Israel's relations with the developed world--both West and East--are well documented. Yet there is a dearth of material about its relations with the underdeveloped states of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. This gap in documentation partly reflects Israel's own dilemma in the international system. Geographically it's a part of the Afro-Asian group, yet by inspiration and methods and technological sophistication it is different from that regional system, if not alien to it. This essay will attempt, through the usage of such standard empirical indicators as trade and diplomatic interaction, to shed some light upon Israel's relations with the states of sub-Saharan Africa.
Another indicator, and one which this study relies heavily upon, is the African reaction to the Arab-Israeli war of 1967. To assess the position of an African nation on that conflict, we have used its official reaction--if any--as well as the votes cast in the United Nations General Assembly on the various resolutions that were proposed during the Fifth Emergency Special Session assembled in the aftermath of the June War.
Israel's attention to the African states yields an interesting insight into the nature of the international system and the change it has undergone since the end of World War II. Proclaimed as a state in 1948, Israel was mainly concerned in its foreign policy to secure the help and the good will of the Great Powers that were dominant in world affairs.