TEL AVIV – Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was mocked across social media for giving what was dubbed a “rambling, disjointed” speech (watch above) on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Entebbe Operation to a delegation of Israelis including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
David Brinn, managing editor of the Jerusalem Post, noted on Twitter:
“Israel Radio broadcaster cuts off rambling, disjointed speech by Ugandan president – ‘We’ve heard enough’ Entebbe.”
Tel Aviv-based international human rights lawyer Arsen Ostrovsky poked fun at what he called the “most insane, bizarre, rambling speech EVER!”
Arsen pointed out some highlights of Museveni’s address, posting:
* “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 something [sic] like that.”
* He also managed to mix up Baby Moses with Baby Jesus.
Oh, and he was repeatedly referring to Israel as “Palestine.”
Museveni referred to the Jewish state as Palestine on no less than five occasions.
In his reference to former British foreign minister Lord Arthur James Balfour, the Ugandan president asked “how can you be foreign minister when you are so ignorant?” for suggesting that Uganda become the “national home” of the Jewish people.
Except that Balfour never suggested any such thing.
The notion of a Jewish national home in Uganda was first raised in 1903 by Theodor Herzl. Undeterred, Museveni thanked the Jews for not heeding “Balfour’s” idea.
“Fortunately, the Jews did not accept Balfour’s idea – which was a good thing, otherwise we would have been fighting you now,” he said.
Commenters on Ostrovsky’s post referred to the speech as “comedy gold” and “diplomacy at its best.” One commented that the president may have smoked a joint before taking to the podium or else had drank a “drop too much Shabbas wine.”
Museveni also stated that when statesmen and dignitaries meet, it is usually “a waste of time.”
“Whenever I go to international meetings I sleep in order to survive the meetings,” he said.
Finally, Museveni called for the establishment of two states, an Arab and a Jewish one, existing side by side, and added that if he were called upon to broker a peace deal it would be completed “in a very short time” due to his “very good ideas.”
Netanyahu’s visit to Uganda coincided with the 40th anniversary of Operation Entebbe, in which the prime minister lost his brother Yoni Netanyahu in a hostage-rescue mission from a band of Palestinian and German terrorists.
The prime minister is in Africa for a five-day trip in a bid to strengthen relations.