Standing side by side with Chadian President Idriss Deby at the presidential place in N’Djamena, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Jan. 20 the resumption of diplomatic ties between the two countries, stating that "Chad is a very important country, and very important for Israel." Israeli media titled the event as historic, and correspondents from Jerusalem sent home descriptions of the city and its inhabitants for all Israelis to take part in the celebration.
Indeed, the resumption of bilateral ties, which were broken in the 1970s following Arab anti-Israeli pressure, is cause for celebration for Israeli diplomacy and a clear sign that winds in Muslim African countries are changing. Yet the enthusiastic coverage of the visit and Netanyahu’s declarations stood in stark contrast to the coverage of another international event two weeks ago on Dec. 31, namely Israel’s official exit from UNESCO. In fact, the word "noncoverage" would have been more appropriate in this case since local media ignored it almost completely.