Global support grows for South Africa’s ICJ genocide case against Israel

ICJ south africa
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THE HAGUESouth Africa's efforts in The Hague to compel Israeli authorities to cease its war on Gaza by filing a genocide lawsuit have garnered broad support from Latin American countries to Southeast Asia. اضافة اعلان

Israel responded angrily, describing it as "absurd," but Palestinian supporters in South Africa and online praised the attorneys sent by South Africa to argue the case, Al-Mamlaka TV reported.

In a historic ruling on Friday, the International Court of Justice affirmed that Israel must do everything in its power to prevent any acts of genocide in Gaza and facilitate the delivery of aid to the region. However, it fell short of issuing the desired order from South Africa for a ceasefire.

Experts argue that South Africa's urgent case, accusing Israel of violating the 1948 UN Genocide Prevention and Punishment Convention in Gaza, has revealed the widening gap between Israel and its Western allies on one side and Southern countries on the other.

Johan Sophie, an international law specialist and former legal director of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) in Gaza, stated, "Southern countries have long viewed (international justice) as selective justice."

He added, "These 'Southern' countries increasingly reject this view, considering it within the framework of new colonialism."

The lawyer defending Israel in court, Tal Becker, asserted that South Africa "unfortunately presented deeply distorted facts and a narrative to the court," emphasizing that Israel's response was in the context of self-defense.

Double standards
As civilian casualties rise and diplomatic efforts to achieve a ceasefire fail, Palestinian supporters seek legal avenues to stop the violence.

Countries with Muslim-majority populations, including Iran, Turkey, Jordan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and the Maldives, openly supported the case before the International Court of Justice. Additionally, a group of left-leaning governments in Latin America, such as Bolivia, Colombia, Brazil, and Venezuela, expressed their support.

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva appeared particularly fervent, accusing Israel of committing "terrorist acts." In contrast, the United States, Israel's strongest ally, opposed the case. Some EU countries and the UK also refused to endorse it, with France stating that accusing Israel of genocide represents a "violation of an ethical threshold."

Unlike its neighbors, India did not support the case.

Professor Marco Sassoli, an international law expert at the University of Geneva, remarked, "I'm not sure everyone in the West supports Israel, and everyone in the global South opposes Israel."

He added, "Double standards are common between Western and global Southern countries. Double standards poison the credibility of international law," citing widespread Western opposition to the Russian attack on Ukraine.

Since some supporters of the cause did not sign the 1948 Genocide Convention, they hesitated to officially back South Africa's move.
Indonesia, with its Muslim-majority population, is one such country. In the mid-1960s, the country witnessed anti-communist purges, supported by the military, claiming the lives of at least 500,000 people.

Instead of expressing full support for the case, Jakarta provided legal consultation to the International Court of Justice, calling for the supremacy of international law, according to Hikmahanto Juwana, an international law professor at the University of Indonesia, who contributed to its formulation.

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