Did Israel’s prime minister promise to liberate black Africans?

A video appearing on TikTok has claimed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he will liberate black people in Africa after he is done liberating the Jewish people.

The video was shared on February 16, 2024 by @newafrica247. It has appeared on multiple TikTok handles and is being linked to the ongoing war between Israel and Palestine in Gaza.

Hamas military wing led an attack on October 7, 2023 in southern Israel, in which at least 1,139 people were killed, mostly civilians, according to Israeli official figures.

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According to Israeli authorities, some 250 persons were also taken prisoners by Hamas militants; 130 of them are still in Gaza, including 30 who are thought to be dead.

At least 29,000 Palestinians have died as a result of Israel’s retaliatory attack on Gaza, and the majority of them are women and children, according to Palestinian authorities.

The war has led to a spate of misinformation and disinformation online.

A voice analysing the video content read, “Here is a video of the Israeli prime minister discussing Israel’s goals for Africa in a press conference in Uganda. There are many on the continent talking about what the goals and plans are. Will Africa be Israel’s next target after they completely destroy Palestine?”

Claim

Israel to liberate black Africans after destroying Palestine.

Finding

A Google search using keywords from the video and a screenshot from the video on Google Lens shows that the video was from a 2016 Israel African summit in Uganda during a four-country trip to East Africa by Netanyahu. The Israel prime minister became the first from the middle-eastern country to visit the continent in at least 30 years.

According to a media report, the trip was for Netanyahu to discuss cooperation and business opportunities in a special summit to be attended by President Yoweri Museveni and leaders from Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Zambia, and Tanzania.

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A statement from Netanyahu’s presentation at the African summit posted on an Israel prime minister’s website on August 4, 2016, showed that Netanyahu indeed made the statement about liberating black people in Africa but was discussing Israel building a relationship with African countries. The video was unconnected to the ongoing crisis between Israel and Palestine.

The Netanyahu statement read, in part, “After I liberate the Jewish people, I will go to Africa to help liberate the black people.” We have our African brethren, the Ethiopian Jews, who are in our society, and I personally work every few weeks to help integrate more and more and incorporate in our society.”

Conclusion

The claim being shared on Tiktok that Netanyahu promised to liberate Africa after liberating Jewish people is true, but the video is from 2016 and is unconnected to the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, Palestine. Therefore, the claim is misleading.

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Shehu Olayinka is a data journalist, researcher specialising in investigating disinformation and digital manipulation.

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