The Media Review Network welcomes the resolution adopted at the African National Congress National Policy Conference to downgrade the country’s embassy in Apartheid Israel.
However, we caution against the naïve jubilation expressed by many sectors of society towards the resolution.
It must be noted that the ruling party have become past masters at perfecting the art of popular rhetoric regarding the suffering of the Palestinian people but frequently falls short of meeting this with concrete action.
Whilst the ANC has adopted many pro-Palestinian resolutions in the past, its action as the governing party of the country has instead been to deepen economic ties with the Zionist state.
At the Israeli Embassy’s Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration in May this year, acting Director General for Asia and the Middle East, Ambassador Themba Rebushe, was gleeful when stating that trade relations with Apartheid Israel are expanding at an unprecedented rate with the total trade amounting to just more than R8 billion in 2016.
Israel further topped the list of foreign tourists from the Middle East visiting South Africa in 2015/16, with almost 20 000 Israeli tourists coming to this country.
All this points to a warming of relations between South Africa and Apartheid Israel.
Until the ANC can translate its pro-Palestinian rhetoric to the international level, the South African public must remain sceptical regarding its commitment to the Palestinian cause and a just and equitable solution for its people.
The Media Review Network therefore calls on the ANC government to not only follow through on its policy conference resolution, but to terminate with immediate effect, all diplomatic, economic and military ties with Apartheid Israel.
This will send a clear signal to South Africans and the world that the ANC government is serious about implementing what is perceived to be only a rhetorical commitment to the Palestinian cause.
Issued by Dr. Ahmed Haroon Jazbhay
Media Review Network
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