If she were a biblical character, she’d be the Queen of Sheba: an influencer, and a strong and inspiring leader looking to build alliances, to learn, to grow, and to bring better to the world. Coming from the tip of southern Africa, she’s a tip of the growing movement across Africa to repair and restore relations with Israel and the Jewish people. She’s also a popular media personality and author for whom her Christian faith is interwoven in everything she does.
A decade ago, Major Daughter was given a vision for the imperative to restore ties with Israel as a pillar of Africa to correct the curse resulting from most of the continent breaking ties with Israel decades earlier. And while she’s not a formal educator, she knows that education is the key. Africans need to be educated to the reality that Israel is, Israel’s long-standing history in Africa, and to break the stereotypes of perpetual misinformation that, at best, is ill-informed. But in recent decades ill-informed has become disinformation, even with malice and lies.
Much of the lies and disinformation come from the country of her birth. It’s something about which she’s passionate about fixing, one by one. And that’s the nature of the unique trip she’s leading to Israel, and her appeal to Israelis to join the movement.
On June 29, dozens of business, civic, academic, and religious leaders along with noted media personalities will be participating in a special event that gives voice to her vision. While coming from around the world, the Leadership Summit and Tour will start in Egypt, the northeastern corner of Africa, symbolically building a bridge between Israel and Africa, tracing the route of the Exodus of the Jewish people from slavery to freedom, and as a reminder of God’s providence thousands of years ago, demonstrating His might at the time in contrast to that of the, then, world superpower. And then, bringing the Jewish people to the Land of Israel.
Now, as part of the 75th anniversary celebration of the restoration of Jewish sovereignty to the Land of Israel with the birth of the State of Israel, she leads a group of Africans and others to learn, grow, be inspired, and to build alliances. Just like the Queen of Sheba.
Many initiatives exist to build relationships between Africa and Israel. While there are several notable holdouts, including Major Daughter’s native South Africa leading a charge against Israel in the expansive continent, in recent decades many African nations have gone out of their way to forge their own mutually beneficial relations with Israel. One thing that differentiates this effort is that it is faith based, but not only based on faith leaders.
For that reason, Major is looking for Israelis to join the Summit on June 29 for a day of intense conversations, and networking. She says, “Israelis should come out (to participate) because Africans are coming to learn, more than just networking, but to form partnerships. Israeli Jews should come out to be part of it, to support this global conversation, and how we can turn the tide. We want to see what can be done to make progress. Let’s not talk about the darkness of the past, we want to shine a light on the future.”
In a recent conversation on the Inspiration from Zion podcast, Major Daughter affirms that much of Africa is suffering the cumulative consequence of cursing Israel and is eager to change the course. Part of the “correcting the curse” is exposing Africans to the reality of Israel. Many think that Israel is an endless war zone, impossible to live safely, much less thrive and prosper. The notion that there are people who don’t understand this, how Israel is truly a shining example for all, is astounding. She expects that the Leadership Summit and Tour will open their eyes, and then the eyes of many more back at home afterward. Many also don’t realize that Israel is also a thriving democracy, for all its citizens. She decries the “apartheid” label that was disingenuously branded on Israel in her own country, along with the scourge of BDS. Africans know the truth. They will see it first-hand.
The Summit will take place at Jerusalem’s Ramada hotel. Israelis are invited to register to attend the full day of programs, meals, coffee breaks, and forge their own relationships among the Summit’s diverse participants for only $50 (R965).
Noting that media will especially be part of the program, and that news media shares bad news because that’s what’s normal, Major says people need to be educated to change the dialogue. The Leadership Summit and Tour will be a graduate level program for many beginners, doing just that.
Striking another biblical analogy, Major also is clear that supporting Israel and building bridges is neither a one-way street nor exclusive to having positive relations with the Arab and Moslem world. Some think that supporting Israel is mutually exclusive to supporting Arabs, that Arabs and Jews are destined to be enemies, and that you can only support one. The opposite it true, and much more significant because there’s such a dominant hostility to Israel, Major Daughter underscores that Jews and Arabs are related, and that people can and must support both. That’s especially important for people who believe Israel has no legitimacy.
Hers is a refreshing voice of intelligence, faith, and inspiration, and all participating are in store for something unique, remarkable, and that will make a number of steps advancing the cause of why she believes visiting Israel is something that everyone has to do.
For information and to register for the Leadership Summit, please visit this site.