Israel Returns to Africa

Prior to 1967, Jerusalem had diplomatic relations with over 30 African nations; in the 1970s, that number fell to merely three. But in recent years, the Jewish state has been gradually restoring its ties to the continent—fulfilling the visions of Golda Meir and Theodor Herzl. A major step forward occurred in July, when Israel was given observer status in the African Union (AU). J. Peter Pham writes:

Currently, of the 55 members of the African Union, 46 have diplomatic relations with Israel, the most recent diplomatic ties being with Sudan and Morocco, achieved in the framework of the Abraham Accords brokered by the U.S. during the Trump administration.

For years, Benjamin Netanyahu lobbied to get Israel back into the AU as an observer, although the step was only achieved after he had been replaced as prime minister by Naftali Bennett. Even with the break in bilateral relations with many African states following the Yom Kippur War, Israel had maintained its status as an observer with the AU’s predecessor, the Organization of African Unity (OAU). However, when the OAU was dissolved and replaced by the more robust AU in 2002, the late Libyan dictator Moammar Ghadaffi, who was one of the driving forces behind the establishment of the new organization, . . . used his influence to prevent the status from carrying over.

In contrast, “Palestine” was admitted as an observer in 2013, resulting, on occasion, in anti-Israel resolutions being introduced without Israeli representatives being able to respond.

It is perhaps not surprising that the return of Israel to the AU comes in the midst of the term of the president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Félix Tshisekedi, as head of the African Union. Last year, addressing the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in Washington, Tshisekedi . . . explained his deep regard for Israel: “This nation is a source of inspiration. It teaches us what man can do in such a short span of time when he has drive, resilience, and, especially, divine grace and favor.”

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Read more at Jerusalem Strategic Tribune

More about: Abraham Accords, Africa, Israel diplomacy, Libya

As Vladimir Putin Sidles Up to the Mullahs, the Threat to the U.S. and Israel Grows

On Tuesday, Russia launched an Iranian surveillance satellite into space, which the Islamic Republic will undoubtedly use to increase the precision of its military operations against its enemies. The launch is one of many indications that the longstanding alliance between Moscow and Tehran has been growing stronger and deeper since the Kremlin’s escalation in Ukraine in February. Nicholas Carl, Kitaneh Fitzpatrick, and Katherine Lawlor write:

Presidents Vladimir Putin and Ebrahim Raisi have spoken at least four times since the invasion began—more than either individual has engaged most other world leaders. Putin visited Tehran in July 2022, marking his first foreign travel outside the territory of the former Soviet Union since the war began. These interactions reflect a deepening and potentially more balanced relationship wherein Russia is no longer the dominant party. This partnership will likely challenge U.S. and allied interests in Europe, the Middle East, and around the globe.

Tehran has traditionally sought to purchase military technologies from Moscow rather than the inverse. The Kremlin fielding Iranian drones in Ukraine will showcase these platforms to other potential international buyers, further benefitting Iran. Furthermore, Russia has previously tried to limit Iranian influence in Syria but is now enabling its expansion.

Deepening Russo-Iranian ties will almost certainly threaten U.S. and allied interests in Europe, the Middle East, and around the globe. Iranian material support to Russia may help the Kremlin achieve some of its military objectives in Ukraine and eastern Europe. Russian support of Iran’s nascent military space program and air force could improve Iranian targeting and increase the threat it poses to the U.S. and its partners in the Middle East. Growing Iranian control and influence in Syria will enable the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [to use its forces in that country] to threaten U.S. military bases in the Middle East and our regional partners, such as Israel and Turkey, more effectively. Finally, Moscow and Tehran will likely leverage their deepening economic ties to mitigate U.S. sanctions.

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Read more at Critical Threats

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Russia, U.S. Security, Vladimir Putin