Early this month, several Jewish media outlets quoted Eli Ben-Toura, Israeli ambassador to Muslim-majority (95%) Senegal, a former French colony in Western Africa, saying that unlike other Muslim-nation states, Senegalese Muslims prefer Israel’s friendship. According to Ben-Toura, nearly 1,000 Senagalese (out of a population of 12 million) joined him to celebrate Zionist entity’s 65th birthday, known as NAKBA, his month. He also boasted that unlike Arab Muslims, country’s tiny Jewish community donated 90 sheep to poor Senegalese Muslims on the occasion of Eid-al-Adha last year.
Interestingly, Senegal, which severed its diplomatic relation with Tel Avive as part of African Union’s boycott of Israel, only allowed Israel to re-open its embassy in Dhakar in 1994 – but still refuses to re-open Senegal embassy in Israel.
Last year, Paris-born Senegalese White Jewish filmmaker, Laurence Gavron, hit the Jewish news-media by producing film, Black Jews, Juifs noir en Afrique. The film focusses on several African tribes in Senegal, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Cameron, Sudan, Mali, Uganda, India, Peru and other countries, which claim they have Jewish roots.
“I’m very interested in Jewish people, being one, and in Blacks, living in Africa and having become Senegalese. So Black Jews is something that was more than perfect for me,” Gavron said during an interview with JTA last year.
Pity, Jewish leaders and Rabbinical authorities have refused to accept their claim of Jewishness because of their conversion to Christianity or Islam.
“Israel’s stronger orthodox groups, such as Habad, do not ‘recognize Ethiopians as Jews or allow their children into its kindergartens’. The Ashkenazi Jews of European descent regard themselves as being at the top, with Sephardic or Mizrahi and Ethiopian Jews being at the bottom of the scale – if they are considered as being on it at all. There has never been a Mizrahi or Sephardic prime minister, for example, and the vast majority of Knesset members are Ashkenazi,” wrote Dr. Hanan Chehata in SAGE Journal.
Senegal also severed diplomatic relation with the Islamic Republic in 2011, while accusing Tehran for supporting the anti-government rebels. However, after a meeting between Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Senegalese counterpart Macky Pall on the sideline of OIC conference in Cairo, both regimes re-opened their embassy in February 2013. In November 2009, Senegal’s president Adoulaye Wade publically told Ahmadinejad that he fully endorses Iran’s right to nuclear power for civilian purpose.
Israeli envoy: ‘Senegalese Muslim love us!’ | Rehmat's World