A Diplomatic Triumph: Israel’s Recognition of Western Sahara Strengthens Ties and Counters Iranian Influence

Israel’s unwavering commitment to promoting peace and solidarity in the Middle East and North Africa took another stride forward with a recent diplomatic move. Israel’s recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over the contested region of Western Sahara not only solidified ties with Morocco but also served as a strategic countermeasure to Iran’s growing influence in the region.

The promising development was accompanied by a cordial invitation from King Mohammed VI for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to visit the kingdom. A gesture that signals a new chapter in Israeli-Moroccan relations and further exemplifies the significance of Israel’s decision.

This recognition is not merely a diplomatic move; it carries substantial implications on a wider scale. Foremost among these is the setback it poses to Iran and its proxy, Hezbollah, effectively disrupting their aspirations to deepen roots in North Africa.

Israel’s former National Security Adviser, Meir Ben-Shabbat, emphasized the crucial role Israel can play in Africa, especially in the face of Iranian expansionist efforts. The acknowledgment of Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara reflects the deep trust between the two nations and their mutual commitment to fostering warmer relations.

This strategic move also lends support to a realistic resolution for the disputed territory, which aligns with the United States’ stance. It serves as a resounding rebuke to forces opposing Morocco, backed by Iran and Algeria, and it carries the potential for Morocco to facilitate peace within other North African nations.

Simultaneously, it provides an opportunity for Israel to strengthen its bonds with Mauritania, another crucial player in the region with whom Israel aims to normalize ties under the framework of the Abraham Accords.

However, this strategic step goes beyond Morocco. It sheds light on Algeria’s paradoxical stance. While Algeria has been orchestrating a smear campaign against Morocco following the latter’s normalization of relations with Israel, the former has been discreetly engaged in commercial dealings with Israel, despite lacking diplomatic relations.

The issue of Western Sahara has long been a bone of contention, primarily between Morocco and Algeria. Following Spain’s withdrawal from the region in 1975, both countries asserted their claim over the territory. Yet, the stark difference in their respective foreign policies has further ignited the tension, with Morocco aligning more closely with Western powers.

Israel’s recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara sends a clear message. It stands with nations that pursue peace and rejects forces that thrive on division and chaos. The gesture is a testament to Israel’s determination to thwart the influence of Iran and its proxies in the region, particularly given their support for separatist movements.

Dr. Yechiel Leiter, Director-General of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, views this recognition as an important step towards maintaining global stability. It prevents the Iranian regime from gaining influence over critical resources, and it impedes Hezbollah’s expansion into West Africa.

According to Leiter, “Morocco stands against the fanatical Islam exported by the ayatollahs and their proxies”. This shared battle against radicalism is what unifies Israel and Morocco.

Israel’s recognition of Western Sahara encapsulates its unwavering commitment to maintaining regional peace, and economic stability, and ensuring the world’s food security. The move reiterates Israel’s stand against forces seeking to destabilize the region, affirming the nation’s dedication to upholding its values of peace, unity, and mutual respect.

In conclusion, Israel continues to exemplify its role as a pillar of stability in a turbulent region. Its recent recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara is a testament to the Israeli commitment to peace, stability, and progress. As a nation, Israel will continue to strive for a prosperous, inclusive, and harmonious Middle East and North Africa region.