Israel’s plans aren’t about helping Africa
Abroad that his country would not participate.
Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria also led a boycott and encouraged other states to do the same. Most heeded the Palestinian call for solidarity, and Israeli media reports that 14 out of 54 African heads of state confirmed they were attending the Lomé gathering.
Having resisted and fought European colonisation, Africans stood in solidarity with occupied Palestine.
In rejecting the summit, they were also saying that Africa did not need, or want, a new colonial master.
Hamas political bureau member Mousa Abu Marzouq thanked the African states that boldly and publicly called for a boycott of the Lomé conference.
Abu Marzouq said were the summit to take place, it would be in the context of increased Israeli warmongering, the continued Israeli-imposed hermetic siege on the tiny territory of Gaza, the continued and increased theft of Palestinian land in the West Bank, continuing apartheid policies against Palestinian citizens of Israel, and ongoing evictions of Palestinian Christians and Muslims from their homes and places of worship in Jerusalem.
All these crimes occur while 6 million Palestinian refugees languish in refugee camps, waiting to realise their right to return to their homes.
Palestine Liberation Organisation executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi said the cancellation was a “a strong message that the world would not give Israel a free hand to infiltrate Africa in order to gain legitimacy for its occupation”.
The slogan of the AfricaIsrael summit was “building bridges toward greater shared prosperity”. Israel claims it wants to improve the lives of Africans, yet it imprisons thousands of African migrants from Eretria and South Sudan at the Holot detention facility in the Negev Desert.
Israel is so desperate to rid the Zionist state of Africans that it has been offering African migrants money to go and live in a third country, such as Uganda or Rwanda.
As with the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, the Zionist vision is one of an ethnically and racially exclusive state.
This is apartheid Israel’s vision of “shared prosperity” for Africa.
Charity begins at home. Israel does not protect those Africans who are oppressed by the regimes that the Zionist state supports and, in some cases, arms.
How, then, can it contribute anything meaningful to the continent?
Israel’s interest in Africa has nothing to do with improving the lives of the African people.
The Zionist state is seeking support for its observer status bid at the AU, and is using African states as voting fodder at the UN.
It is asking Africa to sustain the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine.
African governments must resist these efforts of the apartheid Israeli state, and continue to support the Palestinian struggle for selfdetermination and human rights, as Africa’s decolonial movements had previously done.
This should be the message to Israel: Africa is not for sale.
Decolonised Africa is Palestine’s partner in the project to transform the world into a more just one.
Resisting normalisation with the Israeli apartheid state is an essential building block for the liberation of not just the Palestinian people, but all the people of the Global South.
Zionist state is seeking support for its observer status bid at the AU and use continent as voting fodder at the UN
Zaher Birawi is the head of the boycott committee of the Popular Conference for Palestinians Abroad