South African governments have in the past supported the Palestinian people and their struggle for their own homeland, but have managed to balance that with cordial relations with Israel. There has however been a noticeable shift from this policy during the Presidency of Cyril Ramaphosa.  President Ramaphosa remained silent on the Hamas attacks and only commented after Israel started a bombing campaign in Gaza.  Added to this, was a call by his Minister for International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor to Hamas and her subsequent visit to Iran. Not only did the ruling party come out strongly in support of Pandor, the ANC  organised a march near the Israeli embassy in Pretoria calling for the embassy to be closed down. ANC deputy-secretary-general Nomvula Mokonyane also called for “an end to Zionism.” In an interview, former leader of the opposition and political commentator, Tony Leon described the response to the attacks as a low watermark for South Africa and warned that alignments pose risks. He said South Africa’s foreign policy does not matter in the Middle East, but it may incur costs in the  West.  Western governments, he said, are taking notes. He also commented on the increased support for opposition parties in South Africa saying that it is encouraging but they needed to keep on moving forward, like a shark. He warned against an ANC/EFF coalition saying the EFF would devour the ANC and it would be ruinous for South Africa. – Linda van Tilburg