Why Are Relations with Chad Significant for Israel?

(Israel Project-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Amb. Dore Gold - In an interview with The Israel Project on Sunday, former Israel Foreign Ministry Director General Dore Gold said: The reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and Chad is an important milestone in a developing story about Israel and Africa that began back in 2016 when Prime Minister Netanyahu made a trip to Uganda commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Entebbe raid, and that led to a summit of seven African countries. This was followed by a number of initiatives to reestablish ties with a number of African countries. Chad is the fifth biggest country in Africa. It is geographically placed in a very important location. Its northern neighbor is Libya. Its immediate eastern neighbor is Sudan. Chad is a Sunni Muslim country. Yet another Arabic-speaking country - even though it is not a member of the Arab League - represents an important push forward for the State of Israel. Lake Chad has the main headquarters of several of the African al-Qaeda affiliates. So Chad is fighting jihadism. Because Chad built up a strong army, it has intervened in neighboring conflicts. For example, in the war in Darfur - which has been characterized by the International Criminal Court as an act of genocide - Chad has deployed its forces there to help limit the scale of violence. To the south of Chad is the Central African Republic where a huge civil war has cost many lives. Chad has sent its army in there as peacekeepers. The Palestinians will have a leader at some point who will be interested in concluding a peace agreement. But right now, if the Palestinian leadership does not want to conclude a peace agreement, then Israel doesn't have to wait for a slip of paper from Ramallah before it can conclude understandings with other Muslim countries. That was a mistake of the past which we are not repeating any longer.

2019-01-21 00:00:00

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