South African Parliament’s Vote To Cut Ties With Israel Suffers Set Back

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South Africa’s largest opposition party and main Jewish representative body have slammed parliament’s decision to cut diplomatic ties with Israel. A majority of lawmakers voted for the motion to close Israel’s embassy in Pretoria because of Israeli actions in Gaza.

During a heated session in South Africa’s parliament on Tuesday, all members of the governing African National Congress – which has a long history of solidarity with the Palestinians — voted in favor of cutting ties with Israel.

Many wore Palestinian scarfs and burst into song after the motion – originally brought by radical opposition party the Economic Freedom Fighters — passed.

The vote is non-binding, but it is now up to the government to decide whether to act on the motion. President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesman, Vincent Magwenya, read a statement

“The president notes and appreciates parliament’s guidance on our diplomatic relations with Israel, particularly with respect to the status of the Israeli Embassy in South Africa,” Magwenya said. “The president and Cabinet are engaged over the matter, which remains the responsibility of the National Executive.”