WJC condemns ANC decision to downgrade South African Embassy in Israel

South Africa's ruling party, the African National Congress, on Wednesday night, passed a resolution calling to downgrade the status of its Tel Aviv embassy to a "liaison office" in a move of "solidarity" with "the oppressed people of Palestine".

According to reports by Al Jazeera, "more than 80 Palestinians have been injured in fresh protests across the West Bank, two weeks after US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, according to the Red Crescent".

Palestinian ambassador to South Africa, Hashem Dajani, called the move "an important decision", and added that he hoped other governments around the world would follow suit.

"[It] sends a clear message to Israel that there is a price to pay for its human rights abuses and violations of global law", the ANC said in a statement.

Applauded by Hamas, the ANC has approved a resolution to downgrade the country's embassy in Israel. There is generally anger across the board about land, no one who lives in South Africa can deny that fact. "A downgrade will negatively affect the South African economy by jeopardizing (to name but a few) trade, tourism, access to hi tech and water technology", the groups said.

"South African Jews feel betrayed by the liberation movement of the ANC structures and are deeply disappointed that they were persuaded by those with obsession to vilify the Jewish state", the statement concluded.

The ANC had taken a unanimous decision was taken to support the Palestinian cause.

South Africa's ministry for worldwide relations and cooperation said on its website that it was deeply concerned about Trump's move as it would undermine Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking, which has been frozen since 2014.

"We said we would buy it when we have money without benefiting the speculators", he said.

  • Eleanor Harrison