Israel’s observer status in African Union is dividing continent
The African Union (AU) recent decision to grant Israel an observer status in the bloc threatens the continent’s unity organization.
At least a dozen member states have, so far, formally objected to last month’s decision by the AU Commission chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, to accept the credentials of Israel’s ambassador to Ethiopia, Aleli Admasu.
Mahamat’s decision effectively granted Israel observer status at the AU – a position that Israel has been desperately pursuing for almost 20 years.
As a result of these objections, the issue will now be included on the agenda of the next AU executive council meeting in October. Many more countries are expected to verbally object at that meeting.
Israel is not only rooted in colonialism, but it is also an occupying power since being bequeathed Palestine by the British colonial mandate authorities. It has subjected the indigenous Palestinian population to the worst form of tyranny imaginable for more than seven decades.
The ideology of the state of Israel is Zionism, an ultra-right, racist movement to which former and current Israeli leaders subscribe unashamedly. Archaic policies of discrimination against the indigenous Palestinian population are in vogue and imposed violently by a ruthless military regime. This is in direct conflict with the AU's Charter.
Moreover, Israel stands accused of war crimes and incremental genocide. Numerous findings in this regard have been made by no less than the investigative arms of the UN. Special Rapporteurs have determined via exhaustive probes that Israel has committed crimes against humanity in addition to crimes of apartheid.
Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra in August chastised Mahamat for granting Israel observer status at the bloc, saying insistence on the measure will eventually result in the breakup of the regional organization.
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.