Blade Nzimande sought to go through Israel en route to Palestinian authority; move blasted by SA officials
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Friday slammed the South African Communist Party after it criticized the Israel government for denying a pro-Palestinian South African minister a visa to travel to the Palestinian territories.
Lieberman said that the statements by the South African party were “hypocritical”, citing recent events against foreigners in South Africa which he described as “racist”.
Following Israel’s refusal to grant the South African Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande a visa to enter the Palestinian territories, the South African Communist Party said it “condemns in strongest terms possible, the apartheid Israeli regime`s decision.”
The party further said that “The reason given for refusal to grant Cde Nzimande the visa is that he ‘had criticized the Israeli government’. As the SACP we will not allow any foreign government to decide for us what to think, say and do.”
“The despotic decision by the Israeli government is a declaration of diplomatic aggression on our government…The SACP calls on our government to reciprocate and reject Israeli requests for visits to South Africa.”
The party added that it intends to “further intensify its campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel.”
In response to the announcement Lieberman said: “It was only a few days ago when a violent, racist and harsh attack was directed against immigrants in Johannesburg…during these riots, the South African police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades against other immigrants from neighboring African countries.”
“We all remember the mass killings carried out by the South African police at the Platinum Mine three years ago.”
“These events and others have proven repeatedly that South Africa has remained a country where there are serious problems of racism and violence.
“Therefore,” he added, “the South African government and the Communist Party should stop preaching and attacking Israel, which is a glorious democracy that exceptionally handles threats and terrorist elements while maintaining human rights and international codes of conduct.”
“It is no surprise that the members of the Communist Party prefer the Palestinians to Israel,” the foreign minister stated, calling it “a case of like attracts like.”