Out­rage over Is­rael’s an­nex­a­tion plan, ag­gres­sion

Cape Argus - - FRONT PAGE - SIVIWE FEKETHA

THE Depart­ment of In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions and Co-op­er­a­tion (Dirco) has re­it­er­ated its con­dem­na­tion of Is­rael over its ag­gres­sion against Pales­tine, in­clud­ing its an­nex­a­tion plans set to come into ef­fect to­day.

Is­rael Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu’s con­tro­ver­sial plans to an­nex Pales­tinian ter­ri­to­ries will see about 30% of the West Bank and the

Jor­dan Val­ley be­ing seized.

Yes­ter­day, In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions and Co-op­er­a­tion Min­is­ter Naledi Pan­dor’s of­fice slammed the move by Is­rael, which it said was a uni­lat­eral nega­tion of the two-state so­lu­tion pro­posed to end the con­flict.

“An­nex­a­tion would con­sti­tute a most se­ri­ous vi­o­la­tion of in­ter­na­tional law, un­der­cut the pos­si­bil­i­ties of a re­newal of ne­go­ti­a­tions, in­ten­sify ten­sions and fur­ther ham­per ef­forts to ad­vance re­gional peace and to main­tain in­ter­na­tional peace and se­cu­rity,” the depart­ment said.

This comes as var­i­ous or­gan­i­sa­tions con­tinue to weigh in on the views ex­pressed by Chief Jus­tice Mo­go­eng Mo­go­eng, in­clud­ing his love and sup­port for Is­rael as well as his crit­i­cism of the gov­ern­ment’s pol­icy po­si­tion in the on­go­ing Is­rael-Pales­tine con­flict.

Jus­tice Mo­go­eng has been ac­cused of bring­ing the ju­di­ciary into dis­re­pute and un­der­mined the ex­ec­u­tive by pub­licly bash­ing the coun­try’s for­eign pol­icy po­si­tion af­ter par­tic­i­pat­ing in a we­bi­nar for The Jerusalem Post last week.

Dirco re­it­er­ated its for­eign pol­icy po­si­tion in sup­port for Pales­tine. “We reaf­firm our com­mit­ted sup­port to the Pales­tinian in­de­pen­dence strug­gle for achiev­ing free­dom from the Is­raeli il­le­gal oc­cu­pa­tion,” the depart­ment said.

Coun­cil for the Ad­vance­ment of SA Con­sti­tu­tion (Casac) ex­ec­u­tive sec­re­tary Law­son Naidoo ac­cused Jus­tice Mo­go­eng of hav­ing med­dled in the realm of po­lit­i­cal com­men­tary “in a man­ner that gives suc­cour to those who deny the Pales­tinian peo­ple ba­sic hu­man rights and dig­nity”.

“We, there­fore, call upon the Chief Jus­tice to re­con­sider and un­equiv­o­cally with­draw his re­marks, and apol­o­gise to all South Africans,” Naidoo said.

He added that while Jus­tice Mo­go­eng, a staunch Chris­tian, had the right to ex­press his views, his pri­mary duty was to re­spect the Con­sti­tu­tion and pro­tect the in­tegrity of the ju­di­ciary.

“If the Chief Jus­tice wishes to com­ment on is­sues ex­tra­ne­ous to his po­si­tion as the head of the ju­di­ciary, he will be free to do so when he is no longer con­strained by the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of that of­fice,” Naidoo said.

Ap­proached for com­ment, Jus­tice Mo­go­eng’s spokesper­son Nathi Mn­cube said: “Un­for­tu­nately we are not com­ment­ing on the is­sue.”

Mo­go­eng Mo­go­eng

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