Quarterly Updates for (16 Aug 2016 — 15 Nov 2016)

While Israel’s ties with much of the rest of the world were deteriorating, Israeli PM Netanyahu dedicated significant energy to the diplomatic outreach campaign he launched in Africa last quarter. After visiting Guinea for a meeting with Pres. Alpha Condé and other senior officials, the dir. gen. of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, Dore Gold, reportedly stopped (8/21) in a so-called Muslim country in Africa with which Israel had no diplomatic ties. There were no reports about the results of the meeting, but it likely had to do with Netanyahu’s plans to attend the next Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) summit, due to be held by the end of 2016 in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria. The ECOWAS commissioner invited the Israeli PM to participate in 7/2016, but 2 days after Gold’s secret trip, there were reports that Nigeria had moved to scupper the plan. One source close to the group said (8/23) that the commissioner did not secure approval from all mbr. states prior to inviting Netanyahu. Israel’s relations with Nigeria soured in 2015 after Goodluck Jonathan lost the presidency. The following mo., Gold met (9/21) with South Africa’s FM, Maite NkoanaMashabane, to “explore ties between our nations,” according to a tweet he sent out that day. Three years earlier, Nkoana-Mashabane had said that South African officials would not engage with Israel. As a result, an Israeli Foreign Ministry official stated on 9/22 that Israel considered “the very fact that this meeting was held an extraordinary achievement.” Meanwhile, Netanyahu was in New York meeting (9/22) with leaders and reps. (9/22) from at least 15 African nations on the sidelines of the UNGA. According to a press release from his office, Netanyahu told “his interlocutors that he believes that Israel could be an amazing partner for their countries. He said that technology changes everything, including in communications, medicine, agriculture, and education. He noted that Israel wants to share its technology with African countries.”