The ongoing anti-Israel effusions highlight the extent to which the ICJ verdict has been manipulated for propaganda reasons, as ably demonstrated by Thyagaraj Markandan (The Mercury, February 1).
Like others, he insists that the ICJ verdict was “a famous win for South Africa.” That is not true. Vast numbers of Christians in South Africa oppose Hamas and support Israel. The only victory the ANC government scored was that the ICJ did not throw out its case, as Israel had requested. Lost on Markandan is the fact that by not ordering a ceasefire, the Court acknowledged Israel’s right to defend itself.
Besides, given the ANC’s bloody human rights violations in its camps and during its ‘people’s war’ of the 1980s and 1990s and its refusal to hand Omar Bashir over to the ICJ for crimes against humanity in Sudan, the ANC is disqualified from claiming moral high ground against Israel.
The ANC government’s case was based on prima facie allegations, which is why the Court found no genocidal intent. For those reasons, among others, Judge Julia Sebutinde dissented against the entire case, which, as Ivo Vegter of the Daily Friend has pointed out, “relied on cherry-picked quotations that contradicted official statements and policies and Israeli actions aimed at minimising civilian casualties.” Judge Aharon Barak also found “no plausibility” of genocide.
Absent from Markandan’s deliberation were the following issues the ICJ blithely ignored: how Hamas diverts civilian humanitarian aid for use by its insurgents; the fact that it uses civilian infrastructure and human shields for its defence; its ongoing firing of rockets into Israeli civilian settlements; that Hamas prohibited Gaza civilians from heeding Israeli advice to evacuate war zones.
It should also be pointed out that the underground tunnels Hamas has constructed in Gaza are twice as extensive as London’s 250-mile underground network. Tunnel shafts poke up in schools, hospitals, mosques, homes and even in UN facilities. Thus, Gaza is one huge Hamas terrorism network.
Despite that, Markandan naively expresses dismay that Israel “has shown no intention to scale down its military operations in Gaza.” Why should it when Hamas pledged to exterminate Israel “from the River to the sea”? That factor is the most egregious omission from the ICJ’s judgement.
Sadly, Markandan concludes his effusion by stating, – “I have no respect for the Jewish race.” Whilst he is entitled to his opinion, ironically, it implies that he has more regard for Hamas despite its October 7 massacres and its well-documented genocidal intentions, the very intentions the ICJ declined to ascribe to Israel.