During a December 1, 2018 press conference, Chadian politician Mahamat Zene Bada praised Chadian president Idriss Déby's recent visit to Israel. Bada, who is the secretary-general of Chad's ruling political party, MPS (Patriotic Salvation Movement), said that Israel is recognized by the United Nations, and asked: "What evil are we doing if we go to Israel to seek knowledge in the fields of agriculture and breeding?" He said that the people of Chad should be proud of their president, and pointed out that Israel had been involved in establishing the Chadian Security Company and the Chadian Youth Movement. He also mentioned that many Chadians have been trained in agriculture in Israel. He said that Chad could benefit greatly from the drip irrigation systems that President Déby was learning about in Israel, and that the visit to Israel was a normal thing to do. The press conference aired on Télé Tchad TV (Chad).
Following are excerpts:
Mahamat Zene Bada: Why did the President go to Israel, you ask? My answer is: "Why not?" Why not? Why shouldn't he go? Israel is a state recognized by the United Nations. We are a state recognized by the United Nations. We are all under the auspices of the United Nations. All sovereign and independent countries are recognized by the United Nations. The United Nations says that the charter adopted regarding these territories include two distinct states: a Palestinian state and an Israeli state living side by side. If we acknowledge this, what problem is there? Where is the problem?
I'm not a scholar of Islam, but I think our Prophet Muhammad would have said: "Seek knowledge even in China." So what evil are we committing if we go to Israel to seek knowledge in the fields of agriculture and breeding of livestock? Will this not help the people of Chad? Rather, we should be proud that we have a courageous president with ideas and values who goes and says: "This is what the people of Chad think." We encourage him. When we were children, we saw what Israel achieved here, before Israel and Chad interrupted their relations in 1972. This place in particular, at the Hilton where we are now gathered, was a place inhabited by Israelis. They formed what is known as the CSC, the Chadian Security Company. They formed a youth movement called the Chadian Youth Movement, because people were then considered to be the children of soldiers. They were trained in Israel in the field of agriculture. There are people today who have retired from agriculture who were trained in Israel. Many people. Today, the drip [irrigation system] that the President went to see – do you know what kind of benefit we can get from it in the field of agriculture? Madame, who is in the field of agriculture, can tell me. So the President's visit to Israel was a normal thing to do.