While the move to take Israel to the International Court of Justice was applauded by some, it was slammed by the Jewish body.

The SA Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) has reacted to the SA government filing an urgent order against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), labelling it a publicity stunt lacking in credibility and understanding.

The government this week announced it had approached the court in The Hague to request it “declare on an urgent basis that Israel is in breach of its obligations in terms of the Genocide Convention” and should “immediately cease all acts” of genocide in its conflict in Gaza.

‘SA humiliating itself’

While the move was applauded by some, including the ANC, the SAJBD said “South Africa continues to humiliate itself in the international arena”.

“It has no shame in using international organisations like the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the IJC when it suits their political purpose but shuns them when it doesn’t.

“Judges in the Hague ruled that SA had flouted its duties to the ICC by failing to arrest Omar al-Bashir who was wanted by the ICC. It further made a mockery of its international responsibilities by inviting President Putin to attend the BRICS Summit this year, only evading further sanctions when Putin himself pulled out,” National Chair, Prof Karen Milner, said.

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SAJBD said it met with Ramaphosa earlier this month to share its views on the conflict and urge government to speak to both sides of the war while using its influence to bring about a resolution.

“Rather than play a positive role, South Africa has chosen to expend its time and energy in filing a case against Israel at the ICJ.”

“This latest media-seeking stunt lacks credibility and is evident that they have no real understanding of the current conflict, international law or interest in finding a peaceful resolution to the conflict,” Milner added.


Meanwhile, the African National Congress (ANC) said government’s decision signified “the nation’s unwavering commitment to justice, human rights, and the principles enshrined in international law”.

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“The ANC stands in solidarity with the South African government’s pursuit of justice through the appropriate international legal mechanisms. The decision to seek the intervention of the ICJ underscores the ANC’s dedication to uphold values of peace, justice, and human dignity.

“We emphasise the importance of accountability for any violations of international law and stress the need for a comprehensive and fair investigation to determine responsibility,” national spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri said.


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