Maimane with Israel's Netanyahu: Walking on the wrong side of history and country
Thursday, 12 January 2017
The African National Congress [ANC] in the Western Cape is revolted by how the Democratic Alliance [DA] is hell-bent on returning our country to the days of apartheid by promoting relations with countries that supported the apartheid of the National Party.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane, joined by other senior DA members of his party and members of the pro-Israeli lobby in South Africa are currently visiting Israel in violation of the call by indigenous Palestinians and progressive Israelis to boycott, divest and impose sanctions against Israel until it complies with international law. The ANC declared in our recent January 8 statement that we firmly discourage travel to Israel, while DA does the opposite.
Its disturbing that the DA are having bilateral meetings with countries that supported the National Party in sustaining the Apartheid regime rule of institutionalized racial segregation and discrimination. The decision by the DA to visit Israel, and last month Taiwan, is a direct insult to progressive civil society. The DA is undermining the collective efforts of those that fought for liberation of this country and the countless men and women who formed part of the international solidarity struggle.
Israel cannot continue to act like the law is a mere suggestion and that Palestinians exist at their discretion through the continued restriction of movement, arbitrary arrests, confiscation of land, theft of natural resources and the denial of right to life of Palestinians. Israel cannot act with utter impunity aided by the likes of the DA.
The citizens of the Western Cape are clear on Palestine but the elected leadership of the DA defies them and supports Israel.
Last month new Tshwane mayor, Solly Msimang, visited Taiwan. This is a clear violation of the ‘One China’ policy of the Republic of South Africa. The current policy position of the South African government to Israel is to curtail relations with Israel and to discourage travel.
Maimane met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this is a serious breach of protocols governing inter-state relations. Netanyahu accorded Maimane an official status by receiving him at the seat of the Israeli government with the South African flag behind him yet he's not an official of the government.
In terms of the principle of the separation of powers, which Israel also subscribes to, as well as that of reciprocity, an opposition leader should have been received by corresponding counterparts in other countries (namely, leaders of politically parties) not the head of a State. It is a provocative act on the part of both Netanyhahi and Maimane who are using the visit to thumb the nose of the governing party, and create an alternative foreign policy platform vis a vis the Palestinian question.
This event is a further indication after the Tshwane Mayor's visit to Taiwan that demonstrates the opposition's determination to engage in parallel diplomacy. The DA, it would seem, has become emboldened to challenge the authority of the national governing party as the sole custodian of SA's foreign policy. The DA is already attempting to foster relations and partnerships with Israel, undermining South Africa and abusing the electorate.
A policy of human rights and internationalism which the ANC has long defended but which is now at stake including our relations with Palestine, Cuba, Western Sahara and other oppressed peoples. Our policy is at stake of being violated by the DA and its white monopoly capital funders.
While the DA claims to be neutral, being neutral during injustice is to side with the oppressor, the DA far from neutral! The DA are openly on the side of Israel. Flying thousands of miles to take photos with Israel's prime minister.
The ANC will remain steadfast in its support of the Palestinian struggle against Israeli Apartheid. As the majority party we invite fellow South Africans to join us in the upcoming Israeli Apartheid Week campaign and other initiatives such as the BDS. The ANC in the Western Cape will engage and work with civil society, community leaders and activists in responding to this latest DA-Israeli provocation - we will not allow this to go unchallenged!
Statement issued by ANC Western Cape Provincial Secretary, Faiez Jacobs, 12 January 2017