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ANC statement on the US' recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel

8 December 2017

The African National Congress (ANC) condemns in the strongest possible terms the decision by the US Administration to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

This blatantly provocative move severely undermines the spirit of multilateralism and is a significant setback to a fragile and already stalled peace process.

The announcement that the US will move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has been roundly condemned by nearly every world leader except the Prime Minister of Israel.

The ANC concurs with sentiment expressed by many world leaders that the US' position is a violation of a number of UN Security Council (UNSC) and UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolutions regarding the status of Jerusalem in any final settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

The US President Donald Trump made the announcement on social media - a further indication of the recklessness with which the Trump administration has chosen to both pursue and communicate its foreign policy objectives in a highly volatile region.

The ANC notes that a number of protests against the move have broken out in Jerusalem itself, as well as in Ramallah and Bethlehem following the announcement; and several armed groups in the region have labelled Trump's announcement as 'a declaration of war'.

A very real possibility exists that this announcement could reignite the tinderbox of violence and cause the region to once again descend into bloodshed.

The ANC wholly agrees with the position of the South African government, that reinforces the supremacy of multilateralism as the only way to secure a sustainable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well as a rules-based international order.

The ANC remains committed to the two state solution: and this unilateral pronouncement by the US does harm to Palestinian aspirations for an independent, peaceful state coexisting side by side with Israel, based on the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The ANC is concerned that instead of positioning itself as a credible advocate for a just and lasting solution to the Israel/Palestine issue, the US is showing itself to be wholly partisan and favouring Israel.

The ANC calls on both Israelis and Palestinians to take steps to urgently resume talks to restart the peace process. The organization further calls on the US Administration to reconsider its decision in the light of the negative ramifications for the cause of a just and lasting peace.

Issued by:

Jessie Duarte
Deputy Secretary General
African National Congress

Enquiries:
Zizi Kodwa -
082 330 4910
Khusela Sangoni -
072 854 5707