Espanol / English

Middle East Near You

South African parliament refuses to meet Israeli delegation

South African parliament [Wikipedia]
South African parliament [Wikipedia]

The South African Parliament has refused to meet with an Israeli delegation that was planning to visit members of the country’s assembly in Cape Town.

The planned visit by the Israeli delegation was rejected by the late Nelson Mandela’s ruling party the ANC which has the majority in Parliament with 249 seats out of a 400-seat assembly.

Commenting on ANC’s rejection, Mandla Mandela, grandson of Nelson Mandela, said: “We applaud Parliament’s decision to reject the invitation for the Israeli parliamentary delegation to visit. In so doing parliament has stayed true to Madiba’s [Mandela’s clan name] commitment to stand by the Palestinian cause”.

Mandla, who is himself a member of Parliament and holds the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee Whip, also expressed “gratitude and appreciation to the ANC parliamentary caucus for its resolute and firm stand to reject the Israeli invite” before  calling on them to “pressurise [our] ANC led government to deny [the Israeli delegation] access to [our] country.”

Read: South Africa ruling party votes to downgrade ties with Israel

The decision was warmly greeted by various organisations, human rights groups and political parties. The human rights and Palestine solidarity organisation, BDS South Africa, was amongst the groups that welcomed the snub.

In welcoming the decision, South Africa’s largest trade union federation, COSATU, has however, cautioned that: “We are aware that certain reactionary opposition parties and individuals will try to circumvent this Parliamentary decision and still fraternise with the Israeli delegation.”

COSATU went on to compare Israeli apartheid to the apartheid in South Africa saying

those who entertained officials from apartheid SA were on the wrong side of history during the 1980s, and those who are entertaining Israel today will be judged harshly by history.

In a press statement BDS South Africa said: “Indeed, the people of South Africa, through our Parliament, have spoken – South Africa stands with the people of Palestine and their progressive Jewish Israeli allies fighting for an end to Israeli apartheid, occupation and oppression.”

We believe that amidst the Israeli oppression, the people of Palestine, when they hear of this act of solidarity from South Africa, will find strength and motivation.

“BDS South Africa will continue to work with partner organisations on the isolation of apartheid Israel until it complies by international law,” they added.

Categories
AfricaIsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestineSouth Africa
Register for the conference: Palestine, Britain and the Balfour Declaration 100 years on
  • Joseph Kelsall

    Well done South Africa. For sure, Israel is not wanting to visit South Africa out of altruism. And, don’t trust those who do decide to meet the Israeli’s. Every man has his price.

    • JBourne

      True, Mmusi Maimane visited so-called israel, why if the israelis are rotten to the core? True as you say, every man has his price, no matter who you are.

  • Peter O

    This is a good step but must be balanced with the idea of you cant make peace (negotiate an end to the occupation) with your enemies by talking to your friends. The BDS must continue until Israel decides to end the occupation then real negotiations can start. Then people can talk. In SA negotiations started when the govt decided to end apartheid. Before that there was sanctions and armed struggle.

  • Mo Haarhoff

    Remember this day when South Africa is dying of thirst and starving. Israel could be of significant help with both. But no, you all think you know better than to accept their technologies and know-how. Now I am really aware that we have become the most backward country in Africa, where Israel is helping countries on a daily basis.

    • Thabo

      Israel is invading land on a daily basis. So, begging from Israel is worse than begging from Hitler.

  • Do most South Africans support Israel or Palestine?

    • Nasdaq7

      Of the whites 70%+ support Israel, about 15% of the black population support Israel, nearly 55% support Palestine. Many don’t care. Many whites hates terrorists, that’s all you need to know. They invented MRAP.

    • Thabo

      Most literate South Africans whether they are black or white support Palestinians. Everyone who knows that “Israel” is occupier of Palestine knows that Israel is the real enemy of peace.

  • Nasdaq7

    They are getting bitter now because they are losing the economic war. Typical Communists, only to happy to accept and spend money until they run our of it.