Skip to Content

The Union Buildings, Pretoria, Government of South Africa
Pretoria

South African Jews furious about withdrawal of ambassador to Israel

The South African Jewish Board of Deputies and the SA Zionist Federation have expressed great anger with the South African government’s decision to withdraw the country’s ambassador to Israel following the attacks in Gaza.

Published: May 15, 2018, 10:32 am

    “The South African government’s decision to withdraw the South African ambassador from Israel is outrageous and displays gross double-standards against the Jewish state. While we, the South African Jewish Board of Deputies and the SA Zionist Federation, regret the loss of life of civilians, we recognise that Israel as a sovereign state has the right to defend its own border and its own citizens,” the two organisations said in a statement.

    The two entities said Israel “is facing a real danger with the incitement by Hamas of its own population to storm the security fence and attack Israeli civilians”, the African News Agency (ANA) reported.

    The South African Jewish Board of Deputies and the SA Zionist Federation said by withdrawing its envoy, South Africa was missing an important opportunity of playing a role in the conflict resolution.

    “By withdrawing its ambassador, South Africa is essentially walking away from playing any meaningful role in finding a sorely needed resolution to the conflict. The rhetoric used by the [South African] government has already spilled into antisemitic comment on various social media platforms and the biggest losers are the South African Jewish community, and other peace loving South Africans,” the two organisations said.

    “This is a victory only for extremism in the Middle East. We call on the South African Government to reconsider its decision immediately.”

    The South African government announced that it would withdraw its representative in Israel and it “condemns in the strongest terms possible the latest act of violent aggression carried out by Israeli armed forces” along the Gaza border.

    “The victims were taking part in a peaceful protest against the provocative inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem. This latest attack has resulted in scores of other Palestinian citizens reported injured, and the wanton destruction of property,” said the statement from Dirco.

    The Pretoria authorities added that the Israeli Defence Force must withdraw from the Gaza Strip “and bring to an end the violent and destructive incursions into Palestinian territories”.

    The African Union too has issued a statement condemning the “disproportionate use of force” by the Israeli army in response to Palestinian protests against the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

    Many Palestinians – some of them children – have been reportedly killed, shot dead by IDF soldiers and thousands more injured on Monday during the protests. The Palestinian Health Ministry, said Israeli troops shot and killed at least 58 protesters while some 2 700 people were injured.

    In the statement released on Tuesday, The AU strongly condemned the “disproportionate use of force by the Israeli army, which resulted in the killing of over 50 Palestinian demonstrators, while many more were wounded”.

    The AU said the relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem would make a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict more difficult.

    The AU reiterated “the solidarity of the African Union with the Palestinian people in their legitimate quest for an independent and sovereign State with East Jerusalem as its capital”.

    On 6 April 2017 the Russian foreign ministry put out a statement about Jerusalem.

    “We reaffirm our commitment to the UN-approved principles for a Palestinian-Israeli settlement, which include the status of East Jerusalem as the capital of the future Palestinian state. At the same time, we must state that in this context we view West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”

    On 27 May 2017 resolution S.Res.176 was submitted to the US senate and agreed to 5 June 2017.

    President Trump sent his daughter and son-in-law to Jerusalem for the opening of the new US Embassy in Jerusalem on Monday. His family applauded the death of Palestinians in Gaza.

    Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, spoke about the Gaza massacre at an event where he was invited to appear. He accused Palestinians of being the guilty party. “As we have seen from the protests of the last month and even today, those provoking violence are part of the problem and not part of the solution.”

    The White House omitted this particular sentence from its official transcript. But in its daily press briefing the White House denounced the “propaganda attempt” by Hamas and Palestinians.

    On social media Ivanka Trump and Jared Kusher were called out for celebrating the opening in the wake of the deadly violence.

    Israel has meanwhile threatened to kill Hamas leaders if the riots continue, the Times of Israel reported. It has warned Hamas that it will resume assassinations of the terror group’s leaders if Hamas continues to organize demonstrations on the Gaza border.

    Some 40 000 Palestinians had rallied in a “March of Return” protest, against the US embassy move.

    On December 21 2017, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on the non-recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Some 128 countries voted for the document, 9 against, and 35 abstained. The resolution was adopted by a majority vote despite threats from the US to stop financial support for those countries that supported it.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Middle East

    Assad accuses Western powers of ‘PR stunt’ pretext to attack Syria

    Syria's President Assad has accused three Western powers of orchestrating a "PR stunt" to give them a pretext to attack Syria.

    Marine Le Pen bashes Trump for pull-out of Iran deal

    ParisMarine Le Pen France’s National Front leader, strongly condemned US President Donald Trump for withdrawing from a landmark nuclear agreement with Iran on May 8, calling the US pull-out a threat to global peace.

    Trump pulls plug on Iran JCPOA deal

    WashingtonUS President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that the United States will be pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal and will re-impose economic sanctions on Iran.

    IAEA dismisses Israeli claims of Iranian nuclear programme

    Following Israel's most recent claims that Iran is lying about its nuclear programme, the IAEA provided a statement to dismiss such claims.

    Chemical lab discovered in Douma as Neocons push for war legislation

    On Friday, Russian broadcaster VGTRK released a video of an alleged chemical laboratory in Douma, suspected of belonging to militant group Jaish al-Islam, an Al Qaeda affiliate.

    Is lying becoming new US foreign policy?

    WashingtonThe neocons in both the Republican and Democratic parties, disappointed by the limited nature of President Trump’s recent airstrikes on three Syrian "chemical facilities", are calling for a permanent occupation under the friendly-sounding phrase “comprehensive strategy”.

    President Assad is well-liked in his country for the stability he brings

    DamascusMany anti-war activists, even those who are against bombing Syria, have described President Assad's rule as a "dictatorship" and his government as a "regime".

    Despite evidence of false flags, US and allies persist with lies

    According to the Swiss Institute for the Protection of Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Weapons, the poison collected in Salisbury by OPCW investigators in the Skripal case is "BZ".

    US, France and Britain launch joint aggression against Syria

    DamascusThe UK’s Defense Ministry confirmed that four tornado warplanes using Storm Shadow missiles targeted military bases located west of Homs, in contravention of the UN Charter.

    Lavrov: Russia has irrefutable proof that chemical attack was staged

    MoscowRussian Foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, told his Dutch counterpart, Stef Blok, that Russia has obtained firm evidence that the incident in Douma, Syria on April 7 was staged by the intelligence services of a foreign state in order to launch a "Russophobic campaign".

    Go to archive