‘Unparalleled in History’ – Head of African Union Shifts Position on Israel

The chairperson of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat. (Photo: via African Union Twitter Page)

By Palestine Chronicle Editors

The same individual who tried to normalize Israel in Africa is now condemning Israel with the strongest possible terms. But what does this mean?

Israel’s hopes of joining the African Union as an observer member were dashed on Saturday, at the start of the two-day summit of the pan-African organization in Addis Ababa. 

Ironically, it was the chairperson of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, who had, in 2022, granted Israel an observer membership status, though without consulting with members of Africa’s largest political body. 

Faki’s decision, back then, had caused strife among AU members, who clashed over Israel’s desire to join Africa’s most powerful institution.

Faki, this time around, however, seemed to have little interest in incorporating Israel into Africa, to the delight, of course, of the growing pro-Palestine constituency in the continent. 

Quest for Justice

“Gaza is being completely annihilated and its people are deprived of all of their rights,” Faki said, adding that he “condemns the Israeli operation (war on Gaza), which is unparalleled in the history of humanity.”

Faki went on to say that “the Palestinian people must enjoy their full freedom and their independent and sovereign state.”

Equally important, the African leader declared his total support for South Africa in its position, which calls on the International Court of Justice to order Israel to stop its genocide in Gaza. 

In a language similar to that used in Africa and the rest of the Global South, Faki declared Africa’s full support and solidarity with the Palestinian people in their quest for justice.

Why is This Important?

For years, but particularly in 2016, the Israeli government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, began a process of normalization with African countries at the expense of the Palestinian struggle.

Netanyahu and other Israeli officials dubbed this process as Israel’s ‘return to Africa’. 

Despite insistent attempts by Algeria, South Africa and other pro-Palestine countries at the African Union, Israel’s efforts proved successful with multiple countries signing normalization agreements with Tel Aviv. 

‘Go Away’ – African Union Prevents Israeli Delegation from Entering Headquarters

The Israeli genocide in Gaza and the steadfastness of the Palestinian people, however, have changed the perception of Israel in Africa and across the world.

This has empowered the pro-Palestine voices in the continent, which mobilized to push for stronger positions from their national governments and the AU as a whole.

Faki’s position is clearly not a reflection of his own personal beliefs, but the rapidly changing mood in Africa. 

WATCH: Israeli Delegation Expelled from African Union Summit in Addis Ababa

The African position is also important due to the fact that Africa, more than any other continent, has suffered under the yoke of colonialism, apartheid, racism, ethnic cleansing and outright genocide. 

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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