Political parties weigh in on Gaza

As tensions and violence continue to escalate in Gaza, South Africans are showing increasing interest in the region. The DAILY VOX rounds up the response from the country’s leading political parties.

Images of destruction, death and violence have erupted across social media throughout the week-long military offensive led by the Israeli Defence Force against Palestine. On Friday, the South African chapter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS) held a vigil outside the department of international relations, Dirco, in Pretoria, demanding that government expel Israeli ambassador, Arthur Lenk.

As the death toll rises in Gaza, South Africans have called on government to respond to the crisis.  The African National Congress, Democratic Alliance, and Economic Freedom Fighters have responded to these calls, releasing statement on where their parties stand.

The ANC was the first to respond to the attacks in Gaza. In its statement, the ruling party condemns the “barbaric attacks” on Gaza’s “defenceless” citizens. Israel’s regime of apartheid, says the ANC, is linked to the history of South Africa, strengthening the party’s solidarity with Palestine. The ANC has yet to respond to calls for the Israeli ambassador to be expelled. Its solution: organise protests around the country in partnership with BDS.

In comparison to the ANC’s outspoken condemnation of the Israeli attacks, the DA has responded calling for “all parties” to refrain from violence, and “return to peace negotiations”. In a show of diplomacy, the party has not overtly backed either Palestine or Israel. Its solution: a UN-led ceasefire.

On Saturday, the EFF entered the fray. Like the ANC, the party has declared its solidarity with Palestinians, calling on Israel to end its “horrific onslaught”. The EFF also condemned the ANC government for its “lacklustre approach” with regards to the Gaza crisis. Its solution: boycotts, divestment, and sanctions against Israel.

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