Pan African Palestine Solidarity Network
Anti-Apartheid Conference: Dakar, Senegal
20 March, 2022
The Pan African Palestine Solidarity Network was formed in June 2021, when Palestine solidarity organisations across the continent decided to institutionalise the pan-Africanist ethos of our respective organisations. Palestinian liberation is deeply intertwined in Pan-Africanism. The preamble of the African Charter of Peoples and Human Rights commits “to eliminate colonialism, neo-colonialism, apartheid, zionism”. These values were vibrantly displayed at the inaugural PAPSN Anti-Apartheid Strategy Conference, held in Dakar, Senegal in March.
The meeting mobilised activists from 21 different African countries to stand behind a single banner – Israeli Apartheid must be dismantled. Delegates presented analyses of the penetration of apartheid Israel in their respective countries. Israel’s relationship with Africa is eerily similar to the colonial enterprise of earlier centuries. Promising development, their companies dispossess the peasantry for agricultural projects, while exploiting their labour and extracting wealth. Israel also bribes leaders with money and weapons to suppress protests and maintain indirect rule. Thirdly, Israel promotes the spread of religious doctrine to keep people ignorant and in support of their regime.
In many cases, Israel uses water and agri-technology to greenwash its way into the back-pockets of elites. Many of these projects are short-lived, and do not enable sustainable agriculture for smallholder farmers. Instead, these tend to be turnkey projects which provide a foothold for Israel’s military industrial complex to penetrate the continent.Through surveillance, arms purchases, and other security-related activity, many African countries fund Israel’s genocidal practices while also undermining the rights of people on our continent. Israel acquires a market to expand their military industry, while aiding repressive dictatorial regimes to suppress opposition and silence dissent.
Israel also uses more subtle means to ensure obedience on the African continent. The rise of evangelical ‘prosperity’ churches has been aided by Israel’s support. Not only do these churches prey on vulnerable worshippers by selling them hope, but they also often work in conjunction with Israeli Hasbara. Through tourist pilgrimages and church sponsorships, Israel is able to distort religious doctrine and sell itself to African Christians as the rightful guardians of the Holy Land.
These common experiences, faced by many on the African continent, clearly illustrate how the fight against Zionist colonialism is not far removed from the daily struggles we face on the ground. Israel’s accreditation to the African Union is a key cause of concern for Palestinians and Africans alike. By uniting our common struggles, we can forge a path forward to defeat the Israeli military industrial complex, counter their propaganda, and ultimately bring freedom to the Palestinian people. Aluta Continua!
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