Shooting stone-throwing youth with....


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Shooting stone-throwing youth with Uzis... See, Israel can teach us to fight terrorism

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By Jenerali Ulimwengu
THE EAST AFRICAN

Posted Saturday, July 9 2016 at 17:47
In Summary

  • Since the so-called Yom Kippur war of 1973, African countries have treated Israel with calculated civility, neither shunning it completely nor embracing it wholeheartedly.
  • Israel did not do itself a favour as far as Africa was concerned when Tel Aviv became the most committed supporter of the apartheid state in South Africa, especially in military co-operation, including nuclear armament

This past week has witnessed a resurgence of Israeli diplomatic activity in the East African region with the high-profile visit of the Jewish state’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (“Bibi”) to a number of our countries.

The occasion of his visit was made to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the famous “Raid on Entebbe”, in which Bibi’s younger brother, Yonatan, was killed when he led an Israeli airborne commando that rescued Israeli hostages who had been hijacked by a Palestinian group and taken to Idi Amin’s Uganda.

So this visit was a personal and political pilgrimage for the Israeli leader, as well as a reminder to the world of the convoluted issues of the Middle East.

It was also a chance given to our rulers in the region to show how close they are willing to move towards Israel after a long period during which relations remained largely lukewarm.

Indeed, since the so-called Yom Kippur war of 1973, African countries have treated Israel with calculated civility, neither shunning it completely nor embracing it wholeheartedly.

The issue has always been, of course, the position taken by the majority of African countries concerning the Palestinian question — which, along with other questions related to the Middle East, has eluded resolution.

Many initiatives have been undertaken by the international community, but every time hopes have been raised only to be dashed, largely because of the intransigence of the state of Israel.

Israel did not do itself a favour as far as Africa was concerned when Tel Aviv became the most committed supporter of the apartheid state in South Africa, especially in military co-operation, including nuclear armament.


Israel, in short, set out to become the enemy of Africa.

It is because of this, that, for me, Bibi came across as comical when he said in Nairobi that his country was the “best friend Africa has outside Africa,” whatever that may mean. However, don’t be surprised if our rulers believe this humbug, because for them, history started this morning.

The Palestinians, for their part, have, over time, bent over backwards to create that space needed for dialogue to take place, including the Palestinian Liberation Organisation taking much more flexible positions concerning the existence of Israel, which has now allowed for the notion of the two-state solution to mobilise world acceptability.

But the Israelis, and especially Netanyahu and his radical Jewish nationalists, continue to aggravate, not only by continuing their apartheid-like discrimination against non-Jews (Israeli Arabs, Christians, Muslims) but also by continuing to build settlements on Palestinian land, despite worldwide condemnation.

And yet they want us to believe that they are fighting terrorism, which comes down to confronting stone-throwing youths (who have lost all hope in their future) with Uzis. Now, it appears, they want to help our rulers fight terrorism? And they will help us learn about agriculture and irrigation, as I heard someone say the other day? Fat chance.
Terrorism can only be fought effectively if our countries build governance systems that are less corruptible; where the security of the collective is also the security of the individual; so that no one accepts a bribe to look the other way when an enemy is planning to cause harm simply because there is some money to be made.

As for irrigation technologies, that can be obtained from anywhere in the world these days… and at any rate, we should have produced our own experts a long time ago.

But there is an area in which we can learn from Israel. I advise our rulers to Google names such as Moshe Katsav, Ehud Olmert, Shlomo Benizri, Aryeh Deri, Avraham Hirschon, Yitzhak Mordechai, Haim Romah, Raphael Pinhasi and Gonen Segev.

This list includes a president, a prime minister and various ministers and legislators who were prosecuted for various crimes and misdemeanours while in office or after they left, and jailed.

Their crimes included sexual harassment, rape, drug smuggling, bribery, breach of trust, commercial fraud, obstruction of justice, moral turpitude etc.


Though the state of Israel is avowedly racist, internally it catches its crooks, thugs and cheats… and brings them to book.

Maybe our rulers can learn something there.

Jenerali Ulimwengu is chairman of the board of the Raia Mwema newspaper and an advocate of the High Court in Dar es Salaam. E-mail: ulimwengu@jenerali.com
 

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