News Release

Is South Africa Vulnerable to Israel Lobby as Well?


Bond is distinguished professor of sociology at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa.He just wrote the piece “‘Breaking off Diplomatic Relations with Israel Will be Counterproductive,’ Claims South Africa’s (unreliable) Foreign Minister.” The subhead reads: “’Israel Lobby’ fingerprints?”

Bond writes: “The case for genocide charges against Israel’s political-military leadership is stronger every day. On the surface, this case is being at least partially led by South Africa’s eloquent, impassioned Foreign Minister, Naledi Pandor, who has served in that role since mid-2019 and in Cabinet since 2004. Her party, the African National Congress (ANC), long enjoyed exiled relationships with the Palestine Liberation Organization. Pandor and her impressive Director-General at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), Zane Dangor, are among the most committed anti-Zionist foreign ministers and officials.    “The question now is whether Pandor and Dangor can draw energy and momentum from last week’s overwhelming parliamentary vote — 248-91 — endorsing expulsion (albeit temporarily) of the Israeli ambassador from Pretoria. Pandor is also asking — alongside foreign ministries in Bangladesh, Bolivia, Comoros, Djibouti, Colombia, Algeria and Turkey — the International Criminal Court (ICC) to prosecute Benyamin Netanyahu. And the next logical step is invoking The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.” The Convention states that signers “undertake” to both “prevent and to punish” genocide    Bond continues: “‘The South African government has paved the path, globally, for the proper reaction to an unfolding genocide,’ The Cradle columnist Pepe Escobar claimed. ‘South Africa, for its part, had the courage to go where few Muslim and Arab states have ventured. As matters stand, when it comes to much of the Arab world — particularly the U.S. client states — they are still in Rhetorical Swamp territory.’   “But the ICC does not look promising, as journalist Sam Husseini reports, because the Hague-based court ‘has been dragging its heels for years on prosecuting Israelis. It has been called a “white man’s court” after only going after Africans, and, after letting Israel off the hook during an earlier assault on Gaza, “a hoax.”‘ Husseini continues … if the ‘South African and other governments think that Israel is committing or threatening genocide, they should invoke the Convention.’    “But the danger lurking in the South African ruling party, as in many nationalist movements, is a tendency to talk left but walk right. Symbolic narratives within the rhetorical swamps of parliament and diplomacy are one thing, but hitting the Tel Aviv regime where it hurts — such as the Genocide Convention and economic sanctions — would be another.”    Bond documents connections between pro-Israel groups and the South African government and concludes: “No doubt, just as in 2014, there’s extensive behind-the-scenes lobbying by Zionists to prevent the broke ruling party — facing a tough 2024 election — from fully cutting diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv. Some Zionists appear truly frightened, angry and full of threats, according to the South African Jewish Report.” In 2014, Bond wrote the piece “The Washington-Pretoria-Tel Aviv Relay.”

See: “UN Official Resigns, Calling Israel’s Attack ‘Genocide’ — Will a Nation Invoke the Genocide Convention?