Withdrawal of SA Ambassador to Israel “outrageous”

JOHANNESBURG- The South African Jewish Board of Deputies and the SA Zionist Federation on Monday reacted angrily to the South African government’s decision to withdraw the country’s ambassador to Israel following the deadly Gaza attacks.

The two organisations said in a statement, “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 citizen.”

The two entities said that Israel “is facing a real danger with the incitement by Hamas of its own population to storm the security fence and attack Israeli civilians”.

Both organisations said the withdrawing of the envoy was missing an important opportunity of playing a role in the conflict resolution.

The statement further said, “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 has 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,”

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

On Monday evening, the South African government announced that it was withdrawing its representative in Israel after the deadly attacks in which Israeli forces killed over 50 Palestinians along the Gaza border.

South Africa’s department of international relations and cooperation (Dirco) said, “Given the indiscriminate and grave manner of the latest Israeli attack, the South African government has taken a decision to recall Ambassador Sisa Ngombane with immediate effect until further notice,”

“The South African government condemns in the strongest terms possible the latest act of violent aggression carried out by Israeli armed forces along the Gaza border, which has led to the deaths of over 40 civilians. The victims were taking part in a peaceful protest against the provocative inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem.”

Dirco said, “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.

Photo Credit- iOL

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