African Union asks members to cut scientific, cultural connections with Israel

2023-02-22 22:48:13
African Union asks members to cut scientific, cultural connections with Israel

The African Union is asking member states to cut scientific or cultural ties with Israel until the apartheid regime stops “colonial” practices against Palestine.

The recommendation is contained in a declaration fronted to member states at the end of the recent African Union summit last week, in which Israel had also sought approval to join as an observer.

The continental bloc declared the toughest commentary yet on Israel’s alleged mistreatment of Palestinians.

A declaration said the bloc would “further request member states to end all direct and indirect trade, scientific and cultural exchanges with Israel.”

The advisory on suspending such ties is the heaviest such recommendation against Israel in the bloc’s 21-year existence. Some member states may, however, still defy the bloc as the decision is simply a recommendation.

In an unusual harsh language, however, the AU condemned what it called “the Israeli colonialist practices in the occupied Palestinian territories, discriminating between the Palestinian and Israeli people on the basis of race and religion, and giving the Israelis more rights and privileges over the Palestinian landowners.”

“The international community is called on to dismantle and prohibit the Israeli system of colonialism and apartheid in accordance with the International Convention for the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid adopted in 30 November 1973.”

The decision came days after members of an Israeli delegation were thrown out of AU’s closed-door meetings for lacking proper accreditation. A spokesperson for the African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat indicated the officials thrown out of the meeting were neither invited nor accredited.

Last year, Mahamat had accepted the proposal to admit Israel as an observer but South Africa and Algeria opposed the move, accusing Israel of discriminating Palestinians.

Amnesty International: Israel is an apartheid regime

Last year, UK-based Amnesty International said its investigation shows that Israel imposes a system of oppression and domination against Palestinians across all areas under its occupation.

Amnesty said this amounts to apartheid as prohibited in international law.

The term “apartheid” was originally used to refer to a political system in South Africa which explicitly enforced racial segregation, and the domination and oppression of whites over blacks.

Apartheid is a violation of public international law, a grave violation of internationally protected human rights, and a crime against humanity under international criminal law.


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