ANC government withdraws unilaterally from brokering peace in the Middle East, choosing to side with Hamas terrorists responsible for abducting South African hostages

The South African government’s failure, once again, to use its influence and act as a mediator between Israel and the Palestinians, or to contribute to broader peace initiatives in the Middle East, does not come as a surprise to the South African Zionist Federation (SAZF). This follows the ANC government’s decision to withdraw its diplomats in Tel Aviv this week, and unilaterally remove itself from having any role to play in ending the conflict.

Instead of using the diplomats we have on the ground to help create peace and assist South Africans in Israel, the ANC government continues to behave in a manner that sows division and hate between groups back in South Africa.

This appalling decision effectively cuts off the millions of South African Christians, as well as Jews and other faith groups, from their spiritual and religious connection to the Holy Land of Israel. This has already been met with widespread condemnation in our country, with protest action scheduled to take place in Johannesburg later today.

It is an act of self-sabotage that achieves nothing but harms and isolates South Africa. It comes shortly after Hamas terrorists captured over 240 hostages, including 2 elderly South African-born women following an unprovoked attack on the Jewish State exactly one month ago. South Africa has effectively abandoned these poor South African hostages, while it continues to pledge support and solidarity with their captors.

Israel is a sovereign democracy and has a right under international law to self-defence in order to protect its civilians from the ongoing Hamas threat that resulted in a barbaric rampage in which 1400 Israelis were slaughtered, thousands wounded, alongside other acts of unspeakable cruelty. Hamas continues to fire an average of 300 rockets a day at Israeli civilians from hospitals, schools and kindergartens in Gaza. Israel has gone out of its way to minimise the tragic loss of Palestinian civilian casualties, even though Hamas cynically uses its own civilians as human shields, which is a crime against humanity.

The best way to save more lives and end this war is for Hamas to surrender and release the hostages unconditionally.

The tenuous ties that South Africa has left with Israel, and the role it could play as a purposeful mediator in this conflict, and peace in the wider Middle East, will sadly be ended by its decision to withdraw its diplomats on the ground. South Africa’s clear anti-Israel bias in the international arena also puts into doubt our country’s beneficial trade relationship with the United States through AGOA, and South Africa’s standing in the democratic world.

It should also be noted that the ANC is grievously misplaced in chanting “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”, as they did at their rally outside the Israeli embassy recently. This chant is a genocidal call for the destruction of Israel, and goes against the ANC government’s stated position of a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

The SAZF is disheartened by our government’s inability to mediate, but is not in the least bit surprised by its behaviour and unwillingness to play a meaningful role in securing peace.