Parliament snubs meeting with Israeli delegates

The ANC caucus says its refusal to meet is over Israel’s handling of the two-state solution which government supports.

Israeli Ambassador Arthur Lenk had requested a meeting between the Israeli delegation and Parliament’s international relations committee. Picture: AFP.

PARLIAMENT - Parliament has snubbed a request to meet with a delegation from the Israeli Knesset.

The African National Congress (ANC) caucus says its refusal to meet is over Israel’s handling of the two-state solution which government supports, but the Speaker’s office says the schedule of the presiding officers is too busy for a meeting.

The delegation is due to arrive in Cape Town on Wednesday.

The ANC’s study group on International Relations and Cooperation says it applauds Parliament’s decision to reject an invitation to meet members of Israel’s unicameral parliament.

Israeli Ambassador Arthur Lenk had requested a meeting between the Israeli delegation and Parliament’s international relations committee.

ANC caucus spokesperson Nonceba Mhlauli said: “The continuous killings of Palestinians by the Israeli Security Forces, administrative detentions, deportations and many other human rights violations also form part of the reasons why the ANC cannot allow itself to be co-opted into this charm offensive by Israel through this parliamentary visit.”

Parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo says while presiding officers are too busy to meet with the delegation during this visit, a mutually agreeable date would be found in future.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)