(Los Angeles, January 26, 2024)
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has rejected a demand by the South African government to order a “ceasefire” that would allow Hamas to remain in power in Gaza, continue to oppress its own people, and rearm for the next massacre of Israeli civilians. However, StandWithUs is appalled by the ICJ’s decision to accept other parts of this slanderous case, which uses the Genocide Convention to defame Israel and undermine its right to defend itself against genocidal terrorism. Read the entire press release HERE.
In its ruling, the ICJ calls for the immediate and unconditional release of the remaining 136 hostages held by Hamas since October 7. We take note that Hamas said they would abide by the court’s ruling, and as such Hamas must release the hostages immediately.
Of note, the ICJ did not rule on South Africa’s main and unsubstantiated contention that Israel is committing a “genocide” in ongoing war started by Hamas on October 7th. A decision on this matter is not expected until years from now, if at all.
We take further note that the majority opinion of the court relies exclusively on statements made by UN officials, including leaders of UNWRA, about the situation in Gaza. The anti-Israel bias of these officials and the UN system has long been known and proven.
South Africa’s decision to bring Israel before the ICJ was politically motivated and lacked legal merits. The South African government has allied itself with the genocidal Hamas terrorists responsible for the October 7th massacre. The Jerusalem Post revealed, a “network of several South African organizations and straw man companies deeply involved with funding Hamas activities through the Al-Quds Foundation, an international group sanctioned by the US and outlawed by Israel, using accounts registered in major local South African banks: Standard Bank, Nedbank, and Absa.” Furthermore, after the October 7th atrocities, a senior level delegation of Hamas officials visited South Africa for a global “solidarity” gathering held from December 3-5, 2023.
The evidence South Africa presented to the court was decontextualized and often deeply misleading. Their case relied heavily upon inflammatory and out of context statements, demonstrably false claims, and gross misrepresentations of Israel's actions. Israel is acting in accordance with international law as it is waging a war of self-defense against Hamas, an antisemitic terror group with explicitly genocidal aims.
Hamas started this war when it invaded southern Israel on October 7th, 2023. Their death squads attacked 22 Israeli towns and villages, murdered 1,200 Israelis and other nationals, committed mass rape against scores of Israeli women, burned entire families alive in their own homes, paraded the naked bodies of women in the streets of Gaza, and kidnapped over 250 people, including children, women, and the elderly, most of whom are still being held hostage in Gaza. Their leaders have promised to repeat these atrocities again and again until Israel is destroyed.
StandWithUs calls on the international community to stop demonizing Israel in forums like the ICJ. For the sake of Israelis, Palestinians, and humanity, the world must unite around pressuring Hamas to release the hostages, surrender, and bring this war to an end.
StandWithUs (SWU) is an international, nonprofit and non-partisan Israel education organization that works to inspire and educate people of all ages about Israel, as well as challenge misinformation and fight against antisemitism.
Through university fellowships, high school internships, middle school curricula, conferences, materials, social media, educational films and missions to Israel, StandWithUs supports people around the world who want to educate their schools and communities about Israel.
Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Los Angeles, the organization has chapters and programs throughout the U.S., in Israel, the UK, Canada, South Africa, Brazil and the Netherlands.
For the last eleven years, SWU has consistently received the highest possible ratings from Charity Navigator and Guidestar, two charity watchdog groups that assess hundreds of thousands of charities in the United States.