Join us for a free screening of the January 11 International Court of Justice (ICJ) proceedings in the case South Africa vs Israel. The screening follows the public hearing of the South African Oral Argument at the ICJ which asks the court to take measures in order to “protect against further, severe and irreparable harm to the rights of the Palestinian people under the Genocide Convention” and “to ensure Israel’s compliance with its obligations under the Genocide Convention not to engage in genocide, and to prevent and to punish genocide”.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION BELOW
South Africa’s case has been backed by Turkey, Jordan, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Malaysia, Bolivia, Venezuela, Maldives, Namibia and Pakistan as well as by over 900 global movements, unions, political parties & organisations and some senior politicians and leaders in Spain, Belgium and Israel.
While we recognise that the so-called international rules based order and its application to countries has been far from fair and that it at times even functions as an order of oppression for those who challenge the powerholders, we have hope that the proceedings brought forward by South Africa can be one of the means to stop the ongoing genocide and ethnic cleansing in Gaza – a condition that is necessary to the fullfillment of Palestinians demands towards Liberation such as those articulated by the Palestinian Youth Movement.
What is the ICJ?
The International Court of Justice (ICJ), based in The Hague, Netherlands, is the UN’s primary legal body, handling conflicts between member states and offering legal opinions to UN bodies. Historically, compliance with ICJ rulings is high.
What is the South African Argument?
South Africa states that Israel’s actions in Gaza were “genocidal in character because they are intended to bring about the destruction of a substantial part of the Palestinian national, racial and ethnic group”.
South Africa argues this on the basis of i) statements made by Israel officials amount to incitements to genocide and ii) international law violations committed by Israel in its war on Gaza, including the killing of large numbers of civilians, the intentional creation of a humanitarian crisis and the extensive damaging to the infrastructure of Gaza rendering Gaza uninhabitable.
See more information in South Africa’s application to institute proceedings.
Why does it matter?
The ICJ has the power to issue measures to oblige Israel not to engage in genocide. Legal experts have argued that South Africa is preparing a strong case with a high likelihood of success. Historically, compliance of countries with ICJ rulings has been high, however considering Israeli track record of noncompliance with international law, it is possible that the Israeli government may decide not to comply with a verdict against it.
In any scenario, a ruling against Israel would further damage the international reputation and standing of the Israeli government and its allies. Non-compliance with the Court’s ruling may further isolate Israel from the international community and prompt governments worldwide to take actions to distance themselves from Israel, for example through measures such as sanctions and or restriction of arms sales.
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