SAJBD’s response to the SA Government taking Israel to the International Court of Justice

The SAJBD’s response to the SA Government taking Israel to the International Court of Justice

Issued Sunday 31 December

The SA Jewish Board of Deputies mourns the loss of innocent life on both sides of the current Israel – Hamas conflict. The situation in Gaza is dire. During the meeting that the SAJBD had with President Cyril Ramaphosa in December (and not November as stated in their case), we expressed these views. We urged our government to play a role in talking to both sides, and in using their influence to ensure Hamas release the hostages, following their deadly raid on Israel on 7 October.

Rather than play a positive role, South Africa has chosen to expend its time and energy in filing a case against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

The Government’s inclusion of the meeting it held with the SAJBD in making its case against Israel is deeply concerning for this community. The SAJBD met with the President to express its concerns about rising antisemitism in SA and about the lack of consular services to SA citizens in Israel. The SAJBD made it clear that we are not the representatives of the state of Israel nor go betweens of the two countries. We are South African citizens like any other, with valid concerns about our human rights as citizens of this country. That the SA legal case against Israel twisted the meeting in this way, shows the depths to which the government will sink in doing the bidding of its friends Hamas.

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 their international responsibilities by inviting President Putin to attend the BRICS Summit this year, only evading further sanctions when Putin himself pulled out.

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.

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