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Rwanda: Love for Thyself

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Rwanda: Love for Thyself


It is a common game to play along the long afternoon hours of the African week to find the most far-fetched allusions to fraternity-from one end of the continent to the other---and call each other brothers. Before the 19th century European scraping of the continent, a Khoisan in South Africa would find it pointless to associate oneself with the Wolof of Senegal, let alone be aware of each other's existence.

Yet today Africa often strives to be one big brother.
So why not stretch a good idea even further? After all, it is the shared history and psychology of Africa that brings it together, not its genetics, and those similarities can stretch far beyond its shores.

Stretching since 1946-that year the United Nations proposed Uganda as a new safeland for the Jewish people in the wake of the genocide during World War II-and escalating in velocity since 1994, the people of Israel and Rwanda have shared a special bond, a union deeply engraved in a Siamese history and problem.

As both people brush off their own assassinations, there is much the two must learn from each other.

What stands out about Israel when recounting the long history of land disputes and struggle for territorial sovereignty, is its physical devotion to the land it fights for.
Countries like North Korea or Syria have gone to way many times over 'sovereignty', yet abuse that very sovereignty by not developing their own soil and leaving their own people hungry and impoverished.

Israel, though, shows true love for its country and land-true patriotism-by nurturing it exponentially.

It is a land in the desert-topographically opposite from Rwanda but similarly inhospitable-that, through hard work and a strong knowledge and science-based society, has bloomed into an oasis.

Not only does this make the country an economic powerhouse in the region, it also makes it largely independent from others on elements of necessity such as water and food. Most importantly, though, it strengthens Israel's credibility when political questions arise in international affairs.

It proves the sincerity of its interests by doing the most with what they have.

This is the way forward for Rwanda on all fronts. As with Israel, Rwanda has put a smart premium on defense. Both countries are aware of the importance of interior security amidst external insecurity.Let us reinforce the sincerity and morality of Rwanda's authority by investing in a science-based economy and high-technology irrigation.

But Israel has done much more than simply that. With limited resources and aggressive unfriendly surroundings, still the economy has soared through a devotion to science and technology, as well as a thriving service industry.

It is the perfect example of a country-though not landlocked-with Rwanda's obstacles that has learned how to thrive. Rwanda, on the other hand, with very optimistic regional prospects as a member of the East African Community, could thrive even further.

Yet there are things too that Rwanda must beware of when choosing what to and to not borrow from Israel's history.

While both resides in regions of instability, Israel's neighbors are also unfriendly. Rwanda is on good terms with theirs.

While Israel has partly destroyed its relationship with its neighbours, and relations with many countries around the world, because it has been "too often" militarily aggressive with others in the name of genocide-prevention, Rwanda is still a young country with a close proximity to its own Genocide.

While Rwanda must champion and physically defend the truth learned since 1994, it must also be an active and fraternal player in the region, and not isolate itself with high walls and barbed wire in all directions, as its older brother has.

Rwanda and Israel must have stronger, more formal diplomatic relations.

Not only this but they are natural friends. The responsibility falls on the shoulders not of Rwanda, but Israel. Embassies must be established in Kigali and Jerusalem vice-versa, and social and technological assistance must follow.

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Israel must take care of those that suffered from its same fate.

An alliance of these countries will not only bring greater political attention and power to the problem of genocide, but will inherently economically and politically benefit smaller countries such as Rwanda, Armenia, or Cambodia, which don't receive much global attention.

If Rwanda claims that its and the African people have special bonds with the Chinese, they most certainly do with Israel. It is in the great interest of both countries, to put serious political and economic weight into a continual formal relationship which should grow to include student exchanges, visa waivers, and tariff reduction in customs.

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