South Africa water confab canceled over participation of Israeli envoy

A Johannesburg conference dealing with the water crisis in South Africa is canceled due to criticism concerning the inclusion of Israel’s ambassador to South Africa.

The envoy, Arthur Lenk, was to be part of a panel at the conference scheduled for the end of February on “equitable and sustainable water management for poverty alleviation,” the Cape Times reports Tuesday. The conference was organized by the Mail and Guardian newspaper

“We are willing to share expertise to help South Africa with its drought problems,” says Michael Freeman, an Israeli Embassy spokesman. “We were looking forward to helping South Africa and any other country in the world that faces similar problems.”

BDS South Africa in a statement welcomes the cancellation, as well as the pledge by some of the sponsors and organizers that any future event would not include the Israeli ambassador.

The boycott movement also says it is pleased that “the rug has been pulled from the Israeli ambassador who will not be able to exploit our very serious water crises for his own cheap publicity and whitewashing of his regime. Israeli water technology is not unique or special; such technology is widely available through other more friendly countries.”


Israeli ambassador to South Africa, Arthur Lenk. (photo credit: courtesy MFA)
Israeli ambassador to South Africa, Arthur Lenk. (photo credit: courtesy MFA)

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