Pan-Africanism or Zionism: The AU and Palestine Liberation


06-08-21 06:39:00,

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Since it was announced through international media outlets in late July that the African Union Commission Chair, Moussa Faki Mahamat, had granted observer status to the State of Israel, the response has been swift in condemnations from several AU member-states.

This action which was carried out absent of any consultations with the 55 member-states and other observer status entities such as the Palestinian Authority (PA), has been described as a violation of the AU’s own legal protocols related to international relations.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa described the move by Mahamat as “appalling” particularly in light of the recent Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) bombardments of the besieged Gaza Strip and the continuing attacks by the police and IDF on Palestinian civilians in the other occupied territories.

Image on the right: South African President Nelson Mandela in solidarity with Palestine

South Africa under the leadership of the African National Congress (ANC) has maintained strong ties with the Palestinian Authority. Within South Africa itself there has been a vigorous Palestine solidarity movement for many years. President Nelson Mandela (1918-2013), the founding leader of Democratic South Africa after 1994, defended the ANC’s position on Palestinian liberation as early as 1990 when he visited the United States after being released from 27 years of imprisonment under the apartheid regime.

Israel has been referred to as an apartheid state necessitating international sanctions and isolation from the world body of nations. However, it is the U.S. under successive administrations which has funded the State of Israel to the tune of billions annually while providing military assistance along with diplomatic cover. The current administration of President Joe Biden had refused to even call for a ceasefire when the IDF was destroying the entire infrastructure of Gaza, denying the Palestinians access to holy sites in Jerusalem and forcefully removing the Arab residents of neighborhoods designated by Tel Aviv as Jewish land.

It was the advent of mass demonstrations largely led by Arab Americans in cities such as Dearborn,

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