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MIDDLE EAST CRISIS

Israel recalls its SA ambassador ahead of parliamentary vote on EFF motion to shut embassy in Pretoria

Israel recalls its SA ambassador ahead of parliamentary vote on EFF motion to shut embassy in Pretoria
Israeli Ambassador to South Africa Eli Belotserkovsky (Photo: X – formerly Twitter / @AmbassadorEli)

Israel has recalled Ambassador Eliav Belotserkovsky ‘for consultations’ as Parliament was expected to vote on Tuesday on whether to close the Israeli embassy in South Africa. Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa was due to lead a BRICS discussion on the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Israel has recalled its ambassador to South Africa after strong criticism by Pretoria and the ANC of Israel’s continuing military assault on Gaza.

The Israeli government has recalled Ambassador Eliav Belotserkovsky “for consultations” following the “latest statements from South Africa”, Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lior Haiat said on Monday in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

He did not specify the statements, but the SA government and ANC have been growing increasingly critical of Israel as the war in Gaza unfolds and the death toll mounts.

Pretoria recently announced that it was recalling all of its diplomats from its embassy in Tel Aviv and it issued a démarche — a very stern form of diplomatic rebuke — to Belotserkovsky. It has also referred Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the International Criminal Court.

Read more in Daily Maverick: SA recalls diplomats in Tel Aviv over ‘untenable’ situation with Israeli ambassador

Israel’s decision on Monday to recall Belotserkovsky came a day before Parliament was expected to vote on an EFF motion calling upon “the government to close the Israeli Embassy in South Africa and suspend all diplomatic relations with Israel”. 

Daily Maverick’s Marianne Merten has reported that while the ANC supported the motion in principle, the ruling party and the government were unlikely to support it because of the practical implications including the fact that breaking diplomatic relations with Israel would mean that South Africa would no longer be able to maintain its embassy to Palestine in Jerusalem.

It seemed likely that the ANC would settle for a compromise of expelling Belotserkovsky but not cutting relations with Israel. Now it seems Israel has pre-empted that move by recalling the ambassador.

Read more in Daily Maverick: All for Gaza ceasefire, but EFF motion to cut ties with Israel may be a step too far for ANC

The South African Zionist Federation condemned “South Africa’s increasingly antagonistic and discriminatory position against the world’s only Jewish State” which it said had led to Israel’s decision to recall Belotserkovsky.

Africa4Palestine, a South African NGO, welcomed the decision to recall Belotserkovsky ahead of the vote in Parliament.

“South Africa now has no ambassador in Israel, and Israel has no ambassador in South Africa,” it said.

It said Israel was being isolated, in a similar fashion to South Africa’s apartheid government, which it described as a crucial step towards holding the country accountable. “People and countries across the globe are making it clear: no normal relations with an abnormal state.

Test for BRICS

Meanwhile, the crisis in the Middle East could present the BRICS bloc with an important test of unity as its leaders gather on Tuesday for a virtual summit hosted by BRICS chairperson President Cyril Ramaphosa to discuss the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. 

He will be joined by most of the leaders of the other BRICS member states,  Brazil, Russia, India and China, as well as the six countries that were admitted to BRICS at its summit in Johannesburg in August: Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran and the United Arab Emirates. 

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres will also participate in the virtual meeting, at the end of which leaders are expected to adopt a joint statement on the situation in the Middle East with particular reference to Gaza, the South African Presidency announced.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to participate, but Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not, South African officials have confirmed, and will instead be represented by Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. Although the official explanation is a scheduling problem, there is a suspicion that the real reason could be India’s outlier position on the Middle East conflict.

India is the only BRICS member which abstained from the UN General Assembly resolution on 26 October calling for “an immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities” between Israel and Hamas and for unhindered humanitarian access to Gaza. 

India explained that it did not support the resolution because it failed to condemn Hamas for its 7 October attack on Israel, in which it killed more than 1,200 people, mainly civilians, and took about 240 hostages. In retaliation, Israel launched an attack on Hamas in Gaza which by Monday had killed about 13,000 people, also mostly civilians.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Israel-Palestine War

Last week, Modi told the virtual Voice of Global South Summit that “India has condemned the dastardly terror attack on Israel on October 7”. He added that India urged a “restrained response along with dialogue and diplomacy” from Israel. “We strongly condemn the death of civilians in the Israel-Hamas conflict,” Modi said.

Five of the six new BRICS candidate countries which will attend Ramaphosa’s virtual summit on Tuesday also supported the UN General Assembly ceasefire resolution, but Ethiopia, like India, abstained. 

Iran openly provides military and financial support to Hamas and has publicly welcomed its attack on Israel, so it would be the least likely participant in Ramaphosa’s meeting to agree to any criticism of Hamas in the joint statement which the 11 participating leaders are scheduled to issue at the end of their meeting. 

Official sources have confirmed that Argentine President Alberto Fernández will participate in the virtual summit though he is about to leave office and it is uncertain whether his successor, Javier Milei, will take up the invitation for Argentina to join BRICS. 

Milei, who has just been elected, is a right-wing, anti-government populist in the Donald Trump mould and stated during his election campaign that he was opposed to Argentina joining BRICS.

In a statement on the recall of Belotserkovsky, South African Zionist Federation chairperson Rowan Polovin said: “The ANC’s prejudicial posturing on this conflict will have profound implications for our country, as well as Jewish and Christian South Africans and others with religious and spiritual ties to Israel.”

He added that the government’s “one-sided and irresponsible rhetoric” and refusal to engage in dialogue with Israel had prevented SA from playing any meaningful role in ending the current war or in any future peace efforts. 

“All it has achieved is [to] deepen the divisions in South Africa, undermine our country’s international standing and economic interests, and harm the constitutional rights of our citizens.

“We hope this is a temporary recall and that diplomacy can continue,” Polovin said. DM

Rowan Polovin is Daily Maverick’s Head of Technology. His views expressed here are reflective of his work with the South African Zionist Federation.

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  • Notmyname :) says:

    Why was the same stance not taken with Russia when it attacked Ukraine? Is that the feint stench of hypocrisy I smell?
    ICC bad when it comes to arresting Putin or Bashir?
    ICC good when it comes to arresting Netanyahu?
    What game is our government playing at? In cahoots with countries like China, Iran and Russia where human rights are nonexistent.
    It’s a slippery slope this diplomatic stance we are taking, saying we don’t pick sides yet clearly doing so…always siding with the seemingly bad guys of any conflict.
    Thanks to this dangerous affair with Russia, Iran and now Hamas we will go down and be remembered for being on the wrong side of history.

    • Ken Shai says:

      Because Ukraine war was arranged by US and Russia had to launch a preemptive strike in advance of imminent Ukraine assault. During the war, Putin considered Ukrainians as pretty much identical to Russians but exposed to US propaganda for far too long. But Putin being the most successful leader successfully challenging US domination leader of rebellion against US, naturally press controlled by US depicts him as the most evil creature to have ever walked the face of the earth. But that is what the propaganda is. In reality Putin is honest, enormously intelligent, reliable, and exceptionally successful having took Russia that was on the edge of abyss and returned Russia to superpower status.
      ANC and EFF are 100% right and they do not buy US propaganda!

    • Jane Fletcher says:

      I find it quite hilarious that our silly little failed government thinks anyone gives a damn about their opinion. So eager to make a stance here and there in the world but absolutely inept in their actual jobs!

  • Denise Smit says:

    India know what Israel is going through – the old big India had be cut in two to put plasters on the violence between two religions . No ends for wars were religions come in opposition to a religion which wants to convert the whole world to its doctrines

  • Denise Smit says:

    Are ANC/EFF going to say anything or do anything in Darfur. No!!!!!

  • Hedley Davidson says:

    Why dont our politicians focus on fixing the mess in this country , i.e 27,000 murders in 2022/2023 rather than grandstanding and posturing on the international stage like old infants . It is embarrassing to think that with a huge debt , dysfunctional SOE’s , enslavement of the masses by a pathetic education system , plus gross incompetence they have the gaul to contemplate that they can assist other countries in solving problems. If they are looking for oppressed people to support and assist , start with the over 40% unemployable South Africans who live in squalor with no water and sewerage running in the streets. .

    • Craig A says:

      I am afraid your comments will fall on deaf ears. The government isn’t concerned about what’s happening in our country because there is no publicity in that. 27,000 murders but what about the ‘attempted’ murders, the rapes and violent attacks and robberies. 100,000? WE are at war!

  • Christopher Bedford says:

    While I agree that the hypocrisy is rife, you can’t be serious about being on the “wrong” side of this conflict. It’s definitely true that what Hamas did on Oct 7th was horrendous but what Israel has done for 6 decades is not nothing. There’s not just good and bad in the Middle East, surely you realise this.

    • John Smythe says:

      And you think that Hamas has not fired rockets back into Israel? And the bombs they planted all over Israel over the last 10 years and more? They deserve to be wiped out. If Hamas lays down its arms now, the will be peace. If Israel lays down their arms, there won’t be peace. Hamas isn’t fighting for land. It’s fighting to promote and an ideology. Israel is fighting for its existence. 6 Million Jews serenely met their deaths in WW2. Do you really think they’re going to let that happen to them again?

      • Paul Van Uytrecht says:

        If Hamas were to lay down its arms, would Israel remove the blockade of Gaza and withdraw from the West Bank (including the settlements)? I don’t think so.

        • Samuel Ginsberg says:

          Here’s the history: Gaza was only blockaded after the rocket fire started. It seems that the blockade was much too lenient seeing how much weaponry got through.

          • John P says:

            I notice you carefully answered only the part of Paul’s comment that suited your agenda, how about your take on the illegal West Bank settlements?

          • TV vhoSmith says:

            Actually the history started in the 1920’s.
            Get your facts straight. Israel did not exist until Britain and other Western Nation’s started shipping Jewish People to Palestine where they proceeded to last claim to land, homes and resources to create Israel on top of the bodies and dignity of poor defenseless Palestinian farmers.

            If you’re going to talk about history talk about all of it.

          • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

            History started way, way, way before 1920. And Israel, and the Jewish people, were mentioned in it over 3,000 years ago (before an Arab or Muslim walked the face of the earth)

          • John P says:

            Mordechai there are ancient texts that mention Arab tribes inhabiting the areas of modern day Palestine, Syria, Saudi Arabia and more as early as 5000BC, ie more than 3,000 years ago. The ancient Jews of Israel and Judah were also around at that time.

          • John Smythe says:

            John, those Arabs were nomadic with no link to Islam at all. Probably because Islam was only born in around the 7th century. Their belief systems were a variety of Judaism, Christianity and other religions linked to a deity of some sort. So, Yes. The Jews were in Israel a few years before Islamic Arabs. And it may surprise you to know that there are many Muslim Arabs who live perfectly normal lives in Israel. They go to the same schools, live amongst one another, hold positions in the justice system. There are naturally the normal societal biases caused my extremist or orthodox thinking on both sides (not unlike we have here).

      • Kenneth FAKUDE says:

        And you say nothing about the poor Palestinians who are caught in the middle but thanks for separating them from Hamas you deserve a Bells on that one

  • Agf Agf says:

    It is a pathetic almost childish reaction. A knee jerk reaction which is presumably aimed at garnering support from the Muslim population which does not normally support the ANC. It achieves nothing. No matter what you think of another country it is always good to maintain diplomatic relations. This is Diplomacy 101.

  • Shahid KHAN says:

    We need to close down the Israeli embassy for the foreseeable future and only consider opening it once a viable Palestinian state is established only agreed UN 1967 borders.

    • Samuel Ginsberg says:

      Like the state the Palestinians have rejected about five times? That one? No. They’re not interested. They’ll only be happy when the Jews are all dead. That’s what Hamas calls for in its charter.

      • TV vhoSmith says:

        Go learn your history. After that come back and answer to this comment:

        How would you feel if I moved into your home with my family and we claim everything. After we get annoyed with your crying we offer you the opportunity to live in the garage with your family. Those who refuse to move will be forced to live a life of terror. No freedom or rights except those we deem adequate.

        That is the “Two State Solution”.

    • John Smythe says:

      Shahid, how many times do you need to hear that the Palestinians have been offered deals for a separate state 5 times?! And they rejected all of them. In 2005, Israel withdraw 100% of all Jews from Gaza. The Jews left the greenhouses, and tall buildings there for the Palestinians to occupy & grow fruit, vegetables, etc.). Hamas broke down the greenhouses. Threw the moderate leaders, who may have helped Gaza be a successful state (even if not a country), off buildings. Israel provided Gaza with water, sewerage, electricity, an airport in Tel Aviv (that the Hamas leaders used on a regular basis btw) & poured money into Gaza in millions of dollars that Hamas chose to use to build tunnels & make its leaders multi-billionaires who don’t command from the frontlines. No. They live in Qatar. A long way from the action. What is it that makes it so difficult to understand that the Gazans had it handed to them on a plate? But they let Hamas use them as meatshields. I’m not going to even refer to them as human shields because Hamas doesn’t see them as human – they see their own people as pieces of flesh that they’re happy to see blown to shreds in the thousands. They don’t love their own people!!

      This isn’t a fight for land for Gaza. It’s a fight against Jews. That’s it. Hamas doesn’t give a crap about “from the river to the sea”.

      Israel isn’t targeting civilians. They are wiping out Hamas. And they won’t stop until the Hamas devil is eradicated and never comes back.

  • Erna Westdyk says:

    I wouldn’t stay where I was not wanted either. Good on Israel.

  • Kealeboga Letsholonyane says:

    Siding with the oppressed and brutalized – Ubuntu

  • Katharine Ambrose says:

    So much for The ANC being a peace broker.

  • Emil Bosch says:

    So when Ramaphosa is (wholly) unable and unfit to fix problems in his own country, he tries to win favour with countries lacking human rights and countries adhering to socialist, i.e. non-workable principles. Shame on you!

    • Phillip Bonomali says:

      So ridiculous

    • Paul Van Uytrecht says:

      Running a country and mediating a dispute are two very different processes. The ability to do the first is not a precondition for the second. But South Africa has a confused foreign policy and countries like Qatar are far better placed to play the role than ZA.

      • Yaku de Beer says:

        Paul, I don’t agree with your statement that Qatar is better placed than SA to assist mediations. South Africa went from an autocratic state to a democracy and we (our politicians and people) have experience in facilitating this process in a bloodless manner. We have done it before. Parties in conflict can learn from our experiences.

        • Kenneth FAKUDE says:

          And Yaku i stand with you for all the short comings the anc has not messed with our freedom except financially and loadshedding but its nice to be in a free country

  • Hilary Morris says:

    Anything goes for this government, as long as it deflects attention from their total incompetence. And the thought of Ramaphosa ramaposing as an international statesman as chair of BRICS is just another circus…… Grrrrrrr..

  • Peter Strydom says:

    When will these people learn, just like everything they never think of the end-game, “no normal relations with an abnormal state, what!” What part don’t they understand about Hamas’ horrendous actions, they openly proclaim “death to the Jews” and this is not genocidal! But Israel’s actions are regarded as such.
    If Israel is regarded as “an abnormal state” then what the heck is Palestine, aka Hamas (Hamas’s actions are endorsed by the vast majority of Palestinians btw)
    We need perspective when it comes to defending and protecting of the innocent, how can Israel relocate 60000+ of their citizens to safety in the north and the PA (Hamas) not able to do it in Gaza, any fool can see they’re using their own citizens as human shields.
    Wake Up ANC and SA gov.

    • Paul Van Uytrecht says:

      Peter, imagine for a moment, if you can, that you were born a Palestinian. It’s easy (comparatively speaking) by the way, to relocate 60 000 of your citizens when you are not being continually bombarded. The scale of the Israeli response to the events of 7 October are disproportionate. You give Hamas too much credit, I think, to imagine that it somehow can control the movements of hundreds of thousands of refugees in order to use them as ‘human shields’.

      • Samuel Ginsberg says:

        Yeah, constantly bombarded by rockets from Gaza. Thousands and thousands of them.

      • Michael Thomlinson says:

        Hamas have clearly provoked Israel into reacting to the 7 Oct attack knowing full well that Israel would retaliate while they can use ordinary Palestinians as shields and political pawns to further their ideological aims. What is a proportionate reaction by Israel? Maybe run around and behead 100 children, kidnapp 250 people, rape 300 young girls, burn dozens of families alive in their houses and shoot inoccent cicilians like you are on a turkey shoot. Would that do it?

        • Kenneth FAKUDE says:

          Israel provoked the Palestinians by forcing them to share the open prison with Hamas knowingly, lets stop pretending Hamas is Palestine, its Israel.Palestine.Hamas.

      • John Smythe says:

        I don’t think disproportionate matters here. You’ve killed 1400 of our people, so we’ll go kill 1400 of yours too? And now we’re evens.
        I don’t know what’s so difficult to understand here. The Palestinians voted Hamas in as the leader of Palestine. Palestine/Gaza isn’t a country. But they believe they are. And their voted in leaders chose to poke the giant instead just leaving it alone. There was an agreed ceasefire starting on 6 October that Hamas chose to break on 7 October. Israel has declared war against Hamas and unfortunately people die in wars. Russia declared war on Ukraine and thousands have died. The world wars and many other wars have resulted in the deaths of millions of innocent victims.
        I don’t mean to sound cold and unfeeling. Any way one looks at this, it’s terribly sad when innocents die. But Hamas knew (or think they did) what they were doing. They aren’t stupid.
        But they use their own people as human shields. They’re an evil organisation that must be eradicated like cockroaches. And if their own people die then Hamas must take 100% of the responsibility. They don’t care about their own people. One can’t only point fingers at Israel. They’re defending their right to exist. The Hamas point of view is that they’ll do what it takes to push their agenda – even if their own people die. And nobody points a finger at them. But it’s easier to blame Israel. A blinkered point of view isn’t acceptable.

        • Mkulu Isizulumhlopi says:

          Well said,you took the words out of my typing fingers.

        • Kenneth FAKUDE says:

          if i get you right everything was ok in Palestine or Gaza before the Hamas incursion do you mean the occupation, the killings in the westbank, the open prison in Gaza, land grabbings, shooting and arrests of palestinians during prayer, discrimination? would you honestly be ok if it was you living under those conditions, if you were voting against someone who has a tunnel of weapons under your house full of weapons make you feel safe when your occupier who has all the weapons allows him to exist with no defence for you, wear those shoes my man then you will understand what it means to be between a rock and a hard place

          • John Smythe says:

            No. You don’t get me right. I’m not saying everything was ok. One would be stupid and uninformed to believe that, when thousands (literally) of rockets are being fired in both directions all the time. But there was a negotiated ceasefire. Hamas chose to break it. Please do some reading on the five time rejected offers to create a separate Palestinian state. Go read about the withdrawal of Jews from Gaza in 2005. Go read about what they left behind. Go read about the facilities and money that Israel provided the Gazans for decades. And then find out about the Hamas and Hezbollah manifestos. And when you’ve done that, then ask yourself if this is a battle of ideology vs. the right to exist. And if you still believe deep in your heart that it’s about land, then it’s very sad day for intelligent people.

    • Warren Hurd says:

      What utter nonsesnse to use a phrase like “Palestine, aka Hamas.”, and to equate all Palestinians with Hamas. There is no Hamas in the West Bank which is governed by Fatah, yet 97 Palestinian children have been killed by Israel in the West Bank in 2023 alone. The ongoing occupation and Israel’s brutal subjugation and barbaric treatment of the Palestinians is the root cause of the problem.

      • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

        “There is no Hamas in the West Bank”????

        That’s where we stop reading, and taking anything further seriously.

        Also, please look at latest (i.e. yesterday’s) Gallup polls wrt Palestinians (i.e. ordinary / innocent civilians as the virtue signallers call them) in Gaza who support Hamas – it was trending over 75%

    • Kenneth FAKUDE says:

      Go to Gaza or Westbank for 2 days and you will change your tune

  • Brian Doyle says:

    This is unfortunately, really a war between differing religions, and politicians are only getting involved for the publicity. The side effect of the war, started by a terrorist group, is what it is doing to both set of civilians-Jewish and Palestinians.

  • Ceo86 says:

    While Netenyahu’ s behaviour is extreme and should be criticised, the ANCs incredible hypocracy in its association with undemocratic regimes is so blatant that it deserves western sanctions. This could be the final straw for the USA as far as AGOA is concerned.

  • meyer.mooiplaas says:

    More people are murdered in South Africa, than people killed in Israeli war against Hamas. Why are we not doing anything about this. 38 murders every day, rapes every minute of every day. Think on this

  • Beyond Fedup says:

    I say to Israel – do what you have to do in order to be safe/secure and ignore all the hot air, vitriol and hate mongering by those so foolish, blind and and hypocritical. Where were/are all these bleeding hearts when Bashir was killing hundreds of thousand Africans, Assad in Syria murdering hundreds of thousand of his own citizens with the evil Putin and Iran’s assistance/ participation, the slaughter of innocent Ukrainian civilians etc etc. These vacuous and contemptuous individuals choose selective condemnation and are so willfully biased that one cant start to take them seriously.

  • Vusi Dladla says:

    It was time South Africa reasserted its Human Rights stand in its International Relations. Palestinians have suffered for too long under occupation with respite.

    • Samuel Ginsberg says:

      They could have had a state. They would have just had to sign the dreams that were offered. Instead they refused. How’s that anyone except their own fault?

      • John P says:

        On this logic why did the black population of South Africa not just accept the dream offered of a Bantustan for each ethnic group?

        The only solution that will ever work is ONE state with equal rights for both Jews and Palestinians

        • Middle aged Mike says:

          That’s worked really well for the Jews in the rest of the middle east. I’m sure they’ll leap on that one as soon as they realize that all they need to do to achieve a lasting peace is be eliminated.

      • Kenneth FAKUDE says:

        Maybe Israel must occupy south africa and then give you alexander and Diepsloot to choose as your state and see the bucket of tears you will cry SG

    • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

      Free the couscous!

  • Micky Moose says:

    What about some loadshedding ?

  • Ken Shai says:

    Remember, anything that is good for US domination of the world is super moral , based on rule of law and democratic. Anything that is against US domination of the world is either dictatorial, terrorist evil. That is what the media is trying to make us believe, not just US media but media controlled by affiliated parties such as DA here. That is part of their propaganda , and making gullible public believe it complements wars that they are igniting all over the world.
    Based on that it is obvious that Israel and Ukraine is depicted by DA media as highly moral, heroes fighting against evil terrorists and dictators. But the public who buy into this brainwashing may become slaves of US as DA already became taking orders from US on every single issue starting from vaccine mandates, their coverage of Trump and finally Israel.

    • Malcolm Mitchell says:

      For all your drivel you are not able to see the wood for the trees. In the end of it all SA is a minnow and rather bumbling in world affairs and despite all our President’s and your hot air, in the end it is the people of SA who will lose out. No way will the USA and Europe put relations with SA above relations with Israel.

    • Enver Klein says:

      Ken, there are a few people who comment here, who believe everything that they read in Western Media. I’m almost certain that most of them, e.g., Denise, still believe that Hamas beheaded 40 babies, despite this being retracted by the White House and being debunked by quite few credible journalists. I have published the sources of the information that I post. If you know who to follow on social media, you will “see” the truth.

  • dexter m says:

    last week i did not agree with this move even though warranted . But Israel’s actions and recalling their ambassador shows they not interested in dialogue . SA has to now decide its principles or its relationship with US and EU. Ireland had that choice and choose its relationships but decided to instead fund ICC prosecution against Israel and to push to exclude products from occupied territories in any EU trade agreement. SA could do the same , also fast track prosecution of all SA citizens that have joined the IDF in its current actions . To all zionist how should one respond to the statements by Israeli PM, ministers and IDF advocating genocide and ethnic cleansing .Similar statements were issued in Rwanda and we know what that lead to. Also video trending in Israel new song by Israeli children ” we will annihilate everyone in GAZA ” . watching the video reminds one of movies of German propaganda in the 1930’s . We have now moved past Hamas , As Netanyahu stated this war is like “Amalek ” destroy ,kill each and everyone of Palestinian’s including babies , their animals their property and salt the earth .

    • Samuel Ginsberg says:

      And no problem with the genocidal Hamas charter?

    • Kanu Sukha says:

      Why is the prosecution limited to Israel and not the US also … the defenders and underwriters of the ongoing carnage and slaughter ? Is the US above the ‘law’ or a law unto itself ? I won’t even mention the fact that the ‘state’ of Israel as the product of the incest between ‘great’ Britain and the USA (even greater sic !) who literally wiped out the entire indigenous population of America, and confined the survivors to indigenous ghettos like our apartheid homelands.

    • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

      “We have now moved past Hamas”

      Summary of the above, and all we need to know about this vile antisemite

      • Kenneth FAKUDE says:

        Hamas is not a state no use even talking about them they are a threat to Israel now they were a threat to the Palestinians everyday because they had weapons under their houses and everyone expected the Palestinians to vote against them, when thugs point a gun at you on the robot you give them your car to save your life same here the poor Palestinians gave them the vote because they had no protection we are so naive because we think the palestinians were enjoying sharing their open prison created by the occupier with Hamas

        • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

          How about this for just a couple of fresh perspectives on the “world’s largest open-air prison” for a change of perspective?

          Singapore is roughly the same size and density as Gaza. Its climate and geographical location, the amount of global aid and goodwill (including Israeli BTW, but let’s exclude that before everyone loses their minds), could (and arguably should) have made this place the Singapore of the Middle East. Over Iran’s dead body. Ditto Lebanon BTW.

          Expand your thinking on this “open-air prison” further. Of the 1.25 billion Muslims in the world, there are 350 million Arabs, spread over 20 countries, who control 5,000,000 square miles of territory in the Middle East and North Africa (“the Arab World”) surrounding Israel. Of the 15 million Jews in the world, around half of them live in Israel, a single tiny country of 8,000 square miles. Who is living in the “open-air” prison?

          Since the Jews have left Egypt in the times of the Exodus, our mindset is that we are not prisoners, we are free. We know who we are, we teach our children, and we are proud of it.

  • Paul Van Uytrecht says:

    “He added that the government’s “one-sided and irresponsible rhetoric” and refusal to engage in dialogue with Israel had prevented SA from playing any meaningful role in ending the current war or in any future peace efforts.” I ask myself, when dialogue with Israel ever produced any meaningful response other than the short-lived Oslo agreement? As long as Israel continues to occupy the West Bank, allow and encourage illegal settlements and generally treat Palestinians without the dignity to which all humans are entitled, peace in Israel will be elusive. The world has stood by whilst all these flagrant violations of international law and resolutions of the UNSC have continued to take place and must share the blame for the atrocities being visited on the people of Gaza. If Hamas has violated international humanitarian law, that must be condemned, but it does not give Israel a free hand to ignore its own obligations.

    • Samuel Ginsberg says:

      How many times have the Palestinians been offered the state that they’ve never had before in all history? Do try looking it up.

      • Enver Klein says:

        Samuel, don’t you get it? Why did Netanyahu present his Middle East Map with no trace of Palestine to the UN, in September? I’ve asked this question before, why was Yitzhak Rabin assassinated? And if you don’t know that, under Rabin, there was the strongest possibility of a two-state solution. Listen to the interview with Weiss, settlers move into Palestinian areas to ensure that there is no room for a two-state solution.

      • dexter m says:

        read yesterdays article in NY times on the Oslo peace process . the documents on all the proposals are online read them ,not newspaper articles. and get a lawyer in international law to explain the fine print . Any lawyer will tell you the Palestinian’s were idiots to sign the original Oslo agreement

    • Kanu Sukha says:

      If ” All the world’s a stage , …. ” Shakespeare were around, he would probably add that as long as you have occupiers and occupied, the ‘show’ will go on .. beyond the seven stages of man. Has ‘Israel’ not passed it ‘sell by’ date of the seven stages of man .. with the US continuing to provide life support … at the cost of annihilating the Palestinians, under the pretext of that bogey ‘Hamas’, as was the case with the ANC ‘terrorists’ during apartheid ? Remarkable what a ‘label’ (repeated over and over!) can achieve!

  • Martin Smith says:

    India understands the problem of political Islam. 500 years of Mughal domination, 70 odd years of Pakistani terror… But watch out SA it’s reached Mozambique now and is already nascent in KZN… Will SA be able to respond like Russia in Chechnia or China with the Uighers? Unlikely, too weak and too naive…

    • Kanu Sukha says:

      The real question is … does India understand the folly of Hindutva ? It is only during BJP rule … that Muslims, Christians, Sikhs etc. (and all other minorities) have all become a ‘problem’ in India.

      • Enver Klein says:

        Agreed Kanu, all non-Hindu minorities are targeted in India. Who sent the assassins to murder Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Sikh leader, in Canada? British and American Intelligence alluded it to being masterminded by India. Canada withdrew 41 diplomats and their families from India after New Delhi threatened to revoke their diplomatic immunity amid a deepening dispute over the assassination of a Sikh activist.

  • Lew Lipschitz says:

    Just because the SA government did not deal with Russia in the same way for invading Ukraine does not mean that the killing of 13 000 Palestinians (and counting) must go unchallenged. Yes, we can all see the blatant hypocrisy in the ANC government’s foreign relations policy but the dispropotionate response by Israel is way out of line, and they need to be fought on all fronts!!

    • Middle aged Mike says:

      What would a proportionate response to the Hamas attack and abductions be? Can you think of one from history that may serve as a model?

      • John P says:

        Does Israel not have the technology, military power and military intelligence to perform planned surgical strikes on Hamas themselves? Instead we have the use of massive force involving air and ground forces plus the control of access to water, medical supplies, communications and more.

        • Enver Klein says:

          In May 2022, John Kirkby said that he couldn’t understand why Russia couldn’t use “precision” bombing and why they were killing so many civilians. To say that America clearly has that type of weapons, and they are the main supplier of military equipment … Therefore, yes, they do have it, but the intent is a lot more than just to strike at Hamas …

          • Middle aged Mike says:

            I’m guessing that both of you gained your knowledge of military operations in urban areas from hollywood movies and video games.

      • Kenneth FAKUDE says:

        Easy mike Israel controls everything in Gaza coming in and going out hense the good,water,fuel, medicine, power etc they should have moved the 2 million Gazans out to the west bank and stopped the settling that are happening as we speak and then bomb Gaza to their satisfaction even killing the captured civillians whom they pretend to care about but we know they dont and save us all the trouble we are going through

  • Enver Klein says:

    If you are that critical of Hamas and what happened on 7 October, please watch Stone Cold Justice by ABC Australia, maybe it would give you some understanding …

  • Egmont Rohwer says:

    Ramaphosa and his ComRAIDS (and unfortunately the ordinary South Africans) will reap what Cyril an Co. sow if they continue with this hypocrisy.

  • Aadila M says:

    Israel is an apartheid settler colonial state (the UN and Amnesty International agree on this). It begs belief how South Africans can support an apartheid state – unless they among those are those who believe we were “better off in apartheid”.

  • Stanley Meares says:

    While I do not support Israel’s actions against the Palestinians I nevertheless wish to call-out the astounding hypocrisy of our ANC government and all those who support it in this action especially the EFF.
    Whilst Russia has been devasting the Ukraine in precisely the same way as Israel has against the people of Gaza our government has remained at best very lukewarm in its response to Russia’s atrocities. And the EFF has been actively supporting Russia even to the extent of encouraging her to do more.
    With every Russian setback Putin threatens to go nuclear and our government says nothing.
    The ANC and the EFF are an abomination and I cannot wait for the day when we South Africans remove them from power.

    • Ken Shai says:

      Russia did the best it could to protect civilians whereas Israel is targeting them directly for extermination. Russia and Israel are on the opposite extremes of the scale.

      • Kenneth FAKUDE says:

        Ken i agree with you on many things but i differ with you on Putin’s Russia they are doing horrible things inside Russia and Ukraine, how many people fall out of windows there, our friend the Soviet union is no more i refuse to be blind to that

      • John P says:

        Russia certainly is not and has not done it’s best to protect civilians. Their modus-operandi in Afghanistan, Syria, Georgia and now Ukraine is to deliberately target civilian infrastructure whilst constantly denying this.

  • JOHANN SCHOLTZ says:

    ANC loves to strut around on the world stage like we are some super power. Much easier to get involved in other peoples problems than to come up with solutions to our collapsing infrastructure, ailing economy or terrible education and healthcare services.

  • Andre Swart says:

    The ANC don’t represent the SA citizens.

    With less that 6 million ANC voters , they have no mandate to represent the remaining 60 million citizens in this terrorist matter.

    What’s more … in a few months the current Hamas terrorist supporters in the SA parliament, will be jobless after the 2024 election.

    It’s evident that the EFF is desperate for relevance and will do anything for free publicity.

  • TV vhoSmith says:

    I find it especially eye opening when White South Africans show solitude with Israel. If you consider South Africa’s dreadful past under White Apartheid Rule and the history of how Israel came to be you will find your eyes also opened to the true mindset of these people. Since the first Zionist settlers/colonizers set foot on Palestinian land with the aid of Britain they have sought to divide, subjugate and ultimately wipe out the majority Palestinian population… Apartheid by any other name.

    Think Australia, America, Argentina… These are the stories of what happens when settlers are allowed to execute their plans undeterred. The only time the West took issue with this was when Hitler tried to do it to them.

  • Glyn M says:

    And there is nothing the citizens of South Africa can do as our government continues to blunder and bluster and ruin any chance of us becoming a respected, successful country. We had it all for a few brief years and now the disinterested ‘out- of-touch with-reality’ fools continue to fiddle like Nero, as our country burns. It’s like we’re passengers on a runaway train, with a mad driver who hasn’t a clue on how to stop the inevitable disaster.

  • Mkulu Isizulumhlopi says:

    Of course Ramafoolish is going to save the world from all it’s problems and evil while his own country, yes you Poopal Cyril it’s burning!
    Leave Isreal to sort out those evil sods, it is written that this would happen!
    God is on the side of Isreal, curse Isreal and God will curse you!
    Now try get out of that one ANC, the Tagathe is on you!

  • mike van wyk says:

    One would accept the SA governments stance towards Israel if it was even handed. It had little to say when Russia invaded Ukraine unprovoked – instead it thumbed its nose at Western Allies by retaining full diplomatic and economic ties with Russia. Going out of its way to demonstrate how warm the ties were despite the barbarously brutal indiscriminate attacks ongoing on Ukrainian civilians. However when Israel, a long standing friend to South Africa, suffers a most brutal and barbaric assault by Hamas – the formal government of Gaza – SA government is swift to condemn Israel and stand down diplomatic ties. Shocking double standards on display from SA. I’m sure the US which is a firm standing ally of Israel, will not view these actions by SA favourably when time comes to reevaluate trade terms under Algoa.

  • Nonnie Oelofse says:

    It was a very stupid move by the anc and they will regret it….All the most important countries in the world are behind Israel and so are we, the educated South African public….

    • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

      Nonnie, as a South African Jew, I am being asked daily by my family and friends abroad about our safety and the general levels of antisemitism in South Africa at this time, particularly in light of our Government’s policies and actions. I can say, unequivocally, that my personal experience, and those of the vast majority of my social network, is that South Africa generally (and South African people in particular) continues to be the world’s best. I am visibly Jewish, and am yet to encounter anything other than greetings, smiles and mutual respect in the street and at work. If it were not for comments sections like these, or Pro-Palestinian media (no different to other Western democracies to be honest), life in SA is unchanged.

      “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
      Genesis 12:3

  • Graham Howard says:

    Our radical left wing parties have shown every sign of aligning with terrorist groups who are so caught up in ideology that they cannot take an objective view of a very complex situation in the Middle East and remain neutral to both parties whilst supporting a peaceful outcome. Cutting off your nose to spite your face is really not smart, but hey we not dealing with very smart people here, are we?

  • Paul G says:

    I wonder how many calls to Hamas have any of these Mouth African leaders made to tell them to release unconditionally all hostages and to allow the evacuation of Northern Gaza by those people they supposedly care for. It is all virtue signalling and looking for handouts, bought and paid for “leaders”.

    • Kenneth FAKUDE says:

      Paul no calls can be made to Hamas Israel cut all the electricity and internet so that we cannot communicate or hear the other side, dont you get it Israel made and controls everything in that open prison including Hamas by the way i heard 13000 innocent people dead is a nice revenge they are considering a cease fire and goods will start flowing in, they also know under the rubbles there is more dead people so they might achieve a bonus, as much as i have always mantained i dont support the terror of the 7th of october, i am digusted by Israel’s revenge and we must not not be misled their actions represent the right wing Jews not the general Jews they are a God fearing and loving lot

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