Dry Bones -  ICJ
Dry Bones - ICJY. Kirschen

South Africa must substantiate that the “Palestinian people” constitutes a national, ethnical, racial or religious group under Article II of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Genocide Convention) - if its case against Israel in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) is to get over its first hurdle. And that is before it presents its false claims about Israel that lack a word of condemnation for Hamas' proclaimed plans for genocide of the Jewish people.

South Africa must back up its following ridiculous allegations with supporting evidence about those who it claims to represent:

“This Application concerns acts threatened, adopted, condoned, taken and being taken by the Government and military of the State of Israel against the Palestinian people, a distinct national, racial and ethnical group, in the wake of the attacks in Israel on 7 October 2023...

... The acts and omissions by Israel complained of by South Africa are genocidal in character because they are intended to bring about the destruction of a substantial part of the Palestinian national, racial and ethnical group, that being the part of the Palestinian group in the Gaza Strip (‘Palestinians in Gaza’).

South Africa’s allegations are rebutted by the following:

  • The 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine (Mandate) did not recognise the existence of a “Palestinian people” – referring to the Arabs then living in Palestine as comprising part of the “existing non-Jewish communities”.

“Article 1. “Palestine is an Arab homeland bound by strong national ties to the rest of the Arab Countries and which together form the large Arab homeland.”

“Article 6. The Palestinians are those Arab citizens who were living normally in Palestine up to 1947, whether they remained or were expelled. Every child who was born to a Palestinian parent after this date whether in Palestine or outside is a Palestinian.

“Article 7. Jews of Palestinian origin are considered Palestinians if they are willing to live peacefully and loyally in Palestine.”

“Article 24. This Organization does not exercise any regional sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on the Gaza Strip or the Himmah Area. Its activities will be on the national popular level in the liberational, organizational, political and financial fields.”

  • After Israel captured the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and Gaza Strip in the 1967 Six Day War – a new PLO Charter was adopted in 1968 removing article 24 and replacing Articles 1, 6 and 7:

“Article 1. Palestine is the homeland of the Arab Palestinian people; it is an indivisible part of the Arab homeland, and the Palestinian people are an integral part of the Arab nation.”

“Article 5. The Palestinians are those Arab nationals who, until 1947, normally resided in Palestine regardless of whether they were evicted from it or have stayed there. Anyone born, after that date, of a Palestinian father - whether inside Palestine or outside it - is also a Palestinian.

Article 6. The Jews who had normally resided in Palestine until the beginning of the Zionist invasion will be considered Palestinians.”

These provisions remain unamended in 2024.

“Jordanians and Palestinians are as similar as any people can be. They are Sunni Arabs from the same neighborhood. Merging them will not create any long-term ethnic or sectarian fault lines”

The ICJ should determine South Africa’s case fails, this besides the falsity of the allegations themselves, because it does not meet the requirements stipulated by Article II of the Genocide Convention.

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Author’s note: The cartoon — commissioned exclusively for this article — is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators — whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades.