Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor
The South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) notes the ANC’s shameless support of the African Union’s (AU) decision to eject an Israeli delegation from the summit that took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, last week.
Israel was granted Observer Status in the AU in 2021. There is a clear majority in Africa that supports Israel’s Observer Status, with over 40 of the 55 African states enjoying positive relations with the only democracy in the Middle East. Israel was rightfully and legally in attendance to the summit that took place over this weekend. It had received its accreditation and invitation to attend, much like Russia, Syria and North Korea.
It is unconscionable that the ANC would motivate for Israel to be removed from an AU meeting in the very same week that it would choose to participate in wartime navy drills with Russia, after its illegal invasion of Ukraine resulted in the deaths of over 7000 innocent men, women and children in the past year.
The SAZF is concerned by the lack of uniformity in South Africa’s foreign policy. The ANC government’s stance is increasingly out of touch with most South Africans who do not welcome our government’s cosy friendships with foreign tyrants, dictators and invaders, as opposed to partners in peace and development, such as Israel.
There is no basis in the AU’s rule book to remove an accredited and invited observer from a meeting. South Africa's (and Algeria’s) hostile and undiplomatic act only reveals that the ANC government remains increasingly out of touch with Africa and the shifting sands of the Middle East. Chad and Sudan have both normalised relations with the state of Israel this year, against a backdrop of historical peace agreements, such as the Abraham Accords, which have effectively ended the Arab Israeli Conflict since 2021.
It is remarkable that the ANC government would be threatened by Israel’s growing ties in Africa, when it has always proven itself to be a valuable partner for development in our continent. To date, Israeli technology and initiatives have brought clean running water and renewable solar energy to over 4 million people across Africa.
Israeli technology and innovation has helped grow agricultural economies in Africa, providing jobs and building businesses in a manner that continues to promote prosperity across the continent.
Israel is also home to a multicultural society where the rights of all religions, minorities, ethnicities and beliefs are protected and promoted. The SAZF calls on the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) to end their hostility towards Israel, and requests a de-hyphenated approach to the conflict in Israel and the Palestinians.
Issued by The South African Zionist Federation National Chairman, Rowan Polovin