Ugandan Leader Makes Balfour Gaffe

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (C) introduces Foreign Ministry director general Dore Gold (L) to Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni at the Entebbe airport in Uganda on Monday. (Presidential Press Unit/Handout via Reuters)
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (C) introduces Foreign Ministry director general Dore Gold (L) to Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni at the Entebbe airport in Uganda on Monday. (Presidential Press Unit/Handout via Reuters)

During his reception for Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday, Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni appeared confused about the Balfour Declaration.

Museveni accused Lord Arthur James Balfour of “ignorance” in calling Uganda the “national home” of the Jewish People. “How can such an ignorant man have been Foreign Minister of Great Britain?” Museveni asked aloud, Arutz Sheva reported.

Perhaps Museveni’s aides informed afterwards that it was Palestine that was recognized by the Balfour Declaration in 1917 as the “national home” of the Jewish people, not Uganda. Presumably, the error stemmed from the fact that Theodore Herzl had at one time considered Uganda as a place to build his Jewish state.

“Fortunately,” the president continued, “the Jews did not accept Balfour’s idea – which was a good thing, otherwise we would have been fighting you now,” he said, smiling.

Museveni said that both the Jews and the Arabs belong in the Middle East, and that he cannot tolerate the “bigotry” that claims otherwise.

“The logical solution is that there must be two states – one Arab, and one Jewish,” he said.

He added that though he has never been asked to mediate the conflict, but expressed confidence that if asked, he would succeed where all others have failed.