SAJBD on Israel's recalling of ambassador to SA: 'A great pity'

This comes as Parliament is scheduled to vote on an Economic Freedom Fighters' motion on Tuesday, to shut down the Israeli Embassy in South Africa and cut diplomatic relations.

Picture: ©alekstaurus/

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) has weighed in on Israel's decision to recall its ambassador to South Africa, Eliav Belotserkovsky, saying it’s “a great pity” that it’s come to this.

The move was announced on Monday, and comes on the back of strong criticism from the South African government against Israel’s ongoing bombardment of Gaza, and a démarche that was recently issued against Belotserkovsky.

It also comes as Parliament is scheduled to vote on an Economic Freedom Fighters motion - on Tuesday - to shut down the Israeli Embassy in South Africa and cut diplomatic relations.

In a statement on X - formerly Twitter - Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lior Haiat said that “following the latest South African statements, [Belotserkovsky] has been recalled to Jerusalem for consultations”.


The SAJBD’s national chairperson, Karen Milner: “It is a great pity that the hostility towards the Israeli ambassador in South Africa has resulted in the withdrawal of the Israeli ambassador back to Jerusalem for consultations.

“This takes place against the background of a sustained campaign of demonisation and bullying of the Israeli ambassador by the ANC [African National Congress] and the South African ruling party, and the South African government in a way that was unconducive to dialogue and engagement.”

South Africa also recently recalled its own Tel Aviv-based diplomats for consultation.

“We hope and trust that both the Israeli ambassador to South Africa and the South African ambassador to Israel will return to these respective countries on conclusion of these consultations, in a way that will contribute to continued dialogue and engagement in the interests of peace.”