Israeli Lawyers Respond to South Africa's Call to Stop Rafah Offensive at ICJ

    Israeli Lawyers Respond to South Africa's Call to Stop Rafah Offensive at ICJ
    Above: The International Court of Justice (ICJ) delivers an order on South Africa's genocide case against Israel on January 26, 2024 in The Hague, Netherlands. Image copyright: Michel Porro/Contributor/Getty Images News via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • The International Court of Justice (ICJ) began two days of hearings on Thursday after South Africa called on the court to force Israel to stop its military offensive in Rafah. South Africa said on Thursday that Israel intended to "wipe [the Palestinians] off the face of the Earth."

    • In January, South Africa accused Israel of committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza — a charge Israel has called "grossly distorted." South Africa's most recent application to the ICJ also included a request that Israel grant "unimpeded access" to Gaza for aid workers, journalists, and investigators.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    It is simply undeniable that the war in Gaza has taken a terrible toll on its population, and the US is committed to alleviating that suffering. Nonetheless, baseless accusations of genocide are unhelpful. The only way to assist the Palestinians in Gaza is to find a cease-fire and resolution to this conflict through negotiations.

    Pro-Israel narrative

    The fact that South Africa's vendetta against Israel is legitimized through international legal proceedings is an absurd mockery of justice. Indeed, all this case does functionally is strengthen Hamas' military position in Gaza, as Israel is forced to fight with its hands tied behind its back. South Africa even went so far as to host a Hamas delegation in Johannesburg before submitting its latest request, demonstrating what side it's on.

    Pro-Palestine narrative

    The double standards applied to Israel become more and more ludicrous with each passing day of this immoral and unnecessary war. Just the mere suggestion that Israel may face consequences for its actions is enough to elicit accusations of supporting terrorism. Israel has committed regular massacres in Gaza in addition to the famine it has created. It should be treated like any other rogue state.

    Metaculus Prediction

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