Ghana is the latest African nation to support Israel for a spot at the African Union (AU). The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been keen for the ‘observe seat’ to counter Palestine’s influence at the African Union. Palestine was granted observer status in 2013. Earlier, Kenya and Ethiopia have already endorsed Israel for the same.
Netanyahu has been pushing for an observer status because the AU has consistently taken a more pro-Palestine stance. According to media reports, members with observer status can access all member states and address them as a bloc.
African Nations Embrace Israel
As per a statement by the Ghana Government, their Foreign Minister Shirley Ayorkor on November 6, assured the Chairman of Israel’s governing coalition party, Avraham Neguise, that Ghana would support Israel’s ‘return to the fold of the African community’. The statement said that Israel and some African nations working very hard to put the past behind them.
Sources say that though African sympathies have been backing Palestine, the leaders are more inclined to prioritize self-interest and a more pragmatic approach to foreign policy.
Meanwhile, Israeli officials claim that their interest in Africa is driven by the mutual benefit in reference to trade, development and security. Israel believes that its absence from the AU has affected the country in terms of votes in international forums; and as such their voice is not being heard.
Last year, Netanyahu asked West African leaders in Monrovia for their support in rejecting anti-Israel bias at the United Nations, General Assembly, UNESCO and the Human Rights Council.
He appealed that Israel is a nation that loves and respects all.