Israel on a Charm Offensive to African Countries

(The East African-Kenya) Kevin Kelley - Ten African ambassadors to the U.S. attended a presentation in Washington on March 22 by Nitzan Nuriel, former head of Israel's counter-terrorism operations, who suggested that "African countries could do more - including in partnership with Israel - to combat the threat" of terrorism. The gathering was the latest indication of a strengthening of ties between many sub-Saharan nations and the Jewish state, particularly in the security realm. In July, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to travel to Kenya and Uganda. Some international affairs analysts in Washington suggest that African countries' open embrace of Israel could signal an important diplomatic shift. The rubric of African solidarity with the Palestinian cause may no longer be relevant, they say. African countries "see there's a lot Israel can offer them that the Arab countries cannot offer," says Joshua Meservey, an Africa specialist at the Heritage Foundation in Washington.

2016-04-14 00:00:00

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