PRESS STATEMENT: South Africa stays strong on Israel boycott

05 April 2019 |

Coinciding with the 15th international #IsraeliApartheidWeek, South Africa’s Minister of International Relations, Lindiwe Sisulu, has boldly defended South Africa’s downgrade of relations with Israel.

Delivering her keynote address at the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA)Sisulu took the opportunity to announce that “stage one” of the the downgrade of South Africa’s Embassy in Tel Aviv to a mere Liaison office has been completed:

“Our Ambassador [to Israel] is back in South Africa and we will not be replacing him. Our liaison office in Tel Aviv will have no political mandate, no trade mandate and no development cooperation mandate. It will not be responsible for trade and commercial activities. The focus of the Liaison Office would be on consular and the facilitation of people-to-people relations.”

Sisulu further stated that South Africa’s governing party, the ANC, already has “no relations with Israel”  and suggested that eventually Israel would no longer have an ambassador in South Africa.  “The ANC’s position in relation to Israel is very clear. We have no relations with Israel. That’s what we would like the government to adopt as soon as possible,” Sisulu said. Click here for more info.

The human rights and Palestine solidarity organization BDS South Africa joins fellow civil society members in welcoming the Minister’s speech, our government’s support for the Palestinian struggle and the governing party’s backing of the BDS boycott of Israel.

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Later today, Friday 5 April, Palestinian Diplomat Lema Nazeeh will be speaking alongside the ANC Kwa Zulu Natal leader, Cde Mdumiseni Ntuli, at 18h30 in Durban (Nelson Mandela Youth Center, Chatsworth). On Sunday, 7 April, Nazeeh will be hosted by the ANC Joburg Region at 14h30 in Soweto (Dube Boxing Club, Sandile & Mahalefele Str, Dube Village). Members of the public and media are invited to attend both events in Durban and Johannesburg.

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