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Israel Slams South Africa Parliament Decision To Downgrade Ties

The move will see Israel’s embassy in Pretoria downgraded to a liaison office

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Nelson Mandela, aggressively defending his views in a television interview, described Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat today as “a comrade in arms” and said it would be “a grave mistake” to change his view of Arafat “on the basis of the interests of the Jewish community.” So wrote Howard Kurtz in the Washington Post on July 22, 1990. The two antisemitic revolutionary leaders gladly autographed a photo of them embracing, below. (Image: Palestinian Authority)  

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(JNS) Israel on Wednesday slammed as “disgraceful” the South African parliament’s decision to downgrade Jerusalem’s embassy in Pretoria to a liaison office.

The measure in the South African legislature was backed by 208 lawmakers, with 94 opposing.

“The symbolic resolution taken yesterday by the South African parliament calling for the downgrading of relations between South Africa and Israel is shameful and disgraceful,” the Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“It does not contribute in the least to the promotion of any viable solution in the Middle East,” the statement continued.

The measure was introduced by South Africa’s National Freedom Party, which has two members in parliament, to protest what it considers to be Israel’s discriminatory practices against the Palestinians.

The initiative was reportedly pushed through with help from the ruling African National Congress Party.

“This is a moment [former South African leader Nelson Mandela] would be proud of. He always said our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of Palestinians,” the left-wing National Freedom Party said in a statement Tuesday.

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“The state of Israel was built through the displacement, murder and maiming of Palestinians. And to maintain their grip on power, they have instituted apartheid to control and manage Palestinians. As South Africans, we refuse to stand by while apartheid is being perpetrated again,” it added.

The South African Zionist Federation denounced the move, saying in a statement that the “ANC government has created a foreign policy that aims to befriend dictatorships and bash democracies.

“It obsesses over Israel, which is the size of our Kruger National Park, and at the same time hosts navy war drills with Russia, responsible for horrific war crimes and the deaths of thousands of innocent Ukrainian civilians,” added the organization.

Last month, the Israeli Foreign Ministry partially blamed Pretoria for the ejection of an Israeli delegation from the African Union’s annual summit in Ethiopia.

“Israel looks harshly upon the incident in which the [Foreign Ministry] Deputy Director for Africa, Ambassador Sharon Bar-Li, was removed from the African Union Hall despite her status as an accredited observer with entrance badges,” the ministry said in a statement.

“It is sad to see that the African Union has been taken hostage by a small number of extremist countries such as Algeria and South Africa, driven by hatred and controlled by Iran. We call on the African countries to stand against these actions that harm the organization of the African Union itself and the entire continent,” added the statement.

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The Foreign Ministry said that the charge d’affaires at South Africa’s embassy in Israel would be summoned for a reprimand.

The South African government has become a vocal critic of Israel, often accusing the Jewish state of practicing “apartheid.”

Pretoria downgraded its embassy in Tel Aviv in 2019 and pulled out its ambassador.

President Isaac Herzog last month slammed as a “blood libel” comparison of Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians to South African apartheid.

“It is a dangerous and intensifying terrorism, since the legitimacy of the State of Israel and the justification of its existence is directly related to its ability to protect itself and hence they are trying to undermine this ability,” he said.

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

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