South Africa's ruling ANC party moves to downgrade ties with Israel

Yasser Arafat and Nelson Mandela in Cairo in 1993

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.

The African National Congress said late Wednesday that delegates to a national party meeting endorsed the proposal to the government for "an immediate and unconditional downgrade" of the embassy in Tel Aviv.

This unprecedented move comes amid severe global backlash following US President Donald Trump's declaration that the US recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Palestine's ambassador to South Africa, Hashem Dajani, welcomed the ANC move describing it as "an important decision".

The ANC said that their move would "send a clear message to Israel that there is a price to pay for its human rights abuses and violations of worldwide law".

Applauded by Hamas, the ANC has approved a resolution to downgrade the country's embassy in Israel. Moreover it relieves South Africa of any credible ability to play a role in brokering peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.

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DIRCO officials, he added, are known to hold sympathetic views towards Israel.

"This downgrade will do nothing for the Palestinian peopleā€š and have a detrimental effect on South Africans".

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has cautioned that plans to nationalise the bank will put the country's economy at risk.

The group continued according to The Times of Israel, "the ANC, Africa's oldest liberation movement, which benefited from boycotts and sanctions against Apartheid South Africa, has provided direction and we look forward to others following suit". It is also a downgrade of support for the local Jewish community and a folded hand on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"This we would not have been able to do if we had curtailed diplomatic relations with the state of Israel", Ramaphosa said.

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