The demarche against the Israeli Ambassador to SA shows SA to be bullies.

The demarche against the Israeli Ambassador to SA shows SA to be bullies.

The demarche against the Israeli Ambassador to South Africa is just the latest in a long line of pro-Hamas actions by the SA government. As is becoming ever more apparent, this is no longer about supporting the Palestinians. Rather, it amounts to unambiguous support for a genocidal organisation that has never deviated from its core aim of violently destroying the state and people of Israel.

By aligning itself with Hamas, South Africa would appear to have de facto abandoned its oft-declared support for a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict. It is noteworthy that even Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has recently declared that Hamas' policies and actions do not represent the Palestinian people, nor the policies, programmes and decisions of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

The SA Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) asks why the only reason for government finally desiring to engage with Israel’s ambassador following the eruption of the current crisis appears to be to bully and upbraid him for daring to criticise the pro-Jihadist position its leadership, has taken. We ask Minister of International Relations & Cooperation Naledi Pandor whether it would not have been appropriate for her to have reached out to the ambassador a month ago following Hamas's cold blooded murder of 1400 Israeli civilians, if not as a matter of policy than simply as a basic act of humanity?

The SAJBD notes that in parliament yesterday, Minister Pandor declared this to be absolutely the last time she would be answering questions about the phone conversation she had last month with Hamas leader Ismael Haniyeh. Unfortunately for the Minister, the SAJBD has no intention of simply letting the matter drop, especially in light of the Hamas website having given a very different version of what was said on that occasion than the one provided by Pandor. The SAJBD has accordingly lodged an application under the Public Access to Information Act (PAIA) to ensure that the details of what exactly was said during the conversation are clarified and made public.

The unmitigated hostility that Dirco has displayed towards the SAJBD, the representative voice of SA Jewry, for daring to speak truth to power should also be strongly condemned. Particularly at this time when antisemitism both locally and abroad is escalating to ever more dangerous levels, it displays a flagrant disregard for the legitimate concerns of South Africa’s Jewish citizens, leaving them feeling vulnerable and unprotected in the face of real threats to their lives and safety.

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