The public hearings for South Africa’s case against Israel, whereby it presented its accusations in opposition to Tel Aviv for committing the crime of Genocide in Gaza, will determine whether international law, human rights, and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) itself will retain any legitimacy or declare the current world legal order de-facto ineffective, null and void.
The team of legal representatives who appeared before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to present South Africa’s case against Israel for committing the crime of Genocide, managed to communicate a historic and truly chilling depiction of the crimes now being committed against the people of the Gaza Strip. Watching South Africa’s Minister of Justice, Ronald Lamola, and Director-General of its Ministry of International Relations, Zane Dangor, stand before the ICJ and declare Israel an Apartheid regime, was in and of itself a powerful moment in human history. Yet if you were watching mainstream Western broadcast media you wouldn’t have witnessed this moment live on air.
Here lies a powerful indictment of the international media, where channels like Sky News and the BBC decided to broadcast Israel’s counter argument hearing live for their audiences, on January 12, but failed to broadcast the irrefutable cases presented on behalf of South Africa the day prior. Yet if you understand Western media for what it is, a conglomerate of stenographers for US empire, then you would understand why they refused to broadcast one of the most damning eviscerations of Zionist propaganda and recounting of all the facts about Gaza that the likes of the BBC have been ignoring.
Israel’s counter presentations at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) were essentially in line with Western media propaganda; that being a concoction of distortions, fantasy, unproven claims, photos of insufficient amount of aid entering Gaza, irrelevant issues, nonsense, and of course, “what about Hamas”. For those who seek to judge and don’t believe Israel’s ICJ case to be anything more than a masterclass in whataboutism, feel free to watch both South Africa’s and Israel’s public hearings in full.
If the ICJ genocide case was to be judged upon the merits of the facts and arguments presented, it would be a clear cut victory for South Africa. However, the ICJ’s panel of judges are from a number of countries and are understood widely to represent, in some form, their country’s positions. The President of the ICJ is no other than Joan E. Donoghue of the US, while the other judges hail from Russia, Brazil, China, Slovakia, France, Morocco, Somalia, Uganda, India, Jamaica, Lebanon, Japan, Germany and Australia. What is clear here is that politics have the propensity to bleed their way into the ICJ proceedings, and while there is a chance that the judges will be objective and base their own assessments on the merits of the arguments presented before them, there is also a good chance that politics will decide the current genocide case.
In order for there to be a provisional ruling in favor of South Africa’s case at the ICJ — expected to come within a week — there must be 8 of the 15 judges that decide in favor of it. A full ruling could take years and so a provision ruling could result in the court demanding that Israel cease its military actions that may amount to a campaign of Genocide, a large blow to Tel Aviv’s ongoing attack on the people of Gaza. A total of 153 countries at the United Nations have signed on to the Genocide Convention, which means that in the event of a provisional ruling against Israel, those nations would become legally obliged to act to prevent Genocide.
Obviously, the Israelis won’t likely immediately listen to any ruling given by the ICJ and dismiss claims of Genocide as “blood libel” and “baseless”, but international pressure could have a dramatic effect on its campaign against Gaza. The hope here is that the court’s judges will collectively muster enough courage and humanity to rule in favor of South Africa and that this could be the first step in ending Israel’s war against the people of Gaza.
What hangs in the balance here, is the legitimacy of the entire international system. If the court rules in favor of the Israeli regime, it will toss away the legitimacy of the ICJ, the United Nations, International Law, and the very concept of Human Rights. The whole purpose of the above mentioned bodies and legal concepts are to prevent the types of crimes being committed by the Israeli military in Gaza today, which match the scale of atrocities which were committed during the Second World War in terms of destruction and death toll percentages. If this powerful legal and humanitarian intervention by the government of South Africa is not effective, it will be giving Israel a green light to commit any scale of atrocities it seeks and will effectively declare that we all live by the law of the jungle. The very world order and international civilization hangs in the balance.