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Pandor’s response entirely predictable



The reaction of Naledi Pandor, the South African minister of international relations and cooperation (DIRCO), to the recent developments in the Gulf, Sudan, and Israel was wholly predictable.

Together with her whole African National Congress (ANC) government, she has chosen to bury her head in the sand rather than capitalise on these events that, in reality, must surely pave the way to a peace negotiation resulting in a two-state solution, something that DIRCO has supported.

With a host of other Middle Eastern and African States warming to and on the cusp of normalising diplomatic relations with Israel, the odd man out is the country that could benefit most by a change of attitude, but chooses rather to hold its obstinate, antiquated world view. No, the ANC believes that its foreign-relations dividend will come from greater ties with the likes of Cuba and Venezuela, two of the “most progressive” political systems that the ANC aspires to emulate.

The Palestinians are more and more isolated by their sponsors and traditional supporters due to their intransigence and not seizing the opportunity to get the Oslo Accord back on track, forging the way to their independence and an end to the dreaded occupation. But in reality, their thinking over these past years is that occupation brings them world support and the currency with which to malign Israel.

Surely even the most inflexible – or even blind – can see how these recent events in the region could act as a catalyst to achieve their goal of independence. Or is that, in truth, their real goal? An accommodation or full peace deal with Israel would mean that they could no longer lobby for the demise of the Jewish state. Worse still, independence might precipitate the need for elections, something that hasn’t happened in that territory since 2006.

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