An Israeli observer delegation was shamefully kicked out of the African Union summit during the opening ceremony.

The incident happened on Saturday when the annual summit began in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

Video shared online shows the Israelis, led by Foreign Ministry Deputy Director General for Africa Sharon Bar-Li, being escorted out of the auditorium after several minutes of discussion.

It should be noted that Israel has diplomatic relations with 46 of the 55 countries that make up the African Union. Israel also has observer status which was voted for by the majority of countries at the summit. A number of other countries attended with this same status, including members of the European Union and countries like North Korea, who were more than welcome to stay.

It is shameful that the Israelis were singled out and removed in such an undignified manner.

“Israel views seriously the incident in which the deputy for Africa, Ambassador Sharon Bar-Li, was removed from the African Union hall despite her status as an accredited observer with access badges,” said ministry spokesperson Lior Hayat.

The culprits for this debacle appear to be South Africa and Algeria, two countries that are hostile to Israel. The current government in South Africa has aligned itself with Iran, China and even backed Russia over the invasion of Ukraine. It has increasingly disgraced itself with its anti-Israel, and frankly antisemitic antics.

“It is sad to see that the African Union has been taken hostage by a small number of extreme states like Algeria and South Africa, which are driven by hatred and controlled by Iran,” an Israeli Foreign Ministry statement said. “We call on the African nations to stand against these actions, which harm the African Union as an organization and the continent as a whole.”

The Foreign Ministry announced the charge d’affaires at the South African embassy in Israel would be summoned in the coming days for a dressing down by the ministry’s director-general Ronen Levy.

“There is no basis in the organization’s rules for the attempt to cancel Israel’s observer status,” the Foreign Ministry said. “There is a clear majority that supports Israel’s observer status at the organization.”

We hope this action is corrected for future African Union summits and that Israel is welcomed back to the event. Those governments responsible for this action do a disservice to their people and shame themselves. Israel is a blessing to many African nations and that will continue regardless of the hatred of the few sinister actors.

This year, we want to do more to bless Israel and the Jewish people.

We know that as we bless Israel this year, God will bless us, just as He promised in Genesis 12:3, “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Now is the time to bless Israel and the Jewish people.

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