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Israel Embassy closes after Parliamentary Vote

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By Loushe Jordaan Gilbert

In what is deemed as a small victory, Parliamentarians voted in of a motion to close the Israeli Embassy in the capital Pretoria and suspend diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv.

Speaking on VOC Breakfast on Wednesday morning Dr Firoz Osman, Executive Member of the Media Review Network said the motion marks a historic moment in democracy and can be described as a new dawn for the South African Foreign Policy.

“We have been advocating for this motion for more than 30 years because Israel is an Apartheid state, what is sad is that it took a genocide on Palestine for us to even consider or vote for the motion to be passed, “he added.

Osman said the motion was introduced by the third-largest opposition party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and was debated in the National Assembly, with 248 lawmakers voting in favour, while 91 opposed it.

“Those who voted in favour of the motion, they essentially voted for justice to prevail and they voted for an end of the inhumane conditions the people of Palestine find themselves in. The few that voted against the motion, you voted for the continuation of the Apartheid regime, you voted for the genocide and decolonisation that has been ongoing for more than seven decades to in fact continue and that is very sad,” he stressed.

When asked if the suspension of diplomatic ties between South Africa and Israel will mean that South Africa is cutting all ties with Israel, Osman said it’s up to the people and society to place the necessary pressure on government to bring about change.

“We need to place pressure on the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), to make this a permanent arrangement unless Israel comes forward and calls for a ceasefire. We can no longer just accept things, we need to do all we can to make sure that we as the people are taken seriously in terms of our stance on certain things, more so the challenges that is faced by the people of Palestine,” he stressed.

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