Cutting diplomatic ties will have dire consequences

Issued by Emma Louise Powell MP – DA Shadow Minister of International Relations and Cooperation
21 Nov 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Emma Louise Powell MP

The African National Congress (ANC) decision to vote in favour of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) motion to sever diplomatic ties with Israel will have dire consequences for South Africans trapped in the region.

By withdrawing diplomats from Tel Aviv, our government has left more than 25 000 South African citizens to fend for themselves in a war zone, without access to emergency consular services.

Given that the South African Embassy in Ramallah is entirely dependent on our mission in Tel Aviv, South Africans in the State of Palestine now have no access to consular services, either.

Voting 248 in favour of the EFF’s motion, the ANC have rendered our own citizens entirely trapped, with no way of accessing diplomatic assistance from their government.

Where civilian casualties occur, families will have no available channels through which to arrange repatriation of remains in line with traditional and religious rites.

Citizens will now have to travel to Jordan or Egypt, at great cost, in order to access emergency services from our government. The poorest of our citizens who cannot afford to travel into neighbouring countries, will remain trapped and voiceless.

The ANC’s decision is of no consequence to either Israel or Hamas.

Rather, it simply exacerbates the plight of ordinary South Africans trapped in the region.

Furthermore, severing diplomatic ties with Israel, and by extension, Ramallah, now means that South Africa has no ability to influence the trajectory and outcomes of the current crisis in the region.

If the ANC were serious about building lasting peace in the Middle East, it would remain at the negotiating table, not abandon it.

It is clear that the ANC has one single priority: scoring cheap political points at the expense of the very real victims of this abhorrent war.

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