Israels band till Afrika

Dagens citat – del 55 (090216)


På 1950-talet började Israel knyta nära kontakter med en del afrikanska länder.Golda Meir beskriver i sin självbiografi, My Life, hur och varför Israel vände sig till Afrika:

I suppose that as far as my personal feelings were concerned, at least some of the impetus for my initial involvement with Africa and with the Africans in the late 1950s came as an emotional response to the situation in which we found ourselves after the Sinai Campaign – in many respects entirely alone, less than popular and certainly misunderstood. France was an ally and a good friend, and one or two other European countries were sympathetic to us; but our relationship with the United States was strained, with the Soviet bloc it was worse than strained and in Asia – despite all our efforts to secure real acceptance – we had, for the most part, come up against a stone wall.
[…]
Still, the world was not made up exclusively of Europeans and Asians. There were also the emerging nations of Africa, then on the verge of achieving independence, and to the black states-in-the-making there was a great deal that Israel could and wanted to give. Like them, we had shaken off foreign rule; like them, we had had to learn for ourselves how to reclaim the land, how to increase the yields of our crops, how to irrigate, how to raise poultry, how to live together and how to defend ourselves.
[…]
We couldn’t offer Africa money or arms but, on the other hand, we were free of the taint of the colonial exploiters because all that we wanted from Africa was friendship. Let me at once anticipate the cynics. Did we go into Africa because we wanted votes at the United Nations? Yes, of course that was one of our motives – and a perfectly honourable one – which I never, at any time, concealed either from myself or from the Africans. But it was far from being the most important motive, though it certainly wasn’t trivial. The main reason for our African ‘adventure’ was that we had something we wanted to pass on to nations that were even younger and less experienced than ourselves.

Golda Meir berättar att hon brukade citera ur Theodor Herzls bok Altneuland (”Det gamla nya landet”) från 1902 för sina afrikanska vänner:

There is still one other question arising out of the disaster of the nations which remains unsolved to this day, and whose profound tragedy only a Jew can comprehend. This is the African question. Just call to mind all those terrible episodes of the slave trade, of human beings who, merely because they were black, were stolen like cattle, taken prisoner, captured and sold. Their children grew up in strange lands, the objects of contempt and hostility because their complexions were different. I am not ashamed to say, though I may expose myself to ridicule in saying so, that once I have witnessed the redemption of the Jews, my people, I wish also to assist in the redemption of the Africans.

Jämför detta med vad Barack Obama säger om sionismen.

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