Algeria Battling “Israel” in Africa
Due to the strong Algerian opposition, "Israel"'s accession is almost impossible.
On October 16th, 2021, the Executive Council of the African Union announced the postponement of its decision on approving or rejecting the “observer status” of “Israel” in the Union to the next African summit scheduled for February 2022. This decision is in fact the culmination of a great effort made by Algeria politically and diplomatically over the course of three months among the African countries to oppose and confront the sudden decision taken by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki, to accept the application of "Israel" to join the African Union as an observer member, and the subsequent presentation by the Israeli ambassador to Ethiopia (the headquarters country) of his credentials to the Union on the 22nd of June 2021.
From the first day of the decision of Moussa Faki, a French-educated former Chadian prime minister, Algeria went into something like a state of emergency, and a decision was taken at the highest levels to launch a comprehensive diplomatic campaign and to use all of Algeria's weight and political capabilities to confront Faki’s personal decision. The Algerian Foreign Ministry announced its total rejection of "Israel's" admission to the ranks of the African Union and said that the Chairperson of the Commission had not consulted the member states in this regard.
Algeria began to move and succeeded in persuading six Arab African countries (not including Morocco and Sudan, who are involved in a process of normalization), namely Tunisia, Egypt, Mauritania, Djibouti, Libya, and the Comoros Islands to announce their opposition to Faki’s decision in a statement on August 3rd. Moussa Faki quickly felt that he is being targeted by the pressures of Algerian diplomacy, represented by Minister Ramtan Lamamra, so he issued an official statement on August 6th in which he responded to Algeria and affirmed that his decision to accept "Israel" as an observer member is indeed within his authorities.
The Algerian campaign against "Israel" in Africa did not stop (South Africa, who had reservations about Moussa Faki's decision from the first day, cooperated with it), and succeeded in persuading Sudan to join the countries opposing Faki's decision in a statement issued by the Sudanese Foreign Ministry on October 15th. And in the next day, Algeria succeeded in leading a group of 24 African countries who also announced their objection to Faki, which prompted the Executive Council to finally decide to postpone the decision on accepting the membership of “Israel” until the next summit. This is an important diplomatic victory for Algeria because it actually means, almost certainly, the failure of the project of "Israel"'s accession, as approving it in the African summit; due to the strong Algerian opposition, "Israel"'s accession is almost impossible.
This Algerian activity and efficiency are due, in part, to its desire to compensate for the years of relative inaction that characterized the Algerian diplomacy during the rule of the ailing former president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, which allowed “Israel” to penetrate into African circles that it did not reach before. Benjamin Netanyahu intensified contacts with West African and sub-Saharan countries in 2016 and hosted an agricultural conference in “Israel” in which 15 countries participated. He also made several visits to the region and was feeling so triumphant to the extent that he publically said, during his visit to Liberia “Israel is returning strongly to Africa!”. “Israel” succeeded in establishing diplomatic relations with a record number of African countries (46 countries out of 55 members of the African Union).
Historically speaking, the late Gamal Abdel Nasser took charge, in the fifties and sixties of the last century, of combating the Israeli penetration into the African continent. And he took advantage of Egypt's weight at the time and its relations with the national liberation movements in the continent to besiege the Israeli presence and keep it within minimum limits (most notably with the apartheid racist regime in South Africa). In the aftermath of the October 1973 war, "Israel" was having diplomatic relations with only four African countries. But Sadat’s coup in Egypt and the Camp David Accords opened the African doors to “Israel” once again. The banner of combating Israeli expansion in Africa then passed to Colonel Gaddafi in Libya, who paid great attention to the countries of the continent and built a network of close relations with them and provided them with financial support and contributed to a large extent in keeping most African countries, especially its western and sub-Saharan countries, out of Israeli influence until he was killed in 2011.
The growing Moroccan-Israeli relations are one of the reasons for this Algerian activity at the African level. Algeria no longer considers "Israel" as a Pan-Arab danger, but has become a direct threat to it on its borders. When "Israel" and Morocco crowned decades of their unofficial relations by announcing the establishment of full diplomatic relations in December 2020, Algerian President Abdelmajid Tabboun said, "We notice a kind of rush towards normalization. We will not participate in it or bless it. The Palestinian Cause is sacred to us here in Algeria, and it is the mother of all causes”. His Prime Minister Abdelaziz Jerad followed with a strong statement in which he said that "Algeria is being targeted" and that there is a foreign will for Zionism to reach Algeria's borders.
That is, Algeria’s leadership has come to consider “Israel's” relations and activities in neighboring Morocco as a direct security and strategic threat, which has caused great tension in the Algerian view of the Moroccan ruling regime. The Algerian newspaper "Al-Shorouk" published an article titled "For these reasons, the Zionist entity targets Algeria." And what made matters worse was the intelligence information that "Israel" had helped Morocco establish a military base near the Algerian border. Things crossed its red lines when Algeria felt that "Israel", through Morocco, was trying to interfere with the internal Algerian affairs. And recently, Algerian television announced that the separatist "MAK" movement has ties to “Israel” and Morocco and that those involved in it were in contact with Israeli parties under the cover of "civil society organizations." In the end, Algeria decided to cut diplomatic relations with Morocco last August.
"Israel", in turn, responded to Algeria, accusing it of being part of an axis that includes Iran. Its foreign minister, Meir Lapid, from Casablanca, expressed concerns "about Algeria's role in the region, its rapprochement with Iran, and the campaign it led against Israel's admission as an observer member of the African Union”.
Today we are witnessing a great Algerian rise to combat and thwart the Zionist expansion in Africa. This is not surprising for a country with a glorious history of revolution and resistance to colonialism, who, since the days of its great revolution sixty years ago, has been associated with Palestine, its revolution, and its cause, and considered it the twin of its soul and struggle, and is still in the same position.