South Africa to "immediately and unconditionally" downgrade Embassy in Israel

President of the African National Congress Cyril Ramaphosa with Paul Mashatile and spokesman Zizi Kodwa address the media at the Nasrec Expo Centre where the 54th National Conference of the ruling party is taking place in Johannesburg South Af

The African National Congress (ANC), the ruling party in South Africa, decided on Wednesday to downsize its embassy in Israel to a liaison office, in response to the American government's controversial policy changes in the country.

After the USA veto, the United Nations General Assembly is now set to vote for or against the withdrawal of Trump's recognition of Jerusalem in an "emergency meeting" on Thursday.

"Delegates endorsed the proposal that we must give the support to the oppressed people of Palestine and resolve on an immediate and unconditional downgrade of the South African embassy to a liaison office", he said.

"[It] sends a clear message to Israel that there is a price to pay for its human rights abuses and violations of global law", the ANC said in a statement. Moreover it relieves South Africa of any credible ability to play a role in brokering peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. "Why, one wonders, would they choose to send a message to the Jews of their country that they support an organization that states very clearly in its charter that it seeks the death of Jews?"


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.

"A downgrade will negatively affect the South African economy by jeopardising (to name but a few) trade, tourism, access to hi tech and water technology", and also says that the move works against "social cohesion". During the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, Ramaphosa rejected a demand to close the Tel Aviv embassy.

"These procedures do also help in the extremist organisations to wage a religious war that would harm the entire region, which is going through critical moments and would lead us into wars that will never end, which we have warned about and always urged to fight against", Palestine's president, Mahmoud Abbas, said in a televised address following the U.S. announcement, according to a CNN report.

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