ER Editor: A reminder that South Africa demonstrated plausible evidence that Israel was committing genocide in Gaza. Alas, it wasn’t a legal case to get military action stopped once and for all, merely to present evidence for the claim of genocide. That South Africa won at this preliminary stage was a major step both legally and in the public eye. (See ICJ)
Israel in The Hague: South African foreign minister says she is the target of intimidation
Naledi Pandor, the South African Minister of Foreign Affairs, said she had received threats, particularly against her children. The diplomat pointed the finger at the Israeli services, which according to her would seek to intimidate her, Pretoria having dragged the Jewish state before the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
While the International Court of Justice (ICJ), seized by Pretoria, had called on Israel on January 26 to prevent any act of “genocide” in Gaza and against the Palestinian people, the head of South African diplomacy declared that the The Jewish state sought to intimidate her.
On the sidelines of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s state of the nation address on February 8, South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor said she was worried about her family’s safety after receiving threats on social networks.
“I thought it would be better if we had extra security,” she said. “What concerns me most is my family, because in some messages on social networks, my children are mentioned,” she said, according to the South African weekly Mail & Guardian.
Pressure for Regime Change in South Africa?
The head of South African diplomacy points the finger at the Jewish state. “Israeli agents, the intelligence services, [this] is how they behave, and they want to intimidate you, so we must not let ourselves be intimidated,” she insisted.
“There is a cause that is underway,” the minister further clarified, regarding the ICJ affair. “We cannot stand back now,” she added. Naledi Pandor reiterated her support for Palestine, saying she wanted to stand by it. “It is extremely important that we continue on this path,” she told reporters.
These remarks by the South African Minister of Foreign Affairs come a few days after those of President Cyril Ramaphosa. The latter had warned on January 29 against a “systematic response campaign” and a “regime change program” targeting his country after having filed a complaint against Israel before the International Court of Justice, reported an article in Middle East Monitor.
Mandela fervent defender of the Palestinian cause
In the wake of the first verdict, rendered on January 26 by this court sitting in The Hague, Benjamin Netanyahu had in a message published on the platform South Africa against the Hebrew State. “The despicable attempt to deny Israel” the “fundamental right” to defend itself is “blatant discrimination against the Jewish State, and it was “rightly rejected,” said the Likud leader.
South Africa’s support for the Palestinian cause does not date from the conflict between Hamas and the Jewish state; it is in the DNA of the foreign policy of the ANC (African National Congress). This party, in power for 30 years, regularly compares the situation in Palestine to its own fight against apartheid. (ER: Our reading shows that Israel was squarely behind the anti-black policies in South Africa, historically.)
Nelson Mandela visited the Palestinian Territories in 1999. And, in front of the Parliament in Gaza, in the presence of Yasser Arafat, he urged the Palestinians to never abandon the resistance. “We too experienced terrible days, the sacrifice of comrades, and strong frustrations” in the fight against apartheid, declared the former South African president.
In another speech , delivered less than two years later in the United States, Nelson Mandela declared that apartheid was “a crime against humanity”, while asserting that Israel had “deprived millions of Palestinians of their freedom and property. The Jewish state “has perpetuated a system of racial discrimination and inequality,” he also said.
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