ESWATINI GOVERNMENT SAYS THEY WON'T TAKE SIDES IN ISRAEL AND PALESTINE CONFLICT
Government spokesperson Alpheous Nxumalo has indicated that they will not take sides in the conflict in Gaza but would rather align themselves with the historic position of SADC, the AU and the UN.
In an interview with The Bridge, Nxumallo refused to condemn Israel's attack on Gaza leading to mass demonstrations the world over where ordinary people are condemning the state of Israel for atrocities committed in Gaza. The decades long conflict took off again after a surprise attack by Hamas on Israel leading to a retaliatory attack that has bordered on Genocide for Palestinians living in the occupied territories of Gaza.
Many countries in the world have given their own views on the conflict in the Middle East. In Africa, the government of Kenya has condemned what it called acts of terrorism and extremism by Hamas. While Kenya President William Ruto has denounced the ongoing Israel-Palestine conlfict the government of South Africa has openly stood with Palestine.
The eSwatini government has instead opted to remain neutral and refused to use harsh words to condemn any of the warring parties. Nxumalo told The Bridge that in conflict situations it is not proper to use aggressive language hence, it will align itself with the position of SADC, AU and the UN on how to end the conflict in the Middle East and get please in the region.
Government spokesperson Alpheous Nxumalo
He refused to be drawn on what exact position they align with from these regional, continental and global bodies preferring to say that they remain neutral. On October 7, 2023, the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union, Moussa Faki Mahamat, expressed his concern at the outbreak of the current Israeli-Palestinian hostilities and called for peace in the region.
Mahamat was unequivocal that the denial of the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people, particularly that of an independent and sovereign State, was the main cause of the permanent Israeli-Palestinian tension. There are only 14 Jewish families in eSwatini totaling around 50 people, as recently reported as 2019.
The Jewish presence in eSwatini dates back to the Second World War when Holocaust survivors who were turned away by South Africa came to settle in the country. Many of the Jewish immigrants of the post-war era intermarried with the indigenous population and, as a result, many Swazis today have Jewish surnames – including a former Cabinet minister.
Natan Gamedze, a member of the royal line and grandson of the King of Swaziland, converted to Judaism in 1991 and is currently an Orthodox rabbi. More recently, Jewish citizen Stanley Sapire served as the Chief Justice of the Swazi Court of Appeal. The county´s progressive parties have all condemned Israel and pledged solidarity with Palestine.