African Union should not legitimize Israeli apartheid regime: Analyst
The African Union (AU) should not be legitimizing a racist regime like Israel, and should treat the regime the same way as apartheid South Africa, a political analyst says.
Patrick Gathara, a Kenyan political analyst and cartoonist, in an article published by Aljazeera, said just like it would have been “unthinkable” for the AU’s predecessor, the Organization of African Unity, to admit apartheid South Africa into its fold, it should be the case with apartheid Israel as well.
“While it is true that the OAU had actually accorded Israel observer status prior to its dissolution in 2002, the fact is that this was not the case for much of its history. In fact, the OAU was a staunch critic of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, comparing it to the situation in apartheid South Africa,” he noted.
Gathara warned that recognizing the Tel Aviv regime for the sake of maintaining unity among AU members states was clearly a wrong move.
He said African nations for decades stood against the apartheid regime in South Africa for its institutionalized racism against the majority Black population, while supporting the Palestinians in their fight against the Israeli regime.
Last year, then-AU commission chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat decided to grant Israel an observer status that triggered backlash from the alliance members at the 35th ordinary summit of the African Union in Addis Ababa earlier this month.
The AU’s newly-elected chairperson, Senegalese President Macky Sall, said the threat was still looming on the horizon that the issue of Israel would drive a wedge among the organization's members in future AU summits.
Last week, the AU unanimously suspended the debate on whether to withdraw Israel’s accreditation.
The body decided to form a committee, which will include South Africa and Algeria, who oppose Israel’s accreditation, as well as Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who support it, to review the issue.