South Africa as a signatory to the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (genocide convention) is duly permitted in law to start a genocide court case against any other member state, including Israel.
In recent times, cases have been instituted against Russia for its role in the Ukrainian war.
Gambia launched a case against Myanmar, signalling the stronger role Africans are prepared to play in international affairs.
South Africa wants urgent orders to halt the violence and war in Gaza immediately.
The state of Israel, through its cabinet ministers, has called the people of Gaza “human animals” who must also be treated as human animals.
South Africa partly states its case against the state of Israel as follows: “In light of the extraordinary urgency of the situation, South Africa seeks an expedited hearing for its request for the indication of provisional measures. In addition, pursuant to Article 74(4) of the Rules of Court, South Africa requests the President of the Court to protect the Palestinian people in Gaza by calling upon Israel immediately to halt all military attacks that constitute or give rise to
violations of the genocide convention pending the holding of such hearing, so as to enable any order the court may make on the request for the indication of provisional measures to have its appropriate effects.”
The United Nations (UN) and its International Court of Justice are generally paralysed by conflict of interest as powerful nations can veto proposed resolutions or simply either advise their allies to ignore the International Court of Justice rulings or ignore them themselves.
The US has sponsored Israel and protected the country against UN resolutions for several decades.
“The US has vetoed resolutions critical of Israel more than any other council member – 45 times as of December 18, 2023, according to an analysis by Blue Marble. The US has vetoed 89 Security Council resolutions in total since 1945, meaning slightly over half of its vetoes have been used on resolutions critical of Israel. Of the vetoed resolutions, 33 pertained to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories or the country’s treatment of the Palestinian people.
“At the present time, Hamas and Israel are negotiating the possible exchange of hostages or prisoners held by each side and they have done so before. They do take hostages as part of bargaining with each other.
The trouble with such behaviour is that the US-Israeli alliance will bombard and shoot the Palestinians as part of softening them in the ongoing hostage
The trouble for the peoples of the Third World and South Africa and hence the genocide court case especially, and other cases in the International Criminal Court of Justice, is the underlying basis of the conflict – the land question in Palestine.
Since 1948, Britain, the US and their European allies have sought to establish a Jewish homeland somewhere on earth; that it becomes quite clear through the actions of the Nazis that the Jews are forever in danger of genocide specifically from Europeans.
Pogroms and mass killings of Jews in the UK, Russia and Europe more broadly eventually stimulated the Christian Zionist Movement and the Jewish Zionist movement to agitate for the creation of a homeland for the Jews.
The present state of Israel is a result of land taken through violence from all manner of native Palestinians especially since 1948 until now. So, the thing that needs to be ended in the Western imperialist mind is the idea that other people’s homes and land can be taken violently to meet the needs of the West and those interests of the West enforced through superior gunfire, bombs and money.
While Western powers may think it is possible to take and keep land by violence and genocide as they have done in Australia, New Zealand, the US, Canada and so on, the peoples of the Third World and South Africa think that the violent taking of other people’s land is inhuman, genocidal and must be liquidated.
In light of this, SA cannot back down from any other taker of other peoples’ land based on superior military strength using economic might as we have seen in Cuba since 1960.
- Swana is a political analyst, an academic and a member of the 70s Group