Sunday, October 17, 2010

South Africa Boycotted Israel Tourism Conference

South Africa boycotted Israel tourism conference

Pretoria (ANTARA News/IRNA) - South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) saluted the SA tourism ministry on Friday for not attending a tourism conference to be hosted by Israel.

`The Palestine Liberation Organization had joined a call by Islamist group Fatah, Palestinian trade unions and civil society groups for countries not to attend, citing Israel`s `illegal occupation`, including that of Jerusalem, Cosatu`s deputy international relations secretary said in a Press conference here in Johannesburg.

Zanele Matebula was referring to the 86th session of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development`s (OECD) Tourism Committee conference to be hosted by Israel which is set to take place between October 20 and 22 in Jerusalem.

`The momentum for the boycott dramatically increased last week when Israeli Minister of Tourism, Stas, he added.

Misezhnikov, said attendance at the conference would be `a seal of approval on the fact that we [Israel] have a state whose recognized capital is Jerusalem`. No member of the United Nations (nor the organisation itself) recognizes Jerusalem as Israel`s capital. Even the United States, Israel`s unwavering ally, refuses to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.`

Matebula said the comment by the Israeli tourism minister angered the OECD. However, by holding the conference in the city, the OECD ignored the fact that Jerusalem was under occupation.
Matebula said taking part in the conference would be a `tacit acceptance` of Israel`s `illegal annexation` of the city.

He added: `By its decision, South Africa now joins Britain, Spain and Turkey who have all refused to attend the conference.`

Cosatu was informed that neither Tourism Minister Marthinus `Van Schalkwyk` nor his deputy would be attending and the office of the director general of tourism has indicated that no representative would be attending the conference, Matebula said.

Cosatu with over 9 milions members from all over the country, is affiliated to the African National Congress (ANC) rulling Party. (*)


PubDate: 10/17/10 05:28

No comments: