LETTER: Ramaphosa is fixated on Israel
The president’s demonisation of that country was part of his perverse foreign policy statement
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recent address to the UN General Assembly reinforced our government’s perverse foreign policy agenda to defend despots and decry democracies (“Zelensky tells Ramaphosa the African peace mission is bearing fruit”, September 19).
Ramaphosa’s speech was replete with statements and omissions that placed SA at odds with most democratic nations. He called for a “peaceful resolution of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine”, without recognising it as a war instigated by Russia that has caused thousands of civilian deaths and injuries. Ramaphosa also omitted to mention Russia’s well-documented role in supporting armed conflict on the African continent.
The president called for the lifting of economic sanctions against Cuba but failed to mention the country’s shameful human rights record and absence of democracy. More concerningly, he called for sanctions to be lifted against Zimbabwe, without calling for Zimbabwe to end the cause of sanctions in the first place, namely ongoing human rights abuses, government-instigated political violence, antidemocratic activities and entrenched corruption.
However, Ramaphosa made sure to abuse the platform by reserving his vitriol for one country, and one country alone, out of the 193 UN members, namely Israel. He outrageously blamed Israel for “imperilling” peace with the Palestinians, wilfully ignoring Palestinian determination to prevent peace or recognition of Israel and drive out her Jewish population by waging an ongoing war of terror and violence against civilians. Nor did he acknowledge Israel’s numerous failed attempts to establish and live in peace alongside the Palestinians.
While the UN was abuzz with talk of the normalisation of relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel, Ramaphosa remained fixated on the Middle East of yesteryear, in which the Arab states supported the Palestinians’ primary ambition of destroying Israel. The world has moved on. Ramaphosa and his government need to catch up to remain relevant.
National chair, SA Zionist Federation
JOIN THE DISCUSSION: Send us an email with your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters of more than 300 words will be edited for length. Anonymous correspondence will not be published. Writers should include a daytime telephone number.
Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.