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As the clock ticks for ICJ decision, Netanyahu resorts to sabotage

Iqbal Jassat

International Court of Justice in The Hague

In a shocking revelation on the eve of the historic genocide case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Israel’s apartheid regime, in its desperation to sabotage the hearings, has embarked in what can best be described as subterfuge or political interference.

According to a copy of an urgent cable obtained by Axios, the right-wing colonial occupier of Palestine has instructed its missions wherever they are, to lobby host countries to undermine South Africa’s legal challenge.

Facing a humiliating military defeat at the hands of Palestine’s heroic #Resistance, Benjamin Netanyahu is aware that if the ICJ grants the interim order requested by South Africa to halt his horrendous genocide in Gaza, his goose will be cooked.

The Axios report provides a quick overview of the ICJ case: “In its 84-page brief, it argues Israel’s military campaign in Gaza breaches its obligations under the 1948 Genocide Convention, which defines genocide as ‘acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.’
“South Africa alleges Israel’s actions in Gaza ‘are genocidal in character because they are intended to bring about the destruction of a substantial part’ of the Palestinian population in the enclave.”

Although Israel and its American ally have sought to ridicule the case as “meritless”, it is evident that both Netanyahu and Joe Biden are shaken by the negative implications for their political careers, if the ICJ rules in favour of South Africa.

It explains why unlike Israel’s outright rejection of previous proceedings at international tribunals, it has reluctantly agreed to drag itself to the Hague.

At the time of writing there is speculation about whether it will be represented by Alan Dershowitz, who faces allegations of statutory rape revealed in the unsealed Epstein documents.

While Netanyahu has insisted that Dershowitz should be fielded, his choice is contested and divisive.

For instance, Ha’aretz columnist Ben Samuel has questioned Israel’s resort to Dershowitz.

His recent article “Does It Have to Be Alan Dershowitz Defending Israel Against Charges of Genocide?” spells out his reservations.

He obviously doesn’t have any faith in Dershowitz who has acquired a nasty reputation as “Israel’s attack dog”.

While the controversy over Dershowitz rages on, the details of the instructions conveyed by the Netanyahu regime are equally contentious and shockingly outrageous.

Axios claims the demand made on their diplomats is that Israel’s “strategic goal” for the court to reject the request for an injunction is key.

It must lobby host countries to refrain from determining that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza, and recognize that the Israeli military is operating in the Strip according to international law.
“A ruling by the court could have significant potential implications that are not only in the legal world but have practical bilateral, multilateral, economic, security ramifications,” reads the cable, as quoted by Axios.

The starkest instruction which points to political interference in host countries says: “We ask for an immediate and unequivocal public statement along the following lines: To publicly and clearly state that YOUR COUNTRY rejects the outragest, absurd and baseless allegations made against Israel.”

Axios further reveals that in the cable, Israeli embassies were instructed to ask diplomats and politicians at the highest level “to publicly acknowledge that Israel is working [together with international actors] to increase the humanitarian aid to Gaza, as well as to minimize damage to civilians, while acting in self defense after the horrible October 7th attack by a genocidal terrorist organization.”

The deadline given to envoys is to obtain statements before the hearing begins on January 11, it will be interesting to note which host countries will oblige, given the global outrage against the bloody slaughter of Palestinians in #GazaGenocide.

Not surprising are the scandalous remarks made by the White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirkby to discredit and slander South Africa’s extremely comprehensive application: “We find this submission meritless, counterproductive, and completely without any basis in fact whatsoever.”

As Israel’s main ally and supplier of military hardware including weapons of mass destruction, such remarks are consistent with the demonic stance of the Biden regime, who to date has refused to call for a ceasefire.

While ICJ decisions are legally binding and cannot be appealed, if an order is granted against Israel, it is likely the apartheid regime will defy the decision.

In doing so it will be aping America.

After all, the US has refused to comply with two ICJ orders.

Chicago Council on Foreign Affairs reporter Hope O’Dell, reminds us that the first was in 1986, when the ICJ ruled that US support for the right-wing Nicaraguan rebels, the contras, was illegal, and the second, in 2018, when the court demanded the US make exceptions in its sanctions on Iran.

And of course, we are aware that Israel has ignored the 2004 ICJ ruling on the construction of the #ApartheidWall in and around the Occupied East Jerusalem, being against international law.

In its own words, the ICJ declared: “Israel is under an obligation to terminate its breaches of international law; it is under an obligation to cease forthwith the works of construction of the wall being built in the occupied Palestinian territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, to dismantle forthwith the structure therein situated, and to repeal or render ineffective forthwith all legislative and regulatory acts relating thereto, in accordance with paragraph 151 of this Opinion... “

Twenty years later, Israel has again been hauled before a full panel of 15 judges at the Hague, to face charges of committing genocide.

This time round it is evident that global public opinion has not only turned against it, but decisively so if around-the-clock protests throughout major cities of the world, are a yardstick to measure the disdain people and governments have for Israel’s genocide in Gaza.

Iqbal Jassat is Exec Member of Media Review Network, Johannesburg, South Africa

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