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Israelis are in Nigeria to help search for girls — Susan Rice

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Susan Rice

Susan Rice

National Security Adviser Susan Rice today said that Israel is part of the international team “on the ground” in Nigeria that is trying to find the hundreds of schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram. She said:

The United States is very actively involved. We have a team of now up to 30 people on the ground… Our team consists of diplomats, military advisers, intelligence experts, law enforcement experts and even development experts, all coordinating closely with the Nigerian government and now increasingly with representatives from the British government, the French government and the Israeli government, all of whom are there in search of the girls….

The good news is that the best efforts of the countries that can provide the most sophisticated support and surveillance are now on the job, on the team, the government is working very cooperatively with us and others on the ground.”

Rice made her comments during a conversation at the Women’s Foreign Policy Forum today (minute 3 in the video).

Color this one inevitable. The JPost reported Sunday that Israel had offered to go in:

Israel on Sunday offered assistance to Nigeria in locating 276 high-school girls still held after being abducted four weeks ago by the Boko Haram terrorist network.

The offer came as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke from Japan Sunday to Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan….

“We are willing to help assist in locating the girls and fighting the terror that is afflicting you.”

For weeks Jonathan has refused international assistance to help locate and free the girls, and only agreed to accept help from the United States, France, Britain and China last week.

Nigeria is one of Israel’s closest friends in Africa, and Israel provided Nigerian authorities with medical supplies following a Boko Haram attack against three churches on Christmas Day in 2011 that killed dozens.

Gosh I hope they find those girls, but I’m cynical. Israeli rescue operations– with the most sophisticated methods– are a big part of its international self-promotion. In Haiti, the Philippines, wherever disaster strikes… And it gets stories like this one, on NBC. The country’s special relationship with the U.S., and its self-conception as a “western country,” entail this type of activity.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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38 Responses

  1. justicewillprevail on May 14, 2014, 5:30 pm

    Maybe those hypocrites desperate for a good headline might help Palestinians whose children have been arrested in the dead of night and imprisoned without trial. Perhaps the thousands of Palestinians detained without good reason other than their parentage might benefit from those ever so clever attention seekers, with their manufactured humanitarian concern.

    • Kay24 on May 14, 2014, 6:38 pm

      They have also shown solidarity with Turkey:
      “Israel offered Wednesday to help Turkey with anything it needs to cope with the coal mine disaster that left 245 miners dead and hundreds more trapped inside the mine in western Turkey.” Haaretz

      Israel is one of the most disliked nations in the world for good reasons, perhaps they think that these manufactured humanitarian concerns, will “poof” make their crimes against their neighbors go away!

      • Krauss on May 15, 2014, 2:56 am

        Well, it doesn’t seem to help much.

        Israel is ranked along with Saudi Arabia and North Korea in global polls. And it is not just the Middle East. Even countries like India rank Israel pretty low. Much of Latin America and Africa doesn’t like it. And of course Europe isn’t hugely pro-Israel.

        America is really the last bastion and even that bastion is falling, at least among the young.

      • on May 15, 2014, 10:42 am

        I recall when they (Israel) rushed a few doctors and other medical pros to Haiti following the earthquake and then left after I am pretty sure it was only one week. Then spent years advertising how they were the first ones to help. Such a lack of honor.

    • Sycamores on May 15, 2014, 5:55 am

      @ justicewillprevail,

      Israel on Sunday offered assistance to Nigeria in locating 276 high-school girls still held after being abducted four weeks ago by the Boko Haram terrorist network.

      and next

      the US on Sunday offered assistance to Palestine in locating 210 school children still held after being abducted throughout the year by the Israel terrorist network.

  2. amigo on May 14, 2014, 5:49 pm

    Will Jodi Rudoren go along to report on the “ISRAELI” contribution and disregard the US efforts.

    With an image problem like Israel,s I guess they got to grab,(manufacture) all the good press they can.

  3. ritzl on May 14, 2014, 6:16 pm

    I hope they can find them within a week of the unpacking and leadership-gaze photo ops. Otherwise no Israeli presence.

    Israel aside, I do hope they are found and returned safe.

  4. lysias on May 14, 2014, 6:50 pm

    I wonder why Rice didn’t mention China.

  5. eljay on May 14, 2014, 6:57 pm

    The offer came as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke from Japan Sunday to Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan….

    “We are willing to help assist in locating the girls and fighting the terror that is afflicting you.”

    It would be nice if King Bibi offered to help the Palestinians fight the terror that is afflicting them, instead of fighting to inflict terror on them.

  6. a blah chick on May 14, 2014, 7:03 pm

    Isn’t this a rather expensive way to update the photos in the AIPAC brochures?

    Also if they want to help black Africans they could start treating the ones within their borders with more humanity.

  7. Marco on May 14, 2014, 7:11 pm

    We’ve seen this type of intersection between Zionism and African interventionism several times recently, not just with the current Nigerian kidnapped girl saga, but also with the Joseph Kony manhunt and the secession of South Sudan.

    Both Israel and the U.S. with the creating of a separate African military command seem to be stepping up military involvement on the continent. While the U.S. condemns Russia for meddling in Ukraine we somehow manage to butt our nose in every distant corner of the globe.

  8. piotr on May 14, 2014, 7:34 pm

    It takes some head scratching to figure out why Nigeria needs any aid. While the military force with 100,000 army troops and more than 1000 armored vehicles (that look like small tanks) is not huge given the size of the country and the population, it is many times larger than any outside aid can realistically provide.

    Drones could provide perhaps some help if properly used, and quite possibly the Nigerian forces are mismanaged, poorly trained and so on, but this is not a situation where 10 or even 1000 foreign experts, troops, whatever, can provide effective silver bullets, as it was possible in the case of Mali (but much less so in Somalia).

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius on May 15, 2014, 11:52 am

      I have thought the same, not just with regards to Israel but the US and others all flying in to ‘help to find the girls’. Plus, in a hostage situation, surely subtlety and behind-the-scenes strategising are more advisable than making it into an international cause celebre? I hope I’m wrong, but I can’t help but wonder if all this twittering and concern trolling is going to do the girls more harm than good.

  9. traintosiberia on May 14, 2014, 7:42 pm

    More Israeli tries worst its reputation gets. It is trying at wrong places . People even of very low IQ have some sense what is real and what is fake.

  10. DaBakr on May 14, 2014, 8:27 pm

    PW: consistently praying for Israel to snatch failure out of the jaws of victory. g-d forbid the team of Israelis should have ANY success because after all-they have absolutely NO experience with this kind of operation. And in all honesty-what nation wouldn’t want to help in such a cause? cynicism in the face of hope-another defining characteristic of MW.

  11. Citizen on May 14, 2014, 8:43 pm

    Same Susan Rice who was running around telling us the attack on that US embassy was due to a spontaneous Muslim protest against a crappy anti-Muslim movie clip on YouTube, while Obama was campaigning for second term as the guy who ended organized terrorism?

  12. Mayhem on May 14, 2014, 8:51 pm

    As Europe goes to the dogs Israel is increasingly looking at Africa for new opportunities.

  13. David Doppler on May 14, 2014, 9:34 pm

    Let’s not begrudge Israel its offer and delivery of help in this awful situation. What the US and Israel bring is the ability to search global data bases for information that may lead to recovery. The more they learn about these kidnappers (greatly facilitated by being on the ground), the more places they can look in the meta-data. One connection between one kidnapper and one cell phone may be all it takes to locate the girls. Then a Seal Team or Entebbe type raid might save them all quickly. And they’ll deserve the good publicity, and everyone’s thanks, if they contribute to a good result. They deserve our support as they make the effort.

  14. Parity on May 14, 2014, 9:57 pm

    “Nigeria is one of Israel’s closest friends in Africa, and Israel provided Nigerian authorities with medical supplies following a Boko Haram attack against three churches on Christmas Day in 2011 that killed dozens.”

    On a trip to Israel in 2011, I was amazed to see many Nigerian tourists, who were traveling in groups–with their own cook. I talked with her. She told me that the Nigerian government offered paid trips to Israel or Mecca, depending on the Nigerian’s religion. I wonder how these trips are financed. I imagine Israel helps to finance them. Of course, not all Nigerians can go. The cook, who had her own catering business in Nigeria, had been there multiple times–to work, of course.

    • Naftush on May 15, 2014, 6:49 am

      Evidently it’s a principle among Nigerian (and Ghanan) Christians that one should make something like a hajj to Jerusalem. I wouldn’t imagine that Israel finances this, especially when you consider that some of the passengers who arrive on the pilgrimage flights simply walk away from the group once it’s landed in Israel, joining the African “refugees” who evoke pity and anti-Israel indignation in this forum.

  15. Kathleen on May 14, 2014, 9:58 pm

    Holy crap..Chris Matthews just ended his first segment which is about Karl Rove making more stupid and inflammatory comments by saying he (chris ) agrees with the way the Israeli’s do it disproportionate response… “10 to 1” make them wish they never did it. Chris has been sucking up to Israel quite a bit recently.

    Uh so does Chris Matthews agree with the way Israel destroyed the Gaza and killed thousands? Finding him more and more creepy

  16. JustJessetr on May 14, 2014, 10:38 pm

    That you would frame a rescue operation in these terms is just the height of bigotry, Phil. You’re just panting, waiting to pounce, too impatient to wait for a mistake so you have to ANTICIPATE and hope and predict that Israel is doing something horribly horribly wrong.

    Good for you Phil. What a stand-up guy.

  17. oldgeezer on May 14, 2014, 10:51 pm

    Self promotion or not let’s hope they are successful. There’s no limit to the list of abuses that one has to be critical about wrt Israel. Thumbs up but that doesn’t offset the rest.

  18. Kay24 on May 14, 2014, 10:57 pm

    Mathews has gone over to the dark side. He has taken junket trips to Israel and seems to be yet another zionist servants:

    From a Mondoweiss article:
    “AIEF [American Israel Education Foundation, a branch of AIPAC] takes more than just members of Congress on trips to Israel; it takes journalists, too, on a regular basis. Discussing the latest Sea of Galilee events, Chris Matthews host of MSNBC’s“Hardball,” said on August 20: “I’ve been there a number of times, a trip sponsored by a pro-Israel group, Jewish group, very educational trips. They show you a lot about the geography of the land and the situation they’re facing with the Palestinians.”

    It seems Mathews has bought into the occupiers narrative, and will keep speaking like he did today….I wonder what he thinks about the hate crimes against Christians, and banners with the Pope being taken down in Jerusalem, after all he is a Roman Catholic, and it should make him mad, that the country he seems devoted to, is doing nothing about these hate crimes. Recently Jay Leno, who may be Catholic or Protestant, also announced he is pro Israel/ zionist, and that he has had to take a side in the conflict.
    “Leno, who isn’t Jewish, said he sees both sides of the conflict, but that he is “very pro-Jewish, very pro-Israeli.”

    “At some point in your life, you have to sort of take sides. I tend to side with the Jewish point of view on many things, especially issues like this one. I realize how important Israel is,” he said.

    Wow, that koolaid Israel brews over there must be very toxic. You find our journalists who are not even Jewish, becoming Israel’s slaves after drinking it.
    It makes me wonder if it is the money, the jobs, or being totally naive, and buying
    the false propaganda.

  19. ToivoS on May 14, 2014, 11:00 pm

    Well this is very interesting. Nigeria has population of 168 million. And Israel is offering to help them with this very ugly insurrection. So how many Israeli troops are available to this humanitarian intervention? Given the size of Nigeria it would require at least 500,000 troops. D0es Israel have that many? I don’t think so. Pure empty propaganda. Even the US does not have that force.

    • DaBakr on May 14, 2014, 11:12 pm

      what on earth are you talking about. A 50 member crack penetration team may be the extent of Israeli ‘assistance’. Nobody on earth is going to contribute more then a few 1000-if even a few 100-support teams to aid the Nigerians. Not only would it be absurd on part of other nations but the Nigerians would never stand for it and probably don’t need anything other then logistics, high-tech teams and some general help. G-d forbid it should be Israel which from the sound of things would be MW fans worst nightmare. So much for any concern for the poor girls.

    • on May 15, 2014, 10:47 am

      Read Glenn Ford at the Black Agenda Report for the background as to what has really been going on in Nigeria. Same old Empire. Western backed corrupt govt handing over valuable resources to the West in return for cushy lives. This government has been engaged in numerous atrocities against the mostly Muslim North — actions that have received zero coverage in the American mainstream media. Zero as in none at all. When a Muslim group then responds with this kidnapping (apparently in an attempt to get prisoners released) the timeline begins in the Western media and its those crazy Islamic Radicals up to their evil ways once again.

  20. biorabbi on May 14, 2014, 11:24 pm

    Josh, I’m also cynical. Where is the outpouring of Islamic states offering aid, military and economic to crush this gang of Islamists who have kidnapped these girls? Phil, where is YOUR outrage over the kidnapping?

    Your only emotion towards the kidnapping of 300 girls, forcing them to accept Islam, threatening to sell them into forced marriages… your only emotion is the tangential relationship, news snippet relating to Israel. If Israel had not offered aid, then this travesty would never grace your hallowed pages. Nice.

  21. Hostage on May 15, 2014, 2:19 am

    And it gets stories like this one, on NBC.

    There are signs of potential progress in the offing: Jewish ‘NYTimes’ top editor ousted after just 3 years . . . managing editor Dean Baquet to replace her. Baquet, 57, a Pulitzer prize-winning reporter and former editor of the Los Angeles Times, becomes the paper’s first African-American [executive] editor.

    • hophmi on May 15, 2014, 12:40 pm

      I guess to Hostage, it’s a great day when the Executive Editor of the NYTimes is fired for arguing that women at the Times receive unequal pay. I mean, she’s a Jew, after all.

      But Hostage isn’t antisemitic. He’s just anti-Israel.

  22. Justpassingby on May 15, 2014, 3:26 am

    Hah, so typical israel, sorry but the world wont forget the occupation.

  23. Citizen on May 15, 2014, 4:56 am

    Israel is sending a group of abduction specialists to guide the search, quest, negotiations for release.

    Most of the girls kidnapped are Christian. Has that part been in the news?

    Nigerian government has been helping Israel stop, capture HAMAS agents there, and stop weapons running to Syria. Apparently Israel has had continuous good relations with Nigeria since 1993. Nigeria has an embassy in Tel Aviv. Lots of Nigerian pilgrims go to Israel every Fall. An Israeli construction company is well know in Nigeria.

    Not all Nigerians want Israel’s help. They say the girls were taken to trade for prisoners, and doing that would encourage the adduction of more girls.

  24. bilal a on May 15, 2014, 9:05 am

    Classic Pseudo Gang, a military doctrine created in Africa–

    Pseudo Operations and Counterinsurgency: Lessons from Other Countries

  25. hophmi on May 15, 2014, 12:39 pm

    Yes, demonizing Israelis is more important than finding kidnapped schoolgirls. #BDSfail.

  26. flyod on May 15, 2014, 1:02 pm

    dean baquet provided cover for zionist/ us relations when he chose as managing editor of nyt to kill story on nsa / israeli intel sharing. ” I didn’t think it was a significant or surprising story”

  27. Keith on May 15, 2014, 10:06 pm

    PHIL- “Gosh I hope they find those girls, but I’m cynical. Israeli rescue operations– with the most sophisticated methods– are a big part of its international self-promotion.”

    You are right to be cynical, however, Israeli self-promotion is the least odious aspect of this Western pretext for increased military involvement in Africa. This is all part of the great game to control Africa’s resources and to check China’s economic initiatives. Two quotes, the first from Glen Ford, the second from Ajamu Baraka:

    “In 2009, when the Boko Haram had not yet been transformed into a fully armed opposition, the military summarily executed their handcuffed leader and killed at least 1,000 accused members in the states of Borno, Yobe, Kano and Bauchi, many of them apparently simply youths from suspect neighborhoods.”

    “Most relevant to the plight of Chibok’s young women, Obama led “from behind” NATO’s regime change in Libya, removing the anti-jihadist bulwark Muamar Gaddafi (“We came, we saw, he died,” said Hillary Clinton) and destabilizing the whole Sahelian tier of the continent, all the way down to northern Nigeria. As BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka writes in the current issue, “Boko Haram benefited from the destabilization of various countries across the Sahel following the Libya conflict.” The once-“shadowy” group now sported new weapons and vehicles and was clearly better trained and disciplined. In short, the Boko Haram, like other jihadists, had become more dangerous in a post-Gaddafi Africa – thus justifying a larger military presence for the same Americans and (mainly French) Europeans who had brought these convulsions to the region.” (Glen Ford)

    “You can’t understand the threat posed to Nigeria by Boko Haram, or the ghastly destruction of Syria over the past three years, outside the context of “the vicious NATO obliteration of the state of Libya.” One huge crime begets many consequences, including the death of the U.S. ambassador in Benghazi. The Left should be outraged at Obama policies – in North Africa, in Syria, and in backing neo-fascists in Ukraine.” (Ajamu Baraka)

  28. Ecru on May 15, 2014, 11:52 pm

    Israelis are in Nigeria to look for a PR opportunity – NOT to help find the kidnapped girls. As they did in Haiti and everywhere else once the news-cycle moves on they’ll disappear back to the “land of the white man” so fast there’ll be a sonic boom.

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