13 July 2024

Al Qalam Reporter

The Israeli Embassy in South Africa has closed its doors along with other diplomatic missions across the world because the Zionist regime’s Foreign Ministry was facing a $100 million budget shortfall.

This is good news for the South African human rights and Palestine solidarity NGO, BDS South Africa who claimed that their protests campaigns were finally paying off.

BDS-South Africa said in a statement this week that it was joining The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (NEHAWU) and fellow South Africans in celebrating the closure of Israeli diplomatic missions across the world, particularly the Israeli Embassy in Pretoria.

At its 5th plenary session of National Executive Committee [NEC] meeting of the 11th National Congress on the 29th – 30th October, NEHAWU noted the closure of the Israeli embassy in South Africa. “We welcome this and add our voice to those like the BDS who are calling for its permanent closure. Israel must read the writing on the wall: apartheid is expensive and they must end it immediately!”

According to Israel’s Haaretz Newspaper, the Israeli Foreign Ministry earlier this year faced a $100 million budget shortfall which led to several key national events being cancelled among other financial problems. The Israeli newspaper also reported that Israel’s foreign ministry had suffered severe budget cuts in recent years mainly as a result of Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs channeling funds into the battle against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Last year the Israeli government dedicated approximately $72 million towards trying to stop the BDS movement.

Spokesman for BDS-SA, Tisetso Magama, said in a media statement that it was apparent that the primary purpose of Israel’s foreign missions was to promote propaganda for the Israeli regime with no benefit to host countries.

BDS said the news of the closure of the Israel Embassy went virtually unnoticed by the public.

“This is perhaps evident in the fact that few have even noticed the Israeli Embassy’s closure! The Israeli embassy is proving, on its own, that it is indeed insignificant and irrelevant. It is clear that there is no economic or political benefit in having relations with an apartheid state.

“BDS SA considers the closure of Israeli embassies and consulates as evidence that Israel is at war with itself. We are also amused and find it ironic that Israel shifted funds from its running of embassies and other offices to try and stop the BDS boycott of Israel, but now lacks resources to sustain those embassies. The closing of the Israeli embassy in South Africa, until the regime ends its oppression of Palestinians, is one of BDS South Africa’s goals – this recent closure, even if temporary, is a step in the right direction.

Earlier this year South Africa downgraded relations with Israel. The South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation at the time explained: “Our Ambassador (to Israel) is back in South Africa and we will not be replacing him. Our liaison office in Tel Aviv will have no political mandate, no trade mandate and no development cooperation mandate. It will not be responsible for trade and commercial activities…The ANC’s position in relation to Israel is very clear. We have no relations with Israel.”



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