With this collective op-ed, we denounce the hosting of the international conference “Israel back in Africa” co-organised on 31 May by the Israeli embassy with the logistical and political support of the City Hall of the 16th arrondissement of Paris. This conference aims, above all, to promote the African policy of the Israeli apartheid regime on the continent.
What does the City Hall of the 16th arrondissement of Paris have to do with this conference?
By hosting this conference, France is demonstrating its willingness to promote the Israeli apartheid regime on French soil, after Israel’s failed attempt to organise a similar summit on the African continent. This conference was Israel’s second, and far less ambitious, attempt at an Africa-Israel summit. Initial Israeli plans were to hold a summit in the African nation of Togo. These had to be cancelled after significant popular and diplomatic pressure convinced more and more countries to boycott the conference. The Israeli regime therefore looked to France to support its policies in Africa. France agreed to support the organisation of this conference, which once again demonstrates how deeply embedded colonialism and paternalism are in French foreign policy.
We think it is important, also within the Afro-descendant community, to denounce these colonial power games. Africa does not need the Israeli apartheid regime to face the challenges it faces, be they climatic, commercial or social. Africa needs even less the massive arrival on its continent of the tools and techniques of Israeli oppression field-tested on Palestinian bodies and society.
Popular movements across the African continent are mobilising against the creeping penetration of Israel into Africa. They tell us clearly: Africa does not need France to promote the return of apartheid on its soil!
Amzat Boukari, historian and Pan-Africanist activist
Patrice Garesio, co-president of Survie
Franco Lollia, Anti-Negrophobia Brigade
Olivier Marboeuf, author, critic and film producer
Fania Noël, afrofeminist essayist and sociologist
Lissell Quiroz, professor of Latin American studies at CY Cergy Paris University
Michèle Sibony, Spokesperson of the French Jewish Union for Peace
Ghislain Vedeux, former president of CRAN, vice-president of ENAR (European Network Against Racism)
Françoise Vergès, political scientist and decolonial feminist activist
Text first published in French by Agence Média Palestine and available here.
Images from the Protest in Paris in front of the City Hall that will be hosting the conference
Protest organized by: BDS France
Photos taken by: Anne Paq