(Communicated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
A delegation of
representatives of religious orders in Senegal visited Israel from
November 3-7, 2013. The historic visit was of great significance and
will help to strengthen and deepen the ties between Israel and Senegal.
The religious orders in Senegal exert influence not only on the
religious sphere but also politically and socially. Moreover, their
influence extends beyond the borders of Senegal to other African
countries, such as Mali, Chad, and Niger.
representated Islam's Sufi order which preaches brotherhood,
coexistence, and tolerance. The guests noted that these qualities have a
common denominator with Judaism and stand in contrast with another form
of Islam, that of radical Islamism, which is widespread in our area.
the visit, the delegation met with leading public figures, such as the
Mayor of Jerusalem, and with senior officials of the Foreign Ministry.
They visited holy sites, with an emphasis on shrines holy to Islam, and
were impressed by Israeli-Arab coexistence. They visited the Beit HaGefen Arab Jewish Cultural Center
in Haifa as well as the Shefayim Center of MASHAV
Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation, in order to
see the potential for cooperation between Israel and Senegal in
agriculture, including irrigation and drip irrigation
guests were deeply impressed by the brotherhood and tolerance displayed
among the believers of the three monotheistic faiths at the holy sites
in Jerusalem. Stressing the gap that exists between Israel's image as
reflected in the media in their country, and the actual reality, they
offered to serve as goodwill ambassadors of Israel and to present Israel
as it actually is.