South Africa Should Welcome Israel’s Entry to the AU

The South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) welcomes the establishment of Israel’s observer status at the African Union (AU). This positive development is a corrective step to the anomaly that has prevailed for two decades in preventing Israel entry status. Israel already has diplomatic relations with 46 of the 55 member states of the AU and continues to strengthen her ties with the African continent. 

The SAZF is encouraged that African Union members will work more closely with Israel on fighting the coronavirus, improving regional security and implementing water, agricultural and health care technology solutions for the benefit of their people. We are also hopeful that the AU Observer status may assist further African countries to establish closer diplomatic ties with Israel. 

It is unfortunate that the South African government has taken a position against these positive developments and the critical work between Israel and many African states. The SAZF believes that the greater intercontinental cooperation with Israel is a sign that the SA Government should follow suit in building and improving South Africa’s relations with Israel as opposed to missing out on the opportunities it brings. The furthering of the partnership with Israel would lead to increased positive benefits and impacts for all South Africans and will help address the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality. We call on the South African government to accept the decision of our fellow African nations and work towards a better future for ordinary South Africans and the continent as a whole.