SA case against Israel ‘display of hypocrisy’

Henry

Israel will take its case to the International Court of Justice on Friday after South Africa accused it of violating the UN Genocide Convention.

South Africa wants Israel to be forced to “immediately” stop its attacks on Gaza. Israel and its ally, the USA, dismissed the case as unfounded and promised a robust defense at the Peace Palace in The Hague.

“No, South Africa, it is not us who have come to commit genocide, it is Hamas,” said Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel. “We will continue our defensive war, the justice and morality of which is unparalleled,” he added.

“The state of Israel is being accused of genocide at a time when it is fighting genocide. A terrorist organization has committed the worst crime against the Jewish people since the Jewish genocide, and now someone comes to defend it in the name of the Jewish genocide? What shameless audacity. The world is upside down,” he said.

Israel has accused South Africa of serving as the “right arm” of Hamas militants. Lior Haiat, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, described South Africa’s case regarding Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip as “one of the greatest displays of hypocrisy in history”.

Matthew Miller, spokesperson for the US State Department, said South Africa’s case was “unfounded”.

“In fact, it is those who violently attack Israel who continue to openly call for the annihilation of Israel and the mass murder of Jews,” Miller said.

The Court of Justice will probably respond to South Africa’s request within a matter of weeks. Its decisions are final and legally binding, but the court has little power to enforce them.

Justice Minister Ronald Lamola told the court on Thursday that Israel had “crossed the line” and violated the convention. He said that even the brutality of the Hamas attack could not justify it.

“Genocides are never declared in advance,” said Adila Hassim, a top lawyer for South Africa.

“But this court has the benefit of the past 13 weeks of evidence which indisputably shows a pattern of behavior and related intent that justifies a credible claim of genocide.”