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SA Jewish Board commends AU’s decision on Israel

sa jewish board commends aus decision on israel

SA Jewish Board commends AU’s decision on Israel | The Citizen

Citizen Reporter

Louds the decision as bold and far-sighted.  

ANC protest Isreal embassy

ANC supporters protest outside the Israel Embassy in solidarity with the people of Palestine who have been subjected to continuous attacks by the Isreali government, 25 May 2021, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

The SA Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) has applauded the African Union Commission’s (AUC) decision to provide observer status to the State of Israel.  

The board issued a statement commending the AUC’s decision, a contradiction to the South African government that labelled the decision as appalling.

The board’s national chairperson, Shaun Zagnoev, said he was “disappointed by the negative reaction by the South African government which we would have hoped would have embraced this as an opportunity for constructive engagement and dialogue”. 

He said that there was still hope that the government would come to reconsider its position in light of the AUC’s move and make itself part of the “positive new changes” that lay ahead.  

ALSO READ: Israel’s AU observer status unfair and appalling, says ANC

“The SAJBD is committed to a Two State Solution with a viable Palestinian State living in peace alongside the Jewish state of Israel, in line with both the AUC and the SA government.  We reiterate our commitment to working with the AUC in furthering the interests and well-being of Africa and its people,” the board said in a statement.

Faki Mahamat has labelled the AU’s decision as “bold and far-sighted decision”.  

“This move demonstrates the AUC’s commitment to dialogue and bridge-building and has enhanced the potential for engagement between Israel and Africa in many important spheres,” he said.

Meanwhile on Thursday, the South African government reiterated its calls to the AU to revoke the Israeli Observer status it granted to the Middle East.

During a media briefing on Thursday, Acting Minister in Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said that Cabinet reiterated its stance on the “unjust” and “unilateral” decision by the chairperson of the AUC.

“The AU is the legitimate representative of all African member states that should be consulted on such decisions,” said Ntshavheni.

“The AU embodies the aspirations of all Africans and carries the mark of confidence in its leadership of the African peoples. Therefore, it should endeavour to take decisions which are not in conflict with the principles of the AU Charter.”

ALSO READ: SA outraged by AU decision to ‘reward’ Israel with observer status

“The continued occupation of Palestine by Israel remains totally unjust and shameful, and takes away the human rights of Palestinians.”

She said that the unilateral decision follows the recent unjust attacks on innocent Palestinians by the Israelis in East Jerusalem and Gaza.

“Cabinet calls on the AU to reconsider its unilateral decision to grant Israel an observer status in the AU… It remains unequivocally committed to efforts aimed at reviving a political process that would lead to the establishment of a viable Palestinian state, existing side by side in peace with Israel,” said Ntshavheni.


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