POLITIS: THE AFRICAN UNION HAS DECIDED TO SUSPEND ISRAEL, IN FEBRUARY 2022, FROM ITS OBSERVER STATUS IN THE PANAFRICAN ORGANIZATION. WHAT THOUGHTS DOES THIS DECISION INSPIRE IN YOU?
René Naba: In fact, the decision to admit Israel to the African Union was a historical misunderstanding, for three reasons, as well as an insult to the memory of the millions of African slaves; an insult to the behavior of the Hebrew state on the black continent.
First: Israel was South Africa’s partner during the apartheid era and one of the main leaders of the counter-revolutionary war during the decolonization of Africa in the decade 1960-1980.
Second: Israel is the most important supporter of Third World dictatorships. The praetorian guard of all the French-speaking dictators who have plundered Africa.
Thirdly: Israel is one of the great colonizing countries of the planet, colonizing nearly 20 times the surface area of Palestine. For these three reasons, it was unhealthy for Israel to be admitted to the African Union, especially since the Hebrew State is not located on the black continent and its admission would have been tantamount to an absolution of all its turpitudes. Africa, which has been the object of the most formidable dispossession, cannot be sold off cheaply to forces that are hostile to it. This «martyred continent» has a duty to command the respect of the world through a rigorous requirement of dignity and morality.
Moreover, and this is an aggravating circumstance, this decision is heavy with meaning because of its symbolic and psychological significance in that it was taken in Addis Ababa, the capital of a country whose Falashas – Ethiopian Jews exfiltrated to Israel in the 1980s and 1990s – were sterilized by Israel, in the pure tradition of the eugenics policy of fascist regimes. The fertility rate of Ethiopian Jews in Israel has dropped by 50 per cent since 2000 as a result of this policy. In a continent stricken by colonization, the handling of symbols must be done with caution.
ALGERIA WAS OPPOSED TO ISRAEL’S ADMISSION TO THE AFRICAN UNION. HOW DO YOU SEE ITS DIPLOMATIC ROLE?
Algeria and South Africa. South Africa has not forgotten that it was the partner of Apartheid. In tandem, South Africa, which enjoys great moral credit, and Algeria obtained, on February 6, 2022, from the African Union, the decision to suspend the observer status of Israel. This decision was a great victory for these two countries, which are thus the guardians and custodians of the African militant memory of their victorious war against colonialism. Two countries, moreover, unconditional supporters of the Palestinian cause. South Africa refused the presence of an Israeli delegation at the funeral of Nelson Mandela, the father of South African independence, without fearing the accusation of anti-Semitism.
Algeria is unfailingly bound by the motto of President Houari Boumediène and riveted as such to the Palestinian «oppressed or oppressor – Dhalimane Kana Aw Madhloumane». It is also crowned with a particularly glorious record with its second victory over terrorism in the dark decade of 1990, a rare case of a country doubly victorious against colonialism and terrorism. The suspension of Israel undoubtedly signs the return of Algeria on the international diplomatic scene, after a long period of lethargy.
It is now important for Algeria to persist in this path, reviving its tradition in this field with a dual objective: the reintegration of Syria into the Arab League and the inter-Palestinian reconciliation so essential to the continuation of an effective struggle for the liberation of Palestine. It is worth noting, in this regard, that the African Union Commission that voted on the controversial resolution was chaired by Moussa Faki Mahamat, former Prime Minister of Chad, a country under the influence of France. The decision to admit Israel to the pan-African organization was in any case ill-timed in that it came three months after the publication of a report by the American organization Human Rights Watch, accusing Israel of committing «the crime of apartheid in the territories»; the human rights NGO made this accusation in a report published on April 21, 2021, and Amnesty International confirmed this apartheid fact in February 2022. A decision all the more unwelcome since Israel is one of the largest colonizers of the planet and one of the largest polluters of land in Africa, Latin America and Asia. A colonization of the order of 20 times the area of Palestine.
ISRAEL IS NOT GEOGRAPHICALLY LOCATED ON THE AFRICAN CONTINENT. WHAT INTEREST DOES IT HAVE IN SEEKING ADMISSION TO THE AFRICAN UNION?
To bypass the Arab world, Israel sought to forge a backhanded alliance with non-Muslim African countries and, in partnership with African satellite movements of the CIA, wage counter-revolutionary war.
Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda are Israel’s traditional anchors on the dark continent, and the choice of these three countries is no accident:
Ethiopia, a non-Arab and non-Muslim country, has been propelled by the American strategy to the role of gendarme of East Africa; in Ethiopia, moreover, Israel has financed the construction of dozens of projects to exploit the waters of the Blue Nile. Israel’s access to the perimeter of the Nile basin, via South Sudan, was achieved with French and American assistance, just as the defense of France’s African preserve was achieved in tandem with France. -Kenya, which was intended to serve as a Jewish homeland under the «Uganda program» of Minister Chamberlain in 1901.
Kenya and Uganda, as a reminder, were, in the eyes of Israeli leaders, essential milestones for securing maritime navigation from the Indian Ocean to the Israeli port of Eilat, in the Gulf of Aqaba. But this tacit pact has earned these two pivotal countries of Israel’s backhanded alliance with the Arabian Peninsula and the African side of the Arab world, particularly on the route leading to the sources of the Nile (Egypt, Sudan, Somalia), serious setbacks and painful calls to order.
The failure of Ethiopia’s intervention in Somalia in 2007 paved the way for the resurgence of guerrilla warfare by the Islamic Courts in Mogadishu, coupled with an increase in maritime piracy off the coast of East Africa and the establishment of an Iranian naval base in Eritrea, a stone’s throw from the important Franco-American base in Djibouti. The construction of a water dam in Ethiopia, which is expected to significantly reduce Egypt’s water share, coincided with an outbreak of violence in the Tigray region that threatened Ethiopia’s territorial integrity.
Kenya was the scene of bloody attacks in 1998 in Nairobi against the U.S. embassy, a sponsor of Israel, and then directly against Israeli interests in Mombasa in 2002, killing a total of 224 people in the Nairobi attack, including 12 americans, and 15 people in the Mombasa attack, including three israelis.
WHAT ARE THE REASONS BEHIND THE ADMISSION OF ISRAEL AS AN OBSERVER MEMBER OF THE AFRICAN UNION?
Israel in Africa has a double problematic: from the myth of the Kibbutz to the counter-revolutionary war against African independence.
A- The myth of the Kibbutz: Israel at the 1958 Accra conference of African peoples
Made up of survivors of the Hitler genocide, founded on agrarian socialism, the Kibbutz,
Israel has long enjoyed such prestige with African leaders that it was invited to a special session of the first Conference of All African Peoples in Accra in 1958.
African peoples, in Accra in 1958. Israel was represented at that time by Mrs. Golda Meir, Minister of Foreign Affairs. Of modest size, little suspected of hegemony, Israel was thus able to be entrusted with the training of the first air force pilots of Uganda, Kenya, Congo and Tanzania, to the point of being able to flatter itself afterwards to have propelled, with the complicity of Western services, two African leaders to the head of their countries, Joseph Mobutu of Congo (ex-Belgium) and Idi Amin Dada of Uganda.
B- The counter-revolutionary war in partnership with the African satellite movements of the CIA.
Between 1958 and 1973, the date of the collective rupture of relations between Israel and Africa, three thousand Israeli experts, that is to say two thirds of the Israeli personnel on mission in the Third World, were assigned to the Black Continent, the other third being deployed in Asia (Thailand, Singapore, Laos, Cambodia and the Philippines). During the same period, fifty percent of the trainees at the International Institute for Development, Cooperation and Labour Studies, an Israeli organization responsible for training Third World technicians, were from Africa.
At the height of the Soviet-American Cold War, the Israeli breakthrough in Africa was supported financially and materially by the CIA, whose training, supervision and protection the Hebrew state assumed by delegation. The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency released nearly eighty million dollars to Israel during the 1960s to finance counter-revolutionary movements in Africa.
- Jonas Savimbi, president of UNITA, facing pro-Soviet Angola
- Joseph Garang, the leader of the secessionist province of Darfur. -In South Sudan, against the Arabic-speaking government of Khartoum – at the same time giving unofficial support to Milton Obote (Uganda), discreet protection to Joseph Désiré Mobutu (Congo Kinshasa), securing the border between Namibia and Angola in order to prevent destabilizing infiltrations against the Apartheid regime. An identical tacit alliance was forged between the Israelis and the French to contain, at the height of the Algerian war (1954-1962), the African nationalist thrust driven by the Ghana, Guinea, Mali axis of the revolutionary triptych Kwamé N’krumah, Sékou Touré and Modibo Keita. The third reason is that Africa wanted to follow in the footsteps of the petromonarchies.
The West is waving the yellow peril in the face of the Africans, seeming to forget that China is present in Africa, despite all the criticism that its presence may justify, «without colonial liabilities», whereas the Western liabilities are heavy.
The shockwaves of the American debacle in Kabul in August 2021 are reverberating through the Arab world, putting the monarchies on the defensive. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are now under fire from Houthi rudimentary ballistics, while Morocco seems to have to reconsider its position, or at the very least reduce the scope of its involvement, due to the upheavals in the Sahel… all the more so since an alliance between the Moroccan Islamist movement and the Moroccan progressive parties has formed a common front to challenge this normalization.
DOES MOROCCO’S BELLICOSE ATTITUDE ENDANGER THE REGION BY GIVING ISRAEL A ROLE?
Moroccan-Israeli normalization is not surprising in itself. It puts an end to half a century of hypocrisy and underground connivance of the Cherifian dynasty with the Hebrew state. It only confirms a heavy tendency of the Kingdom in this field when one thinks of the heavy liability of betrayal of the Kingdom with regard to the Palestinian cause since the Arab summit of Casablanca, in 1964, where Hassan II had wiretapped his Arab peers on behalf of Israel in return for a helping hand from Mossad to the kidnapping in Paris and the assassination of the charismatic leader of the Moroccan opposition Mehdi Ben Barka, on October 29, 1965; to the Israeli-Moroccan normalization, in 2021, under the reign of his son Mohammed VI, president of the «Al-Quds Committee», but also and above all to the counter-revolutionary role assumed by Morocco at the time of the wars of independence in Black Africa, via the Safari Club.
It is as if the choice for Morocco was between the survival of the Cherifian dynasty or the survival of the country. The King, suffering from a heavy pathology, seemed to want to ensure the survival of the Cherifian dynasty at the expense of the durability of Morocco. A miscalculation in every respect. Trading Palestine for the Western Sahara is a short-sighted policy in that the Western Sahara belongs to the geopolitical sphere of the Arab world, while Palestine is in the process of evanescence.
The «normalizers», in other words the reptiles, will have to answer to history, all the more severely as they have made this gift to the most xenophobic Prime Minister of Israel, Benyamin Netanyahu, and to the most Islamophobic President of the United States, Donald Trump.
It is worth noting that Egypt, the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with the Jewish state in 1979, opposed Israel’s admission to the African grouping, no doubt because of the troubled role played by the Israelis with the English-speaking African countries of the Nile basin. Morocco, on the other hand, supported Israel’s admission.
«ALGERIA WILL NOT ALLOW MALI TO BECOME A SANCTUARY FOR JIHADISTS,» SAID PRESIDENT ABDELMADJID TEBBOUNE, FAVOURING DIPLOMACY AND POLITICAL DIALOGUE. HOW DO YOU ANALYZE WHAT HAS BEEN, SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE WAR IN THE SAHEL, THE POSITION OF ALGERIA IN THIS CONFLICT?
The normalization of Israeli-Moroccan relations should have had the secondary effect, in the minds of its designers, of relieving the military pressure on France in the Sahel, by making Israel a full-fledged player in the area. It is well known that Israeli companies are present in Mali: Elbit and Mer, but especially Israel Aerospace, have succeeded in winning the contract for perimeter protection for the Minusma in Mali.
Israeli companies are also providing equipment to strengthen the security of Minusma bases throughout Azawad. They are now targeting some 40 UN peacekeeping bases around the world, including some in the Middle East.
But now Mali is reversing its alliance by renewing cooperation with Russia and the Central African Republic is following suit.
Faced with these developments, it is to be hoped that Morocco will reconsider its position so as not to sacrifice the long term to the short term, strategy to tactics and to articulate the local to the global.
Israel, for its part, faces serious challenges, caught between Hamas in the South, from the Gaza Strip, whose ballistic response in May 2021 demonstrated the porosity of Israeli airspace; and in the North, by the arsenal of Hezbollah, which constitutes, in the words of Israeli leaders, an «existential threat», while its new petro-monarchical allies are under fire from the rudimentary ballistics of the Houthists of Yemen. I do not know in what proportion Algeria will be involved in the Malian affair. But what I can say with certainty, without risk of being contradicted, is that Algeria is unavoidable on this issue, whether we like it or not, especially since the balance of power on the ground and the international context have changed radically.
All this is not necessarily to the detriment of Algeria. And that is an understatement.
The failure of France in the Sahel is due, in no small part, to the lack of cooperation of Algeria with the G5, the backup force of France in the Sahel. The international context: Algeria was caught up in a dark terrorist decade (the 1990s), in the midst of the implosion of the Soviet Union, while Islamist groups were on the rise after the victory of the «Arab-Afghan» in Afghanistan. In 2022, Russia has made a strong comeback in the Arab world and China is on its way to becoming the world’s leading power. China and Russia, it should be remembered, are two important allies of Algeria, on the southern flank of Europe, at the articulation of the Sahel-Saharan zone. This explains the failure of the attempt to strangle Algeria at the beginning of the «Arab Spring» with two Islamist regimes flanked on both sides of its borders (Libya and Tunisia nahdaouiste). Any other attempt will be doomed to failure. Worse, under the effect of the dynamics of fluids, the rise of China will be reflected, inevitably, in a favorable way on Algeria.
Central country of the Sahelo-Sahelian zone, bordering seven countries (Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Chad, Tunisia, SADR (Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic), almost all the countries destabilized and damaged by the intervention of the Islamo-Atlantic alliance during the sequence known as the «Arab Spring» in 2011, Algeria – the largest country in Africa and the largest Arab country, is also equipped with one of the largest armies of the Third World.
Anchor point of the Chinese presence in the Mediterranean, the first planetary power in the making, a pivotal state between the Maghreb (The Ponant) and the Mashreq (The Levant) – Algeria will not be a walk in the park for anyone who dares to seek trouble.
In a word, it will not tolerate Mali becoming a «sanctuary» for jihadists, any more than it will tolerate Algeria itself being a powder keg. And the solution will, in all likelihood, be found in close consultation with Algeria. Westerners, Islamists and separatists be damned.
ALGERIA PLAYS A KEY ROLE IN THE ARAB WORLD AS WELL AS IN AFRICA, THROUGH ITS INTANGIBLE POSITIONS ON THE PALESTINIAN QUESTION, ON NORMALIZATION WITH THE ZIONIST ENTITY AND ON CONFLICTS SUCH AS SYRIA, YEMEN, LIBYA, WESTERN SAHARA… DOES ALGERIA BOTHER?
Algeria is certainly disturbing, which explains the black decade (1990) and the fact that two Islamist regimes were placed on its borders, only to strangle it at the beginning of the so-called «Arab Spring» sequence in Libya and Tunisia with the Nahdaouist regime.
But it is not the only country in this case. All the countries that oppose Israeli-American hegemony over the Arab world are in the same situation.
Syria, Algeria’s partner in the former Refusal Front, is also disturbing, which explains the international war waged since 2011 against this last country on the battlefield that has not signed a peace treaty with Israel.
Lebanon is also disturbing, which explains the blockade to which it has been subjected for five years to raise the population against Hezbollah in order to disarm it. Yemen is also disturbing, which explains the petro-monarchic aggression for the last 7 years against the poorest of the Arab countries. It is strange that no monarchy is the object of unrest.
TWO YEARS AFTER THE PRESENTATION BY THE EUROPEAN UNION OF ITS «STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP» PROJECT WITH AFRICA, 150 BILLION EUROS FOR AFRICA BY 2030 IS THE EU’S PROMISE. A WIN-WIN NEW DEAL?
Europe-Africa: Europe in a state of flux; Africa on the verge of a tectonic upheaval. A carbon-14 reading of this 6th Europe-Africa summit would give the following impression: A summit between the former colonizers and its former colonized, at a pivotal moment in history, when Europe is in a phase of ebb and flow and when Africa, long the source of prosperity of the old continent and the main source of the Francophonie in the world, is the scene of a lively international competition for access to the riches of its subsoil.
This summit proposed to formulate a «renewed partnership» (sic) between the former colonized and their executioners.
It is to be hoped that the investment package of 150 billion euros promised in the field of ecological transition, digital technology, etc… is not smoke and mirrors, or to use a fashionable expression, pixie dust.
150 billion euros as part of the «Global Gateway» plan intended, subliminally, to counter the Chinese Silk Road project. Africa is the object of covetousness. A homogeneous continent with a surface area of 30 million km2, Africa is rich in its diversity. Representing a market of nearly one billion inhabitants, including 550 million consumers in sub-Saharan Africa, Africa is the world’s leading exporter of gold, platinum, diamonds, bauxite and manganese. It is the second largest exporter of copper and crude oil. It is also the world’s leading producer of cocoa, tea and tobacco, and second for sisal and cotton.
Paradoxically, Africa benefits little from its mineral wealth. So much so that countries richly endowed with mineral resources often find themselves at the bottom of the human development scale established by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The race for control of energy sources has become even more acute since the Chinese breakthrough in Africa and the soaring price of raw materials.
From 1960 to 1990, the first 30 years of its independence, Africa experienced 79 coups de force during which 82 leaders were killed or overthrown. In comparison, the Arab world, which has been in the eye of the storm since the discovery of oil, has seen 18 coups d’état during the same period. The continent is one of the largest mining areas in the world, along with Australia, Canada and South America. It is the world’s largest producer of many mining products, including platinum, gold, diamonds, phosphate ore and manganese, and has first-rate reserves of bauxite and coltan, a mineral used in smart cards. Half of the world’s gold reserves are located in the Witwatersrand region of South Africa. The continent also mines copper, zinc and iron ore, as well as uranium in Niger and oil in Angola, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Cameroon.
All these products have seen their prices on international markets soar in recent years, driven by global demand in general and industrial demand in particular, especially from China. Mineral exploitation is a dominant activity and represents the primary export item in nearly half of African countries, including South Africa, Botswana, DR Congo, Mali, Guinea, Ghana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Niger, Tanzania, Togo and Mauritania. Other countries such as Angola, Sierra Leone and Namibia have also developed a significant mining cluster.
The multinationals that dominate the mining sector today derive the bulk of their activities from the African continent, notably the South African companies headquartered around Johannesburg, including Anglo-Gold Ashanti, the result of the merger between the Ghanaian group Ashanti and the mining giant Anglo-Gold. Others, such as Anglo-America, the world’s largest mining group now based in the United Kingdom, also have their origins in this part of Africa.
Diamonds are, along with armaments, the main product of Israeli expertise in Africa. Some observers believe that Israel intends to invest massively in the field of information technology in Africa, in order to compensate for the lack of infrastructure, particularly in the area of mobile telephony. A dozen large Israeli companies (Solel Bonet, Koor Industries, MeïrBrothers, Agridno) are present in the African economy, through direct investments and loans granted by «Bank Leumi» and «Japhet Bank».
They operate in some twenty African countries in the fields of construction, extraction and trade in diamonds and precious metals, particularly Zairean gold.
Iron is a central issue for steel production in the coming decades and is the subject of a fierce battle between two giant groups, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, which are in the process of merging. Present in several African countries, Europe and America, the Dan Gertler group has activities in the fields of diamond mining and management, iron, cobalt, copper.
ISRAEL, A REAL DANGER FOR AFRICA?
For the attention of African leaders with poor memories, it is important to recall the following points so as not to sink into ridicule and discredit their continent: Israel is the most important supporter of Third World dictatorships, the unfailing ally of the Apartheid regime in South Africa. The praetorian guard of all the French-speaking dictators who have plundered Africa. From Joseph Désiré Mobutu (Zaire-DRC), to Omar Bongo (Gabon), to Gnassingbé Eyadema (Togo) and even Félix Houphouët-Boigny (Ivory Coast) and Laurent Gbagbo, to Paul Biya, the off-shore President of Cameroon, whose territory is used as a transit for BokoHaram kidnappers. Beyond that, in Latin America in Honduras, Colombia and Paraguay. Honduras has become a favorite land for the transposition of Israeli apartheid to Latin American territory.
Israel is one of the biggest colonizers on the planet and one of the biggest polluters of the lands of Africa, Latin America and Asia. A colonization of the order of 20 times the area of Palestine.
The West, particularly Europe, has been too slow to change its software in its approach to a continent that French President Nicolas Sarkozy peremptorily asserted, less than a decade ago, had not yet entered history. It is to be hoped that this renewed partnership passes by the preliminary repudiation of the colonialist mentality and its corollary, racism, which have been plaguing the public debate in Europe for more than three decades, while the setbacks of Europe in Africa, particularly France, appear as the beginning of a long bill that Africa presents to the West, for the price of six centuries of colonial turpitude, extermination, deportation, dispossession, despoliation, slavery, rape and violation, so many misdeeds qualified as «angélisme»: The expulsion of the French ambassador to Mali, the anti-French demonstration in the French pre-square in West Africa : Mali, Burkina Faso and even Senegal, as well as the French counter-performance in the Sahel and the Russian breakthrough in French-speaking Africa, superimposed on the Chinese preponderance on the whole continent, and finally the diplomatic slap in the face inflicted on Western strategy, with the suspension of Israel’s observer status, are all the beginnings of a tectonic upheaval of the black continent in its relations with its former exploiters… provided that African leaders consolidate their backbone and renounce their legendary retreat towards the white man and his burden. In the memory of the martyred peoples, this 6th Europe-Africa summit, which is being held in Brussels, the capital of the horrible King Leopold II of Belgium, should be, in symbolic order, the revenge of the Berlin Congress of 1885, of sinister memory.
In a word, Africa must force Europe to support its candidacy for permanent membership in the UN Security Council, with the right of veto, as reparation for its past crimes.
That a continent that has contributed so much to the prosperity of the West is excluded from the international decision-making circuit is an unbearable scandal. An insult to the very notion of Humanity.
Source: Rene Naba – an Interview with Yamina Houmad – Politis n°5 – March 2022 – https://www.elmoudjahid.dz/
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