Jewish groups accuse government of adding fuel to Israel-Palestinian conflict

todayNovember 17, 2023 65

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The South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) has condemned government’s decision to submit a referral to the International Criminals Court (ICC), calling for an investigation into Israel’s attack on Gaza.

Director of Public Policy at the South African Zionist Federation, Benji Shulman, has once again defended Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, saying it is in line with the International law.

The remarks come after President Cyril Ramaphosa call to the ICC to probe Israel for possible war crimes.

“We join many other countries and organisations in calling upon the ICC to investigate what we see unfolding with our own eyes in Israel. It’s clear that a war crime is under way. We call upon various countries to put pressure on Israel to immediately ceasefire,” Ramaphosa said during his state visit to Qatar on Wednesday.

Pretoria’s decision follows a long list of bold moves by the SA government, expressing solidarity and support for the people of Palestine amid the bloody conflict that’s been described by some as the worst massacre in history.

“As South Africa, we have been advocating that the crisis between Israel and Palestine needs to be resolved in a two-state solution. What is happening in Gaza has now turned it into a concentration camp where genocide is taking place,” said Ramaphosa.

Speaking to YNews, SAZF’s Shulman has questioned South Africa’s decision to approach the ICC, considering that in the past, Pretoria did not uphold a warrant of arrest the International Criminals Court had issued on former Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir.

The SAZF’s sister organisation, the SA Jewish Board of Deputies, says the latest move by government has enflamed the situation in Gaza.

The organisation believes that South Africa’s call for a probe will only drive Israel and Palestine further apart.

SAJBD’s national Director, Wendy Kahn, calls on the President to also call for the release of the Israelis Hamas took hostage on the 7th of October, when the group ambushed Israel – killing more than a thousand people.

South African humanitarian aid group, Gift of the Givers, however, says Israel should be held accountable and pay in the rebuilding of Gaza where thousands have died.

Speaking to YNews, following the death of one of their own in Gaza – Gift of the Givers founder Imtiaaz Sooliman said the organisation also support government’s stance in the matter as well as the EFF’s motion in parliament, which calls for the expulsion of the Israeli Ambassador with immediate effect.


The ANC has also come out in support of the EFF’s motion that was tabled by Julius Malema in the National Assembly.

The governing party also reiterated government’s call for a cease-fire for humanitarian corridors to be fully operational to allow residents to flee areas of hostilities in the northern Gaza Strip.

“Given the unfolding atrocities in occupied Palestine, the African National Congress will agree to a parliamentary motion which calls upon the government to close the Israel Embassy in South Africa and suspend all diplomatic relations with Israel until Israel agrees to a cease-fire and commits to binding UN facilitated negotiations whose outcome must be a just, sustainable and lasting peace.”

Written by: Nokwazi Qumbisa

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