Stop the Israeli Government From Gaining the African Union Observer Status

Stop the Israeli Government From Gaining the African Union Observer Status

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Rahman Oladigbolu started this petition to The African Union The Assembly and Chairperson of the African Union and

A Coalition of Voices of the African Diaspora
and African Supporters around the world.
 
“We are not Africans because we’re born in Africa,
but because Africa is born in us.”
– Kwame Nkrumah

To: The Assembly and Chairperson of the African Union: 

We, the undersigned, demand that African leaders reject the Israeli government’s bid for the observer status seat at the “32nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union” or during any time or session afterward, unless certain important criteria are met by the Israeli government, whether it's the current administration or another.  
 
In the African spirit of peace and reconciliation, 
 
as pursued by Nelson Mandela and the people of South Africa,
as pursued by President Pasteur Bizimungu,
Vice President Paul Kegame and the people of Rwanda,
as pursued by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the people of Ethiopia and Eritrea,
and as pursued by several communities across the African continent,
 
we believe that the African Union must deny Mr. Netanyahu’s bid for the observer status seat.  
 
•              REASONS FOR THIS PETITION
 
The degree of insincerity with which the Israeli government interacts with many countries in the world, its disrespect and disregard of international laws, its suppression of Palestinian universal human rights, constitute a situation whereby the progress of the world is held hostage.
 
As Africa has been exploited for her human and natural resources for hundreds of years, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu now intends to exploit Africa for her moral resources. In the past few years, the prime minister has committed himself and the resources of his state to a project whose goal is to misdirect the responsibilities of the African continent for his personal cause.
 
When the United Nations and its member states determined that Israel is in violation of international human rights and territorial laws, and that Israel is guilty of appropriating Palestinian land for illegal Jewish settlements, Mr. Netanyahu frantically seeks to influence the member states to change their votes in his favor.  Mr. Netanyahu realizes that the African continent is a bloc with the largest number of countries, and subsequently he has been determined to influence African leaders in order to sway their votes at the United Nations and other international institutions. “The pyramid of our foreign policy interests in Africa is as high as it has ever been,” Mr. Netanyahu said to his ambassadors serving in African countries, “[and] the first interest is to dramatically change the situation regarding African votes at the U.N. and other international bodies from opposition to support.”
 
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Not only does Mr. Netanyahu come off as too patronizing and disingenuous, the friendship and aid he promises in return for the observer status he seeks come at a period when Africans have grown to see through the Western aid project.  Yet, whatever Mr. Netanyahu promises to give in return to our leaders doesn’t change the nature of, and the motivations beneath, the transactions; it’s bribery, like taking cutbacks from state projects nocturnally passed on to sleazy contractors, like buying out the jury selected to judge your case in a court of law; it’s moral depravity, like parents prostituting their children for goodies.  These are what many African families raise their children to abhor; our leaders ought to wake up and not allow themselves to be used in this way.
 
Furthermore, for a lot of people on the continent and outside, the indignities and deliberate uncertainty of fate to which African migrants are subjected in Israel should also be a major concern for our leaders when they think about Mr. Netanyahu’s request. That the prime minister so overtly treats the migrants as if they were subhuman, officially calling them “infiltrators”, and yet has the audacity to turn to the African leaders to profess his brotherly love for Africa shows the value with which he holds the African people, including the leaders whose intelligence he apparently takes for granted. “We have expelled about 20,000 (African migrants) and now the mission is to get the rest out,” Mr. Netanyahu declared with flagrant abandon.
 
As Africans and supporters of Africa, on the continent and around the world, it is our responsibility to prevent this abuse of power, the abuse of the intelligence of Africans, and the abuse of Africa’s friendship and position in the world.  Africa must represent what is right and just in the world. We are not Esau who sold his birthright for a meal. And neither are we the brothers of Joseph who sold him off into slavery.  We must therefore resist the efforts of the Israeli prime minister to take advantage of Africa’s current condition of underdevelopment, the depressed situation that the many years of western exploitations have left us, to manipulate us into selling out another group of historically oppressed people. With our actions and integrity, we must take responsibility for changing the story of Africa and prevent the perpetuation of the negativity that all exploitations have been throwing at us.  

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•              WHAT WE EXPECT FROM THE AFRICAN UNION
 
At the upcoming 32ndOrdinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union and afterward, we expect that this petition will enjoin the African Heads of State to withhold from the Israeli government the sought-after “African Union Observer Status Seat”.
 
And we ask that they should instead propose, as a condition for obtaining the status, that the Israeli government must stop all settlement projects on occupied Palestinian territory; secondly, commit to and partake in a peace process to resolve the conflict in favor of any arrangement that both sides would be able to accept, with all possible compromises made; and, thirdly, take the necessary steps to improve the immigration and social situations of the African migrants in Israel seeking asylum. 
 
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We are aware that, discouraged by the Trump administration’s decisions on Jerusalem, the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has already called on the African Union to join an “international multilateral mechanism under the umbrella of the United Nations” for a reliable peace process that would resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict.  This is an opportunity for African leaders to begin to reverse the errant narratives about Africa and her people, and to assert the leadership qualities that we as Africans have always known. It should be instructive to see that China did not ask permission from any country to step onto the world stage to do what it believes, no matter how questionable they may be. Likewise, Africa does not need permission from any country to take “its rightful role… in international negotiations” as well as “in the global economy,” as the objectives of the African Union are laid down in Article 3 of the “Constitutive Act of the African Union”.
 
•              THE WORLD EXPECTS BETTER
 
We call on all of you, Africans and supporters of Africa, from the continent and from all over the world, to add your voice and amplify this call by signing this petition and sharing it widely among your circles. Our voice must be heard!
 
Also, it’s important to note that this petition, including its motivations and all possible actions that may be associated with it, is not a political action, at least not in the sense of the term as used in partisan political contexts. It’s neither of a right-left wings stance nor of an Arab-Jews, Israeli-Palestinian or a Muslim-Christian frame of reference. The decision and actions here and henceforth taken are rather motivated by a sense of general human-moral wellbeing, and they are guided by a strong belief in both idealist and pragmatist (realistic) principles.
 
Politics around the world has been conducted as if the world was perpetually at war; every decision and step that many leaders take, in diplomatic guise, are in fact like acts of war on another government or people somewhere. But we believe that politics can become inclusive, respectful of everyone, and leaving no group of people behind or outside.
 
Both the Israelis and the Palestinians can live peacefully in the region, and there’s absolutely no need for the moral exploitation of other people to survive and grow. In fact, there has never been any need for any group of people to exploit another group of people to survive in the world; what we see in history, and today, have only been expressions of an ignorance that characterizes the view of life and humanity held by groups that have exploited other groups, like the slaveholders, the colonialists, and the imperialists; it's a deficit in their existential understanding of life, brought about by their unexamined tribal mentality, and for which their greed and lust compensated.   
 
Africa deserves better. The world deserves better.  

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