By Micah HalpernI've Been Thinking:
Bad news was announced by Israel's Foreign Ministry. There has been a significant setback in Israel's effort at normalizing relations with Africa, including with many Muslim countries.
From October 23rd to 27th, in a city called Lome, the capital of Togo, there was supposed to be conference of 54 African countries. Israel was counting on participating. The conference has been postponed.
It was cancelled by the president of Togo. He succumbed to pressure and to the fear of violence in his streets if the conference were to go on as planned.
When Israel was informed of the cancellation of the conference, it was agreed that another conference, one between Israel and Togo, would be arranged. The official response was that their conference was moved "to a date to be agreed upon between the two countries."
The Lome conference was originally seen by Israel as a sign of the massive success of their outreach to Africa.
The cancellation did not come out of the blue. Many countries tried to derail the conference. South Africa, for example, was particularly vocal. The Palestinians were working hard to find a way to prevent Israel from participating and that included trying to cancel the conference.
For the Palestinians, their effort paid off. For everyone else, it's an unfortunate loss.
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