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November 1, 2013 5:46 pm

South African Ministers ‘Do Not Visit Israel,’ Foreign Minister Says

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South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. Photo: State Department.

JNS.org South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said that her government’s ministers do not visit Israel out of solidarity with the Palestinian cause.

“Ministers of South Africa do not visit Israel currently. Even the Jewish Board of Deputies that we engage with here, they know why our ministers are not going to Israel,” Nkoana-Mashabane, who is a member of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), said at a South African trade union meeting, South Africa’s The Times reported.

“Our Palestinian friends have never asked us to disengage with Israel [through cutting diplomatic relations]. They had asked us in formal meetings to not engage with the regime. We have agreed to slow down and curtail senior leadership contact with that regime until things begin to look better,” she said.

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Nkoana-Mashabane added that she felt solidarity with the Palestinians, saying, “The struggle of the people of Palestine is our struggle.”

Israel and South Africa have recently had increasingly strained relations. This trend differs from other Sub-Saharan African nations who have sought out Israel’s economic, humanitarian, and high-tech expertise. Some prominent South African figures such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu or powerful South African trade unions have been very critical of Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians.

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  • Ayo bread

    Stop attack on israel and there would be no need for counterstrike. Hamas knows he cant destroy Israel, not even seriously harm it. So whats the point in putting danger on Palestinians? Does Hamas really hates Palestinians so much? Hamas should stop attack Israel and there would be a peace in region. But Im pretty sure that Hamas cares more about own power and hate.Palestian life has no value for them.Imagine them asking palestinians to go ontop of the roof of their houses to die from missiles while they hide in underground bunkers with their families and mistresses drinking red wine.More than 800 missiles have struck Israel during the conflict, but with only one Israeli deaths. Ah ha, if no Israelis were killed by a large scale 800 missile Hamas offensive, israel should be thankful and sit quietly waiting for some deaths to materialize before defending herself?.Palestinians are mere cry babies.i honestly feel for the children caught up in all these mess created by their parents.However it will be turning logic on its head to expect Israel not to respond fire for fire when its citizens are attacked.wait a minute,do some expect Israel soldiers to stroll into gaza and hand pick Hama fighters shooting rockets.Those guys are ready to die,and also ready to take along even their loved ones ,or how else would you explain a man using schools hospitals and children play grounds including residential area as launch pads into Israel.They have no love for their people hence decide to use them as bullet proof and canon folders.Hamas fighters are their uncles fathers and brothers.My stomach gets turned by the hypocrisy on Tv when they showcase bodies of dead children and the elderly an never acknowledge their properties been use as a command and control centers.

  • Yoni

    Just to elaborate on what Joe was saying about Israel being a free state and every individual , regardless of their religion, receives equal rights. This is 100% correct, and to suggest otherwise is ludicrous and perhaps indicative of complete ignorance regarding a) the situation as it stands in Israel and b) the current situation in many of the neighboring “democratic” Islam countries.

    There is no need to dwell on the point every Israeli citizen, Arab and Jew alike, is treated equally. This is a fact and not up for debate. What is not clear however, and what people generally don’t seem to understand, is that there are certain cities and locations in Israel that were handed over to the Arabs and are now officially no longer part of Israel. Gazza is a perfect example of this. It has its own government and is run independently by the Islamic organization , Hamas. Hamas gained their position as a result of a democratic election- the Israeli government was not involved. The point I am making is that there are certain individuals who claim that people living in these areas are treated unfairly and live a relatively impoverished lifestyle. Whether or not that is true is separate discussion. The point is, these locations are not part of the Israeli state and therefore have their own laws, own legislation and own human rights. To say that Arabs living on gazza are not given the same rights as Jews in Israel, is completely illogical. The Israeli government has no say regarding the rules in these particular places. And that brings us back to my first point; there is absolutely no discrimination against race or religion in Israel.

    Another point I’d like to make, something that neutral observers are either not aware of, or they simply dismiss is the attitude that the neighboring Arab countries have towards Jews and beyond that, the way the citizens of those countries are treated. There are certain Arab countries that do not allow Jews to set foot in, never mind receive equal citizenship. Why does the world not notice that? That epitomizes religious prejudice and inequality, yet the world still sides with those nations. It’s completely bazzare. And the irony is, Israel is the country being accused of using “apartheid” methods. On what grounds??
    Something else worth noting is the way the Arab people are treated in their own countries. There are constantly cases of husbands abusing their wives. This is as result of living in a male dominant society. If you delve into the matter further, it is clear woman do not have the same rights as men. Equality? Not according to my dictionary. How can one preach about there not being equal rights for Arabs in Israel when there are no equal rights between Arabs in their OWN countries? It’s ridiculous and completely beyond me.

    Israel is a peaceful nation. One that has astronomically contributed to global improvement in general. The world needs Israel. We need the support of the world.
    Netanyahu once said “if the Arabs put down their weapons there will be no war. If we put down our weapons, there will be no Israel.”

  • Ana Freiberg

    So sorry ! It is pathetic ! So easy to portray oneself as identifying with the victim instead of helping ” the so called victim ” to recognize the trap that it’s leaders have set up for them . South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane is choosing ignorance and manipulation. What a pity for the ! people

  • Alter

    Much like Latinos, most South Africans have the same tribal blood of palestinians, so what do you expect?

    • Bede A.

      How ignorant???

  • EG

    Ignorant, antisemitic hater. If the palestinians were running around Soweto they’d be raping and murdering this woman’s friends and relatives — amd she’d probably still blame Israel

    The only thing she has in common with palestine is her vicitm-mentality.

    Get some therapy, sister.

  • David Ismael

    First of all, our Ministers in our South African Government, led by a dumb President, probably have no clue where Israel is. Our present SA government is a disaster, a corrupt “deserve it all attitude and you owe me” thinking mentality type government, that pretends to look out for the people of our country.
    The laughable thing is that they will be so sadly voted back in again.
    Its great they are now called the National Congress.

  • Joe Weis

    First, the country name that you’r saying you do not visit is Israel.

    Second, just to get you informed, Arabs in Israel (Muslims, Christians, Druz, others…) are FULLY equal citizens, they have Parliament Members, Judges (the one that sentenced our president to jail is an Arab muslim judge), doctors (who treats every body). They get full and equal access or participation in all the state health, education, economy, law etc, services and organisations.

    So, you see distinguished Minister, we have nothing against muslims, or any other race, gender or skin color, we love human beings. What we have problem with is with people who hate us, kill us, people who would do EVERY THING. So, “poor” Palestinians refuses for decades to make peace with us, more than that, during the peace process in 1993, when Israel gave the land to the Palestinians, they started to bomb School Busses with kids, restaurants, hotels, dance clubs. When we gave all of Gaza to them they start firing missiles of civil towns.

    Dear distinguished Minister, get educated about the region, get your facts right, but if you just hate Jews, Israelis or white people, please don’t use excuses, just say so.

    And finally, whether you read it in the Bible, or in History books, or followed archaeological findings in this region, there NEVER was a state named Palestine in this region, but there was ALWAYS a state named Israel.

    • Bede A.

      How funny Joe Weis draws a line between black and white… considers Israelites to be “white”… I often don’t even hear from a “white” European, such a comment, as saying Africans are black and Europeans are white, etc., which is not acceptable among politically correct people in Europe. How can South Africans not visiting Israel but supporting Palastine, be a like/dislike theory between blacks and white?? So you are implying that Palastines are black too as S.Africans like blacks and hates white? And you are implying Jews to be white and Palastenians to be black?? Are you color-blind?
      By the way, ask any European, if Israelites are “White People”? You might be shocked to learn that nobody considers Israelites white… Are you going crazier by the day??

    • Yoni

      Well said!

      Just to elaborate on what you were saying about Israel being a free state and every individual , regardless of their religion, receives equal rights. This is 100% correct, and to suggest otherwise is ludicrous and perhaps indicative of complete ignorance regarding a) the situation as it stands in Israel and b) the current situation in many of the neighboring “democratic” Islam countries.

      There is no need to dwell on the point every Israeli citizen, Arab and Jew alike, is treated equally. This is a fact and not up for debate. What is not clear however, and what people generally don’t seem to understand, is that there are certain cities and locations in Israel that were handed over to the Arabs and are now officially no longer part of Israel. Gazza is a perfect example of this. It has its own government and is run independently by the Islamic organization , Hamas. Hamas gained their position as a result of a democratic election- the Israeli government was not involved. The point I am making is that there are certain individuals who claim that people living in these areas are treated unfairly and live a relatively impoverished lifestyle. Whether or not that is true is separate discussion. The point is, these locations are not part of the Israeli state and therefore have their own laws, own legislation and own human rights. To say that Arabs living on gazza are not given the same rights as Jews in Israel, is completely illogical. The Israeli government has no say regarding the rules in these particular places. And that brings us back to my first point; there is absolutely no discrimination against race or religion in Israel.

      Another point I’d like to make, something that neutral observers are either not aware of, or they simply dismiss is the attitude that the neighboring Arab countries have towards Jews and beyond that, the way the citizens of those countries are treated. There are certain Arab countries that do not allow Jews to set foot in, never mind receive equal citizenship. Why does the world not notice that? That epitomizes religious prejudice and inequality, yet the world still sides with those nations. It’s completely bazzare. And the irony is, Israel is the country being accused of using “apartheid” methods. On what grounds??
      Something else worth noting is the way the Arab people are treated in their own countries. There are constantly cases of husbands abusing their wives. This is as result of living in a male dominant society. If you delve into the matter further, it is clear woman do not have the same rights as men. Equality? Not according to my dictionary. How can one preach about there not being equal rights for Arabs in Israel when there are no equal rights between Arabs in their OWN countries? It’s ridiculous and completely beyond me.

      Israel is a peaceful nation. One that has astronomically contributed to global improvement in general. The world needs Israel. We need the support of the world.
      Netanyahu once said “if the Arabs put down their weapons there will be no war. If we put down our weapons, there will be no Israel.”

  • The only reason why black South African leaders are friends of the Palestinians is because the Arabs in general sided with the SA liberation movement against the whites

    Otherwise it makes no sense since the Palestinian movement is rooted in Arab Islam who consider Africans as inferior beings whom they still call ABEED meaning SLAVES.

    Moreover as Muslims, they look upon Christian, pagan and any other African belief system that is not Islamic as Unbelievers/ Kuffar/ Infidels and hence ENEMIES of Islam to be subjugated, converted or exterminated

    Tragically, these black leaders have not read let alone studied Muhammad’s Quran and truly think that they are supporting the Palestinian underdog when if fact and reality they are aiding and abetting the very people who intend to destroy them

    Unfortunately, Africans are not the only ones who are deceiving themselves because almost the entirety of European leaders also bury their heads in the sand

    IQ al Rassooli
    Kafir & Proud!

    • Sonia Willats

      Truth, well-spoken, Mr Rassool! Those who promote the hatred of Israel, like rebel-without-a-cause Desmond Tutu, need to be confronted with the truth to stop stirring up hatred against Israel. There is NO PARALLEL BETWEEN APARTHEID AND THE “REGIME” IN ISRAEL. I have lived under both. I hated apartheid. I love Israel. The myth promoted by Desmond Tutu and his affiliates should be tackled by the Church of England, whom he claims to represent.

    • Alan Kennedy

      try explaining that to a relatively uneducated ANC sycophant

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