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Pretoria ponders implementing ANC vote to cut ties with Israel

Pretoria ponders implementing ANC vote to cut ties with Israel
South Africa's Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor and President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II's flag-draped coffin is lying in state on the catafalque at Westminster Hall on 18 September 2022 in London, England. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

Officials point out that any decision on severing relations with Israel would have to be made by the Cabinet, which meets again on 29 November.

The ANC’s vote for a parliamentary resolution to cut SA’s diplomatic relations with Israel has cast those ties into limbo, with no certainty as to whether Pretoria will implement the ruling party’s decision.

Some officials in the national executive are clearly annoyed by the ANC vote, which they regard as a trespass by the party on the constitutional prerogative of the President and the Cabinet. 

“Check section 231 of the Constitution,” said one irritated official. Section 231 says: “The negotiating and signing of all international agreements is the responsibility of the national executive.”

pretoria anc israel vote

Members of Parliament at the National Assembly in Cape Town gather on 21 November 2023 to vote on an EFF motion to cut diplomatic relations with Israel. (Photo: Ziyanda Duda)

Officials point out that any decision on severing relations with Israel would have to be made by the Cabinet, which meets again on 29 November. It is understood that the ANC’s National Executive Committee may meet before then to discuss this highly consequential decision.

Within the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco), there are mixed views. One senior diplomat told Daily Maverick that he believed Pretoria would implement the parliamentary resolution to sever relations with Israel.

Read more in Daily Maverick: National Assembly votes to cut diplomatic ties with Israel and shut embassy, but it’s symbolic until government acts

However, this week International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor told Parliament, “Breaking off diplomatic relations with Israel will be counterproductive as it will also affect our Representative Office in Ramallah, Palestine, and by implication weaken the meaningful role that South Africa can play in the Palestinian cause.”

But Dirco officials are putting facts on the ground which could make it difficult to maintain normal relations. On 6 November, Dirco announced that it was recalling its diplomats from the embassy in Tel Aviv for consultations and these three officials have just returned to South Africa.

A notice posted on the embassy there says: “Office closure. Kindly be advised that the South African embassy will be closed for business from Friday, 17 November until further notice. For enquiries please contact…

“Thank you for your understanding and we look forward to serving you in the future.”

Ramaphosa welcomes ceasefire

President Ramaphosa issued a polite but non-committal response to the ANC’s parliamentary vote, while making clear who has the final call:

“President Ramaphosa notes and appreciates Parliament’s guidance on our diplomatic relations with Israel, particularly with respect to the status of the Israeli embassy in South Africa. The President and Cabinet are engaged over the matter, which remains the responsibility of the national executive.”

The original parliamentary motion simply to cut ties with Israel was brought by the EFF, but the ANC negotiated an amendment which introduced conditions — diplomatic relations would be cut until a ceasefire in the war between Israel and Hamas and a lasting United Nations-facilitated peace were attained.

pretoria anc israel

Protesters at the Israeli Embassy in Pretoria on 23 October 2023. (Photo: Gallo Images / Frennie Shivambu)

It is unclear, though, whether this amendment will give the national executive the wiggle room it seems to want to avoid cutting ties.

That possibility seemed to arise on Wednesday when Israel and Hamas announced a ceasefire of at least four days to allow for Hamas to release 50 of the hostages it seized in its attack on Israel on 7 October and for Israel to release 150 Palestinian detainees. Israel also agreed to allow more humanitarian aid into Gaza.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Israel-Palestine War

Ramaphosa welcomed the deal, adding: “It is my hope that the achievement of this pause will strengthen efforts to achieve an outright end to the current conflict.

“This pause, which regrettably implies a possible resumption of conflict at some point, must be accompanied by tireless efforts to secure a durable political resolution of the decades-long challenge in the Middle East.”  

‘Political posturing’

Emma Powell, the Democratic Alliance spokesperson on international relations and cooperation, dismissed the ANC vote as “simply political posturing”, noting that it would harm the interests of the many South Africans living both in Israel and Palestine more than it would harm Israel — or help Palestine.

“By withdrawing diplomats from Tel Aviv, our government has left more than 25,000 South African citizens to fend for themselves in a war zone, without access to emergency consular services.

“Given that the South African embassy in Ramallah is entirely dependent on our mission in Tel Aviv, South Africans in the State of Palestine now have no access to consular services, either,” she added. 

“Where civilian casualties occur, families will have no available channels through which to arrange repatriation of remains in line with traditional and religious rites.

“Citizens will now have to travel to Jordan or Egypt, at great cost, in order to access emergency services from our government. The poorest of our citizens, who cannot afford to travel into neighbouring countries, will remain trapped and voiceless.

“The ANC’s decision is of no consequence to either Israel or Hamas. Rather, it simply exacerbates the plight of ordinary South Africans trapped in the region.”

Powell said that severing relations with Israel meant that South Africa no longer had the ability to influence the outcome of the crisis in the region. 

However, the South African BDS Coalition — which has long advocated a complete boycott of Israel — welcomed the parliamentary resolution.

“There is no role for diplomacy with a settler-colonial apartheid state that is guilty of genocide against a population that it occupies. South Africa should not be having relations with a state that perpetrates war crimes with impunity and treats the United Nations, international law and the rest of the world with utter disdain,” said Roshan Dadoo, the coordinator of the SA BDS Coalition.

He noted that a day before the parliamentary vote, Israel had recalled its ambassador to SA, Eliav Belotserkovsky, “for consultations”.

“We urge our government to act swiftly to implement the resolution of the National Assembly, and thus ensure that the apartheid ambassador will not return to our country,” Dadoo said. DM

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  • Mike Lawrie says:

    What a funny constitution we have! The governing party has more power than our parliament. Why then do we bother with a parliament? Lets get rid of the MPs, they simply live on the gravy train that the citizens fund, and have (apparently) no powers.

    • John Lewis says:

      One of South Africa’s few saving graces is that parliament is not sovereign. Just look at who our parliamentarian are!

    • Kenneth FAKUDE says:

      Parliament works on the majority rule according to seats each party has, we have the best constitution in the world, its how we vote that really matters here if we can contribute a lot to the poor masses and have neighbourly love between Sandton and Diepsloot people will not be manipulated with grants and food parcels then we will have reasonable people to run this country

  • Mark K says:

    The ANC version of neutrality is rather… interesting. They apparently have no problem with Russia killing thousands of Ukrainian children and kidnapping others. It’s apparently the fault of the West. Yet the Israelis, reacting to a murderous attack and kidnapping by Hamas, deserve condemnation by Parliament. Now I, personally, think the Netanyahu response is actually a war crime. I think he should face the ICC. But this hypocrisy just stinks.

    ANC, if you really care about innocent lives lost to brutal invasions, condemn your friend in the Kremlin. Condemn murderous Hamas. Then I might respect your choices about Israel. Not before.

    • Kenneth FAKUDE says:

      Mark if you have a concience you dont need the ANC to act in a particular way to decide Hamas and the Israel government are terrorists who dont represent anyone except their ideologies and killing innocent civillians, worse for Israel they mimick to be a state they even believed they qualified to send their puppet to be an ambassador in a country that swore never again to discrimination it was just a joke, the Anc on the other hand must understand that Putin’s Russia is not the honorable Soviet union who contributed to the struggle but an autocratic state with no respect for human lives, i dont know why they seem confused they paid respects in Bucha where Russia killed innocent civillians some with hand tied behind their backs but the present ANC is a money loving lot who sold the country to a family what do you expect from them

  • casper van zyl says:

    Cut off your noise to spite your face !!!

  • Denise Smit says:

    ANC is focussed on next years election. Anything at the moment no matter at what cost will be done to gain more votes. They are not guided by principles and a moral code. Pandor is the only level head sometimes

    • Malcolm Mitchell says:

      Though Pandor seems to have lost the ethics of neutrality she once had! Is she becoming senile, or being forced to toe the party line?

  • Ben Hawkins says:

    Shame

  • Cornay Bester says:

    Does Russia & Iran contribute to the ANC’s election fund?

  • Jon Quirk says:

    Why do we not cut all ties with the real rogue states? Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Russia, China, North Korea?

    These are the truly toxic countries, so start with these and lets get properly in step with the free, developed and developing World; who knows, we might find this purer, air truly stimulating and good for our economy!

  • Arno Stijlen says:

    South Africa can in no way be considered a world leader to have any influence whatsoever in any major political or other international matters. I think as the writer clearly states, Israel cares less what government decides and only our citizins shall suffer as a result. Government should lead in such a way as to gain international respect before they can be taken seriously on any important matters.

  • Israel don’t need South Africa for anything , to them it’s like water off a ducks back if we cut ties with them. South Africa on the other hand needs imports from Israel much more.

  • Johan von Solms says:

    And the Kakistrocracy is once again about to prove how easy it is to break down and how shallow their thinking is. I believe a large majority of Israel want peace and are trying hard to sway Netanyahu, but the existence of terrorism is making it a hard bargain. Terrorists in our country have proven that they cannot live a peaceful existence even after a peaceful agreement was reached. We still have people running around preaching war and firing automatic weapons on a stage. The ANC have been the worst example in history of how to behave after peaceful agreements. Now they want to preach to the world!?

    • Dietmar Horn says:

      “The ANC have been the worst example in history of how to behave after peaceful agreements. Now they want to preach to the world!?”
      This ist the core problem of South Africa in a nutshell, from which all other problems that South Africa faces derive.

  • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

    The thing that is obvious is that this situation is tragically sad and in no-one’s interest. The questions I struggle with are:
    1. How Hamas’s brutal violent attack on civilians that triggered this situation can be considered acceptable by any sentient being; and
    2. What alternative mechanisms exist for Israel to stop this group of suicidal people, who are quite comfortable to use their own people as shields.

    • JP K says:

      I started following this story about 2 decades ago when, every now and again I would read about how Israel undertook some military operation in response to some Palestinian attack. So Israel was always retaliating.

      However, if read just a little bit, you’ll find that Israel was formed on top of an existing population. If this was not problematic, Israel would not have found it necessary to create the myth about the land being empty. Anyway, Israel’s formation therefore requires the violence of ethnic cleansing, occupation and mowing the lawn. So as Susan Abulhawa said, at least Hamas draws attention to Israel’s occupation and colonialist project, which despite widespread condemnation, is largely ignored by the world.

      On putting a stop to this group of suicidal people, while there is this desire by Israel apologists to paint this picture of undying between Jews and Palestinians this is not the case. The problem is the occupation. The Hamas charter mentions killing every Jew hiding behind every rock and this is frequently brought up. Almost never mentioned is Hamas calling for a two state settlement in line with international consensus. Also not mentioned is that Likud’s charter states there can never be a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River. An important side note is that Hamas is a product of blowback – the unintended consequence of Israel attempting to divide popular support for the secular Fatah which which has been acknowledged by the CIA and Israeli officials.

      • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

        JP – every sovereign state on the planet “was formed on top of an existing population” and could be described as an “occupation and colonialist project” of a sort.

        This is what real “ethnic cleansing” looks like:

        Jewish populations 1948 vs today:
        Egypt 63,500 vs 3; Syria 40,000 vs 0; Iran 100,000 vs 8,500; Iraq 150,000 vs 4; Lebanon 20,000 vs 29; Morocco 265,000 vs 2,100; Yemen 55,000 vs 1; Algeria 140,000 vs 200; Libya 38,000 vs 0; Tunisia 105,000 vs 1,000; Gaza 8,000 vs 0

        Arab populations 1948 vs today:
        Israel (excluding Gaza and West Bank) 156,000 vs 2,100,000; Gaza 80,000 vs 2,000,000

        Perhaps you should have been following this for longer than 2 decades, and should be looking further and deeper, because then it’s dead easy to spot the world’s oldest hatred.

        • JP K says:

          Hello again.

          Yes, states are born in blood. Israel’s problem is that it tried to do this relatively recently before rules against this existed and it didn’t do a good job of exterminating the existing population. If any country tried to do today what Israel has been doing for decades there would be a big problem, no? Is it, for example, acceptable, that America wiped out the native population as it implemented manifest destiny? Clearly not. Which is why Israel had to create a false narrative that the land was empty. Your excuse is other countries have done it.

          But clearly, Israel is not done. The ethnic cleansing is ongoing.

          As for “real ethnic cleansing”, there’re worse instances. The ethnic cleansing of Jews in WWII for example. It doesn’t change the fact that Israel’s formation required and requires the premeditated ethnic cleansing of Palestine. How else could one have a Jewish state in a land where Jews were not the majority? Even with Arabs mostly expelled, the problem remains – the so-called demographic bomb.

          The point is that ethnic cleansing and genocide experienced by one group does not legally or even morally permit them to do that to another group. Yet here we are. And this is what you and the Hasbara have the unsavory task of defending.

          I didn’t mean to imply that I’d been following this story for two decades. Just that I first informed myself 2 decades ago and it hasn’t really changed much – it’s a brutal ugly settler-Zionist-ethinic-cleansing project.

          • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

            I get that everyone has a view on the history but I’m asking 2 very specific questions above which I would really like answers to.

    • Dietmar Horn says:

      As it is, Israel only has the choice between Scylla and Charybdis, between plague and cholera. That is the tragedy. All approaches to solving the problem through the question of guilt for events in the past are not productive. In Israel there is freedom of expression and freedom of the press. There will be a time after Netanyahu. This is cause for hope from this perspective. In some Arab states there are sensible forces that seek normal relations with Israel and reject jihadism such as Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah. This in turn is a glimmer of hope from the other side. Only when Israel’s neighboring states really want a balance of interests between Israelis and Palestinians and assert themselves against Islamist imperialism will a reconciliation process begin between the two peoples.

      • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

        Interesting comment, thank you.

        Out of interest, here are 4 ChatGPT definitions:

        1. “Muslim” refers to a person who practices Islam, which is the religion itself. So, in essence, a Muslim is someone who follows Islam.

        2. ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) is a terrorist organization that has used a distorted interpretation of Islam to justify its actions and goals.

        3. The Houthis, also known as Ansar Allah, are a rebel group in Yemen. They originated in the northern part of the country and adhere to a branch of Shia Islam called Zaidism. They’ve been engaged in an ongoing conflict with the Yemeni government for years, especially after their takeover of the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, in 2014.

        4. Hamas is a Palestinian Sunni-Islamic fundamentalist organization that operates primarily in the Gaza Strip and, to a lesser extent, the West Bank.

        All are Islamic – and yet it is extremely common to hear comments like “we Muslims distance themselves from the actions of groups like ISIS, the Houthis, and Hamas”

        …which seems to me to be very similar to the South African Taxi industry saying they are nothing to do with violence.

        Against this backdrop I have the following challenging question: Muslims, is it not time to own the fact that these groups do really disgusting things in the name of your religion, and consequently accept that it is your responsibility to stop them, rather than “distancing yourselves”?

    • JP K says:

      1. I’m not sure who considers Hamas’ attack acceptable. Understandable given the context. And that context is a violent colonialist project requiring ethinic cleansing.
      So it’s a last misguided hope possibly. What would you do when people like Chaim Weizmann (first president of Israel), say things like the fate of the “several hundred thousand negroes” in the Jewish homeland “is a matter of no consequence.”

      2. Perhaps define human shields. There are instances where firing from civilian areas happens as noted by human rights organisations, but also Israel exagerates the case (as their claims have been found to be false)and, as Hamas has stated, the options are limited in the Gaza strip. On stopping a sucicidal group, a starting point would be to be to resolve the issue which created Hamas in the first place. Namely the occupation. Application of international law therefore would be a start. E.g., the right of return ending the siege.

      a. I would love to hear your thoughts on how one can have peace while one perpertrates ethnic cleansing. and
      b. Why is it that the resistance of the oppressed needs to be condemed but not the oppressor?

      • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

        Just to illustrate the many perspectives and the pointlessness of focusing on history.

        ChatGPT’s take:

        The situation in Israel and the Palestinian territories is highly complex and controversial. There have been historical conflicts and disputes between Israelis and Palestinians regarding land, rights, and control over territories. The term “ethnic cleansing” is extremely sensitive and carries significant weight, often implying a deliberate and systematic attempt to remove a particular ethnic group from an area.

        There have been historical events and situations where populations have been displaced or relocated in the region, leading to accusations and debates about ethnic cleansing. Some critics and human rights organizations have accused Israel of actions that they argue amount to ethnic cleansing, particularly in relation to displacements and conflicts.

        Conversely, Israel asserts that its actions are primarily for self-defense due to security concerns, ongoing conflicts, and the need to protect its citizens. The Israeli perspective often emphasizes the complexities of the conflict, including historical context, security threats, and the need for self-preservation.

        The issue is highly contentious and deeply rooted in historical, political, and social complexities, with differing narratives and interpretations on both sides. It’s important to approach these topics with sensitivity and consider multiple perspectives and sources of information.

        • Dietmar Horn says:

          A really precise analysis. The historically based pros and cons of guilt and revenge does not save a single life; it is self-affirmation for those on both sides who are ideologically closely aligned.

          • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

            100% – people mire themselves in the past, precluding the possibility of a brighter future.

        • JP K says:

          You seem to be enjoying Chat GPT but all you’ve done is exposed its limitations. In this case it notes different views but does not make an assessment on the reliability or veracity of those views and weighs the views of the occupier, which, has factually committed ethnic cleansing and which has a propaganda machine in the same way as historical fact.

          So clearly it’s not best suited to the kind of analysis required for this. Understanding the history of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is not complicated.

          As for multiple perspectives… consider the following quote:

          “Let the republic continue to regard me as the blood-thirsty beast, the cruel sadist and mass murderer for the masses could never imagine the commander of Auschwitz in any other light. They could never understand that he, too, had a heart and that heart was not evil”

          Does this mean that we can’t make an assessment of whether death camps were wrong? Or is it too complicated? Of course, not. So why say it?

          • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

            “all you’ve done is exposed its limitations. In this case it notes different views but does not make an assessment on the reliability or veracity of those views”

            Exactly. But it actually makes my point very clearly, because an assessment is by its very nature subjective.

            Just like yours.

      • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

        Rather, I should say – the pointlessness of anyone believing “My position regarding who is right and who is wrong is the correct one.”

        • JP K says:

          If I understand you correctly, it seems as though you’re suggesting some sort of post truth framework for understanding the world. I don’t even know where to start with your comment as we have to make sense of different and contradictory claims all the time, no?

          Anyway, here’s the value of history according to Chat GPT 🙂

          History is like a treasure chest filled with stories, lessons, and insights from the past. It’s not just a collection of dates and events; it’s a narrative that helps us understand how we got to where we are today. By studying history, we can learn from both the successes and mistakes of those who came before us. It provides context to our present and can guide us in making informed decisions for the future. Plus, it’s just fascinating to uncover the layers of human experience and see how societies have evolved over time. So, the value of history? It’s like having a wise old friend who shares their wisdom with us.

          • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

            Ok, it’s all clear to me now.

            Yes you’re right and everyone who disagrees with you must therefore be wrong.

            And if you’re not saying that – then you are simply proving my point.

        • JP K says:

          Sorry about posting all over the place, but somehow I couldn’t reply directly to your last comment.

          when you say “Exactly. But it actually makes my point very clearly, because an assessment is by its very nature subjective.” it seems you’re bogged down in not being able to ever make any sort of assessment. But clearly we do that all the time. You can’t escape that no matter how you try.

          Sorry, but part of the problem with Chat GPT is that one cannot assess it’s claims and one has no way of knowing how it arrived at what it states. On the other hand it’s possible to assess the claims of reports, politicians and historians. It’s basic.

        • JP K says:

          All I’m saying is, I’ve made claims and presented an argument which I can support with evidence.

          You’re dodging the discussion points by pretending that we can’t make sense of history. By reducing an argument to mere opinion without engaging the argument. By presenting nonsense from Chat GPT to make the claim that in the end it’s all just opinion as though that can be weighed against historians, or human rights experts, international law experts etc.

          While your clear evasiveness is a typical debate strategy, your focus on creating doubt about our ability to assess the past, facts, and argument is curious. Even though you’ve literally asked the questions you ignore the answers. Funy that. Suspicious, really. But I suppose he who controls the past controls the present, right?

          So it’s easier to try and have us forget history than respond to the evidence that Israel practices Apartheid (cf. B’tselem etc.). Easier to forget history than to repond to the fact that Israel, since before its formation, was committed to the ethnic cleansing of Palestine (cf. Benny Morris, Ilan Pape, even the statements of Israeli officials etc.). And so on and so forth. Let’s not get bogged down with the ugly and violent detail – according to you these are merely opinions. Let’s instead all hold hands and wish upon a star for the possibility of a brighter future. Oh, you’re a riot for sure.

  • Steve Marks says:

    SA has joined the Jew hating glee club that have cut ties with the only Jewish state because it is a Jewish state.
    Israel dies not need South Africa.

  • Ryno le Grange says:

    The ANC is really serious about supporting terrorist organisations and war mongers. If Hamas aren’t destroyed then there will never be peace in the Middle East, it’s as simple as that. Russian and Iran must be dangling carrots.

    • Belinda Cavero says:

      Agreed. I’m ashamed to live in a country whose ruling party is so biased against Israel and clearly sides with the bad guys. No good can come out this. Just why are the ANC and EFF so supportive of Palestine?

  • psdayah4 says:

    Emma Powell makes excellent points. This is not a decision that can be made in haste.

  • Brian Doyle says:

    Once again ANC have not thought this issue through. If incompetent Ramaphosa rubber stamps this proposal, he must also close the Russian Embassy, as they have invaded the country and killed civilians-many more than were killed in the Israel/Palestine actions. The ANC and Arab world have jumped on this current bandwagon, and have forgotten Ukraine, where Ramaphosa was so called involved in trying to get peace talks going

  • Joe Irwin says:

    The ANC’s focus is everywhere but where it should be.

  • rodhering says:

    BFD. South Africa needs Israel more than they need us

  • Dermot Quinn says:

    “South Africa no longer had the ability to influence the outcome of the crisis in the region.” The DA could become as delusional as the ANC if they continue saying stupid things like this.
    If Israel kick us out of Tel Aviv and don’t come back to Pretoria all the EFF and ANCs posturing may just be irrelevant.
    SA says lots and does nothing, Israel says little and does lots……
    Me thinks SA has more to lose….

  • Allan Wolman Wolman says:

    Whatever views expressed in this cesspit of toxicity are meaningless, in the final analysis the ANC and EFF don’t care about the Palestinians. If they did they would cut ties with Lebanon, Jordan and a few other states who treat their Palestinian communities worse than what apartheid was in S. Africa.
    The main and only reason being that the Israel / Hamas conflict is the perfect tool to deflect attention from the disaster visited on them by the ANC. Any diversion that draws attention from abysmal failure that the ANC has imposed on the people.
    The ANC has no problem with Russia, Syria, Sudan or Darfur where the combined death-toll exceeds well over a million killed!

  • eric solomon says:

    The ANC once more shoots itself in the foot. They never learn

  • South AFRICA is being misled by Putin to fight the West and by cutting off relations with ISRAEL they stand to lose more .

  • Juan Botes says:

    I’ve just read the below article about how Palestine “converted” the world and the actions of the ANC/EFF just makes more sense to me now. Specifically this particular part in the article “People of color, particularly antisemitic Black groups like BLM, were organizing to identify with the Palestinians. Many organizations representing people seen as oppressed were moved to identify with the Palestinians. Students of every variety were swayed.” https://jewishjournal.com/commentary/columnist/365220/the-inside-story-of-how-palestinians-took-over-the-world/

  • Pieter van de Venter says:

    How many of the 1.6% Muslims in the country is Palestinian?? Why is this terrorist run enclave so important? Besides that the PLO (the other terrorist organisation) was sympathetic to the ANC and Mandela liked them.

    • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

      Even though the SA Muslim population is estimated at 1.5 – 3% of the population, there is more at play than this Pieter unfortunately. The Teheran / Beijing / Moscow Axis is important in bankrolling the ANC (and the EFF). Didn’t you notice how quickly our Minister of International relations was summoned to Teheran to be briefed when this started, how quickly our President did this bloc’s bidding at the UN and laying charges with the ICC, jumping on a plane here, and issuing a statement there with a cluster of flags behind him – as if he has the gravitas of the new Messiah from the Land of Nelson Mandela? South Africa is being played like a fiddle.

      This has nothing to do moral backbone (as if our leaders had suddenly developed any?). This is about power and money. Sadly, even here, they’ve backed the wrong horse.

  • trevor64 says:

    Why do you refer to the Hamas hostages but Israeli detainees? Language matters and the women and children held without trial for indefinite detention by the Israeli state are just as much hostages as those civilians held by Hamas! I absolutely hate that the state of Israel has me agreeing with the ANC and EFF position on the matter, it’s very unfamiliar territory for me and extremely uncomfortable.

    • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

      SA is (still) a democracy. Everyone is (still) welcome to agree / disagree with whatever they want. If this makes a person comfortable / uncomfortable – that’s their own moral compass at work.

      Not sure what’s making you side with the ANC and EFF position in this language, but ask yourself – were the 240 Israelis arrested by the Palestinian state’s police / army in their sovereign country and taken “prisoner” or were they kidnapped and taken “hostage” into another area that is currently being engaged in warfare for their release?

  • South Africa is being used by Putin in his wars against the west, and by cutting off Diplomatic relations with ISRAEL they stand to lose.

  • Why cant south Africa cut off relations with China which has occupied Tibet ?

  • Middle aged Mike says:

    Self important muppetry brought to you by the muppeteers who gave us state capture, 17 years of planned blackouts, world beating violent crime stats, an imploding economy and a host of other wonders.

  • So cutting ties with Isreal for defending themselves against Hamas is in order but maintaining ties with Russia who invaded Ukraine which has led to thousands of lost human lives and mass destruction of property is fine. What a bunch of hypocrites.

  • Beyond Fedup says:

    Who gives a damn what South Africa thinks and does, under the vile, thieving, criminal and treacherous anc? We have sold our souls, our values, our Constitution, our well-being and trashed our human rights to the most vile and bestial mass-murderers and tyrants in the world. We have trashed all our moral standing, goodwill and respect, and no one takes us seriously anymore, but us. We (our obnoxious government, anc, eff and their shrill acolytes, full of hot air and vitriol) are nothing, minnows and low life scum that the world couldn’t care less about. Go ahead and cut off diplomatic relations with Israel, the West etc and cuddle up to Hamas, Iran, Russia etc. Our government, full of self importance, false pride and puffed up ego, will get a very harsh dose of reality and a wake up call. Pathetic morons!!!

  • Egon Rehm says:

    Very interesting to see SA Government in international politics. So do they now cut their ties with the criminal Putin in Russia as well? Why don’t they do their homework at home?

  • JOHN WILLIAMS says:

    Cannot understand the SA Govnt stance against Israel when in fact it was Hamas/Palestine who started up the conflict again by entering Israel and killing 60 people who were at a Social gathering. They are the Terrorists not Israel. Now we have terrible deaths amongst children and innocent people on both sides. Stupid to cut ties with Israel which is supported by the USA. The SA government have slid towards Russia which is a bad move. John.

  • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

    South Africa = Hamas’s useful idiots

  • Cunningham Ngcukana says:

    Parliament voted to close the embassy what Emma Powell says is meaningless. She has lost the debate and the vote. That is what it is despite murmurs that the ANC will not be voting with the EFF by those who think they control the ANC from the media. The fact that the fascist regime in Israel listens to no one except their American government sponsors keeping ties with a murderous regime of Israel that is on a campaign of murder will not serve any purpose. We have to send a very strong message to the terrorist state of Israel that we will not accept for any reason the wanton murder of Palestinians and as a country we stand by the Palestinians. The current campaign of murder has nothing to do with October the 7th as the criminal state has shown with the murders in West Bank. At last parliament has a spine and now the government must close the office in the Bantustan in Ramallah and get every South African to return. We must also prosecute those who have gone to Israel to join in the orgy of murder. We must also in terms of our laws indict Netanyahu for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide along with Yuav Gallant as well as the thug called Benny Gaentz. To think there can be any diplomacy with criminals we will be fooling ourselves. Netanyahu is a deranged thug.

    • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

      Cunningham Ngcukana, the Billy Connelly of the DM comments section. A money-back guarantee to have us laughing out loud. I seriously look forward to your commentary, and all the thugs. Lechaim Cunningham!

    • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

      The same Cunningham Ngcukana, National Council of Trade Unions’ (Nactu) “General-Secretary for Life”? That guy isn’t exactly big on democracy, unless it’s the dictatorial type. Not thuggish.

  • Skinyela Skinyela says:

    I like the optics of the headline pic, Ramaphosa being led by Naledi Pandour.

    We must not forget that the ANC’s national conference(which is the sovereign body and highest decision-making structure of the ANC) , in December 2022, adopted a resolution to server all relations with the state of Israel. EFF was just being opportunistic as usually, in a cunning and calculated way they pot the ANC between hard place and rock, the “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” kind of thing.

  • Marius Bosman says:

    This ‘government’ is hell-bent to destroy the country’s international credibility and make even more of a laughing stock than we already are (if that is possible). Let the cut ties with Israel, the latter will do likewise and the only losers will be RSA. The ‘politicians’ and ‘activists’ who utter such drivel like “colonial settler apartheid state” are in dire need of psychiatric treatment

  • ingy poni says:

    You know as a black South African nothing irks me more than the patronising attitude of most commentators here when it comes to black people’s thinking abilities. If you want to attack political parties such as the ANC,EFF ,BLF and so on do so by all means but do not dare speak on my behalf as a black person as I have a mind and the intellectual capacity to do so myself should I so desire! This notion that somehow lack of education equals zero capacity for critical thinking and clear assessment of situations is quite galling and trite. When I as a black person give an opinion on some aspect of a debate I do so as an individual yet the response that always jumps out from the white compatriots, in particular, is to lump us into some inept manipulated political party controlled puppet incapable of formulating an independent thought!

  • dexter m says:

    DA should get facts right SA citizens in Palestinians always had to use Jordan ( West Bank) , Egypt (Gaza) . The had limited access access to embassy in Israel ( IDF permission to enter or exit Palestine only received by exception ) . Even Palestinian Americans can not travel through Israel even though granted by treaty with US. This would treat SA citizens in Israel and Palestine equally both now would have to use Jordan or Egypt.

  • Andre Swart says:

    Go on ANC!

    Cut your nose to spite your face!

  • JP K says:

    All I’m saying is, I’ve made claims and presented an argument which I can support with evidence.

    You’re dodging the discussion points by pretending that we can’t make sense of history. By reducing an argument to mere opinion without engaging the argument. By presenting nonsense from Chat GPT to make the claim that in the end it’s all just opinion as though that can be weighed against historians, or human rights experts, international law experts etc.

    While your clear evasiveness is a typical debate strategy, your focus on creating doubt about our ability to assess the past, facts, and argument is curious. Even though you’ve literally asked the questions you ignore the answers. Funy that. Suspicious, really. But I suppose he who controls the past controls the present, right?

    So it’s easier to try and have us forget history than respond to the evidence that Israel practices Apartheid (cf. B’tselem etc.). Easier to forget history than to repond to the fact that Israel, since before its formation, was committed to the ethnic cleansing of Palestine (cf. Benny Morris, Ilan Pape, even the statements of Israeli officials etc.). And so on and so forth. Let’s not get bogged down with the ugly and violent detail – according to you these are merely opinions. Let’s instead all hold hands and wish upon a star for the possibility of a brighter future. Oh, you’re a riot for sure.

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