South African President Jacob Zuma. (AP/Schalk van Zuydam) (AP/Schalk van Zuydam)
Jacob Zuma

South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), has urged its citizens not to travel to Israel unless it is to promote “solidarity with the Palestinian struggle.”

The decision came amid a “strong consensus” among the ANC’s National General Council, South Africa’s Independent Online reported.

According to the report, senior ANC leaders have recently criticized South African lawmakers and business leaders for traveling to Israel due to the fact that that they view the situation in Israel as worse than what was experienced during apartheid-era South Africa.

“Apartheid in South Africa was a picnic compared to what we have seen in the occupied territories,” South African Parliamentary Speaker Baleka Mbete said.

South African Jewish leaders condemned the ANC’s move, saying it unfairly singles out Israel.

“Placing a ban on traveling to Israel is wholly inconsistent with the way South Africa engages with other countries. ANC representatives regularly travel to all parts of the world, including to countries with very poor human rights records; it’s therefore grossly discriminatory to single out Israel alone for a travel boycott,” South African Jewish Board of Deputies President Zev Krengel said in a statement.


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