The South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) welcomes the continuation of Israel’s observer status at the African Union (AU) despite statements to the contrary falsely being circulated on social media.

Israel remains an observer state at the AU after yesterday’s (Sunday 6th February 2022) executive council meeting of the organisation. While fervent attempts have been made by the governments of South Africa and Algeria to expel Israel from the AU, discussions regarding this have been deferred until next year. The obsessive attempt by the South African government to prioritise and engage in this action puts our already waning international credibility on the line and risks diminishing our ability to take a lead in Continental and international matters. Nor do these efforts benefit South African citizens, the people of Africa, or the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, but simply serve the goals of extremist organisations who are against Israel’s right to exist as the world’s only Jewish State.

The time has come for South Africa to join the majority of AU states and reap the benefits of warming relations between states. According to H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the AU Commission, 44 countries now have relations with Israel, with 17 opening embassies, and 12 opening consulates. This movement has helped to develop trade links and cooperation in fields such as education and training, cyber security, agriculture, technological innovations, health, agriculture and water.

Mahamat correctly lashed at out those countries opposed to Israel’s observer status at the AU saying, “I find it hard to understand the consistency of this rejection with the recognition of Israel by any member state, whichever it may be, whose national flag flies in the heart of Tel Aviv and which hoists, in the heart of its own capital, the Israeli flag while organising in its honour a grand ceremony of presentation of credentials. What is this logic that allows a Member State to enjoy the recognition of a State at home and to refuse it to the Organisation, whose overwhelming majority recognises this State? Is the said State frequentable at the national level while it cannot be frequented at the African level?”.

Mahamat is calling for increased dialogue and diplomacy, the inclusion of Africa in the peacemaking process, and a rejection of attempts to impede the march towards peace. The SAZF supports this call.

issued by:

Rowan Polovin

National Chairman
South African Zionist Federation