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July 4, 2016 5:15 pm

Ugandan President Elicits Laughter on Social Media for Historical Bloopers in Entebbe Raid Anniversary Speech (VIDEO)

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Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Musaveni. Photo: Facebook.

Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Musaveni. Photo: Facebook.

The managing editor of the Jerusalem Post was among figures in the Twittersphere who pointed out the peculiar nature of the address delivered on Monday by Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to a host of dignitaries as part of a ceremony marking the 40th anniversary of the Entebbe Raid.

“Israel Radio broadcaster cuts off rambling, disjointed speech by Ugandan president – ‘We’ve heard enough’ Entebbe,” wrote David Brinn.

Mideast analyst and Israel-based international human rights lawyer Arsen Ostrovsky gave a more detailed, bemused description of Museveni’s oration from the podium of the old Entebbe airfield, where, in 1976, Israelis and Jews held hostage by Palestinian and German terrorists with the assistance of then Ugandan dictator Idi Amin were rescued by a team of Israeli commandos.

On Facebook and Twitter, Ostrovsky posted:

Some of the ‘highlights’ from Ugandan President’s Yoweri Kaguta Museveni speech at the Entebbe commemoration (before Netanyahu & entire Israeli delegation).

* “Herod was a bad gentleman or something like that.”
* “Hitler was a hoodlum.”
* “Can someone remind me please name of the last Iranian President? Oh yes, Ahmadinejad.”
* “There was a character called ‘Balfour’, he put out something called Balfour Declaration or somethig like that.”

Oh, and he was repeatedly referring to Israel as ‘Palestine’.

The above posts were all referring to the event – full of pomp and circumstance – that kicked off Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s five-day trip to Africa to strengthen ties with the continent. The anniversary of the Entebbe Raid, officially called Operation Thunderbold, had special meaning for the Israeli leader, as it was his older brother, Yonatan, who led the heroic hostage-rescue mission in which he was killed.

Followers of the posts ridiculed the Ugandan president for his historical bloopers. Among these was a reference to the Balfour Declaration — stating that a national home for the Jewish people should be established in Palestine. Confusing this with certain suggestions at the time that a Jewish state be established in Uganda, Museveni said, “Fortunately, the Jews did not accept Balfour’s idea – which was a good thing, otherwise we would have been fighting you now.” Museveni, wearing a beige hat tied under his chin, chuckled at the last part of his sentence, indicating it was said in humor. The audience, including Netanyahu, also laughed, but visibly uncomfortably, as a result of Museveni’s error.

One comment on Ostrovsky’s post, from Sussex Friends of Israel, read: “Just watched [Museveni’s speech], had he taken a drop too much Shabbas wine??”

Terror attack victim and StandWithUs blogger and lecturer Kay Wilson responded: “Weed, me thinks.”

Beyond the rambling, Museveni, who has been in office since 1986, also denounced terrorism and said to Netanyahu, “Your brother Jonathan, some Israeli hostages, and some Ugandan soldiers were killed here, on that night, fourth of July 1976. Fortunately, the rescue mission succeeded and the innocent civilians were rescued.”

He also lauded Israel for its technological expertise and thanked the Jewish state (while calling it Palestine) for the many Israelis who have been helping the African continent in various ways.

“The logical solution is that there must be two states – one Arab, and one Jewish,” he said, adding that he would be able to broker such an arrangement “in a very short time,” if called upon to do so.

Watch Museveni’s full speech below:

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  • Liz Wagner

    One could argue this speech makes a good case for why the possibility of a Trump presidency is not so far fetched, or as bad as some make it out to be. After all, in between the ramblings, Museveni made some excellent points!

  • Neil Katz MD

    It’s not racist to state that the Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni needs to return to school in a country that will teach him world history, elocution and political correctness. No school can teach intelligence. No wonder his country is a backward nation.

  • robert davis

    Museveni is surely OK but he must not have heard that WE DO NOT WANT ANY MEDDLING IN ISRAEL S POLITICS FROM ANYONE. Would he like meddling in his politics?

  • This was a Beautiful Speech! Absolutely wonderful. Don’t people think so? I never heard Obama or Kerry give such a good one.
    (of course Hagar did go back to Egypt with Ishmael & was to live somewhere else. Arabs already existed so Arabs did not come from Ishmael, even if his relatives did at some time join in) At least he knows Palaistine IS Yisrael and everyone knew the Holy Land as the place of Judaism. Israel, and all the Levant was called Palaistine by Romans and then the West. Also He Knows that the issues of Arab Muslims and Israel are not like South Africa AT ALL. They are completely different issues. Smart & aware man.
    This was not a speech to be laughed at despite the ‘local style’.

  • When a self appointed “General” such as Idi Amin came up against ‘real generals’ from Israel he was flattened and did not know what hit him?? And now Museveni is making a fool of himself too except that Ugandan’s will not die this time around but are left red faced if that is possible for a black faded person???.

  • Kobi

    The best:

    The sad event 40 years ago turned into another bond linking Palestine to Africa

    The story of baby Jesus being hidden in Egypt – I don’t know which year

  • NuritG

    How insulting how disrespectful. This man calls Israel – Israel Palestine or Palestine. Is Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni purposely or deliberately dumb or they simply do not really recognize the state of Israel?

  • Yaakov

    He was nice enough to host Netanyahu; it is not seemly to ridicule his lack of knowledge. But I guess that’s what social media is good for.