The central African state of Rwanda will open an embassy in Israel, according to a prominent US rabbi who says an announcement to this effect was made by Rwanda’s foreign minister last week and that he was partly behind the country’s decision.
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who is mostly known for his controversial books and is now running for Congress, met Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo a few weeks ago and suggested that they strengthen their country’s ties with Israel. Last week, Boteach met Mushikiwabo again in the US. According to a public relations company Boteach hired, Mushikiwabo “thanked Rabbi Shmuley for the role he played, because Rwanda now plans to open an embassy in Israel within the next six months.”
According to Boteach, Mushikiwabo made the announcement at a press conference he organized for her, thanking him for repeatedly bringing the subject up in conversations with her and Kagame.
“Having witnessed firsthand the pain and the rebirth of the Rwandan people this summer, I was incredibly inspired by their warmth and their ability to come together as a unit in times of hardship, much in the way that the Jewish people have done for centuries,” Boteach said. “I whole-heartedly back President Kagame’s decision to open an embassy in Israel, and I am confident that it will foster even stronger relations between our people for decades to come.”
The Israeli Foreign Ministry, however, was taken by surprise by Boteach’s announcement.
“We have no indication that Rwanda is intending to open an embassy in Israel,” ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told The Times of Israel. “Relations between the two countries are indeed good and warm, but we have had no communication regarding an embassy.”
Methinks Shmuley is full of bull-y.