South Africa’s to downgrade embassy in Israel

South Africa’s to downgrade embassy in Israel

President of South Africa Jacob Zuma attends the last day of the NASREC Expo Centre in Johannesburg on December 20, 2017, during the African National Congress (ANC) 54th National Conference (AFP PHOTO / WIKUS DE WET)

South Africa’s ruling party resolved on Wednesday to call on the government to immediately downgrade the country’s embassy in Israel.

During the last days of the African National Congress’ biannual National Conference this week in Johannesburg, the party unanimously passed a resolution to turn the embassy in Ramat Gan into a “liaison office.” However, it is unclear whether the government in Pretoria will implement the decision.

“In order to give our practical expression of support to the oppressed people of Palestine; the ANC has unanimously resolved to direct the SA government to immediately and unconditionally downgrade the South African Embassy in Israel to a Liaison Office,” the resolution passed Wednesday stated.

Pro-Palestinian activists in South Africa celebrated the move, which had been endorsed by senior Palestinian Authority officials.

“This is a huge step in the right direction and a massive gain for the global boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel movement,” BDS South Africa said in a statement. “The ANC, Africa’s oldest liberation movement, which benefited from boycotts and sanctions against Apartheid South Africa, has provided direction and we look forward to others following suit.”

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