PRESS STATEMENT: Senior ANC member Cde. Ebrahim Ebrahim on why he back the immediate and unconditional downgrade of SA Embassy in Israel

17 December 2017

The most senior member of the ANC International Relations Sub-Committee, Member of Parliament, Parliamentary Counsellor to the President and former South African Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Comrade Ebrahim Ebrahim, says that at the upcoming International Relations Commission he will be backing the resolution by ANC branches for the immediate and unconditional downgrade of the SA Embassy in Israel to a liaison office. The resolution is meant is to send a clear message to Israel that its violations of international law are unacceptable.

Ebrahim, who has served on the ANC’s NEC since 1992, also condemned as “mischievous and misleading” an advert produced by the Israeli lobby falsely claiming that he does not support the downgrade of the SA Embassy in Israel (because it will allegedly hurt the Palestinians). Ebrahim, speaking to the South African radio station, Salaam Media, rebuked the advert saying “it’s a very mischievous advert trying to mislead people … everybody knows me and the stance of my organisation the African National Congress.”

Ebrahim further dismissed the pro-Israel argument (that it will hurt Palestinians) explaining that he recently met with envoy of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Dr Nabil Shaath, who said that “when Venezuela [for example] shut down their embassy in Israel, they were not asked to shut down their embassy in Ramallah”.

He explained that Dr Shaath’s view was that “the international community should take a stand to show its condemnation and its displeasure as to what the Israelis are doing and one of the ways he felt is to downgrade the embassy [in Israel]”.

We join ANC branches and delegates in welcoming Comrade Ebrahim Ebrahim’s support for the downgrade of the SA Embassy in Israel.

We, however, strongly condemn the “misleading” and “mischievous” advert that the Israeli lobby have been promoting on social media using, without his permission, the name of Comrade Ebie.

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The Israeli lobby’s “misleading and mischievous” advert on Comrade Ebie forms part of a larger social media campaign. Nicci Raz, the national director of the Israeli lobby group, the SAZF, has admitted that it is deliberately using (without permission) the colours of the ANC (yellow, green and black). Raz has also said, in a Jerusalem Post article, that the posters and social media campaign  is “just one of the strategies” in their “fight to prevent this decision” by the ANC.

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We wish the ANC well in its elective conference and look forward to outcomes of the deliberations.

Click here for the full interview with Ebrahim Ebrahim on Salaam Media.

Click here for an interview with envoy of Palestinian President, Dr Nabil Shaath, on the immediate and unconditional downgrade of the SA Embassy in Israel.


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