From PETRUS OBI, Enugu
With the planned inauguration of “Biafra government” scheduled for February 20, the leader of the Biafra Zionist Movement (BZM), Mr. Ben Onwuka, has stated that his group would maintain strong relationship with elements in Israel.
In this interview, he x-rayed the foreign policy of the new Biafra government and others.
You had stated that a ‘Biafran government’ would be inaugurated on February 20. Could you give us an insight into what Biafra relationship with the outside world would be after the inauguration?
Thank you very much for the question. Firstly, I would like to thank the countries that supported us during the civil war, both directly and indirectly. We thank them and now wish to assure them that the Republic of Biafra is now back as a free country and that our thanks to them will be eternal. We especially thank the following countries: Israel, Gabon, Tanzania, Zambia, Cote d’Ivoire and Haiti. Also, we thank countries that helped us indirectly, like France, Portugal, the Vatican, the Red Cross Society, and World Council of Churches.
Biafra thanks them and we want to assure them that our relationship with them will be good as of 15th January, 1970.
When you re-declared Biafra in Enugu late last year, your followers flew Israeli flag. How will the relationship between Biafra and Israel be?
As we announced on November 5, 2012 that we would maintain a very pro-Israel foreign policy from the onset. We would view Israel as a special country to us. We will maintain a first class relationship with Israel that will be unequal to any other country. We will consider any attack on Israel as an attack on us and our people will respond and fight for Israel anywhere in the world.
So, we regard the Israelis and the Jewish people around the world as one and we shall be truly for them any time, anywhere in the world. We will be pro-Israel at home, AU and at the UN. Let no one make the mistake of threatening the security of Israel as we will not sit idle to see the Israelis hurt or attacked anywhere in the world.
We will make out a budget for the security of Israel annually and that would be maintained forever.
How do you look at complaints by the Arab world that Israel is occupying Jerusalem and also building settlements in the West Bank. What’s your response to that?
Thank you for this question. Firstly, Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel and the Jewish people for over 10,000 years. The Arabs have no claim over Jerusalem and they will never control it again. Israel re-united the city in 1967 after the six-day war and it was God who gave them the victory over the Arab army that were 1, 000 to one Israeli soldier. So, what am saying is that we consider Israel to have the right to claim Jerusalem as its capital and Jerusalem also will never be divided East and West between the Israelis and the Palestinians. We oppose that and we will never support the partition of Jerusalem between the Palestinians and the Israelis. Settlement? Again Israel has the right to build in Judea and Samaria.
The place the world calls West Bank is actually the biblical name of Judea and Samaria. It is an Israeli territory. The Israelis have the right to build there, it is their land and the Biafra people will defend Israel’s right to build there. We will also allocate a budget for the Israelis to build more homes for its citizens in Judea and Samaria. We will oppose any resolution or anything that will stop the Israelis from building in their own ancestral land that was given to them by God. There is no settlement Israel has the right to build in Judea and Samaria. On the creation of a Palestinian State, we want people all over the world to be free and enjoy the benefit of that freedom for its citizens. But that freedom must never be at the expense of another man’s security and survival. We want to see a secure Israel first before a Palestinian one.
If there were to be a Palestinian State, we oppose it near or within the Israeli borders. Let me give you an example. In 2005, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon pulled Israelis out of Gaza Strip, but instead of the Palestinians to use the opportunity to sue for peace with the Israelis, Hamas took over the enclave and began to launch rockets into Israel. Opening up tunnels from Egypt into Gaza Strip and smuggling in deadly weapons to attack the Israelis. So, a Palestinian State that will be near Israel and become a threat to the survival of Israel, we oppose it and we would not support such a hostile enemy near Israel.
As a matter of fact, the Palestinians should look for their country in Jordan because 95 per cent of the population of Jordan are Palestinians. So, that’s where they should build their own state and not with Israel. We say no to such a state. Again, the Palestinians, led by Hamas, have vowed to destroy Israel. How can a country next to you be willing to destroy you as a people?
We all know that the late Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat openly asked for Israel’s destruction. So, a Palestinian State is what the world will have to think about very seriously before it can be allowed to take place. We also do not support a Palestinian State to advocate violence in the world against the Jewish people.
They have committed a lot of terrorist acts against innocent Jews around the world. We will be pro- Israel and will maintain that stance in our foreign policy towards the world.
What about bilateral ties?
The bilateral relationship between our two countries will be very strong. As you know very well, the Israelis are very good scientifically. We will be co-operating with the Israelis in the areas of education and agriculture. Our universities will partner Israeli ones to make our universities able to compete with the world. Our educational system will be linked up so that we will have students exchange between the two nations.
In the area of agriculture, we shall partner them to make our agricultural sector very efficient. Our cash crop industry, like the palm oil and cashew, poultry, rice production will receive government attention and Israeli companies would be given the opportunity to invest in them.
Jewish companies around the world would be welcomed to invest here. They would be given special government licences to begin their operations here. Jewish billionaires will play a very vital role in our economy. Jewish companies, like Facebook, Google, Goldman Sachs (A Bank), Dell Computers, will be welcomed to commence operations here. Iran is acquiring nuclear weapons. What do think? We oppose Iran to acquire nuclear weapon as the leaders of Iran have openly questioned the existence of the State of Israel. Iran wants to see Israel destroyed, so we do not want to see a nuclear Iran that will threaten the existence of the State of Israel. We, therefore, call on the international community, the USA, IAEA to do all they can to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear bomb and to threaten the existence of the Jewish people and Israel. We also call on Iran to stop supporting the terror group, Hezbollah in South Lebanon that is attacking Israel from the North of Israel. What is your message to Israel and the world about February 20? Our message to the world and to Israel is this: We will be a very pro-Israel State. The Israelis and the Jewish people will be our people’s brothers. We will support the Israelis any where in the world and whoever attacks them will be attacking us and we shall fight back. We call on the world and the USA to keep supporting Israel and also for the world to support us on February 20, 2013. We shall be a friend to the world and not a threat. But if you threaten Israel, you also threaten us.