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ANC making pawns of religious groups: Bergman




Apart from a clear split within ruling party circles over the stance SA should adopt towards Israel – which first emerged after the 6 February “Cape Town Declaration” conference, there is an increasing politicisation of Israel Apartheid Week due to its proximity to the May General Elections.

“The DA and religious groups are being made into made into pawns by the ANC,” wrote DARREN BERGMAN in an op-ed piece on on 24 February. Darren was explaining why the DA’s late response to the subsequently aborted “Cape Town Declaration” was slow in coming.

Bergman was referring to the originally-proposed clause 10, which demanded that: “All South African political parties should clearly communicate their stance on the plight of the Palestinian people and make it timeously known in the build-up to 2014 elections.”

That trail of this politicisation has been reported on in this website since 19 February 19 when SAJR Online asked: Is ACDP Israel’s only SA political ally?

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Tug-of-war in ANC

 “In what appears to be an ongoing part of the tug-of-war between the ANC as a party and the Government over Israeli policy which has emerged over the ‘Cape Town Declaration’ matter – the party last week issued a statement in support of Israel Apartheid Week (IAW),” wrote Jewish Report Online on 5 March – after reports that the ANC’s NEC had backed IAW.

Jewish Report has for several weeks been reporting on the “family-feud” within the ANC over the 6 February Cape Town Declaration where the party’s National Executive Committee tried to force the hand of the SA Government which was not prepared to adopt BDS policies that the NEC had wanted – instead choosing a pragmatic approach to SA/Israel relations.

ANC heavyweight and Joburg Mayor Parks Tau attended the media launch of IAW on Sunday, as did Cosatu deputy- president, Zingiswa Losi.  

THE TIMES reported on Monday that ANC tripartite-alliance member Cosatu’s deputy- president, Zingiswa Losi, speaking at Sunday’s media launch, had said that Cosatu condemned the DA and the ACDP for not supporting Israel Apartheid Week, labelling them hypocrites and shameful supporters of Israel.

National spokesman for the Democratic Alliance, Musi Maimane, says his party has maintained a “principled” middle ground on the issue, stressing the need for the recognition of Israel as an independent sovereignty by Palestinians and the withdrawal of Israel from occupying territories like the Gaza strip.

Maimane told THE TIMES that his party would not answer to “some cheap politicking” by the trade union federation. “As far as the Israel-Palestine conflict is concerned we reiterate our view of a two state solution, which has been adopted by both parliament and the United Nations” he said.

Last month, during its manifesto launch, the ACDP has criticized the use of the term apartheid to describe the Israel system saying to even liken the Israel Palestinian conflict to apartheid trivializes the meaning of the term.

In an attempt to clarify its foreign policy position ahead of the 7 May elections, the ANC and it’s alliance partners have reiterated their support for the IAW campaign taking place this week.

ANC NEC Sub-committee Chairperson on International Affairs, Obed Bapela, said in a statement that the party was unapologetic for its support of the Palestinian people’s struggle for self-determination.

Meanwhile, the ruling party’s government and Cabinet seems to continue to disagree with them.

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