South African President: Don’t visit Israel
South Africa’s Jacob Zuma calls on South Africans not to visit Israel in order to show solidarity with “the people of Palestine”.
South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma is calling on South Africans not to visit Israel in order to show solidarity with “the people of Palestine”, the Africa News website reported Sunday.
Zuma’s comments came at the 105th anniversary celebration of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), during which he reiterated the party’s solidarity with the “oppressed people of the world”, citing “Palestine” as an example.
“The people of Palestine continue to suffer in their rightful quest for self-determination … We reiterate that we firmly discourage travel to Israel for causes not related to fostering peace in the region,” Zuma was quoted as having said in a speech heard by thousands of party supporters.
Zuma also said his party supported of UN Resolution 2334, which was passed last month by the Security Council and which condemned Israeli presence in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. He called on the Palestinian people to unite and achieve their goal, according to Africa News.
Zuma and other members of his party have continuously expressed anti-Israel sentiments in recent years.
The government in South Africa has frequently accused Israel of applying a policy of “apartheid” towards Palestinian Arabs. One such was when the ANC party proposed new rules regarding dual citizenship meant to stop South African citizens from joining the IDF.
South Africa’s Chief Rabbi Dr. Warren Goldstein issued a stinging response to the proposed rules, calling out the ANC party on its hypocritical and “obsessive” stance vis-a-vis the State of Israel.
South Africa has also imposed rules requiring that goods imported from Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem display special labels.
In another example, the county’s Foreign Minister slammed Israel’s plans to build new homes in Jerusalem, saying she was “losing sleep” over the size of “Palestine”.
Zuma’s party has in the past compared Israel’s airstrikes on Gaza to the actions of the Nazis during World War II, evoking outrage from Jewish groups in the country.
For immediate release
12 January 2017
ANC STATEMENT ON MAIMANE’S JUNKET TO ISRAEL
The ANC notes the anger and joins fellow South Africans in condemning the visit by the DA’s Mmusi Maimane to Israel and to Israel’s Prime Minister.
The ANC together with other progressive organizations and forces are not surprised by the DA’s visit to Israel and to the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. At a time when the world is increasingly standing up against Israel’s illegal settlements, including the United Nations Security Council, it is a pity that the DA is endorsing the Israeli regime instead of condemning its violations of international law.
The allegations that the Democratic Alliance is funded and controlled by Apartheid Israel sympathisers seems to be true.
We also warn the DA not to mislead the public by suggesting that our government and our party share the same position as the DA on Palestine. The ANC not only supports a just a fair solution but we also have for for several years attended, actively supported and organized international solidarity campaigns with the people of Palestine. We, unlike the DA call out Israel for its racism against African refugees, we condemn Israel’s Apartheid policies and its violations of international law including building of illegal settlements and the inhumane Gaza siege.
Much like the DA wants the black majority to vote for them, they remain on the wrong side of history, choosing the oppressors and not the oppressed. The DA seeks the votes of the communities and activists who support Palestine and human rights. However, the DA and its new leader cannot break away from the values of their handlers and their funders. It is clear that the DA will never stand with Palestine and equally the DA will not stand with working class majority on issues like land, economy, labour rights and minimum wage.
The DA has been completely unwilling to challenge the Israeli government on its continued abuse of human rights and has never acted in solidarity with the Palestinian even during the height of Israel’s barbaric attacks on the Palestinian people of the Gaza Strip the DA did not organize a single protest, let alone issue a statement condemning Israel’s criminal behavior.
This year in our January 8th Statement, the ANC reaffirmed its support for the Palestinian struggle in line with our long standing principle of progressive internationalism. The ANC will remind the DA that during Apartheid the National Party government and its lobby organizations also organized trips for leaders from other countries to come and wine and dine here in Pretoria, Sun City and else where. While the ANC is opposed to these propaganda trips to Israel the DA seems to be happily colluding with the Israeli lobby and Israeli Government on these trips.
The DA continues its blind support of the Israeli government and its abhorrent policies, worse still, they have constantly attempted to downplay and mislead the public on this. We challenge the DA, if their policy is the same as the ANC as they claim then, quite simply, do they then also agree that Israel is practicing forms of Apartheid against the indigenous Palestinian people as our most senior ANC leaders have attested to?
The recent political junket to Taiwan by Mayor of Tshwane also falls in this category – it is no coincidence that the DA has embarked on a disruptive anti progressive diplomatic trips aimed to undermine the Republic of South Africa and its standing in the community of nations, the non-aligned movement and other multilateral institutions.
These disruptions are politically coordinated and aim to sabotage governments work, cause harm to South Africa’s economic diplomacy especially with the South nations and halt progress made in promotion of South Africa’s economy and job creation efforts.
The DA has once again let down our masses and betrayed the solidarity that Comrades Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo built with the Palestinian people. Without a doubt, they would be turning in their graves.
The ANC fully supports our Governments position of discouraging relations with Israels until Israel abides to international law and the peace process. With the backing of the majority of South Africans, the ANC will ensure government implementation of strict measures against countries violating international law and human rights abuses.
Issued by the African National Congress
Zizi Kodwa 0823304910
Khusela Sangoni 0728545707