Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine

What The Papers Say

Africa-Israel Relations

Ghanaian Times

Quietly but doggedly, the pro-Israeli lobby in Africa is pushing the African-Israel break in diplomatic relations to a point where it is likely to become an issue affecting the fate of the next OAU Summit. The questions of the seating of the POLISARIO Front and representation of a Chad Government unnecessarily marred the 19th OAU Summit twice before a face-saving but virtually empty third attempt succeeded in achieving no more than the ceremonial installation of a new OAU Chairman.

The controversy over the seating of the POLISARIO Front was unnecessary because POLISARIO's national liberation struggle had achieved all the accepted sanctions of statehood before declaring the former Western Sahara as the sovereign Sahroui Arab Democratic Republic and had satisfied all the laid down conditions for OAU memberships before seeking to take its deserved seat in the 19 Summit. The OAU had helped to establish, and had recognized, the Goukouni GUNT Government of Chad before it was subverted by Habre's foreign-paid mercenary troops and obliged to exist as the legitimate Chad Government-in-exile.

The minority OAU members forced the majority to accede to the minority's stand against the legitimate. POLISARIO and Goukouni Governments. And the majority agreed to that reversal of truths just to prevent the OAU from breaking up. The reward for the majority's indulgence is that the OAU continue to exist as an organization. But it is obvious that the OAU is incapable, before its next summit is convened, of resolving the two issues according to the wishes of the majority. And it is obvious - with real indications that once the minority have succeeded in using the majority's concern for the survival of the OAU to blackmail the majority to go along with reactionary, Anti-African positions in one OAU Summit, they will do it again in the next. And they have started.

Most worrisome is that just yesterday Chief Obafemi Awolowo was reported to have declared at a UPN electioneering rally in Nigeria that if he became President, a review of Nigeria's diplomatic relation with Israel would be circumspect and not automatic. The significant thing about this pronouncement is how Nigeria-Israel diplomatic relations have come to be such a hot, major issue in Nigerian politics. It only shows how seriously the pro-Israel lobby has been working in Africa to reverse the OAU stand against Zionist racism and Israel's support for apartheid South Africe, its militarism in the Middle East, and its policy of destroying Afro-Arab co-operation.

But any African government which thinks that it would be serving its national interests in restoring relations with Israel would be committing an act of self-deception. All that those African leaders have got for betraying the OAU and maintaining diplomatic relations with the Zionist clique which rules Israel is military assistance to maintain their reactionary regimes. Just look at the list!

Israel will never work in the interest of any progressive government in Africa or aid the cause of the African people's revolutionary process. All political analysts know this - and they know why the survival of the Zionist regime itself rests on the support it receives from world imperialist forces, and his support depends on how much and how long Israel continues to play the role of errand boy for these forces in Africa, whose aim in Africa is to sabotage the existing progressive governments and suppress the upshoot of more national people's revolutionary processes. So if Israel lobbies to restore diplomatic relations with African countries, it does so not to assist the national development efforts of the countries concerned. No African leader should deceive himself about this.

These facts must be brought home to all Africans, especially those pressure groups and misled individuals, as we have in Ghana, who always falsely think and argue that African countries should re-open relations with Israel in order to get Israeli economic assistance. Those who argue like this must show what the few Africans which still main- tain diplomatic relations with Israel have got for it in eco- nomic development. All progressive African government and revolutionary forces must avoid Israel like a plague. For, Israel's mission in Africa is to subvert people's revolutions on behalf of world imperialism.

New Nigerian

ZAIRE and Liberia, two African countries who broke diplomatic relations with Israel in 1973, have now restored them. When virtually all of Black Africa severed its links with Israel in the year 1972-73, it was a mark of solidarity with the Arabs whose lands were unjustly occupied by Israel.

Egypt, an African and an Arab country has since recovered its land lost to Israel in 1967 and 1973. Syria has not. Rather, Israel has annexed the Golan Heights. Israel has discountenanced any thoughts of relinquishing its hold on the West Bank and Gaza, the main Palestinian home lands.

And it is only through the Palestinian prism that the events in the Middle East can be justly seen. African countries that resume ties with Israel because Egypt has done so miss the point. It is like opening links with South Africa because Malawi has such ties with the racists.

Western nations are doing all in their power to bring the isolation of Israel to an end. It is instructive that the two countries which have resumed links with Israel, Zaire and Liberia are America's best friends in black Africa. Their actions are definitely in the best interests of the United States to whom Israel is a client state. There is an element of faith involved in this. It is an act of bad faith for African countries to resume diplomatic relations with Israel but to expect the Arabs to continue to isolate South Africa,

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