On May 11, the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, issued a statement “strongly condemning” the deadly eruption of Israel in the Gaza Strip and indicated that the AU was actively supporting the Palestinian people “seeking legitimate independence from East Jerusalem as its capital”.
You may think that these words are familiar, because they are – Mahamat’s words are similar to the courageous and direct words that the AU made in response to Israeli atrocities in Gaza over the years.
In May 2018, when Israel killed 266 people and wounded tens of thousands during the Gaza protests at the Great March of Return, for example, Mahamat actively expressed his support for the strong and resilient support of the Palestinian war and called for “a clear and lasting solution to the conflict. and United Nations resolutions ”.
And in July 2014, when Israel killed 2,310 Palestinians, wounded more than 10,000, and destroyed infrastructure in Gaza, African Union Commission chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma strongly condemned the “beginning of violence and attacks on Gaza residents.” Strip “. Dlamini-Zuma also called on the AU’s “full support” for Palestine and its support for “the restoration of their constitutional right to establish a peaceful, independent state with the State of Israel”.
Today, in view of the ambassador’s position on the totalitarian occupation of Palestine in Israel, the AU appears to be one of the leading Palestinian freedom fighters in the international arena. And the AU’s strong support for Palestine is not new.
As a born-again organization in the war against African empires, the AU is always willing and ready to “stand up” for the Palestinian cause.
In 1975, the Organization of African Unity (OAU), which led the AU, launched a Resolution in the Middle East and the Arab Emirates in response to “Israeli atrocities and insurgents in the refugee camps and bombings of civilians in towns and cities”. cities in Southern Lebanon violate all international and humanitarian law ”.
Influenced by the non-violent violence perpetrated by Israel at the hands of the Palestinian people, the OAU reaffirmed “the full and appropriate support of the future states and the Palestinian people in their legitimate struggle to reclaim territories that have been seized and confiscated by any means possible”.
It condemned Israel’s shameful attempts at reforming the “territories, territories, economies and culture” of the Palestinian territories. It said the United States had taken part in the war in the Middle East and called for “the overthrow of Israel with more weapons and for this to be seen as a matter of racism and colonialism within the Arab and African countries and the Third World.”
In addition, the OAU affirmed that the Israeli atrocities against the Palestinian people could not be condemned or even removed from the case at all, or even more so – in vain. He therefore called on all African nations to “expand as much as possible” for the Palestinian people to strengthen their fight against Zionist violence and called for sanctions on Israel and international organizations such as the UN.
All of this may lead some to think that the AU has not moved away from its anti-colonial ideology in Palestine for nearly half a century.
Sadly, this is not the case.
In 1975, the OAU not only condemned Israeli crimes, but also devised a massive plan against Israeli colonialism in the Palestinian territories.
Today, however, the AU’s strong opposition to the Israeli occupation and their persecution of the Palestinians is no longer consistent with concrete ideas or actions – in fact, they are just symbols. In addition, members of the alliance appear to be less interested in following the anti-colonial principles promoted by the OAU in the 1970s.
When Israeli security forces seized Palestinian protests at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on May 10, for example, the only African leader to save himself by publicly criticizing Israel’s actions was South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
The deliberate silence and other disappointment in the contract shows clearly how many African countries have abandoned their commitment to help the Palestinian people in fighting for their right to justice against colonialism.
Indeed, in recent years, many African nations have been more interested in establishing strong, economic and military relations with Israel, and have been rewarded for their efforts with Western Western allies, rather than forging alliances with the Palestinians.
Zimbabwe, Equatorial Guinea and Angola are working hard to “build strong economic ties” with Israel. Uganda and Malawi are “looking to” set up negotiations in Jerusalem. Morocco and Sudan recently “celebrated” the agreements signed with Israel.
The pro-Israeli stability in the establishment of African countries, including the silence in Palestine of many others, shows that the strong judgments that the AU has recently issued to Israel are not just speculation.
Today, Israel violates the rights of Palestinian people on a daily basis, rules them apart, and kills them with impunity, but the AU is doing nothing but imposing sanctions. This, in line with the AU’s commitment to helping fight Palestine against colonialism, is not enough. For an organization whose organization is full of anti-imperialists who took part in the struggle for more freedom, just giving lip service to Palestine is not enough.
US President Joe Biden or British Prime Minister Boris Johnson may fight to explain or condemn Israel’s racism, illegal immigration and murder, but no African leader can imagine if he does not understand the plight of Palestinians. He understands, because their countries were in the same situation not so long ago. Why isn’t he talking? And, most of all, why is the organization they represent doing more than just publishing well-documented and well-publicized material that is not relevant to the media?
When did African nations stop acknowledging their war on colonialism and Palestine and begin to ignore Israel’s wrongdoing and support them at the UN?
The AU is still reluctant to publicly condemn Israel’s ongoing crimes against humanity, so why not come up with an anti-Palestinian approach to helping the Palestinians achieve justice and freedom? Why are non-member states reluctant to pursue measures that would force Israel to respect international law and the Palestinian rights, territorial and economic rights?
The “big issue of racism and colonialism” that was so widely reported by the OAU in 1975 is clearly not resolved and killed as usual. So why aren’t African countries using the same principles that helped to suppress apartheid in South Africa in the 1970s and 1980s? Aside from symbolic hands and judgment, where is the boycott of education, culture and sport in Israel? Why are African countries not using economic sanctions on Israel?
For a long time, the AU’s embarrassment and indifference have helped to end Israeli terrorism in Palestine. It is time for the AU to get back to its anti-colonial roots, and establish strategies against Israel.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editor of Al Jazeera.