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|Xenophobia: South African Minister Denied Visa To Enter Israel by sam20091(m): 12:34pm On Apr 25, 2015|
Israel, thank you for doing this! You know their
people suffered xenophobia back in the 1940s,
so I guess they have zero tolerance for it. A
minister from South Africa was denied visa to
visit Israel for diplomatic work.
The government of South Africa has
expressed outrage after Israel's decision
to deny a visa to Higher Education
Minister Blade Nzimande. Clayson
Monyela, Deputy Director General of
Department of International Relations
and Cooperation, told Al Jazeera on
Thursday the Israeli government needed
to offer a reason for the snubbing.
"We are taking it up through the proper
channels. We need to receive a proper
explanation for the denial of a visa to a sitting
cabinet minister," Monyela said.
The minister was scheduled to travel to the
occupied Palestinian territories from April 25-29.
He was scheduled to secure further
collaboration with the University of
Johannesburg and institutions in Palestine.
Nzimande's spokesperson told local media that
the denial of the visa had caused a "serious
Naeem Jeenah, Director of Afro-Middle East
Centre, based in Johannesburg, described the
snubbing as "surprising" considering the two
countries' growing trade relations.
Jeenah said the Palestinian solidarity movement
in South Africa "would be thrilled" with Israel's
decision "because South Africa now has to
respond to this matter".
Arthur Lenk, the Israeli ambassador in Pretoria,
told Al Jazeera that South African officials
routinely visit the West Bank through Israel.
Lenk would not be drawn into discussing why
specifically Nzimande's visa application was
denied, though he described the minister as
being "very vocal on a range of issues
connected to Israel, South Africa and my
The ambassador said the decision to deny the
visa was made in Israel.
"The decision came from Jerusalem," Lenk said.
Vocal critic of Israel
But Jeenah said that anything the Israelis say
on the matter "could really only make the
The Palestinian embassy in South Africa
described the decision as "racist".
"We take note by this aggressive action that
Israel is trying to implement the same rule as in
the previous apartheid regime of South Africa,"
the embassy said in a statement.
The Palestinian lobby group Boycott Divestment
and Sanctions (BDS-South Africa) released a
statement saying it's "more confident than ever
that its time to expel the Israeli Ambassador
from South Africa".
"Israel cannot want to tell us who our friends
should be, where we should travel and who we
can speak with." BDS said.
Nzimande has been a vocal critic of Israel. His
spokesperson said on Thursday the minister
would call on all higher education institutions to
cut ties with their counterparts in Israel.
"We must just boycott Israel," Nkwanyana
South Africa currently has full diplomatic
relations with Israel and recognises Israel within
the borders demarcated by the United Nations
(UN) in 1948.
quote from Linda ikeji......
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