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MIDDLE EAST CRISIS

ICJ likely to grant some of SA’s requested provisional measures in Gaza — experts

ICJ likely to grant some of SA’s requested provisional measures in Gaza — experts
Judges at the International Court of Justice assembled for the hearing of the genocide case against Israel brought by South Africa, in The Hauge, The Netherlands, on 11 January, 2024. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Remko De Waal)

Observers believe the International Court of Justice might order Israel to provide humanitarian aid in Gaza but are not so sure about an order for Israel to cease fire.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is likely to order Israel to take some provisional measures to reduce the suffering of the residents of Gaza, as requested by South Africa in the case it brought to the court last week accusing Israel of violating the Genocide Convention. 

But it is less certain that the 17 judges will order the provisional measure that matters most — an immediate halt to Israel’s military assault on Gaza.

This is the view of several lawyers, diplomats and experts. The ICJ judges have until 5 February to announce any provisional measures they might decide upon, Daily Maverick was told. 

They could announce them as early as this week, but legal sources say they will probably take the full 24 days because of the great seriousness and difficulty of this case. The judges began deliberating on Monday.

The nationalities of the judges could be decisive in any ruling. Although they are all supposed to act objectively as individuals, most observers believe that in practice they follow the orders of their capitals. Israel suspects this will count against it, though that is by no means certain. 

After announcing provisional measures, if any, the court will then ponder the substance of the case, to determine conclusively whether or not Israel is carrying out genocide in Gaza. That could take years. 

ICJ, John Dugard, Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, Adila Hassim

John Dugard, professor of International Law, lawyer Tembeka Ngcukaitobi and lawyer Adila Hassim, sit ahead of the hearing of the genocide case against Israel brought by South Africa, at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, The Netherlands, on 12 January 2024. (Photo: EPA-EFE/ Remko De Waal)

The case

Last week, the ICJ judges heard testimony by South African lawyers arguing that Israel was committing genocide against the 2.3 million people of Gaza by killing more than 23,000 of them, severely wounding thousands more and making conditions of life impossible for all of them.

The lawyers also cited statements by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Isaac Herzog and many other senior officials, soldiers and even singers calling for the destruction of Gaza and blaming all Gazan citizens for the atrocities of Hamas on 7 October when it attacked Israel. The SA lawyers said the indiscriminate destruction of civilians and civilian infrastructure and the statements by top officials demonstrated Israel’s genocidal intent.

South Africa asked the judges to issue several provisional measures, the main one being for Israel “to immediately suspend its military operations in and against Gaza”. SA also asked the court to order Israel to stop committing genocide against the Palestinians, including by desisting from: 

  • Killing them and causing them serious bodily or mental harm;
  • Deliberately inflicting on them conditions calculated to bring about their physical destruction in whole or in part; and
  • Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group.

Read more in Daily Maverick: ‘Nothing will stop this suffering, except an order from this court’ — SA sets out the evidence against Israel

Israel’s lawyers denied that Israel was committing genocide in Gaza.

They said an armed conflict between Israel and Hamas was taking place in Gaza, not a genocide, and accused South Africa of presenting a distorted picture of the conflict as though Israel was the only party fighting in Gaza. 

They placed a great deal of emphasis on the Hamas attack on Israel on 7 October in which about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, were killed and 240 hostages taken and said Israel was fighting a war of self-defence against Hamas in Gaza.

They rejected the provisional measures sought by  South Africa. In particular, they said a ceasefire by Israel would be unilateral, allowing Hamas to continue fighting and leaving Israel defenceless. They dismissed the statements by Netanyahu and others as “rhetoric” and said they did not reflect the collective views of the war Cabinet and National Security Council which were directing the war.

ICJ, Tal Becker, Malcolm Shaw

Tal Becker (left), Legal Counselor of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, and lawyer Malcolm Shaw, prior to the hearing of the genocide case against Israel, brought by South Africa, at the International Court of Justice in The Hauge, The Netherlands, on 11 January 2024. (Photo: EPA-EFE/ Remko De Waal)

Read more in Daily Maverick: Israel says ICJ order, if granted, would leave it defenceless against Hamas 

William Schabas, a Canadian international law professor, lawyer and veteran litigator before the ICJ, said he gave SA’s lawyers an A for their performance last week and Israel a C-minus — “and that’s because I don’t like to fail anyone”.  

‘Feel-good’ measures

Nevertheless, he suggested, the ICJ judges might opt to order only “feel-good” measures for Israel — such as “not to commit genocide” rather than ordering the most effective measure of demanding that Israel immediately cease its military assault on Gaza. 

Schabas said, “The ultimate measure would be an order to stop all military activity, and if they get that one that will be total victory.”

But he told the French activist Frank Barat on Barat’s YouTube show, that it would be hard for the judges to order Israel to stop all military activity “because of the self-defence argument”.

However, it would also be hard for the ICJ judges to reject South Africa’s request for other provisional measures such as ordering Israel to allow much greater access to food, water, medication and other humanitarian aid in Gaza.

“And that’s a strong case and one they’re very likely to get.”

Such measures would still affect Israel because they would be viewed in the court of public opinion as being orders against the State of Israel.

Other lawyers have pointed out that any ICJ provisional order against Israel would imply that the court believed there was a prima facie case of genocide against Israel.

Germany last week announced that it would formally intervene on Israel’s side in the substantive stage of the genocide case at the ICJ. Even so, sources close to the German embassy in Pretoria told Daily Maverick they believed that although the ICJ would probably not grant SA every provisional measure it requested, it would probably order something “going in the direction of … a ceasefire, an end (or pause) of hostilities and access to humanitarian aid”.

Israel would, of course, prefer no provisional measures but it believes it is unlikely that the ICJ will completely decline to take on the case at all. If the ICJ does accept the case, Israel is hoping for easier measures like “a call for ensuring more humanitarian aid and protection of civilians but short of a call for an immediate ceasefire”, a former Israeli diplomat told Daily Maverick.

But, he added, Israel was not completely ruling out the possibility of the ICJ ordering a ceasefire — because of the national composition of the court. 

Ronald Lamola, ICJ

Ronald Lamola (centre), Minister of Justice of South Africa, speaks to the press before the International Court of Justice after the first day of the hearing of the genocide case against Israel, brought by South Africa, in The Hauge, The Netherlands, on 11 January, 2024. (Photo: EPA-EFE/ Remko De Waal)

The ‘uncertain’ judges

Although the judges are supposed to act as independent individuals, most commentators predict they will vote according to the positions of their governments

Israel puts the judges from Morocco, Somalia, Lebanon, China, Russia and South Africa’s ad-hoc judge in the South African column.

It puts the judges from the US, Australia, Germany and its ad-hoc judge in its column. This leaves Japan, Slovakia, Brazil, India, Jamaica, Uganda and France, whose judge, Israel says, is originally from Egypt, “to play for”.

Israel fears that this national breakdown of judges favours SA, though it appears that the “uncertains” could swing it either way. 

Daniel Levy, of the US-Middle East Project, told Newzroom Afrika that  given the national composition of the court, and the fact that its president was American, “I think there will be a predisposition among many of the judges to see this through the lens of: this is a terrorist organisation against a state which is trying to act in its legitimate self-defence”.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Middle East crisis news hub

Cathleen Powell, UCT professor of international law, also speaking on Newzroom Afrika, said one of the strongest arguments Israel had made last week was that Hamas was not before the court and so if the ICJ issued an order to Israel to stop fighting that would leave it defenceless against Hamas, which would be able to continue fighting. 

She said, however, that the ICJ should at least order Israel to provide or allow much greater humanitarian access. She agreed with Levy that many of the humanitarian improvements which Israel had cited before the ICJ last week were fairly recent and may well have been in response to South Africa’s court case. 

Levy suggested that if this were so it would mean that SA had already begun saving lives in Gaza with its ICJ case, no matter how it turned out. 

Powell added while the Israeli lawyers talked about how well they were cooperating with the UN and others, the UN and its aid agencies “frequently complained that Israel was making it impossible for them to work within the territory”.

Powell believed the ICJ should take up the case if only to objectively test Israel’s claim that almost all the death and destruction in Gaza was being caused by Hamas — by using civilians as human shields, setting booby traps, misfiring rockets, etc. 

Tal Becker, Ronald Lamola, ICJ

Israeli legal counsellor Tal Becker looks down and South African Justice Minister Ronald Lamola sits in the foreground at the International Criminal Court on 11 January, 2024 in The Hague, Netherlands. (Photo: Michel Porro/Getty Images)

Proof of dispute

Powell and Levy cautioned that the ICJ might refuse to adjudicate the case on the technical grounds that SA had failed to prove it had a dispute with Israel before resorting to the ICJ — as ICJ rules require it to. 

Israel’s advocate Malcolm Shaw suggested  SA’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) had bungled this requirement by ignoring several requests by Israel to discuss SA’s genocide allegations before Pretoria took its case to the ICJ on 29 December last year.

In particular, he said SA’s claim that Israel had failed to respond to an official note from Pretoria on 21 December raising its concerns about genocide in Gaza was incorrect as Israel had responded on the same day. And on 26 December the head of Israel’s foreign ministry had proposed a meeting with his SA counterpart to discuss SA’s allegation. Dirco had the next day refused to accept a handwritten letter from the Israeli embassy because it was a holiday. Pretoria then submitted its application to the ICJ on 29 December while still in correspondence with Israel. 

A South African diplomatic source dismissed Shaw’s argument, saying that SA believed it had been able to demonstrate in many ways that it had a dispute with Israel over Gaza. He mentioned, for instance, a request that Pretoria had made to Israel on 17 October for a phone call between President Cyril Ramaphosa and Netanyahu.

“Israel did not reply to this request,” he said. 

Andre Thomashausen, Unisa emeritus professor of comparative and international law, said the ICJ would probably throw SA’s case out — and issue no provisional measures — not only because of this failure to prove that it had a dispute with Israel but also because he said South Africa had failed to prove Israel had genocidal intent in its attack on Gaza. 

He told Jeremy Maggs on Moneyweb that he believed South Africa had failed to refute Israel’s case that it had done a lot to mitigate civilian casualties and suffering and to restrict the harm to Hamas. He concluded, “Essentially, the court will have to say, you’ve approached us with a very serious crisis but you’ve based it on the wrong legal foundation. The genocide foundation can’t help you here.”

Meanwhile, Netanyahu appeared to have rendered the whole exercise as academic by vowing on Saturday to continue the war in Gaza regardless of what the ICJ decided. DM

Read more in Daily Maverick: Middle East crisis news hub

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Ben Harper says:

    The case should be dismissed and thrown out, Powell and Levy are right, ICJ has a duty to dismiss the case. This is a charade, the anc has sold it’s and the country’s soul to brutal dictators and perpetrators of real genocide, they’re likely being paid by Iran to do this (a couple of months ago they were broke and couldn’t even pay salaries and now suddenly they’re flush with money) and of course it’s pure electioneering.

    No court in the World can tell a sovereign state it cannot defend itself, particularly against a designated terror group who’s stated mandate and charter is to commit genocide on it’s people and country.

    • Denise Smit says:

      Thanks for pointing out the role of Iran, which SA say or do nothing about with its record of human rights abuse where hundreds of woman are for jail for years and die in suspicious circumstances because of not wearing the head dress correctly, where Sharia law allows them the sentence woman to amongst other thing 100 whip lashes ( which would kill even a man) SA cosies up to Iran

      • Ben Harper says:

        And the latest is now that Pakistan has launched attacks on Iran targeting their terrorist training camps

      • John P says:

        Denise that has nothing to do with this report, your comment is pure whataboutism. Iran is wrong agreed however that is nothing to do with the IDF’s overreaction in Gaza

    • Denise Smit says:

      Why is my comment to Ben Harper (support of his view) not passed

    • Graeme Bird says:

      First you only respect the opinion of the legal experts who parrot your view, then you invent a conspiracy theory to prove why South Africa initiated the matter at the ICJ and finally you undermine the judiciary. Brilliant stuff indeed.

      • Ben Harper says:

        Firstly you only respect opinion of legal experts who parrot your view then you invent a conspiracy theory to prove SA was right to initiate the matter at the ICJ and finally you undermine the judiciary an learned experts. Brilliant stuff indeed!

    • John P says:

      The court is not being asked to tell a state it cannot defend itself. It is being asked whether or not there is genocidal intent on the part of the Netanyahu government.

  • J vN says:

    So, in short, a pointless exercise in histrionics by SA’s pathetic legal team, who didn’t even read the statutes properly (there needed to be a formal dispute first between Israel and SA before the matter could be taken to the ICJ, but the idiotic legal team didn’t seem to know this.)

    Maybe the ANCamas’s funders, Iran, thought that it was money well spent, as will some local Hamas supporters, mostly from the so-called religion of peach, but, as for SA as a whole, what a shambles and a humiliation. SA is truly now a pariah state, a joke nation.

    • Ben Harper says:

      Exactly

    • Ben Lev says:

      When you’ve run out of ideas, willpower, capability and competence to run your own country you start pulling stunts like this and then portray yourself as a hero.

      (Not saying the war is not a serious issue worthy of attention. The discredited SA gov’s involvement is a joke)

    • Pete Farlam says:

      Not pathetic at all. As Peter Fabricius mentions above, they did very well. The trouble as Greg Mills and others point out, is that SA is selective about its support of international Human Rights.

    • JP K says:

      Have you actually checked South Africa’s legal team? Only a fool would call them idiotic.

      There is a plausible case for genocide taking place in Gaza, experts agree. Whatever the case may be, to call it histrionic is itself an exaggeration.

    • Bob Dubery says:

      If this formal dispute was necessary before the matter could be taken to the ICJ, then why did that court go to the trouble of hearing the case and why did Israel prepare a defence? Either the idiocy is spread around, or the case was valid.

    • Schalk le Roux says:

      Daily Maverick, is the statement that SA’s legal team is “pathetic” a fair comment according to your commentary rules. To me it sounds insulting.

    • Respect for Truth says:

      SA’s arguments came straight out of the Mpofu school of law where actual policy and evidence are irrelevent and quoting opinions of people not involved in determing policy, provided the desired optics. Concerningly, the author of this article, parrots that approach.

  • Steve Marks says:

    Israel will not bow to SA’s bogus libel suit. Jewish security comes way before any UN or ICJ ruling. Just watch. Israel was built in spite of anti semitism.

    • Paddy Ross says:

      Of course Israel is entitled to its security and I believe Israel has the right to attack Hamas but with more than 50% of the c.25,000 killed being women and children, the Israel destruction of Gaza seems to be closer to genocide than protection of Israel.

      • Ben Harper says:

        There is no verification of those numbers and given they’re provided by Hamas themselves, there’s even less credibility in them. They also fail to provide how many of those are combatants.

        Answer this, in WW2 between 2 and 3 Million German civilians were killed in the war compared to 70,000 British civilians, so if you’re comparing body count and using that as a deciding factor to determine whether or not it is Genocide, did the allies commit genocide in WW2?

        • John P says:

          Comparing WW2 to the Israeli Palestinian war particularly whilst not including the Holocaust in the number of dead is, at best a poor attempt to justify the actions of the Netanyahu government but at worst a deliberate distortion of the facts.

  • Coen Gous says:

    The only fear that I have, is that this war to escalate into something, much, much worse

  • Fayzal Mahamed says:

    Whatever the outcome, South Africa is a hero in this story.
    Viva, South Africa, viva.
    Viva, Palestine, viva.

  • Sydney Kaye says:

    You seem to be saying the ICJ is not a court of law but a mini UN General Assembly. If that is the case anything can happen since the UNGC only votes one way for a resolution with the word Israel in it.
    The option of ordering Israel “not to commit genocide” would be quite farcical since it amounts to “have you stopped beating your wife ” where you admit guilt which ever say you answer. If Israel were to accept the order it would be an admission that they had intended to.

    • Kanu Sukha says:

      Aha … your last statement explains why long before the state of Israel was formed by imperialist Britain (Great sic ?) as they did Pakistan … Ben Gurion (father of zionist Israel) said in a letter to his son … ” The Arabs will have to go, BUT one needs an opportune moment for making it happen , such as war .” No intent there … even if it is more than 70 years after that fateful British declaration! A Britain currently under the leadership of an Indian maharaj … how comical if not ironic .

  • Johan says:

    I found Nafees Hamid’s opinion: “Psychology explains why the Israeli–Palestinian conflict is so intractable” a fresh voice. Worth the read.

  • Denise Smit says:

    The author of this article is not usually biased, but in this case he is. He is vague when it suits him and specific in others. The heading is also not a true reflection of the content of the article. He has demonstrated that the UN is not neutral. An attorney can act on behalf of its capital, but any Judge is supposed to be neutral. That is why anything coming from the UN is quiestionable. The UN female matters head on woman’s rights day still tried to defend her position that the UN still not accepted the fact that woman had been raped, sodomised , killed, abused. That was weeks after 7 October.

  • Geoff Woodruff says:

    It’s pretty certain that there will have to be compromises on Israel’s part regarding humanitarian aid etc and no doubt Hamas will exploit it to their full advantage. Ultimately the war will continue until Hamas are neutralized and only then will there be peace.

    • Kanu Sukha says:

      When you wake up from the Netanyahu dream of ‘wiping out’ (you call it neutralise to be polite) Hamas which is an ideology of ‘freedom from oppression & subjugation), you may find yourself on the wrong side of history. Remember how our apartheid regime thought that with a powerful military (endorsed by none other than the US and Israel) and secret police they could humiliate their victims forever ? And off course our apartheid regime did not “exploit” the support it got from fascist states pretending to be ‘democracies’ ! The sheer hubris is breathtaking ! The supply of ‘humanitarian aid’ is not a substitute for freedom from oppression and subjugation.

  • Geoff Coles says:

    Amazing, is it not, that the supposedly independent Court Members consult their Governments before taking decisions…..though they need to be rational and, er, objective!

  • Ken Shai says:

    Whether there is any relief from the court is questionable since Israel will not abide by the decision. But the court proceeding will certainly provide an excellent platform from which to expose Israel’s war crimes and genocide

    • Ben Harper says:

      Or in all likelihood exonerate them as they are exercising their right to defend their people and territory against a fanatical terrorist aggressor

  • David Edwards says:

    Regardless of the merits of this case, does anyone appreciate the irony of the same SA government that refuses to honour commitments to the ICC is claiming the moral high ground through the ICJ? Perhaps an indication of opportunism over altruism…

  • Baldwin The Anchorite says:

    Thomashausen misunderstands the legal premise of ICJ provisional measures, which are set at a plausibility threshold and not proof of genocidal intent, as he assures.

    • Baldwin The Anchorite says:

      Further, confusingly, Thomashausen mentions “proving a dispute” whereas the ICJ defining contentious jurisdiction defines a legal dispute as “…a disagreement on a question of law or fact, a conflict, or a clash of legal views or interests.”

      How this doesn’t meet that threshold is convenient for him as it is opaque to me.

      • Baldwin The Anchorite says:

        Let’s all take a second to admire just how remarkably wrong Thomashausen was. Enjoy drinking the tea of reality to the zionist bloodlust in this comment thread.

  • Dave Barnes says:

    S A bungles yet again! Cannot get procedural stuff right, rushes to court before getting a dispute registered. Once again, no consideration of cost, rushing in, wasting millions!

    • Kanu Sukha says:

      Have you considered funding the costs … so that there is no ‘wastage’ ? Could help to inflate your feigned outrage … and hubris ?

  • Sid Peimer says:

    A WARM WELCOME TO OUR NEW OWNER. I would like to welcome Iran as the new owners of South Africa. With the ANC’s impending liquidation, which would exclude them from elections, this purchase makes absolute sense for all parties concerned. Besides Iran getting a great deal with a weak rand, it also gives them a strong foothold in a country that has no problem aligning with gangsters, fanatics and dictators – yet still manages to retain its image as an ethical proponent of humanism.
    For the ANC, there were some short-term gains as well. Firstly they could settle the R100 million outstanding account threatening their liquidation, and then embark on the exceptionally expensive ICJ lobby. The chances of the judgement going in favour of South Africa is similar to you and me winning the lottery. But that suits both parties: the narrative they will amplify is “Israel got away with it”.
    Israel, although using its outmoded strategy of smashing anything that threatens it – has been no match for global sentiment created by the curated content of Hamas. If winning hearts and minds is the objective of war, unfortunately Hamas have succeeded. I use the term ‘unfortunately’, as they deny me the right to exist at all due to article 7 of the Hamas charter which essentially says: the Jews must die. So, in this case, its personal.
    Our congratulations to Iran on their purchase and trust they will enjoy the hospitality of their new subjects.

    • Schalk le Roux says:

      Please supply reliable evidence for your statement.

    • Kanu Sukha says:

      BUT … I thought that is exactly what the US has been doing all along ? Does the US have a complete monopoly of #crewing others ? What is “essentially” ? Have you read what Ben Gurion in a letter to his son wrote about the Arabs … many years before Israel was founded ?

  • Graeme Bird says:

    Netanyahu’s comments reflect the same bloody minded approach to Israel’s bombing of woman and children in Gaza. And while Hamas is despicable to say the least, it has at least exposed the current Israeli government as an equally immoral party in this tragic situation.

  • Agf Agf says:

    Oh the delicious irony of an organisation whose stated aim is to kill every Jew in Israel ( genocide?) being supported and promoted by a country whose population is downtrodden and in some cases starving because of the actions of its government. A country who let go a mass murderer who killed tens of thousands of his countrymen and was not just wanted, but had been actually charged with genocide.

    • JP K says:

      Hamas has revised revised its charter in 2017. Point 16 states: “Hamas affirms that its conflict is with the Zionist project not with the Jews because of their religion. Hamas does not wage a struggle against the Jews because they are Jewish but wages a struggle against the Zionists who occupy Palestine. Yet, it is the Zionists who constantly identify Judaism and the Jews with their own colonial project and illegal entity.”

      The genocidal statements made by senior Israel officials is consistent with the Likud founding charter which states: “The right of the Jewish people to the land of Israel is eternal and indisputable… therefore, Judea and Samaria will not be handed to any foreign administration; between the Sea and the Jordan there will only be Israeli sovereignty.”

      Make of both statements what you will, but Hamas’ stated intention is not to kill every Jew (though it did in its previous charter).

      • Ben Harper says:

        Riiiiggghhhhtttttttt

        • JP K says:

          “Riiiggghhhttt” all you want and until you’re blue in the face. The previous statement references Hamas’ previous charter not its revised charter. Hamas is clear about what and why they are fighting and also what they are prepared to accept and emphasises the distinction between Jews and Zionists. Israel, through action and words is also clear. Nakba 2.0. Between the sea and Jordan there will only be Israeli sovereignty.

          But hey, please feel free to share any sources you feel are relevant to help me understand your incredulity.

    • Respect for Truth says:

      Exactly!

  • Willem Boshoff says:

    This judgment might have far-reaching consequences. Anyone with a conscience will support measures to stop/reduce the suffering of innocents, but one cannot ignore that Hamas has stated genocidal intent and has vowed to continue to act on it. Ordering Israel to cease military operations will effectively give Hamas a free pass; something Israel will not do. A further complication is Hamas’ operations with and from within Palestinian civilian spheres. How many of the 23 000 killed were Hamas combatants? How many of those deaths are due to Hamas using human shields (not to mention their own misfiring?). This is a complex and difficult situation with SA ignoring pertinent issues to present a lopsided case. All parties need to be held accountable.

    • Kanu Sukha says:

      Is it as lopsided as your tendentious and puerile arguments/comments ?

      • Willem Boshoff says:

        You need to explain what about my argument is tendentious/puerile. Using big words in an argument does not make it valid. In my opinion everything I raised is factual and relevant. Refute me then. I’m open to be proven wrong.

  • Funny how this Law Professor Schabas described as a Canadian Expert happens to be on the same faculty as Prof Dugard at Leiden University. This chap Schabas cites Dugard numerous times in his academic papers, biased much??

  • Lyle Pillay says:

    South africa is determined to stop the so called Genocide case that it will most likely lose cause they do not have a strong enough case. Now they are taking the US to court as well. I wish they were as determined to solve their own problems first. S.A Government is looking for trouble in the wrong places of the world which will unfortunately have detrimental effects on the South African economy in years to come but I’m not at surprised because they where never worried about their own citizens at all thats why this country is slowly falling apart and now they are just speeding up the process of our demise.

  • Cornelia Botha says:

    One is deeply saddened by the widespread lack of empathy for the horrific suffering of the people of Gaza, as witnessed by reader commentaries on the pages of DM. Is it really so difficult to condemn the barbaric actions of Hamas while at the same time expressing horror at the bloodbath perpetuated by Netanyahu’s IDF and desiring it to end? I am heartened by the many Jewish voices – in South Africa and abroad – calling for the killing to stop. Whatever happened to pikuach nefesh?

  • Jane Crankshaw says:

    This is a war.
    If you want to talk about Genocide then lets talk about the 6 million Jews wiped off the earth in WW2 – innocent men,women and children!
    Absolutely nothing can compare with that and it was where the Jews learnt to trust no one! Dont talk to me about Genocide until you recognise what drives people in war. There are no innocents in war.

    • JP K says:

      This is a rather problematic statement totally ignorant of international law. The law protects civilians precisely to prevent the horrors of WW2 from reoccurring.

      But anyway, you state “6 million Jews were wiped off the face the face of the earth in WW2 – innocent men, women and children!” Indeed, a horror demonstrating how evil we can be. But then go on to state “there are no innocents in war”. From your statements respect for life doesn’t apply to Palestinians? Why is that? The tragedy is that the very victims of a genocide who wish to protect themselves from it ever happening again are now perpetrating it on another other people.

    • Citizen X says:

      And it was the Germans who wiped out the Jews. The same country supporting the Zionists to do the same to the Palestinians backed by America and the UK!
      Note Zionist extremists and Jewish people are not the same to me. How can you think this is not a genocide unless you believe the current narrative of the genocide perpetrators of the Jews, your new masters Germany, plus the UK and America? Jewish people should have been given Germany to own and rule at end of WW2, instead of allowing the never ending bloodshed of Palestinians as compensation.

  • dexter m says:

    Israel does not need critics anymore . Their own government doing a pretty good job of alienating their western backers . Do they want to lose the case ? Every day their is some outrageous statement by the PM or a cabinet minister. How do they expect the President of Israel to rally support in Davos ,if his own PM and cabinet is undercutting him.

  • BAFANA MALAZA says:

    Once vampires taste the blood they are unlikely to let go until they’ve devoured the entire prey.

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