OPINION

Ramaphosa's remarks on Israel encouraging - BDS

Organisation says it looks forward to swift implementation of embassy downgrade

Activists welcome ANC NEC January 8th statement delivered by Cyril Ramaphosa

13 January 2018

The human rights and Palestine solidarity organization BDS South Africa welcomes President Cyril Ramaphosa’s first January 8th Statement. As is customary he delivered the NEC statement at the annual ANC birthday celebrations.

We welcome Ramaphosa and the ANC NEC’s commitment to ensure that ANC conference resolutions are implemented and in particular we welcome the paragraph on Palestine: 

“The ANC reaffirms its commitment to give practical support to the oppressed people of Palestine and we are of the firm view that the downgrade of the South African embassy in Israel to a Liaison Office would help to send a strong signal in this regard.” 

The ANC’s January 8th event and statement provides the ANC, South Africa’s governing party, with a roadmap for the year ahead. With this in mind we look forward to the swift implementation of the national conference resolution which was adopted unanimously at the recent 54th National Conference and now reiterated in today’s statement - for the immediate and unconditional downgrade of the SA Embassy in Israel. 

It is fitting that the downgrade resolution was adopted in 2017, the year that Oliver Tambo would have turned 100, and will be implemented in 2018 the year Nelson Mandela would have turned 100. As Mandela has famously said: “our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinian people”.

Finally, given Israel’s recent “blacklist” of BDS South Africa and it’s membership, who are South African citizens, we will be engaging with the ANC to propose the imposition of stricter visa regulations for Israelis including barring access to Israeli settlers as per the 2004 Non Aligned Movement resolution.

Statement issued by BDS South Africa, 13 January 2018