Growing calls for South Africa to recall ambassador to Israel

The South African government should recall the country’s ambassador to Tel Aviv in a move that would demonstrate to Israel that it cannot bully African nations into supporting its policies, the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign-South Africa (PSC) has said.

In a statement released on Monday, the PSC called on Zuma’s administration to demonstrate support for Senegal after Israel recalled its ambassador and cut aid to the West African country for co-sponsoring last week’s UN Security Resolution that urged for an end to settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The resolution had been put forward at the council for a vote by New Zealand, Malaysia, Venezuela and Senegal. Israel cut relations with New Zealand as well. It does not have diplomatic relations with Malaysia and Venezuela.

Fourteen out of fifteen states in the UNSC voted to condemn Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. The building of settlements is already illegal under international law.

‘Bullying of a fellow AU state’

“The Palestine Solidarity Campaign-South Africa condemns this bullying of a fellow African state, expresses its support for the Senegalese people and calls on the Senegalese government to remain firm in its commitment to the Palestinian people.

“As the case of Senegal indicates, the purpose of this “aid” is to muscle recipient states to support Israel in whatever ways it wishes,” the statement said.

This is second time since October that there have been calls to recall the South African ambassador to Israel, albeit the circumstances were a little different then.

Writing about the incident at the time, Iqbal Jassat from the Media Review Network (MRN) said “Johannesburg witnessed a bizarre display of overt pro-Israeli bias by South Africa’s ambassador to Israel” when Ngombane seemed to blame Palestinians for the invasion of Gaza.

The PSC on Monday also called on the South African government to ensure Israel does not receive a seat at the AU and for an investigation into all Israeli projects in South Africa.

Featured image: Ihsaan Haffejee