Sharp Divisions Emerge Among Political Factions Regarding South Africa’s Diplomatic Relationship with Israel Amidst Gaza Crisis

Acornhoek, South Africa

In a tense and polarized debate within the political landscape, conflicting opinions persist on whether South Africa should sever diplomatic ties with Israel in light of the substantial loss of Palestinian lives in Gaza.

The leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Julius Malema, introduced a motion during a mini-plenary session of the National Assembly, emphasizing that the proposed expulsion of the Israeli ambassador is not an affront to the Jewish community. Instead, it is a stern stance against the actions of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the perceived transgressions against the human rights of Palestinians.

However, at least four other opposition parties voiced dissent, contending that cutting diplomatic ties may not be a judicious strategy for fostering peace.

Julius Malema, reiterating his position, asserted that the government must vehemently oppose all forms of racism and sever connections with Israel until it adheres to international law.

“We unequivocally reject the presence of the Israeli embassy in South Africa. It must depart, and it must do so promptly. No justice, no peace,” declared Malema.

Contrary to the EFF’s standpoint, the Democratic Alliance (DA), Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), and Freedom Front Plus expressed disagreement.

Mkhuleko Hlengwa of the IFP remarked, “Recalling or expelling ambassadors is tantamount to evading responsibility. Such actions amount to regressive diplomacy.”

Corne Mulder of the Freedom Front Plus argued, “South Africa would forfeit any opportunity to play a constructive and positive role in mediating or resolving the conflict by severing ties.”

The fate of the EFF’s motion hangs in the balance as a comprehensive vote is scheduled during the upcoming full session of the House next week.