Johannesburg - Ahead of the ruling African National Congress' 54th National Conference, in Gauteng from December 16 to 20, a proposal for the possible downgrading, or complete closure of the South African Embassy in Israel is to be discussed as part of the ANC’s future international policy.
The announcement by US President Donald Trump to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in violation of international law has caused international outrage and many in South Africa have followed suit.
Condemnations from a number of South African organisations have come thick and fast and the prevailing mood could impact on the ANC’s final decision to possibly downgrade the SA embassy in Tel Aviv.
“The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) strongly condemns the reckless and provocative decision by USA President Donald Trump to formally recognise the city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital,” stated a Thursday press release from the trade federation.
“This outrageous decision is further proof of the level of deterioration of the Trump Administration and the American political system as a whole.
“Donald Trump’s decision also violates International Law and should be opposed by all peace loving people,” added Cosatu, which together with the ANC and South African Communist Party, forms the tripartite alliance.
According to Cosatu, Trump’s decision represents “a nail in the coffin to any prospects of a peaceful settlement of the Israeli-Palestine situation and will also act to inflame religious tensions because Jerusalem is a sacred place for Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
“The Americans have lost the little that was left of its moral standing because this decision will embolden the apartheid state of Israel to continue with its backward and barbaric policies against Palestinians,” said Cosatu.
“Palestinians are still subjected to merciless blockades by the Israeli army and still suffer from widespread land and property dispossessions.”
The EFF also weighed in on Thursday.
“The EFF condemns the reactionary US President Donald Trump on his declaration recognising Jerusalem as the capital city of apartheid Israel.
“We join the international community in expressing disgust at this declaration which serves as ground for the total annihilation of Palestine and its people,” read the statement.
“Trump has essentially given license to the project of illegally forced removals that have been taking place in East Jerusalem by Israel. His declaration is also in violation of international law and many UN resolutions regarding a two-state solution,” added the EFF.
The EFF called on the international community, in particular the European Union, to reject Trump's pronouncement and “force Israel to end its illegal occupation of Palestine through boycotts, disinvestments and sanctions.”
The United Ulama Council of South Africa added its voice to the growing chorus of outrage.
Explaining that Trump’s move came as no surprise the Council asserted that America has been an effective partner in Israel’s continued effacement of Palestine from the map of the Middle East.
“The USA was never an honest broker of peace in the Palestinian conflict. If at all, it is America’s biased policy towards occupied Palestine that has contributed to the protraction of the conflict despite several UN resolutions denouncing Israeli aggression,” said the council.
“Trump's declaration legitimises the freedom to operate outside the constraints of international law. The annexation of Jerusalem clearly goes against international law and relevant UN resolutions.”
Chief Mandla Mandela of Mvezo, former President Nelson Mandela's grandson, also slammed Trump’s decision, saying: "Jerusalem will always remain the capital of Palestine”.
“Trump's illegal act of declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel is an act of aggression against the Palestinians and all freedom loving people in the world.”