In July, the Jewish state was granted observer status in the African Union (AU). Since then, a few African nations and a bevy of pro-Palestinian organizations have protested the decision, asserting that it should be postponed until the Israel-Palestinian conflict is resolved. David May argues that there is no reason “why Palestinian recalcitrance should hold Israeli-African relations hostage.” Furthermore, he writes, Israel has much to offer the continent:
Israel has [diplomatic] relations with 46 out of 54 African countries. . . . Israel has [also] been a global leader in the fight against the coronavirus, and the AU stands to benefit tremendously from Israel’s expertise. Israel’s many other contributions to public health in Africa include combating malaria, providing neonatal care, and building health facilities. And an Israeli-designed method for protecting harvests is helping to feed Africa.
MASHAV, Israel’s agency for international development cooperation, has provided Liberia with COVID-19 relief items such as face masks, thermometers, and medical gowns. MASHAV has also helped African countries improve their agricultural capacity. In 2016, the chairperson of the African Union Commission presented Israel’s ambassador to Ethiopia and the deputy head of MASHAV with a plaque recognizing Israel’s work to combat the spread of Ebola in 2014; Israel set up field hospitals and became the largest donor per capita in that health crisis. . . . Israeli water technology can also be a boon for the AU.
Since 2000, Israel has dramatically increased military collaboration with the Horn of Africa countries, particularly Kenya. . . . And Israel has much to offer African countries in the defense sector, particularly in cybersecurity.