Genocide Trial

Jewish Communities Criticize ICJ Decision

The Hague’s Peace Palace houses the International Court of Justice Foto: picture alliance / ASSOCIATED PRESS

The J7, a global coalition of seven major Jewish communities, are disappointed with the injunction imposed on Israel by the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The Israeli army must do more to protect civilians in Gaza, the ICJ ruled in an initial decision on the genocide case brought by South Africa against Israel. However, the court rejected South Africa’s demand for an immediate ceasefire.

»We take note of the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) appropriate rejection of South Africa’s demand for an Israeli ceasefire« reads a statement from the J7, which includes the Jewish community in Germany as well as those in the UK, France, Canada, Australia, Argentina and the United States of America.

While the decision recognized Israel’s right to self-defense, the injunction would give weight to South Africa’s »absurd accusations«. »Opponents of Israel are shamelessly politicizing the Genocide Convention, making a mockery of actual genocides, past, present and future«, the J7 said. »It is part of a broader and morally obscene, anti-Israel campaign, led by South Africa, with the backing of the Iranian regime and other governments hostile to the Jewish State.«

»Confusing and Convoluted Message«

South Africa and its allies intended to strengthen Hamas, the statement reads. »It is unfortunate the ICJ, which is meant to serve as the ultimate standard-bearer for the international rule of law, has fallen victim, even if partially, to South Africa’s sinister ploy« the J7 criticize. Instead of recognizing Israel’s efforts to avoid civilian casualties, the ICJ had sent a »confusing and convoluted message« that would lend legitimacy to Hamas terrorists and their genocidal ideology.

On Friday, the ICJ had issued a temporary injunction against Israel in The Hague (Netherlands), demanding an end to the violence against the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip.

Fifteen of the seventeen judges found that at least some of the indications put forward by South Africa, of a possible violation of the UN Genocide Convention, which the ICJ is responsible for upholding, were plausible or at least not manifestly unfounded. They thus rejected Israel’s application for immediate dismissal of the case. According to the Court, South Africa had the right to sue Israel under the 1948 Convention and had also expressed corresponding concerns in advance.

Immediate Hostage Release

The judgment states: »On the basis of the foregoing considerations, the Court concludes that the conditions laid down in its Statute for the adoption of provisional measures are fulfilled. It is therefore necessary for the Court, pending its final decision, to order certain measures to protect the rights invoked by South Africa, which the Court considers plausible.«

The ICJ wants the Israeli government to take more comprehensive and effective measures to deal with the »humanitarian catastrophe« in Gaza. It should also ensure, as requested by South Africa, that no evidence of a possible genocide is destroyed. The population of Gaza has a »right to protection«, the court said.

The judges also expressed concern about the hostages abducted by Hamas on October 7 and demanded their immediate release. The court recognized that the terrorist attack triggered the current armed conflict in Gaza. ja

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