SOUTH AFRICA - Israeli Envoy Expelled

Arno Froese

South Africa’s governing African National Congress party welcomed the “encouraging” expulsion of a senior Israeli diplomat from the African Union (AU) summit in Addis Ababa.

Sharon Bar-li, Israel’s Foreign Ministry deputy director general for Africa, was escorted out of the AU assembly in the Ethiopian capital.

Israel accused Iran of orchestrating the move with help from Algeria and South Africa.

The ANC said her removal was aimed at “thwarting an attempt to undermine the current sitting AU Summit from considering a report that is supposed to guide discussions on whether Israel must be granted an observer status.”

During last year’s summit, the AU failed to conclude talks on Israel’s controversial accreditation as an observer country. Algeria and South Africa were particularly opposed to it.

An Israeli diplomatic spokesperson insisted Bar-li had “valid accreditation as an observer,” accusing the AU of being “hostage to a small number of extremist states like Algeria and South Africa, motivated by hatred and controlled by Iran.”

“There is no basis in the organization’s rules for the attempt to cancel Israel’s observer status,” the Foreign Ministry said. “There is a clear majority that supports Israel’s observer status at the organization.”

The issue of Israel’s observer status has caused deep discord in the 55-member bloc.

At last year’s summit, a debate on the issue was suspended in a bid to avoid a vote that would create an unprecedented rift in the Union., 19 February 2023

Arno's Commentary

South Africa was among the 33 states that voted in favor of the 1947 United Nations resolution partition plan, which endorsed the establishment of the Jewish state in Palestine. Furthermore, ten days after the declaration of the State of Israel on 14 May 1948, South Africa followed the USSR, Nicaragua, Czech Republic, Serbia, Poland, Uruguay, Guatemala, and Hungary to grant Israel de jure recognition.

In recent years, to this date, South Africa is aligned with the BRICS coalition (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). BRICS was founded on 16 June 2009. According to Wikipedia, the members of BRICS account for 25% of the world’s land, and they represent 40% of the world’s population. The purpose is to strive toward a new, “New World Order,” no longer dominated by the USA.

Geographically, Israel lies at the center of the world, and this corresponds to Scripture. We read in Ezekiel 5:5: “Thus saith the Lord God; This is Jerusalem: I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her.” There is no question about the significant advantage countries have in developing good relations with the state of Israel. But in South Africa’s case, they have taken sides with the so-called developing world. 

Reading verse 6 shows the other side for Israel: “And she hath changed my judgments into wickedness more than the nations, and my statutes more than the countries that are round about her: for they have refused my judgments and my statutes, they have not walked in them.” This leads us to Revelation 11, where two witnesses will be killed in Jerusalem. Verse 8 testifies: “And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.” 

Judgement is coming, but there is a distinct difference in the reaction of the world’s people: “and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven” (Revelation 11:13b). After one-third of the world’s population is killed, Revelation 9:20 states: “yet [they] repented not.” Verse 21 adds: “Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.” So here too, Israel is different.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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