Religious leaders to march on parliament over Trump’s Jerusalem move

The ANC leadership in the Western Cape has called for a downgrade of diplomatic relations with Israel after US President Donald Trump declared Jerusalem the official capital of the Middle Eastern country.

On Wednesday‚ Christian‚ Muslim‚ Jewish and civil society leaders will lead a march to parliament to call for the downgrading of South Africa’s embassy in Israel.

Parliament, Cape Town. File photo. Image: Sunday Times

This comes after Trump announced that the US officially recognised Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. He also announced that they would be moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem‚ defying global opposition and sparking outrage in the West Bank and Palestine.

ANC provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs said the ANC was hoping to resolve a decision on a downgrade between South Africa and Israel during the party’s national conference.

“The ANC in the Western joins the various civil society organisations and religious leaders who are demanding a firm response by South Africa against Israel’s violations of international law and Donald Trump’s ridiculous announcement on Jerusalem‚” said Jacobs.

“The impunity with which Trump and Israel have behaved‚ ignoring international law and precedent in this latest move‚ one which will likely lead to much bloodshed and conflict‚ make our solidarity more urgent than ever.”

At a press briefing in Cape Town on Tuesday‚ the Rev Simon Kortjass of St Paul’s Anglican Church in Philippi said:
“Israel is a notorious violator of endless and numerous international laws and regulations.”

Al Quds Foundation SA director Moulana Ihsaan Hendricks said the matter was not only about Jews and Muslims but about human rights and justice.

“We hope we will be able to intensify our activism in South Africa‚ appeal to our government and appeal to the international peace-loving community to move very quickly for the freedom and the liberation of the Palestinian people‚” he said.

Heidi Grunebaum‚ from the South African Jews for Free Palestine‚ said they condemned Trump’s declaration.

“[It] is in contempt of international law and of the international community’s consensus‚ which sees Israel’s occupation and annexation of eastern parts of Jerusalem as illegal‚” she said.

“The claims of religion [or] theology as an alibi for oppression‚ segregation‚ dispossession and occupation are spurious.”

Grunebaum said land in the Middle East was not Trump’s to give away and his move would lead to instability.
The group will also hold a picket on Thursday outside the US embassy in Sandton‚ Johannesburg.

By Aphiwe Deklerk And Aron Hyman -TimesLIVE

Source: TMG Digital.

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