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President Ramaphosa meets with the South African Jewish Board of Deputies

President Cyril Ramaphosa has today, 13 December 2023, met with the leadership of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) at the Presidential residence Mahlamba Ndlopfu in Pretoria.

 The SAJBD petitioned President Ramaphosa to namely;

1. Restore full diplomatic recognition of Israel, including the re-opening of the South African embassy in Tel Aviv and providing assurances that the Israeli embassy in Pretoria will not be closed  to enable the return of the Israeli Ambassador to South Africa 

2. Speak and/or act against the boycott of Israeli and Jewish businesses in South Africa 

3. Protect the South African Jewish community against anti-Semitic incidents and/or attacks

President Ramaphosa reiterated the South African government position on the current conflict in Israel and Palestine that the South African government; 

1. Stands with the people of Palestine who have endured over 7 decades of apartheid type of brutal occupation

2. Condemned the attacks carried out by Hamas on the 7th of October 2023 on Israeli citizens, including women and children

3. Calls for all hostages to be returned

4. Condemns the genocide that is being inflicted against the people of Palestine, including women and children, through collective punishment and ongoing bombardment of Gaza

5. Calls for the International Criminal Court to investigate all the atrocities and war crimes committed in Israel and Palestine and to hold all those responsible to account 

6. Calls for the immediate cessation of hostilities to allow for more humanitarian aid to flow into Gaza and;

7. Calls for the resumption of negotiations between Palestinians and Israel that will lead to a two state solution along the 1967 internationally recognised borders with East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine

President Ramaphosa indicated that the South African diplomats based in Tel Aviv will remain in South Africa for consultations during the current state of conflict, however, the government will endeavor to make available all the necessary support that is required by South African citizens in need of assistance. 

The President further emphasised the government’s denunciation of anti-Semitic behavior towards Jewish people in South Africa, including the boycott of Jewish owned businesses, and Islamophobia. President Ramaphosa called on all South Africans to remain true to the tenets of the country’s constitution. 

All participants appreciated the opportunity to engage openly and frankly and committed to continue seeking solutions to the issues of concern that were raised and to the devastating and intractable conflict in the Middle East. 

Media enquiries: Vincent Magwenya, Spokesperson to the President -

Issued by: The Presidency

 Union Building