Sunday, June 29, 2014
Jews Barred From African Union Summit Learn A Needed Lesson
A group of prominent American Jews were invited to attend the 23rd African Union Summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea this week, with the idea of working on logistical and financial support for educational,humanitarian and development projects in Africa from mainstream Jewish groups like the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.On the agenda and scheduled to open the conference was a simple statement, a declaration of support for the three kidnapped Israeli teens.
The Jews were not allowed to attend, and the story points out something valuable to remember:
"I have never seen such racism, such anti-Semitism. We were humiliated," said several of the Jews in attendance, who had left Equatorial Guinea in a fury after changing their flights.
"It all began when one of the Arab delegates, from Egypt, approached us at dinner the night before the opening and asked what we were doing here, pointing at the men wearing kippahs," said Israeli businesswoman Yardena Ovadia, who had organized the invitation of the Jewish delegation to the summit.
Ovadia, who has close ties with Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang, said that she explained to the delegate that her and her friends were Jews from the US, not Israelis.
The following day representatives of the Arab League refused to enter the hall until all the Jews left, or as they called them, the "Israeli delegation."
"We were already seated in the conference hall," said Ovadia. "The heads of the Arab League announced a boycott of the conference until the 'Israeli delegation' left. We officially declared that we were Americans, not Israelis, but it didn't help."
"There was a representative of the US congress with us. She was shocked and said that there will be an official government statement," Ovadia added.
Notice that the first default position of these American Jews and this Israeli-American businesswoman was to try to distance themselves and declare that they were Americans, not those 'evil' Israelis.
To the Arab League delegates, that made absolutely no difference. It also apparently didn't make any difference to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, Egyptian President al-Sisi, the prime minister of Spain, four Iranian ministers, and other foreign dignitaries in the hall.
None of them said a word as the 14 Jewish delegates were forced to leave the hall and the proceedings started an hour late. Nor did any of them say anything or walk out either when the Palestinian Authority's unelected dictator Mahmoud Abbas' deputy made a speech accusing Israel of perpetrating a 'Holocaust' on the Palestinian people. And that declaration of support for the three kidnapped Israeli teens? If these people couldn't even abide being in the same room with Jews, do you think that ever happened? Of course it didn't. It never even made it to the floor and was cancelled from the agenda.
And some of these people are the same one who accuse Israel of 'apartheid'! Yes, it's the old story again, 'Jews Unwelcome.' And the usual suspects still keep their mouths shut.
The supreme irony here is that the Israelis have given billions in badly needed aid to African nations, unlike the Arab countries with their billions of petro-dollars. That likely has a lot to do with why the president of Equatorial Guinea called Yardena Ovadia personally to apologize and invite the Conference of Presidents' delegation to a special dinner. But at that point, they had already rescheduled their flight and had left the country.
Believe or not this is a positive development. These American Jews, who thought themselves apart from their Jewish brothers and sisters in Israel may have learned, perhaps, that 'anti-Zionist' is just a code word for anti-Semite. To these people all Jews are 'Israelis', no matter how politically correct they are, how critical they are of Israel's policies or how much 'interfaith outreach' they do with Islamists.
It's high time this lesson was learned.