May 10, 2019
By Yusufu S. Bangura
Sierra Leone has yesterday, 10th May joined Israel to commemorate its 71st Independence anniversary with the theme “Changing the Way the World Looks at Israel”.
Speaking during the celebration, Chairman-Israel Parliamentary Caucus and Chief Executive Officer, Sierra Leone Israel Friendship Connect (SLIFCON), Hon Rabbi Sirajin M. Rollings-Kamara, said Sierra Leone has a historic relationship with Israel, dating back in the late 50s when Israel’s first Foreign Minister, Golder Meir, visited Africa and helped persuade her to pursue independence.
“Minister Meir wanted Africa to free itself from the clutches of colonial tyranny and become free-free to develop herself traditionally, culturally and otherwise. Israel attained independence on May 14th 1948 and since then; the small Jewish nation of less than 7m people has not stopped to progress among almost 200m Arabs of which a considerable fraction is enemy,” he said.
He observed that Israel constitutes a wonder of God’s creation and that Jerusalem is its only city.
“Israel is the only country that God said he created for the sake of His name. Jerusalem is called “the city of our God,” the joy of the whole earth,” and “the city of the great King,” he said, quoting Psalm 48:1-2.
“Today the people of Sierra Leone join their counterparts in Israel to celebrate independence- independence from British rule and a dead end to regular dispersions. Israel is real. And in Sierra Leone, you have the right partner because Sierra Leone is the only country in Africa from which you would spell Israel,” he said.
Citing Ezekiel 5:5, Hon.Rollings-Kamara recognized Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel and the central city of the whole earth, adding that there is no city on the face of the earth more precious to citizens of the Kingdom of God than Israel.
“In the sovereignty of God, He afforded the blessings to be a neighbour to Israel to the continent of Africa. God planted Africa as a neighbour to Israel in order for Africa to be a witness and participant in her story and to worship His glory,” he said.
He said from the 60s to the time the Sierra Leone initiated ties with Israel in the 70s and until now, they never stopped developing the country’s human resource.
“We are grateful for the indelible infrastructure the Israel people has left with us. As we wish you ‘Yom Ha ‘atzmaut’, we implore you to bring to completion the good work you begun in this nation some years ago. The new generation is yet to see and know the good old Israel. We are committed to making that possible as we continue to tell them about history on one hand, and on the other, spur you to continue bringing up life changing skills in our young people,” he said.
Hon Sirajin noted that Sierra Leone stands by Israel as they face terrorism at its highest peak in recent times.
“The bombardment of over 600 rockets and Mortars from Gaza causing the death of 4 Israeli civilians at a time when they were observing the deadly holocaust is unfortunate. We stand with you and condemn any form of attack on the land and people of Israel,” he stated.
National Coordinator of the Sierra Leone Israel Friendship Connect, Ambassador Adikalie Foday Suman expressed his gratitude for being part of the mission that left the country to celebrate Israel’s 70th independence anniversary, thus recognizing the country as an independent state.
He acknowledged that the leader and CEO of SLIFCON, Hon Sirajin made it humanly possible for the people of Sierra Leone to observe the 71st anniversary independence of Israel.
He further that Israel has got a brass band in Sierra Leone that would create job for young people and help empower them for the future.