Louisiana tribe extends friendship to Israel


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Louisiana’s Coushatta tribe declared "friendship" with Israel.

The friendship ceremony, marked Nov. 21 in Elton, La., with a traditional "stomp dance," is a precursor to business partnerships, probably in the information technology sector, according to The Associated Press.

"It is natural that we feel a connection to you and your people,” Kevin Sickey, the chairman of the Coushatta Tribal Council, said at the event, attended by Israeli diplomats and businessmen. "You stand for the same fundamental principles and values upon which the sovereign nation of Coushatta was [founded]: freedom and opportunity, justice and deep respect for your history and culture."

The Coushatta, numbering less than 1,000, runs profitable casinos in Louisiana. That business was at the center of fraud allegations against jailed lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

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