Thousands of S. Africans sign petition urging not to cut ties with Israel

The petition, which was started by the South African Friends of Israel "demand[s] that the SA Government cease in its efforts to cut ties with the state of Israel."

By
June 14, 2018 16:05
3 minute read.
A protestor outside the Israeli embassy in Pretoria, South Africa

A protester and member of South Africa's ultra-left Economic Freedom Fighters party (EFF), carries a placard outside the Israeli embassy in Pretoria, South Africa. (photo credit: SIPHIWE SIBEKO/REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Over 26,000 South Africans have signed a petition in a bid to stop their government from its efforts to sever ties with Israel.

Signers of the petition, which was started by the South African Friends of Israel, “demand that the SA Government cease in its efforts to cut ties with the State of Israel, and further call to reinstate the SA Ambassador to Israel,” who was withdrawn from the country in the aftermath of the Gaza “March of Return” violence in which over 50 Hamas operatives were killed.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The petition was also initiated following concerns that the country’s ruling party, the African National Congress, would officially downgrade the South African Embassy in Israel – fulfilling a resolution it adopted at its party conference in December.

“We, the undersigned, as representatives and members of civil society, political parties, religious institutions, schools and student groups from all corners of South Africa, hereby declare our support for continued relations between Israel and South Africa, and urge all South Africans to demand that the South African Government cease in its efforts to sever ties with the State of Israel and to reinstate the SA Ambassador to Israel,” the petition reads.

The petition explained that there are various interest groups including Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, the Arab League and organizations supporting BDS, that have aggressively lobbied the SA government to adopt the position of severing ties, while not offering virtually any credible solution other than a call for the annihilation of the State of Israel.

“The actions adopted by the SA government are patently flawed for many reasons and do not serve the interests of the South African population,” it said. “Such a move will be contrary to South African foreign policy which has always called for engagement with all parties to a conflict. This has been the consistent stance of the South African government in all conflicts in Africa and beyond, for the last 24 years.”

SA Friends of Israel further noted that efforts to downgrade the South African Embassy in Israel will have a deeply negative impact on the South African Christian community – around 44 million Christians – who make up the vast majority of the county’s pilgrims to the Holy Land. Such a move will likely precipitate a souring of relations and a corresponding response from Israel.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


“A direct consequence of such a change in diplomatic relations with Israel will in addition violate South Africans’ constitutional rights with regards to freedom of movement, free choice and matters of faith,” the petition continued.

It added that other implications of the severing of ties include the economic impact on jobs, travel and tourism, and trade and investments, all of which will have a direct effect on South Africa and its people.

“We believe that South Africa has a moral obligation to support a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to distance itself from a radicalized position on Israel, which simply undermines any hope of a negotiated process and peaceful outcome,” it said.

Several signatories called the SA government “blinded by BDS” and “irrational.”

“Our Government is only thinking of themselves and there is no consideration of the people of SA,” wrote Gary Le Toit. “What we are currently experiencing will get... worse if we do this to this nation [Israel].”

“I am calling for a better relationship between South Africa and [the] Israeli Nation,” said Onodugo Ugochukwu.

Jessica Goldfinch commented that “Israel is many things, both good and bad. ‘Apartheid’ isn’t one of them, as is claimed by the BDS group. Please be a critical friend, not a separated one.”

Another signatory, Neville Prinsloo, called Israel the only “democracy in the dark Middle East. Without Israel, the world would be a much worse-off global community.”

“There are hundreds of Israeli’s doing very important work in South Africa,” he added.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

‘Tevye the Dairyman’ played by Chaim Topol in the popular 1971 film, ‘Fiddler on the Roof’
November 16, 2018
At Fiddler on the Roof theatre, a man yells: 'Heil Hitler, Heil Trump'

By MICHAEL WILNER