CAPE TOWN – In a significant move, the African National Congress (ANC) has thrown its weight behind the Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) initiative, supporting the closure of the Israeli embassy in South Africa. This development comes in the wake of heightened tensions, with South African diplomats withdrawing from Tel Aviv amidst the month-long conflict involving Gaza.
The motion, set to be debated in a National Assembly mini-plenary and spearheaded by EFF leader Julius Malema, advocates for a complete severance of diplomatic ties with Israel. Malema emphasizes that the government should disconnect entirely, a sentiment echoed by the ANC. The ANC, in line with its strong stance against violence targeting civilians, supports a comprehensive review of diplomatic relations with Israel.
During a visit to Qatar, President Cyril Ramaphosa publicly announced the government’s appeal to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate Israel for alleged war crimes. The ANC’s Chief Whip, Pemmy Majodina, highlighted the urgency of closing the Israeli embassy until hostilities between Israel and Palestine cease, urging strict adherence to United Nations directives.
Malema draws parallels between South Africa’s historical struggle against colonialism and apartheid with the Palestinian cause, emphasizing the unjustifiability of maintaining diplomatic relations with Israel. The EFF supports the ANC’s call for the closure of the Israeli embassy in Pretoria.
The Israeli Ambassador, Eliav Belotsercovsky, recently faced reprimand from the Department of International Relations for remarks concerning South Africa’s support for Palestinians. As tensions escalate, the debate surrounding the closure of the Israeli embassy unfolds against a backdrop of international scrutiny and calls for accountability.
This development signals a growing consensus within South Africa’s political landscape, reflecting concerns over human rights violations and aligning with global efforts to address the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.