Avatar photo

By Editorial staff

Journalist


Israel must give some answers

Were this a criminal case, Israel would have to defend itself because there are enough allegations for there to be a prima facie case.


Given the incendiary nature of any discussion about the ongoing slaughter in Gaza, it was perhaps to be expected that Israel would play the man and not the ball, by attacking South Africa for dragging it before the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Lior Haiat, spokesperson of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, accused South Africa of “functioning as the legal arm of the Hamas terrorist organisation”, labelling the International Court of Justice (ICJ) action, “one of the greatest shows of hypocrisy in history”. ALSO READ: ‘Nothing can ever justify genocide’ – Professor Vaughan Lowe Whatever the motivations of the…

Subscribe to continue reading this article
and support trusted South African journalism

Access PREMIUM news, competitions
and exclusive benefits

SUBSCRIBE
Already a member? SIGN IN HERE

Given the incendiary nature of any discussion about the ongoing slaughter in Gaza, it was perhaps to be expected that Israel would play the man and not the ball, by attacking South Africa for dragging it before the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Lior Haiat, spokesperson of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, accused South Africa of “functioning as the legal arm of the Hamas terrorist organisation”, labelling the International Court of Justice (ICJ) action, “one of the greatest shows of hypocrisy in history”.

ALSO READ: ‘Nothing can ever justify genocide’ – Professor Vaughan Lowe

Whatever the motivations of the ANC government may have been – and there are certainly debates which could be had around that issue – the case before the ICJ revolves around whether Israel has violated Article II of the Genocide Convention, to which both it and South Africa are signatories.

That article states: “In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction;

(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

ALSO READ: WATCH: ‘Israel’s attack on Gaza beyond the fight against Hamas’ – Ngcukaitobi

That is the matter which has to be decided: Has Israel’s unrelenting assault on Gaza met the requirements for genocide as defined in those very specific words in Article II?

Nothing more and nothing less. Were this a criminal case, then Israel would have to be put on its defence, because the SA outline against it contains enough allegations for there to be a prima facie case which must be answered line by line.

It is those answers we want to hear from Israel, not angry politicking.

Read more on these topics

Gaza Hamas Israel Palestine

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits