Saturday, 1 April 2017

Rwanda's Kagame Is First African Leader to Address AIPAC

Image result for kagame and netanyahu pictures

The African Union has already denied Israel observer status three times — a privilege it has offered such countries as Turkey, Haiti, Serbia, Ukraine, and the Palestinians. This, despite Israel’s offers of assistance to the continent in agriculture, chemical engineering, mining, irrigation and hydro-electricity — industries that are critical to many African countries and within which Israel is an international leader. In fact, Israel has diplomatic relations with only 11 out of the 54 African Union member-states.

PRESIDENT KAGAME was the first African head of state ever to address the pro-Israel forum that brings together thousands of activists, experts and elected officials.“My message today is simple: Rwanda is, without question, a friend of Israel,” said Kagame,who is credited for putting an end to the 1994 genocide in his country.In a refence to the genocide perpetrated against the Jews in Europe during World War II, he told an audience of close to 18,000 delegates that the shared history of tragedy has brought Israel and Rwanda much closer.
“No tragedy is so great, so vast that human ingenuity and resilience cannot give rise to a better future.” he said. “The survival and renewal of our two nations testifies to this truth.”

While on an African tour last year, Netanyahu announced his intention to hold an Israel-Africa summit in October.“We are happy that Israel is engaging with Africa, has come back to Africa and Africa is responding in a good way,” said Kagame.He said when countries share complementary capabilities and mutual interests there should be no obstacle to pursuing these together.

In 2014, when Rwanda sat on the United Nations Security Council, Kigali abstained from a resolution that advocated the end of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.Explaining the vote, Kagame said, “We thought this was going to be prejudicial to other things that had to be addressed – allowing people to determine without allowing the parties concerned to sit and agree on what the way forward should be.”“It doesn’t mean that when you are a friend of Israel, that you are an enemy of someone else.”Kagame said Israel has the right to exist and thrive, as a full member of the international community. “This is not an infringement on the rights of any other people, and should not be seen as such.”

Since then, President Kagame has solidified his stalwart support of the Jewish State and his friendship with the Jewish people. Last July he joined the leaders of Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya in inviting the prime minister of Israel to visit his country. Before that, the president had visited Israel himself on a few occasions, most famously for Shimon Peres’s 90th birthday, where the two presidents sat immediately beside one another.Image result for kagame and netanyahu pictures
Kagame’s actions of friendship toward the Jewish people and Israel have had a global impact. In 2014, Rwanda used its position as a rotating-member of the U.N. Security Council to stop an anti-Israel resolution that called on Israel to withdraw to the suicidal pre-June 1967 lines by late 2017, and the establishment of a Palestinian state, which all polls show would be quickly overtaken by genocidal Hamas, with east Jerusalem as its capital. Rwanda abstained on the vote, depriving the Palestinians of the nine votes they needed to pass the biased motion. Banjamin Netanyahu thanked Kagame personally for this act.
Rwanda likewise abstained from the 2011 UNESCO vote to admit Palestine as a state, along with the General Assembly vote in 2012 that sought to grant the Palestinians non-member observer state status. Such actions would have prejudged final status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, would have inflamed the region and undermined efforts at peace.Just last September, at the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rwanda was one of four African countries that voted against an Egyptian resolution calling for international monitoring of Israel’s nuclear facilities.
Image result for kagame and netanyahu pictures
It was therefore fitting that last week, after our organization announced we’d be presenting President Kagame with the Adelson Prize, AIPAC also announced that President Kagame would be addressing its policy conference this month in Washington. It will mark the first time ever that an African leader will address the pro-Israel lobbying group in person

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