Israel is hosting a number of prominent and influential figures from Africa this week as it continues promoting an agenda to expand and enhance its relations with the continent. Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dr. Dore Gold met this morning, March 14, with a visiting delegation consisting of nine Muslim religious figures from African countries such as the Republic of South Sudan, Zambia, Cameroon, Kenya, Rwanda, and Ethiopia.
“I am pleased that you will have the opportunity to see the situation in Israel first-hand,” Dr. Gold told the delegation.
The visit, organized by the American Jewish Committee and Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Africa Division as well as its World Jewish and Interreligious Affairs Bureau, was partially geared towards introducing the religious leaders to many of Israel’s unique social aspects.
“I have just returned from a visit to South Africa where apartheid existed in the past with separate hospitals for whites and blacks,” noted Gold. “I invite you to visit Hadassah Hospital where you can see the staff and patients, Jews and Arabs, side by side.”
Dr. Gold also mentioned Israel’s provision of humanitarian aid to some of the fighters in Syria’s civil war despite the fact that the Syrian government remains an enemy of Israel.
“We also established a field hospital in the Golan Heights to treat wounded Syrians,” added Gold. “They are by definition our enemies, but we treat them as a humanitarian mission of the first order.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Foreign Minister Hanna Tetteh of Ghana and they discussed ways in which they could expand security cooperation, particularly in the fight against Islamic terror.
Prime Minister Netanyahu stressed in the meeting that Israel places great importance on its relations with Africa and that most countries on the continent are interested in close relations with Israel.
Prime Minister Netanyahu also expressed Israel’s expectation for continued change in voting patterns at the UN regarding anti-Israel resolutions.
Dore Gold, like Netanyahu, hoped to reach breakthroughs with the visiting delegation as its participants have broad communal and political influence.