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Letters/Discussion Forums

ANC’s obstinate condemnation of Israel increasingly out of step

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How out of step is the South African African National Congress (ANC) government firstly with its African Union comrades, where more and more African states are warming towards Israel, but more importantly with its partners in BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China), all of which have strong relations with the Jewish state? Who is the odd man out? The ANC finds great solace in burying its head in the sand.

Both the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have established formal diplomatic relations with Israel. The latest to reach an agreement is Sudan, one of the largest countries in Africa and a country that was technically at war with Israel. Sudan is a real signal to the ANC to reassess its stand on Israel. If, indeed, it wanted to repay an old debt, that debt should be to assist the Palestinians to establish their long-sought-after homeland, and help to cement the Oslo Accords with the aim of establishing a two-state solution.

Does the ANC really want to play any meaningful role in establishing a safe, viable state for its Palestinian friends and ending the long-sought-after occupation? There seems to be a realistic approach amongst many Arab states in the region to shed the obstinate narrative of not allowing a Jewish homeland in their neighbourhood, to recognise the benefits of peace, and as an off-spin from that peace, to partner in the technological advancement of the start-up nation.

It’s not just about technology. It’s about the stability of the entire region, which would benefit exponentially from co-operation with Israel.

Surely even the most obstinate cadre in the ANC must understand that instead of its continued hostility to Israel, the best way to support its Palestinian friends would be to encourage these recent developments instead of criticising them? Many in the ANC have long accused Israel of human-rights abuses, yet at the same time not only supported Omar al-Bashir, the wanted criminal leader of Sudan, but gave him refuge on a visit to South Africa.

It’s indeed unfortunate that the ANC is still so out of step with a world that supports stabilising such a volatile region. For an ANC so mired in its own catastrophic cycle of corruption, ineptitude, and maladministration, open hostility to Israel will deflect from the real problems it fails to confront.

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