South Africa’ ANC Supports Call for Embassy Closure, Suspension of Ties with Israel

Julius Malema, the leader of the EEF party, introduced a resolution calling for the suspension of diplomatic ties with Israel. (Photo. Video grab)

South Africa’s ruling ANC party has expressed support for a parliamentary motion calling for the Israeli embassy to be closed and diplomatic relations to be suspended.

The draft resolution was tabled by Julius Malema, the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party, who kicked off a debate in a virtual mini-plenary sitting of the National Assembly on Thursday.

Malema said that maintaining diplomatic ties with Israel was offensive to the South African Constitution.

“We must end these relations until the human rights of Palestinians are respected, promoted and protected. Israel must comply with international law. And until then, any relations with them must be regarded as an offensive to our constitution.”

On Wednesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that South Africa has filed a referral to the ICC to investigate Israel for war crimes.

South Africa Refers Israel to ICC for War Crimes Investigation

Malema said that in line with this announcement, and “As survivors of apartheid ourselves, we must fight on the side of the Palestinian people and always be on the side of the weak.”

“We therefore call on members of Parliament and the people of South Africa to support the call to remove the Israeli embassy in South Africa. We can’t share a territory with murderers.”

The ANC’s Deputy Minister of International Relations, Candith Mashego-Dlamini, supported the call, saying “South Africa cannot have normal relations with Israel for as long as Israel is committing war crimes and genocide against the Palestinians.”

“The actions that we are witnessing daily by Israel are a violation of international law, including the UN Charter, the Geneva Convention and its protocol,” she said during the debate.

South Africa Issues Demarche to Israeli Ambassador, Calls for ICC Investigation

Since 1994, South Africa’s policy position on Palestine has been consistent and has displayed systematic diplomatic support at multilateral, regional, and bilateral levels, she added.

She said, “The demand from South Africans for the closure has merit and the government is engaging all stakeholders regarding our diplomatic relations with Israel.”

Parties such as the Democratic Alliance, the Inkatha Freedom Party, and the African Christian Democratic Party disagreed with the motion. The matter will be voted on at another date.

Thousands of People March in Cape Town, Call on South Africa to Shut down Israeli Embassy

South Africa recalled all its diplomatic staff from Tel Aviv last week, and issued a demarche to the Israeli ambassador in the country.

Mass nationwide protests have been held calling for the expulsion of the ambassador as well as the closure of the embassy.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

(The Palestine Chronicle is a registered 501(c)3 organization, thus, all donations are tax deductible.)
Our Vision For Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders & Intellectuals Speak Out