13 March 2017

South Africa’s Ambassador Sisa Ngombane has been “summoned”, according to Israeli media reports, following the recent #IsraeliApartheidWeek campaign in SA (click here).

According to the Israeli publication, Jerusalem Online: “The Israeli Foreign Ministry has stated that South Africa’s ambassador to Israel will be summoned for an official reprimand following anti-Israeli remarks made by two senior officials in the South African government.”

The two officials, according to the publication, are ANC DSG Jessie Duarte and ANC NEC Member as well as SA Minister of Water Nomvula Mokonyane, both of whom recently spoke at Palestine solidarity events forming part of the annual #IsraeliApartheidWeek campaign.

Duarte, speaking in Klerksdorp, demanded that South Africans should not fight in the Israeli Defence Force while Mokonyane, speaking at Stellenbosch University, said that the Israeli army is a “murderous machine” and accused Israel of “water apartheid” against the Palestinians. Mokonyane said:

“There are two faces to the Israeli water story. The first is widely and extensively marketed. This is that technologically and in practice, Israel is a leading water innovations country with an excellent track record in water research, inventions, practices and products that are exported worldwide. At the same time Israel has been using water and the control of water access as a tool to control the Palestinian state….Israel is the world’s leading practitioner in Water Apartheid.” Click here for Nomvula Mokonyane’s full speech. 

The Israeli Embassy has previously attacked South Africa’s governing party falsely accusing the ANC of anti-Semitism. This latest action of Israel summoning the South African ambassador is both an insult to our governing party and our State as well as interference within South Africa. As a civil society organization part of a larger human rights movement we give our full support and backing to Jessie Duarte and Nomvula Mokonyane and all those who are attacked for being critical of Israel’s Apartheid policies.

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The Israel lobby has in the past tried to focus its attacks on certain members of South Africa’s governing ANC party, the SACP and other Government officials trying to isolate them when they speak out against Israel’s Apartheid policies. However, DSG Duarte, Minister Mokonyane and all ANC NEC leaders who have addressed Palestine solidarity programs or speak out against Israel’s Apartheid policies have done so based on ANC positions, resolutions and policies. Click here for ANC policy on Palestine.

Others to have been previously attacked by the Israeli government and lobby include: Archbishop Desmond Tutu; ANC National Chairperson and National Speaker of Parliament, Baleka Mbete; Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane; Deputy Minister of Traditional Affairs and Cooperation, Obed Bapela; ANC Secretary General, Gwede Mantashe; ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa; Parliamentary Advisor to President Jacob Zuma, Ebrahim Ebrahim; SACP General Secretary and Minister of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande; Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba; COSATU President Sidumo Dlamini; Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies, Deputy Minister Ayanda Dlodlo;  Deputy Minister Buti Manamela; and many others.

ISSUED BY KWARA KEKANA ON BEHALF OF BDS SOUTH AFRICA