We call on all political parties to reject NFP resolution

We call on all political parties to reject NFP resolution

Tomorrow is the festival of Purim, when Jews throughout the world remember how their forebears in Persia faced destruction at the hands of those who hated them and were saved from it. How very ironic therefore that on this very day Parliament will be devoting itself to discussing whether or not to downgrade the SA Embassy in Israel.

The motion, brought forward by the National Freedom Party (NFP) calls on parties to back its resolution on downgrading of diplomatic ties with Israel. Somehow, engaging in pointless gesture politics at the behest of those driven by an obsessive hatred of the Israeli state is preferred to addressing our country's own vital interests. This resolution only hurts South African citizens.

Far from advancing the cause of peace in the Middle East, moreover, by downgrading its embassy South Africa is simply sabotaging any ability it might have to make a positive difference in the region. As correctly observed by ANC International Relations chairperson Nomvula Mokonyane, a negotiated two-state solution is the only way forward in resolving the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

South Africa's parliament, whose very existence testifies to the true reconciliation and understanding achieved by SA's people in peacefully resolving the centuries-long conflict between them, must not pass resolution that make it harder for the people of Israel and Palestine to negotiate a peaceful settlement. We urge all political parties to reject this unjust and blatantly discriminatory resolution against the world's only Jewish majority state and instead consider ways in which our country could assist rather than hinder this process.

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