Freedom Front Plus
Freedom Front Plus

ANC isolates South Africa with foreign policy stuck in its ideological past

(Parliamentary Budget Vote Debate: International Relations and Cooperation)

The ANC government is increasingly isolating South Africa with a foreign policy desperately clinging to the ANC's ideological struggle past.

With regard to the Middle East, the 2011 White Paper with the theme "Building a Better World: The Diplomacy of Ubuntu" undertook to prioritise the complex regional dynamics in the area in South Africa's foreign policy. It did not happen.

During former President Nelson Mandela's term in office, a neutral position on the situation was advocated. This changed as the ANC tightened its ideological stranglehold on foreign policy.

There has been a gradual shift away from a policy prioritising human rights to one where the ANC's struggle partners have begun to take precedence – people like Fidel Castro, Yasser Arafat, Muammar Gaddafi and others.

Meanwhile, South Africa's favouring of Palestine has become irrelevant.

The world has moved on from a simplistic two-state solution where Palestine was seen as the victim and Israel the aggressor.

The Abraham Accords, which were signed on 13 August 2020 by Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), America and Bahrain, were indicative of this new attitude.

It made it abundantly clear that the Arab world had moved on from Palestine and the conflicts in which it got them involved.

The South African government responded by taking note "with concern" of the improved relations between Israel and the UAE.

The notion held in some circles that South Africa can act as a mediator in international disputes is clearly just a fantasy of people who still believe the government occupies the moral high ground after the 1994 settlement.

This moral high ground was lost through rash conduct, such as the incident in November 2021 when the government wanted to prohibit the newly elected Miss South Africa, Lalela Mswane, from taking part in the Miss Universe Competition in Israel.

What other government would publicly take on its very own beauty queen and then go on to lose the fight? And to add insult to injury, Mrs Mswane placed third.

Meanwhile, Israel had arranged a meeting with the foreign ministers of the Arab League, which was also attended by their American peer.

Palestine lamented that the meeting had been a severe attack on them. No-one took any notice of it, on the contrary, the involved parties decided to meet regularly from now on.

Israel's GDP per capita already exceeds that of the European Union (EU), which makes it by far the strongest and most successful country in the entire Middle East.

Has the South African government taken note of this at all?

The ANC made a huge mistake in allowing the BDS to determine its foreign policy toward Israel.

It is also in conflict with the decision by the African Union to grant observer status to Israel, regardless of South Africa's objections.

In the process, the ANC government is painting itself into a corner.

In two years' time, South Africa will once again take its rightful place on the international stage under the guidance of a multiparty coalition government. The country and its people deserve better than the ANC.



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