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ICJ CASE SLAMMED

South Africa condemned by Jewish groups over ‘genocide’ claim

Australian Jewish organisations have called on the Australian Government to intervene in the International Court of Justice process.

Judges and parties stand at the opening of the hearings at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024. The United Nations' top court opened hearings Thursday into South Africa's allegation that Israel's war with Hamas amounts to genocide against Palestinians, a claim that Israel strongly denies. (AP Photo/Patrick Post)
Judges and parties stand at the opening of the hearings at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024. The United Nations' top court opened hearings Thursday into South Africa's allegation that Israel's war with Hamas amounts to genocide against Palestinians, a claim that Israel strongly denies. (AP Photo/Patrick Post)

Australian Jewish organisations have strongly criticised the South African government’s case at the International Court of Justice against Israel for “genocide”.

The Zionist Federation of Australia has called on Australia to publicly condemn it.

ZFA President Jeremy Leibler said, “The allegation that Israel is committing genocide is baseless and a blatant attempt to besmirch Israel’s reputation. There is no genocide or attempted genocide occurring in Gaza [and] anyone who says otherwise is either lying or ignorant”.

“We believe that the Australian Government should officially intervene in the International Court of Justice process, to call on it to dismiss this case. In doing so, Australia would act with like-minded countries,” Mr Leibler added.

Alex Ryvchin, co-CEO of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, described the South African case as a stunt to force Israel to answer to the false charge of exterminating a race of people.

“Hamas acts with absolutely genocidal intent and given the opportunity would destroy every Jewish life. In contrast, Israel has a thriving Arab community which is ethnically identical to the Arabs in Gaza which makes a mockery of these claims,” he said.

Dr. Colin Rubenstein, Executive Director of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) describes the South African claim that Israel’s response to the Hamas atrocities on October 7 are genocide as
clearly absurd and can only be explained as a cynical and politicised act of lawfare.

“Ironically, it is Hamas that has unambiguously displayed genocidal intent through both its actions and words“ he said.

Rubinstein said burdening the ICJ with such blatantly political and baseless allegations drastically undermines the integrity of the Genocide Convention.

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