​SAJBD calls on SA government to reconsider its self-defeating stance on the conflict

SAJBD calls on SA government to reconsider its self-defeating stance on the conflict

Dirco’s most recent display of support for Hamas has been to threaten action against the Israeli ambassador in South Africa on the claimed grounds of his being 'undiplomatic'. This is the same government department that has consistently refused to engage with the ambassador, even in the immediate aftermath of the horrors of 7 October. It is the same Dirco that instead reached out to the perpetrators of those atrocities, most notably when Minister Naledi Pandor made a personal phone call to the Hamas leadership to pledge South Africa’s support. In light of the minister having denied Hamas’ subsequent statement that she expressed support for the terror attacks, the SAJBD has launched a PAIA application to ascertain the discrepancy between what Hamas said and what Minister Pandor claims, during their phone conversation.

In calling for action against the Israeli ambassador, there is no call for the release of the 239 civilians criminally abducted by Hamas and held hostage in Gaza’s tunnels. The release of these men women and children is a cornerstone for any potential ceasefire, yet that is not what government wants. They focus instead on pointless, petty symbolic acts against the representative of the only Jewish state.

In uncritically endorsing everything Hamas has been claiming, the government endangers its own Jewish population. In recent days, we have seen incitement to hatred against the community reach such levels as to comprise explicit calls on public platforms for Jews to be attacked in their homes, their places of work and, perhaps most chillingly of all, in their schools.

This warm relationship with Hamas is of grave concern to the SA Jewish community, as it should be to all citizens of our country. Not only is it putting Jewish community members, as well as Christian and other supporters of the Jewish state at serious risk of attack, but it is jeopardising international agreements that are critical to South Africa’s own economic security.

The SAJBD calls on the SA government to urgently reconsider its ill-considered, immoral and ultimately self-defeating stance on the conflict in the Middle East and instead align itself with other members of the international community who are doing whatever they can to help bring peace to the region.

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