By Ebrahim Moosa
The DA’s executive mayor of Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba, has met with the new Israeli Ambassador to South Africa and a visiting Israeli parliamentary delegation.
The Ambassador, Lior Keinan, tweeted about the meeting on Wednesday, stating its purpose as being “to discuss joint challenges & opportunities”.
Keinan took over the reins at the Israeli embassy in Pretoria this month after predecessor Arthur Lenk completed his tenure.
Earlier, it was reported that ANC-led parliament snubbed a request to meet with a delegation from the Israeli Knesset.
The African National Congress (ANC) caucus said its refusal to meet was over Israel’s continued human rights violations.
Caucus spokesperson Nonceba Mhlauli said the disquiet of Parliament arose, from among other concerns, the Israeli Knesset having passed legislation which retrospectively legalizes settlements into Palestinian territories, thus undermining the two-state solution the South African government supports.
“The continuous killings of Palestinians by the Israeli Security Forces, administrative detentions, deportations and many other human rights violations also form part of the reasons why the ANC cannot allow itself to be co-opted into this charm offensive by Israel through this parliamentary visit.”
Mashaba and Solly Msimanga, both DA mayors, last December held separate meetings with then Israeli ambassador Arthur Lenk which were described as productive.
In January, DA leader Mmusi Maimane, controversially led a high powered delegation to Israel and personally met with its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The party, at that stage, refused to disclose the identity of the organisers of the trip, and its public statements on the visit were found to contain several inconsistencies.[Source: Radio Islam]