The African National Congress has recommended that the government should immediately and unconditionally downgrade the South African Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel.
The call for the policy change by the highest decision making body of the party follows US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Earlier this month, Trump caused widespread controversy when he announced the US would recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the American embassy to Tel Aviv.
The ANC statement reads, “In order to give our practical expression of support to the oppressed people of Palestine; the ANC has unanimously resolved to direct the SA government to immediately and unconditionally downgrade the South African Embassy in Israel to a Liaison Office.”
“We concur with the PLO leader, General Jibril Rajoub, who was at our conference where he explained that the downgrade of the SA Embassy in Israel will send a clear message to Israel that there is a price to pay for its human rights abuses and violations of international law,” it added.
It described the move as a “practical expression of support to the oppressed people of Palestine”.
Meanwhile, the US President has threatened to cut off financial aid to countries that vote in favour of a draft UN resolution against his decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The UN General Assembly, which consists of 193 members, will hold a rare emergency session on Thursday at the request of Arab and Muslim countries.
Trump’s warning appeared to be mainly aimed at countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America who receive US financial aid.
“For all of these nations that take our money and then they vote against us at the Security Council, or they vote against us, potentially, at the Assembly, they take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars and then they vote against us. Well, we’re watching those votes. Let them vote against us; we’ll save a lot.
“We don’t care. But, this isn’t like it used to be where they could vote against you and you pay them hundreds of millions of dollars and nobody knows what they’re doing. So, Nikki, that was the right message, and you and I agreed to be sent yesterday. And, I’ve had a lot of good comment on it, believe me. People are tired of the United States — the people that live here are great citizens that love this country — they’re tired of this country being taken advantage of and we’re not going to be taken advantage of any longer. Thank you very much. Thank you all very much. Thank you. Appreciate it. Thank you,” Trump stated.