The Conference of Presidents Protests South Africa Downgrading Embassy in Israel

New York, NY

Arthur Stark, Chairman and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations issued the following statement:

We have written to President Cyril Ramaphosa to protest the downgrading of the South African embassy in Israel. Lessening diplomatic connections does not resolve problems and does not clarify any issues that may exist. For too long, South Africa’s government has joined the forces of rejectionism and extremism in their votes at the United Nations and in policies they have adopted towards Israel and the Middle East. It is most regrettable given the supportive role of the American and global Jewish community in seeking an end to the apartheid regime and supporting South Africa’s advancement.  

There is much to be gained from a stronger mutual relationship between both countries and their peoples. Downgrading the embassy status curtails those possibilities at a time when many African countries are developing closer ties to Israel, opening embassies, and recognizing the important benefits from growing bilateral relations. We urge the government of South Africa to immediately reverse its decision.

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The Conference of Presidents is the central coordinating body representing 50 national Jewish organizations on issues of national and international concern

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