‘Genocide Convention Weaponized against Us’ – Israeli UN Envoy

A file photo of Israeli envoy to the UN Gilad Erdan tearing to pieces UN human rights report while on the podium of the UN General Assembly. (Photo: video grab)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

On the eve of South Africa’s genocide case against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Tel Aviv claims the UN has been weaponized against it.

At the same time, the US has called the case “meritless”.

“Every single UN agency and body has been weaponized against Israel,” the Israeli ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, said on Wednesday.

“The UN has become the epitome of dystopian reality. And South Africa’s baseless and libelous case at the ICJ proves this exactly,” he told the UN.

“How can it be that the Convention of the Prevention of Genocide adopted following the holocaust, the genocide of the Jewish people, is now being weaponized against the Jewish state…”, Erdan said.

He added that South Africa’s petition is “baseless, full of lies and slander” and is only “serving the Hamas terrorists.”

South Africa’s ICJ Case Against Israel Backed by Over 1,000 Organizations

Israel’s Actions Reminiscent of Apartheid South Africa

But South Africa’s Deputy Representative to the UN, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, reportedly said indiscriminate attacks on thousands of civilians under the pretext of self-defense cannot be allowed to continue. 

“The current military actions of Israel towards Gaza are also reminiscent of the collective punishment conducted by South Africa’s apartheid government, as it sought to destroy those fighting for their legitimate rights and freedoms,” he is quoted by South African media as saying.

Speaking at news conference in Tel Aviv, US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, reportedly said “The charge of genocide is meritless.”  

“It’s particularly galling, given that those who are attacking Israel, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthis, as well as their support on Iran, continue to openly call for the annihilation of Israel and the mass murder of Jews,” he added, according to the Anadolu News Agency.

Blinken is on his fourth visit to the Middle East since October 7. 

The ICJ will hold its first public hearing on January 11 in The Hague, to consider the lawsuit filed by South Africa against Israel accusing it of crimes of genocide against Palestinians in Gaza. 

In a statement, the ICJ said that South Africa, in its request, “asks the Court to indicate provisional measures in order to “protect against further, severe and irreparable harm to the rights of the Palestinian people under the Genocide Convention” and “to ensure Israel’s compliance with its obligations under the Genocide Convention not to engage in genocide, and to prevent and to punish genocide.’”

What You Must Know about the ICJ Case against Israel – Intl. Law Expert Explains

More Countries, Organizations Back South Africa

So far, South Africa’s legal action has been officially endorsed by Turkiye, Malaysia, Jordan, Bolivia, The Maldives, Namibia, Pakistan, and Venezuela. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), composed of 57 member states, has also announced its endorsement of the case.

More than 1,000 popular movements, political parties, unions, and other organizations around the world have also expressed support for South Africa’s case.

In a joint statement, the organizations urged “other countries to reinforce this strongly worded and well-argued complaint by immediately filing a Declaration of Intervention with the ICJ, also called the World Court.”

The hearing will be streamed live and on demand in the two official languages of the court, English and French, on the court’s website and on UN Web TV.

South Africa will present its case on Thursday, while Israel’s will be heard the following day.

The Palestine Chronicle spoke to Dr Triestino Mariniello in order to break down the case. Dr. Mariniello is Professor of Law at Liverpool John Moores University, and a member of the legal team for Gaza victims at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

He explains what you need to know about the case here

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 23,357 Palestinians have been killed, and 59,410 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Palestinian and international estimates say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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