Here is where SA political parties stand on Israel-Hamas conflict
Political parities in parliament shared their views on the Israel-Hamas conflict in the Middle East on Tuesday.
The DA’s Emma Powell said her party stands with both the Palestinians and Israelis who seek a two-state solution.
“We reject any sentiment that seeks to annihilate either Israel or Palestine. We embrace rationality based on peaceful coexistence for a secure Israel and a free Palestine,” she said.
Powell said the DA sought the triumph of rational forces committed to peaceful coexistence “on both sides of this terrible conflict”.
“That is why we stand united in our condemnation of the brutality unleashed on the Israeli people by Hamas on October 7.”
She said the massacre conjured some of the darkest memories of centuries of persecution against the Jewish people.
“We condemn, in the strongest terms, the dehumanisation of any person on the basis of their faith, race, lineage or place of birth.”
Powell said the people of Palestine are not defined by Hamas.
“That is why the DA condemns, in the strongest terms, Israeli radicals like [suspended heritage] minister [Amihai] Eliyahu, who over the weekend threatened the use of nuclear weapons against the people of Palestine.”
She said the DA remained concerned by the escalation of violence and the rising death toll in Gaza and the West Bank.
“[International relations and co-operation] Minister [Naledi] Pandor simply cannot stand at this podium and position the ANC government as an honest advocate for peace. The truth is the ANC has no interest in building peace in the Middle East. They are only interested in provoking and exploiting this conflict.”
Powell accused Pandor of using the conflict for her party’s political gain, saying: “The minister’s recent visit to Iran to meet President [Ebrahim] Raisi, who is actively funding Hamas and whose government has ordered the execution of more than 1,275 of their own citizens since August 2021, has exposed the ANC for the hypocrites they are.”
She said world leaders need to urgently come together and start building conditions for peace.
The EFF’s Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said his party stands with the people of Palestine.
“We are here to take sides in favour of the oppressed, condemn Israel and be clear that it is a murderous apartheid regime engaged in the systematic extermination of Palestinians.”
Ndlozi said Israel was permanently subjecting Palestinians to humiliation.
“Israel has massacred more than 10,000 Palestinians in Gaza under their military assault, killing children, bombing hospitals and schools.”
He said many have been painting Palestinians, who have been responding over a century to Israeli oppressive system, as terrorists.
He said former president Nelson Mandela was labelled a terrorist.
Ndlozi said Israel is fundamentally a terrorist state.
“You can’t be asked in the values of our constitution to side with a racist state.”
He said South Africa should sever ties with Israel because it offends the constitutional values and “any rational thinking of coexisting and peace. We should fire the ambassador of Israel. We cannot be friends with Israel until they establish a society that is in compliance with international law and recognises the right for Palestine to coexist”.
He called for South Africa to cut all ties with Israel.
The IFP’s Mkhuleko Hlengwa said his party has always advocated for the path of non-violence and negotiation and strongly believes a two state solution could provide the peace, justice and stability the Middle East desperately needs.
“Exactly a month ago, on October 7, the fragile peace in the Middle East was tested and shattered when a series of Hamas attacks were carried out against Israel with civilians bearing the brunt of this brutal violence.”
As the violence continues to inflict suffering on innocent civilians and disrupt regional harmony, Hlengwa said “the IFP strongly urges all parties to lay down their arms and engage in meaningful dialogue to find a lasting solution to this protracted crisis”.
He also called for Israel to exercise restraint and commit to a ceasefire and peace process.
Cautioning the government, Hlengwa said: “Recalling or dismissing ambassadors merely amounts to aggressive diplomacy which in turn complicates the negotiations.”
If South Africa was to be a trusted mediator, then all parties must be treated in the same way, said Hlengwa.
Peter Mulder of the FF plus said it has been a month since Hamas fighters attacked civilians in the southern Israel.
“How did the ANC respond? The whole cabinet came out in their scarves and said we support and stand with Palestine with flags in their hands. Not one word of condemnation for Hamas.”
“You have now called our ambassadorial staff from Israel and you have said it’s for consultation purposes to send a message to Israel.”
Calling me a terrorist friend of Hamas is like water off a duck's back because it’s absolutely untrue and an insult of a scoundrel who has run out of ideasInternational relations and cooperation minister Naledi Pandor
The reality of this, said Mulder, is that two US senators have called for the exclusion of SA from the African Growth and Opportunity Act.
He said the ANC was on the wrong side of history.
The ATM’s Vuyolwethu Zungula said his party supported government’s decision to recall its diplomats from Israel.
“This is a crucial step that signifies our nation's commitment to the principles of justice and human rights.”
Zungula said South Africa should stand with the world, just as it stood with the country during apartheid.
Responding, Pandor said she was taught when she young that “insults are the last refuge of a scoundrel”.
“Calling me a terrorist friend of Hamas is like water off a duck's back because it’s absolutely untrue and an insult of a scoundrel who has run out of ideas.”
She said it has been clear government supports a two state solution.
“We believe Israel has a right to exist as a state alongside a state of Palestine. This has been the long-standing view of the ANC before anyone expressed the view on Palestine, so don’t come here and attempt to claim any knowledge.”
Pandor said the rights of Palestinian people were infringed upon on daily.
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