The South African government’s decision to withdraw its diplomats from Israel for “consultations” is just a smokescreen for South Africa to send the message to Israel that it might sever its diplomatic ties with the country.
Such a step would be extremely detrimental to South Africa. There are currently strong economic ties between South Africa and Israel.
In addition, the Jewish community in South Africa makes a valuable contribution to the country’s economy through establishing businesses which create many job opportunities for all South Africans.
Government should, therefore, carefully cherish its diplomatic ties with Israel. Severing those ties could result in the loss of thousands of job opportunities.
The reality is that such a step will have very little impact on Israel, but it will cost South Africa dearly. It would not be in South Africa’s best interests.
It would also serve to reaffirm the impression among Western countries that the ANC government is increasingly siding with sordid states, at the expense of the West.
With Russia’s attack on Ukraine, government said that it would maintain a neutral stance as regards conflict between other countries. In this case, however, it is clearly choosing sides.
The West owes the ANC absolutely nothing and these constant snubs will not go unnoticed by the Western centres of power. Government needs to realise that.