish commercial ties with African companies and countries. Last week the Netanyahu cabinet passed a $13 million plan to strengthen economic links and cooperation with African countries.

Economic seminars will be held in Kenya and Ethiopia with the participation of the traveling businesspeople and their local counterparts. The seminars are under the auspices of Kenyan President Kenyatta, Ethiopian Prime Minister Desalegn Boshe and Prime Minister Netanyahu.

JNi.Media

Ethiopian MK Meets Visiting African Women, Advocates Merging Israeli Tech with ‘Fertile African Soil’

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

MK Avraham Neguise (Likud) on Monday met at the Knesset with a delegation of prominent women from several African countries, including women from academia and education, as well as members of parliament, members of political parties and one journalist.

The African delegation is visiting Israel as part of the UN Women initiative, established in 2010 by the United Nations General Assembly and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. UN Women – Africa, one of the largest branches of this initiative, works to “support regional gender-responsive measures to promote women’s leadership and participation in politics, government, business and society and to influence regional and national legal frameworks and policies to increase women’s leadership and political participation.”

MK Neguise noted that the 20th Knesset includes a record number of women members, and encouraged his guests “as leaders in your countries, to continue with your activity.”

Neguise, an Ethiopian Israeli, told the women that as MK he works to strengthen relations between Israel and Africa. To this end, he recently established the Lobby for Relations between Israel and African Countries, which he heads. Neguise also chairs the parliamentary friendship groups of Israel and Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, and Rwanda.

“I believe that the meeting between Israeli technology and the fertile African soil can effect change in Africa and strengthen the ties between Israelis and Africans,” Neguise told the delegation members, pointing out Israel’s advanced capabilities in the fields of irrigation, desalination, solar energy, medicine, education and tourism. “If we develop cooperation in these fields, both Israelis and Africans will benefit,” he promised.

Neguise, who serves as chairman of the Knesset Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs, noted the importance of Jewish immigration to the strengthening of Israeli society, and said part of the committee’s duty is to advance equal opportunities for recent immigrants in education, employment and housing. He noted that part of the challenge stems from the fact that 90 percent of Ethiopians who immigrated to Israel came from rural areas, “so there are economic, cultural and professional gaps.” In order to narrow these gaps, he said, Israel provides after-school classes for Ethiopian students, vocational training for adults and housing assistance for immigrant families.

While in Israel, the African delegation members are taking part in a leadership course organized by Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation, a division of the Foreign Ministry. The course is being held in cooperation with Singapore.

Click here for a list of the African delegation members.

JNi.Media

Is Natalie Portman Right and Jews Need to Chillax about the Holocaust?

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

(JNi.media) Israeli born actress Natalie Portman, whose great grandparents were murdered in Auschwitz, told the Independent that she believes Jewish education puts too much emphasis on the Holocaust. “I think a really big question the Jewish community needs to ask itself is how much at the forefront we put Jewish education, which is, of course, an important question to remember and to respect, but not over other things. We need to be reminded that hatred exists at all times and be reminded to be empathetic to other people who have experienced hatred also. Not used in a paranoid way of thinking that we are victims.”

Portman, 34, who starred in all three Star War’s prequels (The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith), also portrayed Anne Frank in a 1997 Broadway revival. She recently made her directing debut with an adaption of Israeli novelist Amos Oz’s “Tale of Love and Darkness,” a story based on the life of his parents at the dawn of the Israeli state after the nightmare of the Holocaust. The actress returned to Jerusalem to shoot some scenes of the film. She was born in Jerusalem, but her family left for America when she was three years old.

“Sometimes the Holocaust can be subverted to fear mongering and like ‘Another Holocaust is going to happen.’ We need to, of course, be aware that hatred exists, anti-Semitism exists against all sorts of people, not in the same way. I don’t need to make false equivalencies. We need it to serve as something that makes us empathetic to people rather than paranoid.”

Natalie Portman is a Harvard graduate, and, while enrolled at the University, responded to a an essay in the Harvard Crimson critical of Israeli actions against Palestinians. She graduated with a B.A. in Psychology and worked as a research assistant for Alan Dershowitz, author of “The Case for Israel,” “The Vanishing American Jew,” and “Chutzpah.” Portman also took graduate courses at Hebrew University.

Portman said she started forming these attitudes about Holocaust education when she realized that, when she was attending college, the Rawandan genocide was going on, and not nearly enough was being done about it. In 2007, she traveled to Rwanda to learn more about the genocide there. “I was shocked that the [genocide] was going on while I was in school. We were only learning about the Holocaust, and it was never mentioned what was happening while I was at school. That is exactly the kind of problem with the way it is taught. I think it needs to be taught, and I can’t speak for everyone, because this was my personal education.”

Not surprisingly, Natalie Portman’s remarks drew criticism. Colette Avital, former Labor MK and Chair of the Center of Organizations of Holocaust survivors in Israel, said, “While I agree with Natalie Portman that hatred exists in every part of the world, our area included, her understanding of the Holocaust seems limited. Natalie should understand that the Holocaust that befell us cannot be compared to other tragedies–our empathy notwithstanding. It was not merely hatred, it was a policy whose aim was to systematically wipe out a whole people from the face of the world.”

Aaron Goldstein of “The American Spectator” says the reason Portman’s comments about the Holocaust are so disturbing is not that she is just another pretty actress with an opinion, not that she, as stated by Colette Avital, has “limited” understanding of the Holocaust. But because her great grandparents died in Auschwitz, because she was born in Israel, and if “the Allies had been unable to liberate the concentration camps 70 years ago, and had Hitler and the Nazis triumphed, there would be no Natalie Portman, no Israel and no Jews. If an Israeli-born Jew whose ancestors were killed in Auschwitz doesn’t understand what separates the Holocaust from all other acts of genocide, then we have a big problem,” Goldstein writes. He thinks Portman’s views may be an indication of the feelings of other Israeli-born young Jews who are descended from Holocaust survivors. In addition, she is a public figure with a fan base, and is likely to influence others. Her statements arrive at a time when fewer and fewer people are still alive who witnessed the horrors of the Holocaust, and at this particular time, she questions the role of the Holocaust in Jewish education. Goldstein points out that Portman’s support for President Obama and her criticisms of Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu over remarks he made on the eve of his re-election–which were offensive to Arabs–means that she might have been using her allegation to suggest that the Holocaust is used to promote “fear mongering” and “paranoid thinking” by those who oppose Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. “If she thinks Iran isn’t serious about wiping Israel off the map,” Goldstein writes, then it simply supports the idea that she doesn’t get what separates the Holocaust from all other acts of evil. That is why her comments are so deeply disturbing.”

JNi.Media

Rabbi Boteach Shoots Back at Critics and Calls Susan Rice a ‘Bully’ [video]

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach delivered a masterful response on CNN Sunday night to critics of his organization’s New York Times full-page advertisement that described National Security Adviser Susan Rice as “blind to genocide.”

The advertisement was a response to Rice’s statement that Netanyahu’s speech to Congress tomorrow is “destructive” for the relationship between the United States and Israel.

Major American Jewish organizations and the White House harshly criticized the advertisement with adjectives ranging from “outrageous” to “perverse.”

The advertisement hit a raw nerve, and Rabbi Boteach explained to CNN’s Poppy Harlow that the goal of the publicity was “to raise consciousness in Americans to the indiscriminate slaughter of innocents around the world.”

He clearly illustrated that the Iranian threat to destroy Israel is only one of several threats or realities of genocide that the United States has not tried to stop. The problem is not the details of a deal with Iran. The problem is the fact that the Obama administration is even talking with Iran.

Harlow asked him to explain his goal by placing in the advertisement a picture of Rice next to skulls, with the headline “blind to genocide,” which smacked right in the middle of America’s conscience.

He answered:

We all have a blind spot when it comes to genocide, which is why we had Cambodia and Rwanda…. We have seen too many slaughters. This administration needs to step up and do something.

Iran is threatening the annihilation of the Jewish People. It is perverse that these negotiations are taking place without a demand that Iran first totally renounce their genocidal intentions against Jews.”

Rabbi Boteach justified his association of Rice with being blind to genocide based on a statement attributed to her by Samantha Power, her predecessor and now the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

He said that Power stated in 1994 that Rice, who was an adviser to Bill Clinton, had declared that genocide in Rwanda could not labeled as such because it would harm Democrats in mid-term elections.

“The reason those pictures [of skulls] are there – those are skulls…from a church…in Rwanda. I was in that church. 800,000 people were hacked to death, and the United States did nothing.

We have to begin to intervene in genocide.

Rabbi Boteach added, “God gave us this military power…. That is our responsibility.”

As for the criticism of Jewish organizations, the ones who are armchair Zionists and carry the traditional torch of die-hard Diaspora Jews who want Israel to make them feel comfortable where they are, Rabbi Boteach said:

We don’t have our principles and convictions determined by popularity or by praise. We believe in the infinite human value and dignity of human life. We believe the United States has to intervene when it comes to genocide.

We believe Susan Rice should not be condemning the leader of a tiny little Middle East country, which is facing a nuclear threat from the foremost sponsor of terrorism around the world. She should not be saying on national TV that he has no right to speak out and [that] if he does he will harm the relationship with the United States.

That is a form of bullying… It is unfair. This country believes in the freedom of speech.

The interview with Rabbi Boteach on CNN can be seen here.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Rwanda Foreign Minister Visits Ashkelon

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Louise Mushikiwabo toured the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council Monday, accompanied by Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman. The foreign ministers visited the situation room at the regional council, observed the Iron Dome missile defense system in action, met with soldiers at Kibbutz Zikkim, and visited a home damaged several days ago at Netiv Ha’asara.

Foreign Minister Liberman thanked Mushikiwabo for visiting Israel during Operation Protective Edge, and added that he attributes great importance to the visit. “It is very important that she sees with her own eyes what is happening here. The Israel Foreign Ministry is working to maximize diplomatic credit in order to enable the IDF to complete its mission,” Liberman said.

Liberman also noted the significance of the visit given Rwanda’s current position on the Security Council, and praised her for making an effort “to understand the vastness of the challenge which we in Israel are facing.”

FM Liberman added, “Beyond the diplomatic importance of the visit by Rwandan Foreign Minister Mushikiwabo, we came to support the IDF soldiers, who are the most humane and bravest army in the world. They are doing everything to defend the State of Israel, while maintaining their moral values. We are committed to doing everything to strengthen our soldiers and provide them with the best conditions to complete the tasks entrusted to them.”

Mushikiwabo’s visit to Israel came on the heels of Liberman’s visit to Rwanda last month during a seven-country African tour. On June 12, the foreign ministers signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to strengthen business and economic ties between the two countrys. More than 200 Rwandan and Israeli businesspeople attended the MoU ceremony.

“I see great importance to investment in Africa, in the humanitarian, economic and political spheres,” said Liberman at the time. “There are many areas where Israel can help with aid and development: Agriculture, water management, medicine, combating terrorism, and more.”

 

 

Meir Halevi Siegel

Liberman Begins African Tour

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman arrived in Rwanda for the first leg of a 10-day African tour that will also take him to Rwanda, the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Ethiopia and Kenya. 

Liberman began the visit by placing a wreath at a memorial site to the 1994 victims of the Rwandan genocide. He also opened the Israel-Rwanda joint economic seminar, with the participation of 200 business people and met with Rwanda President Paul Kagame and with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Louise Mushikiwabo. The two countries signed a memorandum of understanding to upgrade diplomatic relations.

The foreign minister also met with Rwandan Minister of Agriculture Dr. Agnes Kalibata, inaugurated the Rwanda-Israel Center of Excellence for Horticultural Development, a joint project of the Rwandan government and MASHAV,  Israel’s agency for international development cooperation

The Center of Excellence, based on an India-Israel model of cooperation, was established following a request by Dr Kalibata to facilitate and serve all levels of the Rwandan farming community, from small holder farmers to commercial farmers.The center will be defined by four main products: transfer of knowhow, capacity building and demonstration; agro-inputs (nurseries for better seedlings and varieties) and fresh produce. The center will display a whole range of technologies for horticulture production under cover and open field, and will be made available for applied R&D, training and exhibition.

Prior to the visit, FM Liberman stated: “I see great importance to investment in Africa, in the humanitarian, economic and political spheres. There are many areas where Israel can help with aid and development: Agriculture, water management, medicine, and more. We have established partnerships with various countries for investment in Africa, including the United States, Canada, and Italy, and the highlight is the African Initiative, a joint project with Germany that was decided upon during the last meeting of the Israeli and German governments.”

Meir Halevi Siegel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/liberman-begins-african-tour/2014/06/12/

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