Israel in Africa

Security, Migration, Interstate Politics

Yotam Gidron


Reveals Israel’s increasing efforts to form alliances in Africa, explaining what this means for the continent and wider geopolitics.

Amidst the turmoil of the Middle East, few have noticed the extent to which Israel has slowly but surely been building alliances on the African continent. Facing a growing international backlash, Israel has had to look beyond its traditional Western allies for support, and many African governments in turn have been happy to receive Israeli political support, security assistance, investments and technology. But what do these relationships mean for Africa, and for wider geopolitics?

With an examination of Africa’s authoritarian development politics, the rise of Born-Again Christianity and of Israel’s thriving high-tech and arms industries, from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the migration of Africans to Israel and back again, Gidron provides a comprehensive analysis of the various forces and actors shaping Israel’s controversial relationships with countries on the continent. 

In particular, the book demonstrates that Israel’s interest in Africa forms part of a wider diplomatic effort, aimed at blocking Palestine’s pursuit of international recognition. Though the scale of Israeli-African engagements has been little appreciated until now, the book reveals how contemporary African and Middle Eastern politics and societies interact and impact each other in profound ways.

Author Bio

Yotam Gidron is a researcher whose writing focuses on migration, state-society relations, and popular culture in Africa and Israel/Palestine. He has worked with human rights organisations in Israel and in East Africa, and is currently pursuing a PhD in African History at Durham University.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • 1. An African Adventure
  • 2. A Security Empire
  • 3. Old Battles, New Wars
  • 4. Africa’s Israels
  • 5. Managing the Frontier
  • Conclusion


'Intriguing, informative, well-written and drawing on an impressively wide range of sources, Israel in Africa offers an original, thought provoking and creative analysis of Israel’s evolving relationships with African countries. It will leave many of its readers enraged or surprised but, most certainly, with original insights and a strong urge to further explore this topic.'
Galia Sabar, Ruppin Academic Center

'Israel is going back into Africa in a significant way and an active Israeli policy towards Africa is emerging, seeking new allies, new business opportunities and new security collaborations. Yotam Gidron’s book provides a nuanced account of these developments, contextualising them within both history and contemporary Israeli politics. A major contribution to an overlooked subject.'
Ian Taylor, University of St Andrews

'An outstanding scholarly monograph on a neglected dimension of Israel’s approach to relations outside the Middle East. This study authoritatively illuminates the evolving context and complex character of Israel’s engagement with Africa. Its contents are well-documented, politically balanced, clearly written, and lucidly analyzed.'
Richard Falk, former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967

'This captivating book tells the important, but still misunderstood, story of Israel’s involvement in Africa over the last decades. From defense and the extractive industries to migration, as well as the way in which the diplomatic jostling over Palestine and the ubiquitous rivalry with Iran play out on the continent, Israel in Africa’s insights deserve a broad readership.'
Ricardo Soares de Oliveira, University of Oxford

'The story of Israel's new alliances on the African continent is largely untold. Gidron does us a service by making them the subject of his book. Israel in Africa takes its place in a new wave of indispensable scholarship appraising the fast-changing place of African states in international relations.'
Jonny Steinberg, Oxford University


Publication Date: 15 April 2020
192 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781786995025
Hardback: 9781786995032
eBook ePub: 9781786995056
eBook PDF: 9781786995049
eBook Kindle: 9781786995063

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