South Africa launches case at UN court accusing Israel of genocide - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15300092
Source

South Africa has launched a case against Israel at the UN’s international court of justice (ICJ) accusing the state of committing genocide in its military campaign in Gaza.

Israel responded to the allegations “with disgust”, calling South Africa’s case a “blood libel” and urging the ICJ to reject it.

Any case at the ICJ is likely to take years to resolve, but South Africa has called for the court to convene in the next few days to issue “provisional measures” calling for a ceasefire. In March 2022, the ICJ ordered Russia to halt its offensive in Ukraine, an order which was supposed to be legally binding, but Moscow ignored it anyway. Any such ruling however is likely to significantly sway international public opinion.

“The acts and omissions by Israel complained of by South Africa are genocidal in character because they are intended to bring about the destruction of a substantial part of the Palestinian national, racial and ethnical group,” the South African application to open proceedings said.

“Provisional measures are necessary in this case to protect against further, severe and irreparable harm to the rights of the Palestinian people under the Genocide Convention, which continue to be violated with impunity.”

Article IX of the Genocide Convention allows any state party to the convention to bring a case against another to the ICJ, even if it doesn’t have any direct link to the conflict in question. Last year, the court ruled that the Gambia could bring a genocide claim against Myanmar. The court also ruled in a case between Croatia and Serbia that depriving a people of food, shelter, medical care and other means of subsistence constitutes genocidal acts.

“Genocidal intent is assumed to be the most difficult element to prove, but Israelis in charge of prosecuting this conflict have made a plethora of statements that easily prove the requisite intent to ‘destroy in whole or in part’ the Palestinian population in Gaza,” said Susan Akram, director of the international human rights clinic at Boston University.

As examples, Akram pointed to Israeli defence minister Yoav Gallant’s reference to Palestinians in Gaza as “human animals” and Israeli army Major General Ghassan Alian’s subsequent statement that: “Human animals must be treated as such. There will be no electricity and no water [in Gaza], there will only be destruction. You wanted hell, you will get hell.”

Iva Vukušić, assistant professor in international history at Utrecht University, said: “With over 21,000 dead in Gaza, [the South Africans] believe it is time to let a court look at what is going on. The Genocide Convention allows them to do that, because states, globally, don’t have a lot of places to ‘go to’ in these kinds of situations, especially with the Security Council being as polarised and dysfunctional.”

The international criminal court (ICC) is already investigating possible war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by both Hamas and Israel. While the ICC can prosecute individuals, the ICJ is an arena for adjudicating conflicts between states.

“The ICJ’s provisional measures are legally binding but enforceability is always the problem,” Victor Kattan, assistant professor in public international law at the University of Nottingham, said. “Ultimately, enforcement always returns to the political organs of the UN and they are paralysed. But it’s still symbolic and it’s embarrassing, I’d imagine, for Israel to be facing a genocide claim, given its history.”

Lior Haiat, the spokesperson for Israel’s foreign ministry, issued a swift rejection of South Africa’s case on social media.

“Israel rejects with disgust the blood libel spread by South Africa in its application to the international court of justice,” Haiat said on X, formerly Twitter. “South Africa’s claim lacks both a factual and a legal basis, and constitutes a despicable and contemptuous exploitation of the court.”

“South Africa is cooperating with a terrorist organisation that is calling for the destruction of the State of Israel,” he added, referring to Hamas, whose massacre of hundreds of Israeli civilians on 7 October triggered the war in Gaza.

“I think it is fair to say that a lot of states now use appeals to the ICJ as part of their battles to control global narratives around wars and crises,” said Richard Gowan, UN director at the International Crisis Group. “Turning to the court and using the word ‘genocide’ is a powerful way to shape international debates about a conflict. But it is notable that the court has sadly failed to halt violence in Myanmar or Ukraine. There is a risk that the ICJ becomes just another platform for public diplomatic disputes and name-calling similar to the UN general assembly.”


Great move by South Africa to hold Israel accountable for what it's doing.
#15300118
wat0n wrote:
That's because Israel isn't an Apartheid regime, no matter what October 7 apologists believe.



Belief is not required.

"Israel's policies and actions in its ongoing occupation of the Palestinian territories have drawn accusations that it is committing the crime of apartheid. Leading Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights groups have said that the totality and severity of the human rights violations against the Palestinian population in the occupied territories, and by some in Israel proper, amount to the crime against humanity of apartheid.

In December 2019, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination[5] announced commencing a review of the Palestinian complaint that Israel's policies in the West Bank amount to apartheid.[6] Soon afterward, two Israeli human rights NGOs, Yesh Din (July 2020), and B'Tselem (January 2021) issued separate reports that concluded, in the latter's words, that "the bar for labeling the Israeli regime as apartheid has been met."

In 2001, an NGO Forum ran separately from the World Conference against Racism in the nearby Kingsmead Stadium in Durban, from 28 August to 1 September. It consisted of 3,000 NGOs and was attended by 8,000 representatives. The declaration the NGO Forum adopted was not an official document of the conference.[35][36] The final NGO document called "for the reinstitution of the UN resolution equating Zionism with racism" and "the complete and total isolation of Israel as an apartheid state".[37]"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel_and_apartheid

Do I really need to point out it's a LOT worse now?
#15300124
late wrote:Belief is not required.

"Israel's policies and actions in its ongoing occupation of the Palestinian territories have drawn accusations that it is committing the crime of apartheid. Leading Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights groups have said that the totality and severity of the human rights violations against the Palestinian population in the occupied territories, and by some in Israel proper, amount to the crime against humanity of apartheid.

In December 2019, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination[5] announced commencing a review of the Palestinian complaint that Israel's policies in the West Bank amount to apartheid.[6] Soon afterward, two Israeli human rights NGOs, Yesh Din (July 2020), and B'Tselem (January 2021) issued separate reports that concluded, in the latter's words, that "the bar for labeling the Israeli regime as apartheid has been met."

In 2001, an NGO Forum ran separately from the World Conference against Racism in the nearby Kingsmead Stadium in Durban, from 28 August to 1 September. It consisted of 3,000 NGOs and was attended by 8,000 representatives. The declaration the NGO Forum adopted was not an official document of the conference.[35][36] The final NGO document called "for the reinstitution of the UN resolution equating Zionism with racism" and "the complete and total isolation of Israel as an apartheid state".[37]"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel_and_apartheid

Do I really need to point out it's a LOT worse now?


Belief is very much required.

Do I need to point out Israeli Arabs are not racially segregated or barred from positions of power in Israel?
#15300133
Israel is not an apartheid regime, it is a vastly different country from South Africa with a totally different history. I wish people would stop trying to label everything as something else.

That doesn't get Israel off though. I have sympathy with Zionism, I do genuinely believe it needs to exist and I don't like to see people on the left supporting Islamists just because they oppose Israel. However, Israel has been an absolute moral disaster since its inception and is only getting worse. I see no hope of anything positive now.
#15300135
I think Israel will get better, if anything. This war has shown the Israeli right cannot deliver on its promises of peace through strength, if Netanyahu was allowed to get off the hook for his corruption it was because he was seen as Mr. Security. Now that this image has been shattered, the Israeli right in general will have to deal with the consequences.

Likewise, another reason for not moving forward with the peace process is that everyone understood Hamas wasn't going to sign on and would need to be removed from Gaza by force. Now that Israel is fighting to do just that, this obstacle will also be removed.
#15300140
wat0n wrote:
Do I need to point out Israeli Arabs are not racially segregated or barred from positions of power in Israel?



Israel has serious problems with racism. Jews from Africa or the Arab states face racism and violence. As I documented, this has been studied many times, ignoring it doesn't make it go away...
#15300142
albionfagan wrote:Israel is not an apartheid regime, it is a vastly different country from South Africa with a totally different history. I wish people would stop trying to label everything as something else.

That doesn't get Israel off though. I have sympathy with Zionism, I do genuinely believe it needs to exist and I don't like to see people on the left supporting Islamists just because they oppose Israel. However, Israel has been an absolute moral disaster since its inception and is only getting worse. I see no hope of anything positive now.


It's so strange that the Israeli regime apologists will constantly say that the comparison to South African apartheid isn't accurate when the very forces that destroyed apartheid within South Africa are consistently saying that not only is the comparison valid: but that Israel's case is much worse
#15300145
late wrote:Israel has serious problems with racism. Jews from Africa or the Arab states face racism and violence. As I documented, this has been studied many times, ignoring it doesn't make it go away...


Not really. Mixed families are common and, if anything, Jews from Arab countries are the electoral base of the Likud.

That used to be the case decades ago, but not nowadays.

KurtFF8 wrote:It's so strange that the Israeli regime apologists will constantly say that the comparison to South African apartheid isn't accurate when the very forces that destroyed apartheid within South Africa are consistently saying that not only is the comparison valid: but that Israel's case is much worse


Mandela never made the comparison, others who fought Apartheid don't either.
#15300151
KurtFF8 wrote:Mandela was a very strong supporter of the Palestinian liberation struggle. And there may be individuals who don't, but overall the ANC promotes the comparison quite frequently.


Yet Mandela never made that comparison as far as I'm aware, and did not have any issues with visiting Israel either.

The ANC is quite corrupt today, I don't think it resembles the ANC that fought Apartheid or ruled South Africa during Mandela's term much if it all.
#15300159
wat0n wrote:Yet Mandela never made that comparison as far as I'm aware, and did not have any issues with visiting Israel either.

The ANC is quite corrupt today, I don't think it resembles the ANC that fought Apartheid or ruled South Africa during Mandela's term much if it all.


Mandela absolutely had issues with Israel, you trying to downplay them is just bizarre

https://www.reuters.com/world/decade-af ... 023-12-05/
#15300161
KurtFF8 wrote:Mandela absolutely had issues with Israel, you trying to downplay them is just bizarre

https://www.reuters.com/world/decade-af ... 023-12-05/


But didn't see it as an Apartheid regime, or else he wouldn't have visited. From your own source:

Some in South Africa's Jewish community criticise the ANC's stance, pointing out that Mandela himself eventually tried to build bridges with Israel.

Historian and author of "Jewish Memories of Mandela", David Saks, noted that Mandela was the only South African president to have visited Israel since 1994 - albeit only after he left office - and that "he received a rapturous welcome from the Israeli public," addressing then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak and then-President Ezer Weisman as "my friends".

"He pointed the way which things should have gone (diplomatically with Israel), but (they) didn’t go that way," Saks said.
#15300163
KurtFF8 wrote:No where does he repudiate the idea that Israel is an apartheid state. And again, he was a strong supporter of the PLO.


Nowhere does he affirm it either. And I doubt Mandela would have visited Israel if he thought it's an Apartheid regime, let alone in private capacity.

Because, you know, someone could support the PLO and still not believe Israel is an Apartheid regime.
#15300165
wat0n wrote:Nowhere does he affirm it either. And I doubt Mandela would have visited Israel if he thought it's an Apartheid regime, let alone in private capacity.


He supported a group that was on and off engaged in an armed struggle with Israel and continued to reaffirm his support for that group (the PLO). He was an opponent of Israel. Not really debatable.
#15300177
KurtFF8 wrote:It's so strange that the Israeli regime apologists will constantly say that the comparison to South African apartheid isn't accurate when the very forces that destroyed apartheid within South Africa are consistently saying that not only is the comparison valid: but that Israel's case is much worse


I get why people do it, it makes things simpler and easier to understand. But Israel/Palestine must be considered in its absolute uniqueness.

I'm not sure how I've been labelled as an apologist for the Israeli regime btw. Understanding why Zionism exists and believing that Jewish people should have a state is absolutely not the same thing. This Israeli government is an abomination and needs toppling.
#15300180
@albionfagan

The UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) issued a report on Israeli Practices Towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid in 2017.

Quoting the United Nations Under-Secretary-General from the press release published at the time ...

It is not an easy matter for a United Nations entity to conclude that a State has established an apartheid regime.

Adding,

Reference for a finding of apartheid in Israel-Palestine is not South Africa but International Law.
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