WJC condemns ANC decision to downgrade South African Embassy in Israel

December 22, 2017 by J-Wire
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World Jewish Congress CEO and Executive Vice President Robert Singer has strongly condemned the African National Council’s (ANC) endorsement of a resolution to downgrade the South African Embassy in Israel.

Robert Singer

Singer warned that the move would have “negative repercussions for South Africa and simultaneously undermine prospects for advancing peace efforts between Israel and the Palestinians.”

He added: “The World Jewish Congress stands with the South African Jewish community in opposing this decision that is brimming with double standards and dangerous implications. It is wholly disconcerting that the ANC has given in to the political manipulation being driven by forces whose sole and unapologetic interest is to delegitimize the State of Israel.

“This decision amounts to more than just the downgrade of an embassy and the essential strategic and diplomatic ties represented within. It is also a downgrade of support for the local Jewish community and a folded hand on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“This decision will have a negative impact on the Jewish community’s sense of belonging within the fabric of South African society, on political, social, and religious levels, and will limit access for both Christians and Jews to essential religious materials and educational opportunities. Moreover it relieves South Africa of any credible ability to play a role in brokering peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.

“South Africa is seen by the world as a case study in the efficacy of engaging in dialogue and negotiations to resolve even the most seemingly intractable conflicts, a process that is so necessary for Israelis and Palestinians at this time. Pretoria’s disengagement will perpetuate any political impasse and mark a grave departure from its strong and measured diplomatic approach.”

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