Ambassador presents credential to Letsie, 111

  • Lenk
Rabbi Moshe Silberhaft, CEO and spiritual leader of the African Jewish Congress, recently accompanied Israel’s Ambassador to South Africa Arthur Lenk to Lesotho, when the ambassador presented his credentials to King Letsie III.
by SUZANNE BELLING | Jul 15, 2015

Pictured: Israel’s Ambassador to South Africa Arthur Lenk, King Letsie 111 of Lesotho and AJC CEO Rabbi Moshe Silberhaft.

Lenk is non-resident ambassador to Lesotho, Swaziland and Mauritius, which fall under the aegis of the AJC.

“I bring a message of friendship, of a relationship that has been warm even before the independence of Lesotho in 1966,” Lenk commented on the motto of the country “Khotso, Pula, Nala” which means “Peace, Rain, Prosperity”.

“This is a very meaningful message and one that speaks deeply to me and my people. The message inside those three ideals directly connects to my people and Israel’s history, challenges and priorities.

“The politics of my region are far away from Lesotho, perhaps even further than the 7 000 kilometre distance from Lesotho to Israel. We watch with interest [the] recent events in your kingdom and send hope for peace and stability for the new government and all the people of Lesotho.”

Lenk told the king that, since Israel’s founding of a homeland for the Jewish people in 1948, the country had continually sought to live in peace with its neighbours.

“At the same time, when necessary, like any state, we must act to protect our people from danger, from terrorism, from attack.”

He said in spite of instability, Israel had achieved peace with some neighbours and were talking about the benefits of potential peace with others. “The most famous word in the Hebrew language is ‘shalom - khotso’.”

The ambassador explained that although Israel was about one-third smaller than Lesotho, it had become a world leader in important areas during its 67 years of independence.

“Our scientists and innovators have developed internationally renowned capabilities in health and the sciences to make our world a better place. We have made our desert homeland bloom, solved problems of drought and famine that have existed in the Holy Land since Biblical times. 

“Israel has taken an incredible challenge like a lack of water and rainfall and found modern solutions through drip irrigation, desalinisation and recycling water.

“Israel is very active throughout Africa. We are a neighbour to Africa and share a relationship that goes back in history thousands of years even before the time of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.

“Many of our citizens come from Africa - from Ethiopia, from Morocco and from South Africa. Israeli experts work with our friends in many countries on projects in a range of areas from agriculture and innovation to education and healthcare.”

Israel also has important connections with Lesotho - agriculture, trading diamonds, sharing advanced technologies and partnering for development.

Lenk spoke about a delegation of Basotho women sent to Israel by the king’s father, Moshoeshoe II, to learn about the work done by Israeli women’s organisations. [The former king and queen were so taken with Israel, they had a painting of the Kotel hanging in the former palace.]

The ambassador pledged to play a “small role” in deepening the relationship and promoting the shared values of the two countries.

Rabbi Silberhaft presented the king with a copy of his book, “The Travelling Rabbi: My African Tribe”, and the king expressed his pleasure at Lesotho being featured in the book.

The delegation also met with Lesotho’s Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili and Foreign Minister Tlohang Sekhamane.

 

 

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