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SA Organisations

Board, Fed issue joint statement on visa

  • 1-SAJBD logo
The SAJBD and the SAZF's national offices issued a statement Tuesday saying they "note with concern" the denial by Israel of a visa to Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande to visit Ramallah. "This is most regrettable, as the SAJBD and SAZF have long argued that regular interaction between Israel and SA and mutual visits of political leaders, parliamentarians & Government officials..." are to the "benefit of both South Africa and Israel and foster greater understanding between the two countries." Read the full statement...
by SAJBD and SAZF | Apr 28, 2015

The full statement

The SA Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) and SA Zionist Federation (SAZF) note with concern the denial by the Israeli authorities of a visa for Dr Blade E. Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education, to visit Ramallah for an official engagement. This is most regrettable, as the SAJBD and SAZF have long argued that regular interaction between Israel and South Africa and mutual visits of political leaders, parliamentarians and Government officials, as well as business people, media, tourists and family visits, are to the benefit of both South Africa and Israel and foster greater understanding between the two countries.

It is most unfortunate that, in recent times, South Africa has imposed restrictions on the free movement of officials between this country and Israel, and thereby on opportunities to engage in regular consultation and dialogue in the interests of peace and stability between the Palestinian and Israeli People. The culture of dialogue and engagement is something that is deeply embedded in South Africa’s recent history of peaceful democratic transition, and we know that any future resolution of the problems between the Palestinians and the Israelis will only be successful and lasting if there is dialogue and mutual understanding. The practice of discouraging interaction between South African officials and their Israeli counterparts is contradictory to the way South Africa has traditionally engaged in conflict resolution, both domestically and in its foreign policy in general.

We believe both countries should encourage greater interaction at all levels and lift restrictions in this regard, in the interests of relations between Israel and South Africa and the broader interests of peace and stability. The SAJBD and SAZF support a negotiated, two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute and remain committed to working with the South African government to help both peoples in achieving this goal. 

1 Comment

  1. 1 Leslie Harris 29 Apr
    This is somewhat confusing...
    If the reports that have come my way are correct, Nzimande was not planning to visit Israel at all. He merely wanted to pass through the country to visit the area where murderous terrorists live.

    How is denying a sworn enemy of the Jewish people "discouraging interaction between South African officials and their Israeli counterparts"?
    Nzimande never intended to meet any of his Israeli counterparts. This is the education minister who thinks that the needs of South African students are best served by boycotting Israeli universities that are at the cutting edge of research and innovation.

    Perhaps someone should tell Nzimande that two other countries share a border with the area he calls Palestine - Egypt and Jordan. Given his status as a government minister maybe they can be persuaded to open their border and let him through.
    "

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