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Israel will defend itself in the International Court of Justice

Who said Israel is not fighting in the ‘Hasbara’ and international arena? Israel will soon make a relatively rare move in its history, appearing in a few months to defend its war against the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, which will gather to discuss a lawsuit against “war crimes” committed in Gaza. It is not yet clear who will be the official Israeli representative in the trial, and whether it will be a diplomat, politician, or a senior jurist.

The story behind the lawsuit is complex, and lies with a third country – South Africa. In the 60s and 70s, when SA was isolated internationally due to the boycott of its Apartheid policy, Israel was one of the only countries to montain relations (under the table). But the Apartheid was abolished, and the new SA government saw Israel as a cooperator with the devil. SA’s attitude toward Israel deteriorated, from hosting the Durban Conference in 2001, to holding an “Israeli apartheid week” for the Palestinians every year.

In this war, SA increased its hostility, and president Cyril Ramaphosa explicitly accused Israel of genocide. This created a diplomatic crisis between the two countries, with all SA representatives in Israel returning to their country, and the Israeli ambassador to SA returning home as well, for ‘consultation’. A few weeks ago, South Africa formally submitted a Suit to the International Court of Justice, claiming that Israel was committing Genocide against Palestinians. Usually, a discussion on the issue can take many years, and without much cooperation from the accused state (and with some protection from the Western states), decisions usualy have no influence. But the problem is that the court may issue an interim order within a month or two that will require a cease-fire until the end of the hearing – a step that could really complicate Israel in international courts.

Thus, after several weeks of discussions between the IDF, the NSC and the Prime Minister’s Office, the Israeli government decided to defend itself in the court, hoping to prevent such an order. The head of the National Security Council, Tzahi Hanegbi, explained the decision: “The State of Israel has signed the Convention against Genocide decades ago, and we will certainly not boycott the discussion. We will stand in it and reject the absurd claim, that constitutes a blood libel.” We wish our soldiers on the legal front, to ‘walk with this power, and save Israel’.

To respond – rxpuyhi@gmail.com

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