South Africa pressed to cut diplomatic, intelligence ties with Israel

After Venezuela and Bolivia, which last week cut off diplomatic relations with Israel in protest of the Jewish state’s invasion of Gaza, the government of South Africa has come under pressure to do likewise. The powerful Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) urged the governing African National Congress (ANC) to “cease all relations with Israel and close down the Israeli embassy in Pretoria”. The organization also called on the governing party to expel “Israeli security agencies and Mossad” operatives from the country. Although it is unclear whether COSATU’s call will influence South Africa’s official relations with Israel, it will be difficult for the ANC to ignore it completely, especially with Jacob Zuma now at its helm. Many observers suggest that COSATU is gradually regaining its dominant position in the ANC through Zuma’s rise to the presidency, which was largely achieved with the help of COSATU’s grass roots support. If South Africa does sever diplomatic ties with Israel, it will join the entire Middle East, most of North Africa, as well as three Latin American (Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia) and several Asian countries that currently have no diplomatic relations with Israel.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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