Israel is an 'evil state that must be destroyed' - South Africa's EFF

"Zionist maniacs" are "sick, fascist and inhumane whose actions eclipse those of an apartheid state," the radical left-wing communist party said in a statement.

Julius Malema, leader of South Africa's Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), gestures during a media briefing in Alexander township near Sandton, South Africa August 17, 2016. (photo credit: REUTERS/ SIPHIWE SIBEKO)
Julius Malema, leader of South Africa's Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), gestures during a media briefing in Alexander township near Sandton, South Africa August 17, 2016.
(photo credit: REUTERS/ SIPHIWE SIBEKO)

Israel is an "evil state which must be destroyed as a matter of urgency," South Africa's radical left-wing communist party Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) said in a statement released after the violent clashes during the funeral of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh last week.

The EFF, the third-largest party in the South African parliament, is a pan-Africanist faction that "draws inspiration from the broad Marxist–Leninist tradition," according to its constitution. The party and its leader, Julius Malema, have been criticized for encouraging racist sentiments against whites and Indians and Malema himself was twice convicted of hate speech.

In the statement, the EFF said it condemns the "sadistic, cruel and genocidal Israeli apartheid state" for Israel Police's actions taken against Palestinian rioters at the funeral of the Al Jazeera reporter. 

According to the radical left-wing faction, Israel is a "sick, fascist and inhumane regime whose actions eclipse those of an apartheid state."

The EFF also called on the South African government and President Cyril Ramaphosa to expel the Israeli ambassador from the country, saying the world's patience has led "Zionist maniacs to believe they are untouchable."

The party also lamented the lack of sanctions imposed on Israel that are "so easily imposed" on socialist states.

EFF leader Julius Malema addresses anti-Israel protesters on Thursday as a Hezbollah flag flies in the background, outside the Israeli Embassy in South Africa (credit: COURTESY TWITTER)EFF leader Julius Malema addresses anti-Israel protesters on Thursday as a Hezbollah flag flies in the background, outside the Israeli Embassy in South Africa (credit: COURTESY TWITTER)

The EFF publicly supports Russia's invasion of Ukraine, saying in a statement released this week that it "commends Russia's anti-imperialist program against the NATO war alliance."

The EFFA and Malema have caused great controversy in the past for comments which were perceived as fascist and inciting racism. In a 2016 political rally, Malema said the EFF is "not calling for the slaughter of white people...at least for now." 

In another political rally in 2018, Malema called for his supporters to "go after a white man....we are cutting the throat of whiteness."

Malema has also praised former Libyan autocrat Muammar Gaddafi, promising to implement some of Gaddafi's policies in South Africa.