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SA responds to ANC call to downgrade embassy

21st December 2017

Dear Community Members
 
A decision was taken at the ANC National Elective Conference to downgrade the South African Embassy in Israel.  This is extremely disappointing.  We felt that the discussion in the International Relations Commission was orchestrated, with members walking in, supporting a downgrade, and leaving.  We have issued a press release (attached) in which we express our feelings of betrayal by the ANC.
 
Our organisations (SAJBD and SAZF) have worked immensely hard over the past few months, engaging with the ANC, government and civil society to express our concerns over the enormous impact that this would have, not only on our community, but also our Christian friends.
 
This is however, not the end of the road.  Despite the ANC’s decision, South Africa continues to have full diplomatic relations with Israel. That situation would only change should the South African government decide to adopt the recommendation as its official policy. We will be engaging closely with government on this issue. 
 
While the announcement was made late last night, we have already been approached by different interest groups who have expressed a willingness in helping us ensure this never becomes government policy.  We assure you that we will do all that we can to ensure that the downgrade does not become a reality.
 
We will endeavour to keep our community updated on any progress that is made.

(Official Statement - click here)
 
Yours sincerely
Shaun Zagnoev and Ben Swartz

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