Israeli interference in the affairs of African countries, which has been going on for decades, originated from “ideological affinities” the apartheid regime shared with former settler-colonial African regimes, says a commentator.
David Miller, who was sacked from his professorship at the University of Bristol in 2021 after a sustained campaign against him by Britain's Israel lobby, told Press TV that Israel’s involvement in African countries and its proximity with dictators ruling some countries in the continent is “dramatic.”
Israel has “very close ideological affinities with settler colonial regimes", Miller said on the weekly show Palestine Declassified, noting that "there are hardly any African countries that the Israelis haven’t been interfering in -- which is really quite a dramatic thing to say."
He said Israel, as a settler colonial entity, not only ideologically aligns with other settler colonial regimes but also seeks to align with authoritarian regimes.
“Israel, of course, wants to align with or interfere with or subvert other authoritarian regimes … the relationship with authoritarian regimes is also something which they did across the whole of the continent,” Miller stated.
Israeli regime's overt and covert interference in the African continent has been going on uninterrupted for decades.
In the 1960s, Israel trained the military forces of African states like the Ivory Coast, the Central African Republic, Dahomey, Cameroon, Senegal, Togo, Tanzania, Nigeria, Somalia, Uganda, and Ethiopia.
A key base of operations in Africa for Israel is the state of Ethiopia. Ethiopia's emergency police were trained by around 40 Israeli advisors. The east African country also gave the Israeli Navy the right to use two islands in the Red Sea to access the Bab-el-Mandeb strait.
Israel even founded a commercial cover for its intelligence operations in Africa called 'Incoda', which operated out of Ethiopia and exported meat during the 1960s. It was a military operation that transported spies around the continent.
Israeli intelligence had links with Ghana’s Secret Service, so much so that the Ghanaian government later accused the regime of involvement in a coup attempt against the emperor of the Central African Empire later to become a republic.
The former president of Congo, Mobutu Sese Seko was trained in Israel, where he obtained his parachute wings. He later went on to lead the coup and killing of Congolese leader Patrice Lumumba in 1961.
In 1982, it was reported that Mobutu was personally paid $10 million for the reopening of an Israeli embassy. In 1983, he agreed to increase his presidential brigade to 7,500 soldiers who operated under Israeli supervision.
Also, Israel has never been held accountable for its widely known role in maintaining and fortifying white settler rule in Rhodesia.
Rhodesia was an unrecognized state in Southern Africa from 1965 to 1979, equivalent in the territory to modern Zimbabwe.
There were Israeli military mercenaries within the Rhodesian army. In a move similar to the apartheid wall in the West Bank, a 500-mile wall along the border of Mozambique and Zambia was constructed by an Israeli company for the settler Rhodesian regime.
Moreover, Israel voted against the independence of Algeria from French rule, which is not surprising because Israel was actively involved in the conflict.
Israeli intelligence services were working closely with the French in Algeria since at least 1954, setting up its own branch in the country, which was found to be fighting alongside the French and killing Algerians on many occasions.
Israel also supported the secret French terrorist settler group OAS, which assassinated French officials negotiating independence with the Algerians.
“It is a settler colonial situation. And Israel is on the side of the settlers in that circumstance as it has been in many others [cases],” Miller asserted.
He regretted that the sheer number and variety of links and infiltrations that the Israelis have carried out in Africa were not very widely known partly because they have not been reported.
“Another reason, I think, is that there’s an idea in, in the West, especially amongst the left that if you talk about Israeli’s foreign policy objectives that somehow that you’re delving into anti-Semitism,” the academic noted.
“I think, there is the need to start to think about the state of Israel as an imperialist power, rather than a power which is underneath the power of US imperialism,” he hastened to add.
A pattern is observed in some African states where Israel may not have had official relations but has still managed to interfere in internal affairs.
However, currently, despite Israel’s premier Benjamin Netanyahu's attempts to strengthen relations with Africa, his overtures have not been reciprocated by African nations, who see their interests as not aligned.
This was evident at the African Union’s (AU) annual summit in Ethiopia in February when the Israeli delegate was thrown out.
While Israel’s controversial application for observer status at the AU has not been decided upon by the bloc, diplomats from the Zionist entity attempted to take part in the recent AU summit but were promptly expelled from the conference hall by security.
It came the same week when it was revealed that a group of Israeli intelligence agents called 'Team Jorge' had meddled in 33 elections worldwide, with two-thirds of them taking place in Africa.
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