Iran and Israel battle for influence in Africa: Israeli analyst
Iran sees the Africa as an important arena in its global struggle for influence, competing against Saudi Arabia and also against the West across the continent, an Israeli analyst claims in an article published on the Al-Monitor website.
The decision by Algeria to sever diplomatic ties with Morocco in August could actually signal future confrontation between Israel and Iran over influence in Africa, wrote Danny Citrinowicz, a senior research fellow at the Abba Eban Institute for International Diplomacy in Israel.
“To establish influence in Africa, Iran had created over the years an infrastructure of mosques, cultural centers, charitable networks and educational institutions. These were used to spread its revolutionary ethos across the continent, Citrinowicz wrote, without providing evidence.
“In parallel with Iranian efforts on the continent, Israel has deepened in recent years its diplomatic, economic, cooperation and security ties in Africa,” the Zionist analyst acknowledged.
For the last year, for instance, Israel is in the process of normalizing ties with Morocco and Sudan. In a recent move, on July 23, the African Union accepted Israel as an observer state.
Observers say the Israeli regime is seeking to further infiltrated the continent after recently obtaining observer status in the Africa Union. This move has been opposed by a strong block of African countries and masses across the continent.
On July 22, Israel attained observer status at the bloc after nearly 20 years of lobbying.
Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra has chastised the chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, for granting Israel observer status at the bloc, saying insistence on the measure will eventually result in the breakup of the regional organization.
African nations have condemned Israel’s barbaric crimes against Palestinians, including the recent bombardment of the besieged Gaza Strip.
In April, US-based Human Rights Watch accused Israel of crimes against humanity by pursing policies of "apartheid" and persecution against Palestinians.
The word apartheid is often associated with South Africa. Apartheid was a system of institutionalized racial segregation that existed in South Africa from 1948 until the early 1990s.
The system was characterized by an authoritarian political culture based on white supremacy, which ensured that South Africa was dominated politically, socially, and economically by the nation's minority white population.