An African day for Israeli Prime Minister
When Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hosted the five-man heavyweight delegation from South Africa’s official opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) party yesterday afternoon, it wasn’t his first African encounter of the day.
Benjamin Netanyahu’s first meeting on Wednesday 11 January in Jerusalem was with Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma, who is visiting Israel accompanied by his Foreign, Agriculture, Communications and Water Ministers.
After breaking the story of the DA’s high-powered delegation exclusively yesterday, JR Online spoke to Michael Bagraim last night at the end of a day full of meetings in Jerusalem. “Today was superb,” said Bagraim, A Jewish DA MP and the opposition’s Deputy Shadow Minister for Labour.
RIGHT: Clockwise from top are Mmusi Maimane, John Steenhuisen and Geordin Hill-Lewis
Bagraim told Jewish Report that the full DA delegation consisted of Party Leader Mmusi Maimane, Chief Whip John Steenhuisen, spokesperson on trade and industry, Geordin Hill-Lewis and Bagraim himself. They were accompanied by Alan Fischer.
“We met with the Department of Foreign Affairs and had a two-hour briefing,” said Bagraim. The party then took a trip to the grave of recently-deceased elder statesman Shimon Perez where, says Bagraim, the DA members “paid our respects.”
Later in the day, says Bagraim, the delegation “met with Prime Minister Netanyahu and had a great discussion.”
Michael Bagraim is a past two-term national chair of the SA Jewish Board of Deputies, and also served two terms as its president.
LEFT: a file picture of Bagraim and his wife, Patsy, when the newly-elected MP hung the first ever mezuzah on a Parly office door
Bagraim is one of the top labour law consultants in the country and a past chair of the Cape Chamber of Commerce (and remains a member of its committee).
When pressed to say something more about the delegation’s time spent with Netanyahu, replied that the meeting had been: “All round extremely functional,” and that “our delegation is completely overwhelmed.”
Coming from a man who has spent a good part of his career sitting in or chairing significant meetings, Bagraim’s enthusiastic response says it all.
The delegation has numerous meetings scheduled before returning to South Africa on Monday.
Follow them daily on Jewish Report Online
More pictures from yesterday, below…
From Left: Alan Fischer, Michael Bagraim, Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog, Mmusi Maimane, John Steenhuisen and Geordin Hill-Lewis
Michael Bagraim paying his respects at the grave of Shimon Peres. “It was very emotional for me,” Bagraim, who had buried his own father in South Africa only last week, told Jewish Report