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MIDDLE EAST CRISIS

SA recalls diplomats in Tel Aviv over ‘untenable’ situation with Israeli ambassador

SA recalls diplomats in Tel Aviv over ‘untenable’ situation with Israeli ambassador
Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni. (Photo: Gallo Images/Luba Lesolle)

The South African government has decided to recall its diplomats in Tel Aviv for ‘consultation’ amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine.

Cabinet is instructing South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) to take the “necessary measures within the diplomatic channels and protocols” to deal with the conduct of Israel’s ambassador to South Africa, said Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni on Monday. 

Ntshavheni said the position of Israel’s ambassador to South Africa, Eliav Belotserkovsky, “is becoming very untenable”, after Cabinet noted his continued “disparaging remarks… about those who are opposing the atrocities and the genocide of the Israeli government”.

“This is despite the condemnation of the previous ambassadors of Israel to South Africa, who were clear that the acts of the Israeli government are a repeat of apartheid and no different to the apartheid antics,” she said.

The South African government had “decided to withdraw all its diplomats in Tel Aviv for consultation”. 

Demonstrators gather in support of Palestine and march towards Parliament in Cape Town on 13 October 2023. (Photo: Kyra Wilkinson)

Ntshavheni was speaking about the outcomes of a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, 1 November, during a press conference on Monday. The post-Cabinet media conference could not be held last week, due to the Springboks’ visit to the Union Buildings last Thursday, and the annual forum of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) at the weekend, she said. 

Read more in Daily Maverick: South Africa’s links with Hamas and Iran pose new threat to Agoa as Republican senator weighs in

Though Ntshavheni’s remarks appeared to hint at stronger action, International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor indicated that Belotserkovsky would be “demarched” – summoned by Pandor to be rebuked for his remarks. 

Pandor said at a joint press conference with her Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba, in Pretoria: “It was important that we should call the ambassador in and really he should desist from making the kinds of statements he has been making, without having had any discussion with any senior members of the government of South Africa.”

Without elaborating or specifying, she likened Belotserkovsky’s remarks to those made several months ago by US ambassador to South Africa Reuben Brigety who said he had evidence that arms intended for Russia had been loaded onto the Russian cargo ship Lady R in Simon’s Town last December and also criticised the ANC for its stance on the US. 

Read more in Daily Maverick: Israel-Palestine War

On the decision to recall South Africa’s diplomats from Tel Aviv, Pandor said: “This is normal practice when there is a situation which is causing a great deal of harm and concern to a country. You would get your officials to come back to the national setting in order to provide you with a full briefing so that you can make a determination as to whether there is any potential for you to be of assistance and whether the continued relationship is able to be sustained in all terms.”

Pandor’s remarks seem to hint at the possibility of further downgrading relations with Israel. South Africa already took the first step towards that by recalling its ambassador in 2018 and not replacing him.

The recall of South Africa’s diplomats in Israel… is a serious signal that South Africa takes a very dim view on the situation that is currently permeating in that part of the world.

She continued that they “need to have this engagement with our officials because we are extremely concerned at the continued killing of children and innocent civilians in the Palestine territory and we believe the nature of the response by Israel has become one of collective punishment which falls fully outside of the practice of international humanitarian and international human rights law.

“So we felt it important that we do signal the concern of South Africa while continuing to call for a comprehensive cessation [of hostilities] in Palestine.”

Earlier on Monday, Ntshavheni said Cabinet was “disappointed” by the refusal of the Israeli government to respect international law and the United Nations resolutions with impunity.

“The humanitarian corridors remain closed due to the continued attacks of the Gaza Strip by the Israeli government, which is increasing the death toll to more than 9,500 [people]. 

“The air strikes in Gaza and in the West Bank continue to attack schools, hospitals, ambulances and civilians. As previously indicated, a genocide under the watch of the international community cannot be tolerated,” she said. 

The recall of South Africa’s diplomats in Israel for consultation, Ntshavheni said, was a “serious signal that South Africa takes a very dim view on the situation that is currently permeating in that part of the world.”

Read more in Daily Maverick: Middle East Crisis News Hub

She said Cabinet will leave what is to be done to ambassador Belotserkovsky in Dirco’s hands. 

“Our responsibility as Cabinet is to instruct them [Dirco] and say the conduct and the remarks of the ambassador are unacceptable. He is a guest in our country and he must conduct himself as a guest in our country,” said Ntshavheni. 

More than 9,500 people have been killed and 24,000 wounded in Gaza, according to the Palestinian health authorities, since Hamas’s attack on southern Israel on 7 October, which killed about 1,400 people, mostly civilians, while about 200 hostages were captured. 

Read more in Daily Maverick: ‘There is no safe place in Gaza’ — humanitarian groups, hospitals overwhelmed as death toll nears 10,000

Cabinet has previously called on the Israeli government to stop the bombardment of civilian infrastructure such as hospitals, schools and residential buildings and to open the humanitarian corridor to allow the passage of aid, including food and medical supplies, into the besieged Gaza Strip. 

The South African government also earlier offered to mediate in the conflict, and Ntshavheni said the country would engage with UN secretary-general António Guterres and countries in the Middle East, regarding the potential role it could play in terms of mediation and conflict resolution. 

On Monday, Ntshavheni said: “Israel is threatening the stability of the global system, by its conduct against the Palestinian people. And the United States’ support of Israel is enabling Israel to threaten the global system and good governance.” DM

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  • M D Fraser says:

    Typical 3rd world failed socialist reaction. With one hand held out to the West for loans, aid and preferential trade agreements (AGOA), the other hand is giving the middle finger. That atrocities that are being committed is undisputed, from both sides, but do you see any condemnation from SA Govt of Hamas/Palestinian atrocities ? The failure of the ANC to support the really needy in RSA, instead of looting and plundering all themselves, needs this kind of ‘distraction’ to cover their ongoing misdeeds. The ‘sheeple’ are waking up. Goodbye ANC !

    • Vusi Dladla says:

      Typical 3rd world socialist reaction. This includes USA’s NATO ally Turkey and one of the first Arab countries to recognise Israel – Jordan.

  • Garth Gething says:

    This conflict in that dry parched land has been going on for 3000 years, and will continue until God has had enough.

    • William H says:

      God sure is taking his time…

    • virginia crawford says:

      That conflict started this century. The major conflict was the invading crusaders! Check your history.

      • Ben Harper says:

        Hahahahahaha

      • Dragon Slayer says:

        Starting in 1099 Jerusalem has been attacked 52 times, captured and recaptured 44 times, besieged 23 times, and destroyed twice. Not much chance of Israel allowing number 45😔

        • dexter m says:

          Jews were not involved in crusades . that was Muslim against Christians. Last time Jews ruled was 586 BCE. And they were not the only people in that land , remember the philistines in the bible .

      • Mark Parker says:

        I see you are at it again, Virginia. Chiming in all over the place with your one-liners of obtusity. Are you a “flat earther”? Please say yes…because then everyone on DM will finally nod their heads in unison and DM will allow you your “safe space” and we will just respond with a simple “Ok, Virginia”. And don’t respond with me being unkind or heartless…just “YES” on the Flat Earth question for everyone’s benefit.

  • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

    The double standards of our government is mind blowing.

    They will not condemn Russia for an unprovoked attack of Ukraine’s sovereign territory
    BUT
    They outright condemn Israel because it responds to an unprovoked terrorist attack by Hamas.

    How is this ok?

    • Errol T says:

      Unprovoked? Really, have you done ANY reading on the history of Palestine? So, if I and a few of my friends with guns come to your house take your house from you, force you into to your garage, and leave you there for 40 years, then you should just be happy? Your children growing up in your garage should be happy with the limited food we shove under the door?

      Israel has been busy cultivating 3 generations of freedom fighters with the way that they have been treating the Palestinians after they took the Palestinians’ land from them and forced them into concentration camps.

      I have come to realize that everyone that supports Israel in this “war” is either completely ignorant, or completely racist to the core, longing back to the apartheid regime. Which, by the way, is exactly what Israel is running today, only Israel doesn’t mind bombing an informal settlement to hell.

      • Pet Bug says:

        Er, no. I think you need to read up some more.
        All rubbish you write above, certainly out of context and simply adhering to a victim narrative. Generally not useful or wise or helpful.

      • Louise Louise says:

        I agree with you Errol except that I don’t think generally that people are being “racist” as such, I think it is just “selective outrage” because it’s time-consuming to dig deeper into these terrible issues. They succumb to the corporate media’s selective and biased reporting methods. There are atrocities on both sides of these conflicts and these are generally committed by the governments involved, or funded by governments and/or external organisations.

        Ultimately it is always the ordinary people – who have no wish for conflict or war – that are left to suffer.

        The question one always has to ask is “who benefits?”. Generally the answer is : bankers, the military industrial complex and tyrannical governments.

      • virginia crawford says:

        Largely agree.

      • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

        …in your opinion. There are so many of these, some may even be right.

        Why don’t you explain your position to families of the Israeli civilians killed without warning. I am sure they will endorse your position.

        • Louise Louise says:

          Obviously the killing of anyone is wrong, just plain wrong. There are now 4,000 children confirmed dead in Gaza after 30 days of constant bombing by the IDF. When is this enough to satisfy those who support Israel? Who could possibly condone this agenda of genocide?

          • Ben Harper says:

            Confirmed by whom? the Gaza Health Authority AKA Hamas? The same people who claimed 500 dead on the IDF hospital attack that turned out to be a failed Hamas rocket that fell in a car park? Who exactly confirms that number? I would trust anything coming out of Hamas’ mouth as I would anything out of zuma and malema’s

          • Louise Louise says:

            @Ben Harper – if someone can look at the images of the devastation of the Gaza area and tell me that only a few hundred people are dead, after 30 days of constant bombing, then I’m truly perplexed. For sure there is propaganda on both sides but even if they have doubled the figure, is 2000 dead children sufficient? When is enough going to be enough? How many dead would YOU be satisfied with?

          • Ben Harper says:

            When Hamas is gone once and for all

          • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

            @Louise – there are many many people with emotions on either side. The history of this complex situation is 100% guaranteed impenetrable for foreign couch commentators, and very likely for locals who will clearly struggle to separate fact from emotion.

            Focus on this simple fact. Hamas attacked and killed civilians without warning

            …now imagine those civilians were your family, your child, your brother, your father, your mother, your sister, and ask yourself honestly how would you react?

            Then lets re-discuss this topic.

          • Louise Louise says:

            @Ricky – it’s not as simple as that though is it? There’s always a cause, always a reason why these horrific things occur. Just looking at an isolated event is not doing the situation any justice. Groups are funded by outside (or even inside) people/governments/bodies. I don’t have any allegiance to either Palestine or Israel – I just have compassion for the ordinary people on both sides of this awful situation. It’s usually/always governments who perpetuate these horrific crimes and the ordinary people are just innocent bystanders and victims.

          • Louise Louise says:

            @Ben, so you are willing for tens of thousands, perhaps even hundreds of thousands of people to die, just to get rid of Hamas?

          • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

            @louise – you haven’t answered my question.

            But a simple and obvious observation might be that one would have to have the brains of a peanut to do what Hamas did to innocent Israeli civilians and not expect a huge response from Israel.

            which leads inescapably to the conclusion that either Hamas have the brains of peanuts or there is some other agenda they have which you have no insight into and they are prepared to sacrifice their own people for.

          • Ben Harper says:

            @ Louise That’s what happens in a war. In WW2 countless more German civilians died than British Civilians, did that make what the allies did wrong or would you rather the world just sit back and allow what aver radical, psychopathy, dictator have his way and slaughter whomever they like uncontested?

          • Ben Harper says:

            @ Louise – yeah right! It’s been proven Hamas and it’s mouthpieces have been using photo images of other conflicts (i.e. Syria) and claiming it’s the work of Israel. All fake, just like your outrage

        • Stephen Paul says:

          @Ricky Rocker – obvious observations that you would have to have brains the size of a peanut not to know that Hamas must have expected such an Israeli response and the consequent danger to their civilian population, are way too logical for the Israel haters in these posts.

      • Dragon Slayer says:

        Not sure how productive the land was before the UN General Assembly in November 1947 adopted the resolution for Israel as an independent state? But it certainly is now!

        • Louise Louise says:

          What is the relevance of how “productive” the land was? There were Palestinians living there – Muslims, Christians and some Jews. It was THEIR land. Nobody had the right to “give” it away. Not the British, not the UN, nobody.

          • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

            This is a good example of why democracy doesn’t work. Because 100 000 ignorant opinionated statements are no more likely to be correct than a single 1.

          • Ben Harper says:

            There has never been a Palestinian state, never, not once throughout history so who’s land exactly are you referring to that was sommer given away?

      • Mark Parker says:

        Oh dear Errol. Just a quick fact on the Palestinians and their three generations of “freedom fighters” cultivated by Israel. I assume Israel is also responsible for Palestinian “freedom fighters” in Jordan and their Black September and the assassination of King Hussein? The Jordanians made the fatal mistake of not wiping out those “freedom fighters” when they had the chance and rather expelled about 2,000 of them and they went to Lebanon and started all over again with Hezbollah and the wish to take over the government in Lebanon. Syria, Egypt issues too, the list goes on and on with the Palestinian “freedom fighters”. This is the real reason why no Arab nation wants the Palestinians anywhere near them, nothing to do with the BS that Israel will steal the Gaza land if the Gazans left. The Abraham Accords was, is and will be a clear sign that everyone, yes everyone in the Arab world doesn’t care about the Palestinians. And furthermore, nobody took the land away from Palestinians, they never had it, they were offered land, like that of the Jewish people in 1948 which they rejected because they wanted ALL of the land even the Negev (which was what Israel really got) but they wanted no Jewish people in it. As people always say, “don’t look a gift horse in the mouth”, the Palestinians had everything handed to them gift-wrapped on a plate in 1948 with the holiest of sites all in their land, but it just wasn’t enough because they had Jews next door. So about being ignorant.

        • Louise Louise says:

          “…nobody took the land away from Palestinians…”

          Yes, they did. Palestine was under a British mandate from 1917 to 1948, after the splitting up of the Ottoman Empire. Until 1948, it was not in the hands of the Zionists. Sadly, that’s when the rot set in. The British government had promised the Palestinians independence as well as promised the Zionists they could have their “holy land” in Palestine. That’s when the fight started……

          • Mark Parker says:

            Tell me when exactly, Palestine was ever a country and in particular ever governed by the Palestinians or whatever you wish to call the grouping for Arabs in the region. You are quite right that this land, controlled by Britain by 1948, wasn’t in the hands of the Jewish people either since biblical times, but it certainly wasn’t in the hands of the Palestinians at any stage either. The land promised to the Jewish nation (1917 Balfour Declaration) but deliberately cocked up with a change of heart in the UK Govt, was divided. 60% (mostly the Negev) to the Jewish people (Israel) and 40% (including all of the most holy sites including Jerusalem) to the Arabs to form Palestine. This arrangement was rejected outright by the Arabs of the Middle East resulting in the 1948 War. So the “rot set in” precisely at the time that the “Palestinians” rejected their 40% of the land with all the most holy sites. So I reiterate once again, “nobody took the land away from the Palestinians at any stage”, but this land controlled and governed by the Romans, Ottomans and then the British was offered and rejected six times since 1948. It would be interesting to hear your views on whether the Palestinians should’ve taken up the offer of the land and created their own autonomous country as the Jewish people did and turned it into the most democratic, richest and diverse country in the Levant as the Jews did with Israel. I wonder if Lebanon would be where it is now if the Arabs had’ve accepted the land?

          • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

            @louise – I have good Jewish friends who tell your story in a VERY different way.

            Who is right? you? them? neither? both partially?

            …it’s all a bit of a turkey shoot when you get right down to it.

            So please stop trying to blame, rather focus on the only truth we can all be certain of : peaceful collaboration between all involved will lead to the optimal outcome.

            (the same holds true of South Africa – and the world for that matter)

          • Denise Smit says:

            It is just impossible to understand how this arguing about Hamas is as though they are not terrorists , similar to Isis or Islamic Jihad, who’s only objective is a holy Jihad and to destroy the Jews. Denise Smit

          • Ben Harper says:

            Oh Louise, Louise, Louise… who controlled Gaza between 1948 and 1967? Hint, it wasn’t Israel. And who controlled the West Bank between 1948 and 1967? Another hint, it also wasn’t Israel.

            If you’re going to argue and defend the indefensible, at least get your facts straight

            Oh and the answers to the questions – Egypt and Jordan

        • Ben Harper says:

          Exactly why NONE of the Arab nations will take in Palestinians

      • Ed Rybicki says:

        I think you hit the nail on the head.

  • Alan Watkins says:

    Ago agoing agone! These idiots think the Americans dont read the news

  • Pieter van de Venter says:

    This is selective neutrality at it’s best. There was support by Zuma for the Sudanese President in the middle of the slaughter of civilians in Darfur, nothing was done or said when the two Sudanese Generals took each other on with the help of the Wagner group and nothing was ever said during the slaughter of civilians that opposed Sirian regime. We all know what the cabinet and Cyril did and say when Russia attached Ukraine and millions of civilians had to flee to various other European countries.

    But hey, support a terrorist organisation the ANC will always do,

  • Stephen Paul says:

    The comments from our cANCer government about threats to the global system ( Russia/Ukraine – hmmm ?) and good governance ( Splutter Splutter say no more !) are vomit inducing in their hypocritical arrogant enormity and moral bankruptcy.

  • Dee Bee says:

    In 2022 it is estimated that 5.6% of the population of the Central African Republic (CAR) died, with only 1.1% attributed to ‘natural’ causes – so up to 200,000 people died from additional preventable diseases or were slaughtered in the conflict there, seemingly largely by the ruling junta and – you guessed it – their Wagner terrorist backers. Not a peep from Pandor, who would rather tilt at windmills in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. In Darfur, Sudan a new wave of ethnic cleansing is underway with Rapid Support Forces (RSF) once again wreaking havoc in Darfur. The RSF is simply the Janjaweed by another name. Thousands have been killed along ethnic lines and over 1 million new refugees created, in addition to the millions already displaced. Nothing from Malema, son of the soiled, who would rather agitate for the removal of the Springbok than save lives in Sudan. In Zimbabwe, the SG of the ANC congratulated the regime that has seen 2 million Zimbabweans flee to South Africa for jobs and safety. The common thread, I suppose, is that these black Africans being murdered, raped, tortured and starved are just Nomvula Mokonyane’s ‘dirty voters’, not worthy of grandstanding and bluster. I hold no brief for Israel or the Palestinians in this timeless conflict, it just disgusts me that our ruling elite treat their own brothers and sisters with such complete disdain.

  • Max Ozinsky says:

    All the above comments are “whataboutism,” which is a type of non-argument used when you don’t have a real point to make on the issue, but need to make your opposition known. This was a common kind form of argument used by apartheid supporters – what about Congo, what about China, what about the US south, etc. Now its used to defend zionist genocide. BTW the South African government has condemned the Hamas attack, immediately after it took place. You were just too busy saying “whatabout this” to hear it.

  • Yacob Weir says:

    Waiting for Christian fanatics to trash the move and the Muslim fanatics to applaud it.

  • Malcolm Mitchell says:

    So DIRCO and the SA government bows again to terrorist tactics by Hamas.

  • Cunningham Ngcukana says:

    This is a long overdue action by South Africa and the expulsion of the delinquent Israel Ambassador is also overdue. 6 000 Palestinians have been killed by the Israel military and the racist settlers before 7th of October since 2008. We had recalled our Ambassador, Sisa Ngombane over the cruelty of this rogue state that ignores the UN and its agencies and has actually announced genocided and war crimes in public through the criminal Netanyahu and the Minister of Defence. They have said that the Palestinians are less than humans and are going on with the collective punishment of the Palestinians with the killing of women and children. They have called for ethnic cleansing in public with the support of the Americans. They are committing the most hideous crimes in occupied Palestinian territories with the express of the Americans who have made the UN impotent. Israel has never been held accountable for its crimes against the Palestinians but the US and the Europeans have simply supported their criminality. The hollow words from the US Secretary of State of aid to Gaza that is simply saying to the world they will feed the Palestinians before Israel kills them with their help and weapons. The Palestinians do not need the aid of the American murderers. The Americans have shown all and sundry what kind of a country they are, but we salute the American people including the Jews who have stood up and that Biden call anti – semitic in a very funny statement of criminality.

  • ROMPEL STOMPEL says:

    The double standards by the world is appalling. Where was the protests and the flags when ISIS beheaded over 10 000 Arabs from Libya, Syria and Iraq? Or the Terrorists and Dictators backed by Saudia Arabia that staved and killed over 400 000 people from Yemen? How about all the Christians in parts of Africa being tortured and killed by the Wagner group? And not a word of condemnation for RUSSIA, also killing innocent civilians and abducting children in Ukraine? CRICKETS from S.A. Bunch of hypocrites.

  • Hilary Morris says:

    The level of rage that I feel when I read about this utterly hypocritical, ignorant, diabolically distasteful behaviour from “our” government is injurious to my health. How bloody DARE they even pretend they understand any of the issues, the history, the sheer evil of Hamas, or indeed anything else about this situation. And I hold no brief for Netanyahu. Listening to a young EFF supporter on the radio talking about genocide as if he has full comprehension on the subject. This whole situation is one of “other-ing”. Their is no right side in this situation, but without the attack by Hamas, none of the rest would have occurred. There has to be a political solution.

    • Errol T says:

      “but without the attack by Hamas, none of the rest would have occurred. “?
      Do you have ANY knowledge of Palestine?

      How about “If Britain didn’t take Palestine away from the Palestinians in 1948 to give it to the Israelis then none of the rest would have occurred”?

      Or how about “If, after Israel moved in and colonized Palestine, the Israelis didn’t push all the ingenious peoples into concentrations camps, then none of the rest would have happened”?

      I don’t agree with the violence committed by Hamas, but I do understand their frustration. Palestinians have tried the diplomatic ways of getting the Gaza strip recognized as a state of their own for 40 years, what else is left for them to try?

    • Pet Bug says:

      Good comment.
      I however would argue that Israel has to destroy Hamas in order to be able to work out a solution with the ordinary Palestinians. Without the crazed Hamas lot.
      Hamas has ruled Gaza with an iron fist and breached no opposition since they won the Gaza civil war in 2006/2007. No free elections since. Obviously.
      Nothing.
      They are as fanatical as their Iranian backers.
      As long as Hamas exists, there will be no peace for the ordinary Palestinians or Jews, and certainly no growth and better life in the region.
      While this war is a terrible situation, it’s necessary in the long term.
      Now explain long-term thinking to the ANC. Impossible.

      • Sibusiso Mchunu says:

        Good Day Pet Bug (I assume this to be a user name)
        I think the notion that Israel needs to “destroy” Hamas to ensure peace is based on faulty logic.

        Destroying Hamas will only inflame the conflict and give rise to another organization that will take its place as the root cause of this conflict is not Hamas but Israel’s own atrocities over 70+ years and Palestinians won’t just sit idle by and continue being occupied.

        The real solution for peace would be one state where both Jews and Palestinians have equal rights but as long as Israel seeks to continue its occupation of Palestine and insists on what amounts to an ethnocentric state with the veneer of a democracy they won’t be any peace.

  • Please enlighten us mere mortals,what is the difference between Putin and his Russian army bombing Ukraine,a sovereign, independant state,indiscriminately,thousands civilians,women and children killed and abducted,hospitals,schools,infrastructure shot to pieces,that he invaded and Israel,acting after been attacked…

  • Beyond Fedup says:

    Typical scumbag anc! Duplicitous, immoral, hypocritical, revolting and deceitful. They only see violence, murder, torture and destruction from one side only. Not only do they turn a blind eye to Russia, Hamas, Iran etc but also idiotically support them. Whilst Bashir Assad murdered hundreds of thousand Syrians with much help from Putin, these despicable anc scumbags said nothing. I really don’t understand why the US would want to renew AGOA with this disgusting and treacherous mob.

  • Trevor Forbes says:

    Why hasn’t South Africa withdrawn all its diplomats from Russia. Haven’t the Russian forces killed a lot of innocent Ukrainian’s defending their homeland? While the events in the Middle East are clearly deplorable, it does appear South Africa’s government holds Israel to an entirely different standard to Russia.

  • Lee Musasa says:

    Typical naivety. The ANC Govt says that it is disappointed by the refusal of the Israel Govt to respect UN resolutions, but for about 30 years since South Africa’s majority rule, it is supporting the Palestinian/Hamas’ rejection of the UN’s 1947 two-state resolution and the extermination of Jews. South Africa did not condemn Russia when it invaded Ukraine and vetoed the UN resolution calling for its withdrawal. Also, it is public knowledge that the current South African Govt supports the oppression of Zimbabweans by ZANUPF in Zimbabwe. This government has become an intimate friend of autocratic regimes, aggressors and oppressors. What a shame!

  • sapientem victor says:

    If hamas lay down their weapons, there might be a peaceful resolution of the conflict, if Israel lay down their weapons all Israelis will be wiped out.

  • ndrw.jhn.wlsn says:

    A large contrast with the government’s attitude towards Russia in Ukraine. Bombing civilians there in pursuit of a war initiated by Russia seems A-okay with DIRECO

  • Al Lovejoy says:

    Captain GM Gilbert, an Army psychologist assigned to observe the defendants at the Nuremberg trials, wrote:

    “In my work with the defendants, I was searching for the nature of evil, and now I think I have come close to defining it. A lack of empathy. It’s the one characteristic that connects all the defendants, a genuine incapacity to deal with their fellow men. Evil, I think, is the absence of empathy.”

    And, although I’m an atheist – I would define “sin” as treating people as things to be used, including your own people – entirely to service your own lusts … whatever they may be. Toxic narcissism is a secular phrase that fits better.

    This pretty much sums up the actions of the “leadership” of the ANC/EFF, Hamas/Hezbollah, Woke American Democrats, and the list goes on and on globally.

    Nobody deserves a “victimology” free-punch against the State of Israel, there is no moral equivalence – Evil is evil and humanity needs to confront it and eradicate it. In this particular case – a flavor of Islam called Wahhabism. It is Wahhabi mullahs who spread the brutal subjugation of Muslim women across Islam. It is Wahhabi mullahs who continuously preach Jihad by the Sword across Islam. It is what defines ISIS, The Iranian Supreme Council, Hamas, Hezbollah, Al-Queda, and every other Israel-hating Islamicist. Just as filthy, evil, and murderously corrupted as the German Nazis

    Just because a cannibal learns to eat with the right knife and a fork, and uses a serviette … it doesn’t make the whole vile man-eating business a matter of etiquette.

    Al Lovejoy (Author of Acid Alex and Unwanted – available free on my FB profile)

  • Andre Roux says:

    I believe that the ANC does not represent the majority “South African view” on Israel and Hamas. Outside and inside of the ANC, EFF and Marxist (The cesspool that have no moral compass), I challenge anyone to prove me wrong that “Most SA citizens, regardless of party affiliation, have not lost their morality, faith and logic, and they do not support terrorism, but Israel’s legitimacy to the land. The ANC’s cosy relationship with terror and gravitation towards tyranny is a revelation of their failure to uphold human rights, and is a move towards denying basic rights and freedom of expression. A failed state always romance with another failed state for it cannot find a worthy partner amongst the free and the prosperous.

  • It is vital that people educate themselves on the birth of the Israeli nation, and how the Palestinians were evicted from their homes when Jewish refugees entered Palestine. Please read the Balfour Accord and how the British sold out the Palestines, promising the Zionist movement a “homeland” after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire. The British handed a huge mess over to the UN in 1948, the damage had been done. People had lost their homes, their businesses their vehicles, and had to take refuge in refugee camps with their children. Haifa and Jaffa were trade routes. Please people educate yourself, and where there is no chance of peace, people resort to violence, that is where our country were fortunate, in having the best statesman in the world, as we had a Truth and reconciliation commission. How can we stand by when 10 000 people have been obliterated of which 4000 are children a slaughter and massacre. We don’t condone what Hamas did, however there is desperation, to bring their plight to the world. When the hospital was struck in Gaza, Biden said ” oh this was a hit from the other team”, what do you mean “team” this is not a game being played. How do you have a war against a people living on strip of land. I agree with everything our government are saying. The people of Palestine are being treated as if they are not human beings and don’t count.

    • Ben Harper says:

      Hahahahaha – perhaps YOU should educate yourself on the history of the region instead of regurgitating pro-Palestine propoganda. There has not ever been a “Palestinian State”

  • Andrew Blaine says:

    Experience indicates that the ANC remains loyal to their “liberation” allies to the extent that they are blind to any fault. There are a number of points to consider:
    1. The casualty levels in the current Gaza conflict seem to be very high. I wonder to what extent these figures relate to the “human shield” policy which has been used in Palestine and followed by MK cadres?
    2. History shows that calls for ceasefires are used as a ploy to allow time to reorganise and redeploy when the Hamas troops are under pressure.
    3. Is it not strange that the initial assault on Israeli civilian population has been discounted by the “white smoke” of Palestinian cries of excessive force and “foul play” by the IDF?

  • dexter m says:

    Been following Israeli media and from the statements of their politicians ( Hertzog- no civilians in Gaza ) , this had to happen . Ireland may be next ( their president refused to retract statement that Israel action amounts to revenge) , if EU does not come out stronger already moving that way . This going south quickly and no grown ups in the room.

  • Sekhohliwe Lamola says:

    The human tragedy that is unfolding in the Gaza enclave defies any iota of moral and legal justification. Palestine-Israel conflict has been purposely ignored for so long. The incident of October 7 shows that an ostrich approach to such intricate geopolitical conflict is unsustainable, regardless of the difference of political viewpoints and opinions held.

  • Malcolm Kent says:

    The hypocrisy of these quasi-communist idiots! Won’t condemn Russia’s colonialistic invasion of Ukraine (multiple war crimes confirmed) but are outraged by Israel’s response to a brutal invasion of their territory. Hamas is a terrorist organisation disowned by Palestine & most of the Arab states, deliberately goading the uninformed world into the achieved reaction.

    • Sibusiso Mchunu says:

      Good Day Malcolm Kent

      Whilst I think the governments lack of a reaction on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is extremely problematic and should rightly be called out.

      I disagree with you that one should not be outraged by Israel’s actions post October 7th. Israel has committed war crimes (which they have been doing for awhile with full impunity) and should thus also be called out on their actions.

      Also on the topic of “invasions” and “colonialism” it’s worth noting the Israeli governments support of settler-colonialism into what is considered Palestine land.

      I think there’s something tragically ironic about calling the government out on its moral inconsistencies whilst displaying moral inconsistencies of your own.

      • John P says:

        This is probably the single most rational response I have seen on this topic.

      • Malcolm Kent says:

        I did not say that one should not be outraged by Israel’s actions – I am pointing out the inconsistencies & stupidity of government foreign policy. Tacit support of Hammas (a recognised terrorist organisation), Iran (an extreme religious, oppressive & misogynist state) & Russia is threatening S.A.s position within AGOA & risking billions in foreign aid.

  • Lisbeth Scalabrini says:

    Hamas – Israel War By MICHELE FAZIOLI (Translated by Reverso)
    06.11.2023 06:00
    Today the clouds have a dark tint, due to the violent wind blowing from the Middle Eastern lands. Let’s start from the end (because we will see that there is also a beginning), that is, from the current situation: after three weeks of war there is the continuous increase of Palestinian civilian victims in Gaza (guerrillas, leaders and flankers of Hamas killed are another thing, they are in a war caused by them). Let’s talk about civilians: the figures are confused, but now we are at a few thousand (five, six thousand according to a fairly neutral figure). And they are helpless people, men, women, children. This brings us to a point of moral and ethical laceration. We wonder: up to what amount of innocent victims it is possible to put those tragic accounts on the negative but not disposable account of a just war? And where does the disproportion between the legitimate reaction to a unilateral attack and the military response to that attack begin? I dare an analogy (imperfect like all analogies): how far in 1945 was justified by the end (the defeat of Nazi-Fascism) the bombing of the German city of Dresden that made at least thirty thousand civilian victims? The dramatic question resonates in the hearts of men and women of good will. But by golly, what’s happening today has had a start. That was on October 7, when a masnada of guerrillas of the terrorist group of Hamas crossed the borders of Israel (for the first time hit in the heart of their land) and made a massacre, massacred (even cutting throats and beheading) over 1,200 unarmed people (kids at a party, children, young, old). The assailants beat and kidnapped 230 hostages (including teenagers and children). If we do not start from there, from that beginning, from that indelible memory of barbarity, we cut the chronicle in slices like a salami incorrectly. The ethical question of proportionality exists. But the bloody attack of October 7 cannot be dismissed as a thing of the past leaving all the weight of moral judgment solely on the heaviness of the response of the attacked party. But there are those who, as always, cry from one eye: after 7 October I did not see Israeli flags waving in European squares, now it is all a wave of Palestinian flags. We also know that the Gaza Strip has long been the lair of radical terrorism by Hamas, which has created an underground world of tunnels, military power stations and weapons and rocket depots to be launched against Israel for years. And the very dense Palestinian population of Gaza is a hostage, a victim of Hamas even before the Israeli attacks.
    To be continued..

  • Lisbeth Scalabrini says:

    It is also true, it must be said, that history is a long thread and even before 1948 and the birth of the State of Israel sanctioned by the UN there had been wars between Palestinian Arabs and Jews. And there is the unresolved question of the territories occupied by Israel after the «six-day war» of 1967, when, however, the armies of Egypt, Syria and Jordan attempted the blow of aggression against Israel to cancel it. Israel responded and defeated the aggressors in six days, creating a security band of occupied territory around them. If Israel had not been attacked, it would not have occupied lands not of its own. The question of the occupied territories remains on the carpet as a bulky stumbling block for any peace negotiations and the crisis is certainly not favoured by the continuous arbitrary settlements of Jewish settlers of fundamentalist religious roots in those territories, with the guilty blessing of Prime Minister Netanyahu increasingly at the mercy of the extremist right. But any possible dissent against Israel does not justify the resurgence of anti-Semitism that is also infecting the West. It was believed that all indistinct anti-Jewish hatred (apart from Israel) had been eradicated in civil Europe after what was perhaps the worst human disaster in our modern history, the Holocaust. Also because, just as the liberal and secular philosopher Benedetto Croce affirmed that we Europeans «cannot but call ourselves Christians», it is licit to say today that» we cannot but call ourselves Jews». It was Pope John Paul II who said that «the Jews are our elder brothers». And to those Christians who were today tempted by the itching of anti-Jewish prejudice (not to mention the past and the ghettos and persecution in the abused name of the Christian faith) it is worth reminding that Jesus and his mother Mary and the twelve apostles were Jews, practitioners of synagogues and then set out on the path of Christian history that from the Jewish stock is born as sap from the roots. The return of anti-Semitism is inexcusable and must today make those who, much or little, express it blush with shame.

  • Gavin Hillyard says:

    War and conflict is in human genetic make-up. Children naturally love but are taught to hate. This is passed down from father to son. If everyone could take a step back and agree what the future position should be, all that would then be needed is agreement on how to achieve that vision. But I’m not holding my breath. Like elephants and bonobos, matriarchal societies, the world would be a better place, I feel, if women governed. Less testosterone for a start.

  • nima egumbo says:

    Hamas will not be eradicated because the current youth, even in West Bank, supports the Hamas ideology of confronting Israeli violent oppression with violence. Hamas came into being to provide leadership after the PLO became a collaborator. As long as the Zionist regime continues to deny the very existence of Palestinians, other organised Hamases will emerge to continue the struggle to the last man standing.

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