Netanyahu Seeks Allies, and U.N. Votes, in Africa ; Israeli Premier, Touring 4 Nations, Looks to Revive Influence on Continent

By Gettleman, Jeffrey | International New York Times, July 8, 2016 | Go to article overview

Netanyahu Seeks Allies, and U.N. Votes, in Africa ; Israeli Premier, Touring 4 Nations, Looks to Revive Influence on Continent


Gettleman, Jeffrey, International New York Times


The Israeli prime minister is on a four-country tour, hoping to rebuild economic and strategic ties on a continent where his nation was once a major presence.

Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, cruised around the capital of Kenya with an entourage of dozens of Israeli executives, hoping to sell Africa everything from Israeli-made plastic wrap, sprinklers and irrigation pipes to software, CCTV cameras and military equipment. Even cantaloupe seeds.

But Mr. Netanyahu was also on the lookout for something else: precious United Nations votes.

"There are 50 countries in Africa," Mr. Netanyahu said (actually, there are 54). "Just about all of them," he continued in an interview in recent days, "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 if you begin to shift this."

Arab states often galvanize blocs of support within the United Nations to pass resolutions condemning Israeli policies. And with European and other nations increasingly critical of Mr. Netanyahu's right-leaning government, blaming him for the impasse in the peace process with the Palestinians, reinvigorating ties with Africa seems to be part of a global Israeli strategy.

Israel used to be big in Africa.

In the 1960s and early 1970s, Israel felt a kinship to newly independent nations in Africa and dispatched diplomats across the continent, opening two dozen embassies, a lot for a little country.

No place was too remote. In the Central African Republic, the Israeli ambassador doubled as a kosher butcher, slaughtering chickens for his family in the backyard.

But in the mid-1970s, after the Yom Kippur War between Israel and a coalition of Arab states, many African countries severed diplomatic ties with Israel. Today, Israel operates only 10 small embassies in sub-Saharan Africa, and its development projects tend to be low-key, like sending Kenyan students to study farming in Israel or helping Tanzanian beekeepers make more honey.

Mr. Netanyahu has said that he is determined to change that, and he has been taking a four-nation Africa tour this week, the first for an Israeli premier in decades. What he faces from Africans is a mixture of warmth and suspicion.

Many sub-Saharan Africans, even if they have never met a Jew, are enamored of Israel because of its links to biblical places and "because of the common enemy, the Islamic fundamentalist Arabs and terrorists," said James Solomon Padiet, a political science lecturer in South Sudan.

But many Africans also identify with the Palestinians, who are seen as oppressed underdogs in the Middle East conflict.

"I think the notion of Africa returning to Israel is a huge fiction," said Angelo Izama, a journalist and human rights activist in Uganda. He called Israel's treatment of Palestinians a form of "apartheid" and said African immigrants in Israel were often regarded "as vermin."

He added that Israel's offers of more aid, especially for security, smacked of a patronizing "transactional relationship" that Africa was trying to escape.

Mr. Netanyahu has repeatedly emphasized that Israel has a mutual interest with Africa in cooperating on security matters, especially in the battle against Islamic extremists. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Netanyahu Seeks Allies, and U.N. Votes, in Africa ; Israeli Premier, Touring 4 Nations, Looks to Revive Influence on Continent
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.