Following 2 decades of lobbying, Israel received observer status by the African Union a few days ago. The country assumed the same post at the Organisation of African Unity. Following the abolition of the OAU in 2002, Israel held no role in the newly formed African Union (AU).
Israeli foreign ministry says the new position allows Israel and AU to work more closely on a variety of issues. The office made mention of the campaign against the covide-19 and containing regional extremism as example of cooperation spheres.
The announcement of Israel’s new status at the African Union received little enthusiasm outside the country. The Israeli foreign ministry, however, found it a proof that the AU and Tel Aviv had established strong ties and collaboration.
A bloc of African states, nevertheless, reminded African Union leaders that thing have hardly changed regarding the essence of Israel. The group insist that Israel is an occupier and the reality of Palestinian issue will impose itself on political decisions. They also stressed that the decision about the new observer status in AU was made without consultation with member states.
South Africa was among the forerunners in protesting the decision accusing the decision makers of having political motivations. The officials at Pretoria described the AU commission’s decision as “appalling.”
Pretoria stressed in a statement released last Wednesday that the decision was “unjust and unwarranted.” The statement further explained that South Africa had no role in the new move.
Algeria was among other nation who launched the campaign against Israeli membership in African Union. Algerian Foreign Minister says the policy could jeopardize the sovereignty of the structure. For his next visits to African states, Ramtane Lamamra has prioritized concerns about Israel’s AU observer status.
South Africa and Algeria have the support of loads of other African countries.
14-Nation Alliance against Israel
Algeria has formally began organizing an African alliance to oppose Israel’s admission in the African Union. According to local and foreign media sources, ” South Africa, Tunisia, Eritrea, Senegal, Tanzania, Niger, the Comoro Islands, Gabon, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Liberia, and the Seychelles are among the members of the initiative.
In addition, Algerian Foreign Minister addresses Israel’s participation in the African Union during his next trips to Tunisia, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt. Lamamra emphasized that the diplomatic effort are in response to Israel’s curious membership in the African Union following long years of lobbies with the AU leaders.
The backlash against Israel occurs in a condition that Palestine already enjoys observer status at the African Union. Pro-Palestine discourse is frequently heard in AU summit remarks. African countries mostly voice support for Palestinians during the ongoing clashes between Israel and Palestine.
During the most recent clashes that occurred in May, most African Union nations condemned Israeli air raid on Gaza. In the conflict the lasted for 11 days, more than 260 Palestinian civilians lost their lives. 66 children were among the victims of a war which started after Israeli decision to force the Palestinian residents in Sheikh Jarrah.
Observers believe that the new decision by AU leaders is indicative of the Israeli lobbying power and the hands behind it. Most African countries face budget deficit and western countries woo these countries through financial assistance into their favorite political tendencies. The United States is forerunner en route.
The new efforts, however, seems to have backfired amid the celebrations in Israel. African countries’ activism against Israel despite pressure by world powers might be a signal of the new world order. The new air clarified the priority of solidarity for longer collective interests of a region that was once a target of occupation.