Opinion

Algeria thwarts Israel’s attempts to join African Union as observer state

Many African nations were appalled by the AU's unjust decision taken in a year in which the oppressed, defenseless Palestinian people were hounded by destructive bombardments...

Algeria (The Inside Palestine)-The plans of the Zio-nists to sneak quietly into the African Union as an observer state have been, spectacularly, backfired as Algeria, one of Palestine’s strongest supporters in Africa, garnered huge support to oppose the Zionists’ affiliation.

The tireless efforts exerted by Algeria, alongside its friends to rescind the observer status granted to the Zionist Entity in the African Union (AU), have been crowned with success. The Zionist entity’s observer status in AU has been suspended on the second day of the 35th African Union Summit held in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, under the theme: “Strengthening Food Security: Accelerating the Development of Human, Social and Economic Capital in the African Continent.”

Several calls have been made within the AU to retract the decision. The latter constituted a hot issue that was fiercely debated, on Sunday, Feb 6, 2022, at the 35th AU Summit, as major African countries, specifically in north and southern Africa, have joined the push to expel the Zionists. These countries back the historic Algerian-led initiative, enthusiastically supported by South Africa, to put an end to the Zionists’ stealth after two decades of quiet diplomacy in the continent following its ouster from the organization, in 2003, by the former Libyan President, the late Muammar Gaddafi.

To this end, Algeria and South Africa, two countries known for their unwavering support of the inalienable right of the Palestinian people, opposed the decision taken by the Chairman of the AU Commission and succeeded in imposing this sensitive issue on the order of the second day of the 35th Conference of the Union. Both countries called, in the strongest terms, on AU to reverse its unjustified move.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh, for his part, urged the Pan-African Organization to rescind the observer status granted to the Zionist entity.

“The Zionist Entity should never be rewarded for its violation and for the apartheid regime it does impose on the Palestinian people,” Shtayyeh said at the opening of a two-day summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

“Your excellencies, I’m sorry to report to you that the situation of the Palestinian people has only grown more precarious. The decision to grant the Zionist Entity an observer status is a reward that [Tel Aviv] does not deserve, and we call for this decision to be withdrawn,” he added.

Later he tweeted, “Today, I called upon #AUSummit2022 to withdraw the Zionist entity’s observer status. Granting the Zionist entity such status is an undeserved reward. Palestine is confident in Africa’s support to our people under the Zionist Entity’s prolonged and belligerent occupation.”

On the second day of the Summit, Algeria, along with friendly Arab and African countries, accomplished a promise that seemed impossible to some parties, suspending the presence of the Zionist entity within the institutions of the African Union until further study.

The suspension means that the decision of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission no longer has any effect and that the Zionists no longer enjoy any capacity in the institutions of the African Union until the conclusion of this file, whose study was assigned to a committee consisting of seven heads of state, including Algeria, which undertakes the task of preparing a recommendation for the next EU summit on this issue.

The Committee includes Senegal President Macky Sall, in his capacity as the current President of the African Union, and Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, in addition to the presidents of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, Rwanda, Paul Kagame, Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, and Cameroon, Paul Biya, in addition to the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Félix Tshisekedi.

According to Sunday’s decision, the fate of the Zionists is now hanging in the hands of the members of the committee formed to study this issue.

Except for the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Felix Tshisekedi, who is considered the godfather of the decision to grant membership to the Zionist entity in the African Union as an observer, the remaining countries are in line with the Algerian initiative that was enthusiastically supported by South Africa, due to the latter’s honorable struggle against the policy of apartheid (racial discrimination), suffered by the people of South Africa, and now by the Palestinian people due to the practices of the Zionists.

In this vein, let us jog Mahamat’s memory and remind the former Prime Minister of Chad, as well as the President of Congo, of the words of the legendary South African leader Nelson Mandela in 1997. Mandela, as we know, was committed to ending apartheid and establishing majority rule and rights for all in his own country and other African states. In doing so, however, he did not forget the people who had backed the anti-apartheid movement despite themselves being oppressed, abused, and brutalized by what has recently been condemned as a racist, apartheid regime.

“We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians,” he said in a 1997 speech on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people. He would never have countenanced the AU’s betrayal of the Palestinians.

This dispute, noteworthy, was set in motion, last July, when the Chadian Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairman of the African Union Commission, accepted unilaterally the Zionist entity’s accreditation to the 55-nation pan-African bloc, triggering indignation within a body that values consensus.

The Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs and National Community Abroad, Ramtane Lamamra, in his reaction to the decision that sparked a huge backlash in Algeria, said the Chairman “does not have the right to jeopardize the unity of his organization, imposing the Zionist Entity without any prior consultation.”

The head of Algerian diplomacy was spearheading a motion to revoke this decision, arguing that it flew in the face of AU statements supporting the occupied Palestinian Territories.

In an interview for Radio France International and France 24 satellite channel ahead of the Summit, Foreign Minister Lamamra slammed the AU decision as a “double mistake”.

“The first mistake was to grant observer status [to the Zionist Entity] without conducting consultations with the AU member states, including Algeria,” Lamamra asserted, adding that the decision “was bad and should not have been taken.”

He noted, “If prior consultations had taken place, the decision would not have been taken, without a doubt.”

The second mistake, according to Lamamra, “was that there was a division among the member states on this issue, and this was left without any attempt to correct it. This is bad for the organization and may jeopardize the solidarity that must exist among the member states.”

In Addis Ababa, Algerian FM, representing President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, was in the last hour’s race. He held a series of meetings with a range of Heads of State. He met with Sahla Work Zewde, President of Ethiopia, the country that hosts the headquarters of the African Union. He also met with the foreign ministers of Angola, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, Eritrea, and Burundi on the sidelines of the fortieth regular session of the Executive Council of the African Union. Lamamra also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and African Integration to the Republic of Togo, Robert Dossey, Chadian Foreign Minister Sherif Mohamed Zein, and Ugandan Foreign Minister Henry Orem Okello, where the Minister of Foreign Affairs advocated in favor of defending the founding principles of the African Union of supporting the rights of peoples, anti-colonialism, and against all forms of domination contrary to the values ​​of liberation.

Do note that Algeria has voiced its rejection of the unilateral decision on multiple occasions, taking, from the date of its announcement, vigorous steps with several friendly African countries to revoke the decision that aims at achieving political, economic, security, and military gains for the Zionists in the continent that unwelcome Apartheid.

On July 22, the Zionist Foreign Ministry said its Ambassador in Ethiopia, Admasu Allele, had presented his credentials as an observer member to the AU. The Ministry did not provide details about the reasons behind the move.

Straightaway, Algiers waged a declared war against this illegal accession. It officially started forming an African state team to reject the decision. So far, Algeria has held intensive consultations that lasted for about three months, led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Lamamra, who was received by the Senegalese President, who is the new head of the African Union, Macky Sall, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of this country, which has great respect for Algeria.

Subsequently, Algeria succeeded in teaming up with South Africa, Tunisia, Eritrea, Senegal, Tanzania, Niger, Egypt, Comoros, Gabon, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Liberia, Mali, and Seychelles to protest against the move.

In addition, and except for Morocco, the other members of the Arab League were against granting observer status to the Zionist Entity. Algeria had deplored, last November, the position of Rabat which “led a campaign in favor of this status.”

Lamamra’s ministerial department drew attention to the fact that “the continued occupation of Palestine by the Zionists goes against the letter and spirit of the Constitutive Act of the African Union, as well as its obligation to respect and implement the respective Resolutions of the United Nations.”

In this vein, FM Lamamra asserted, in all his meetings, that the Algerian diplomacy would not “stand silent before a step that was taken by the AU without prior consultations with the member states.”

“The AU’s acceptance of the Zionist Entity as an observer member aims to strike at the stability of Algeria, which stands with Palestine and just causes,” Lamamra stressed.

As a reaction to Algeria’s principled stance, the Palestinian Hamas Resistance movement expressed its profound gratitude to Algeria for its great and tireless efforts to have the Zionist Entity’s AU observer status revoked.

“Hamas has been closely following up preparations for the upcoming African summit in the Ethiopian capital, and the success of the brotherly state of Algeria’s efforts to put expulsion of the Zionist Entity from the African Union high on the agenda of the meeting,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.

He noted that such a position is highly appreciated by the Palestinian nation, describing it as a reflection of Algeria’s nobility.

The Hamas official called on Arab and African countries to throw their weight behind Algeria’s efforts in this regard and offer greater cooperation for the success of its bid.

He also said the Algerian position was “a clear reflection of the Arab world’s spirit and the African continent’s principles,” stressing that “African Union member states should be unanimously demanding the expulsion of the occupying Zionist regime from the bloc.”

It is worth mentioning that the pro-Palestine language is typically featured in statements delivered at the AU’s annual summits. Palestine already has observer status at the African Union.

African experts say the Zionist entity’s observer status is largely seen as part of “Tel Aviv” regime’s continued campaign to normalize ties in Africa. Last September, a group of international lawyers, researchers, and activists filed a complaint with the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, denouncing this unilateral decision and seeking the Zionist entity’s revocation.

“The human rights violations committed by the Zionist Entity are contrary to the spirit and purport of the Charter of the African Union, particularly relating to issues of self-determination and decolonization as the Zionist Entity continues to illegally occupy Palestine in violation of its international obligations and multiple UN resolutions,” the document read.

Popularly, many Africans, especially from North Africa and South Africa, were appalled by the African Union Commission’s unjust and unwarranted decision taken in a year in which the oppressed and defenseless Palestinian people were hounded by destructive bombardments and continued illegal settlements of the land.

Palestinians continue to lose territory to the Zionists, while their living conditions have deteriorated more and more amid poverty, denial of fundamental freedoms through the systemic discrimination and subjugation, forcible evictions, and demolition orders of Palestinian property in the neighborhoods of Sheik Jarrah and Silwan. This culminated, more recently, in spurring violence that claimed the lives of innocent women, children, and elderly during the 11-day war on the Gaza Strip that began on May 10, 2021, amounting to war crimes. There was a deliberate intention by the Zionist occupation forces to inflict more casualties among the civilians to push the Palestinian people to accept the “existence” of the Zionist entity.

A total of 243 Palestinians, including 66 children and 39 women, were killed during the Zionist attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip on May 10, 2021. Confrontations erupted, on May 13, across the occupied territories because of the Zionists’ attacks and restrictions on Palestinians in the Eastern part of occupied Al-Quds, Al-Aqsa Mosque, as well as a Zionist court’s decision to evict 12 Palestinian families from their homes in favor of Zionist settlers.

The decision on the forced displacement is, in itself, a war crime and aggression against humanity, transforming the Zionist judiciary into a barbaric tool to pass racist Zionist expansion agendas to the detriment of the Palestinian civilians.

The tension moved to Gaza on May 10, leading to a military confrontation between the Zionist forces and the Palestinian resistance groups, where the Zionist warplanes have caused an unprecedented scale of destruction in the Palestinian homes and infrastructure.

Palestinians are also victims of repeated military attacks, claiming the lives of several innocent civilians (men, women, and children), especially in the Gaza strip, which has been under a strict blockade for 15 years.

The Zionists are committing violations against worshipers in occupied Al-Quds by preventing them from accessing places of worship, at the top of which, Al-Aqsa Mosque, the world’s third-holiest site for Muslims, resorting to an excessive force against them in a way that threatens their lives and most likely leads to death. In the holy month of Ramadan, at least 305 people sustained varying injuries as the Zionists stormed the Esplanade of Mosques in East Jerusalem and attacked Palestinians who were on guard to prevent raids by Israeli settlers.

The Zionist entity is committing crimes of apartheid and persecution against Arabs in the occupied territories, with a view to maintaining the domination by Zionists over Palestinians.

The Zionist regime has become the sole governing power alongside extremely-limited Palestinian self-rule, where the Zionists are methodically highly-privileged, while Palestinians have been dispossessed, confined, forcibly separated, and subjugated by virtue of their identity to varying degrees of intensity. In certain areas… these deprivations are so severe that they amount to the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.

The move to push back this unilateral decision proves, once again, that the Palestinian cause is alive in the hearts of resistant nations. In addition, the move to annex the Zionists coincided with the Human Rights Watch’s 213-page report, entitled: “A Threshold Crossed,” which states that Palestinians are suffering from the Apartheid.

“Denying millions of Palestinians their fundamental rights, without any legitimate security justification and solely because they are Palestinian and not Jewish is not simply a matter of an abusive occupation,” said Kenneth Roth, Human Rights Watch’s Executive Director.

“These policies, which grant Jewish Israelis the same rights and privileges wherever they live and discriminate against Palestinians to varying degrees wherever they live, reflect a policy to privilege one people at the expense of another.”

For its part, Sunday’s decision coincided with the publication, this week, of an Amnesty International Report entitled “Israel’s Apartheid against Palestinians; Cruel System of Domination and Crime against Humanity.”

It says, “The organization has concluded that Israel has perpetrated the international wrong of apartheid, as a human rights violation and a violation of public international law…”

“Amnesty International has also concluded that the patterns of proscribed acts perpetuated by Israel both inside Israel and in the OPT form part of a systematic and widespread attack directed against the Palestinian population and that the inhuman or inhumane acts committed within the context of this attack have been committed with the intention to maintain this system and amount to the crime against humanity of apartheid under both the Apartheid Convention and the Rome Statute.”

Following the footsteps of the African team which aborted the Zionist dream to put a foot in this honorable continental organization, the whole world is called upon to exert real pressure on the Zionist entity… the enemy of humanity with a view to putting an end to its systematic violation of human rights and enforcement of discrimination against the Palestinian people.

I consider that what Algeria and its friends have achieved in the African Union is a great success. It will be classified in the chapter of Algerian diplomatic victories: Algeria was among the first to oppose this decision that goes against the founding principles of the pan-African organization.

Source : Al mayadeen

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