Thursday, May 06, 2010

Iqbal Jassat: "South Africa Must End Relations with Apartheid Israel"

"South African Deputy Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Ebrahim Ebrahim's visit to Gaza will undoubtedly be characterized with the usual denunciations of Israeli policies. That this is to be expected is in line with foreign policy imperatives in a post-apartheid era, though many would argue that such pronouncements – necessary as they are – fall short of action.

Since the period of the apartheid regime’s close alliance with Israel witnessed overt and covert collaboration in the perpetration of some of the most gruesome oppression in both pariah states, it remains an unfulfilled yearning of many pro-Palestinian activists to have these links severed, which unfortunately continue to this day.

Though the argument for democratic South Africa to ditch ties with Israel is also made by leading political figures from the country’s major labour movement COSATU, it remains an embarrassing fact that the ruling African National Congress keeps finding dubious reasons to justify the presence of an Israeli mission in Pretoria.

Does it reflect a dire lack of transformation in foreign policy?

Or worse, does it reflect a betrayal of solidarity with Palestine? Or is it a combination of both?

Is it not the case that historic ties with the Palestinian freedom struggle ought to be the principal guide in determining the basis for any engagement with a colonial entity that was equally responsible in sustaining the oppression and denial of fundamental human rights of the majority during apartheid? ..."
Read the rest of this Palestine Chronicle article here.

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