Ambassador Ronald S. Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, issued a statement on the eve of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) hearing of an application by the South African government alleging that Israel is carrying out acts of genocide in the war with Hamas, condemning South Africa's accusations.
“We are deeply concerned and outraged by the hearing commencing this week in The Hague at the request of South Africa. The grave allegations of genocide against Israel have no basis in reality," Lauder stated.
“Moral clarity is of utmost importance among members of the international community with regard to their positions on Israel’s war initiated in response to the heinous October 7 attack by Hamas. While the group, known for its own genocidal aims and recognized as a terror organization by numerous countries, carried out atrocities with the explicit intent to annihilate Jewish people in Israel and around the world, Israel has set course on a mission to destroy Hamas’ ability engage in barbaric acts of violence. We express our unequivocal support for Israel’s resolve to continue defending itself and deter future unprovoked massacres," he said.
“Further, the invocation of the Genocide Convention in this context is legally incorrect, inappropriate, and raises serious concerns about its use as a propaganda tool in the vicious campaign to delegitimize Israel and provoke antisemitism globally. As Jewish communities continue to endure the surge of hate since October 7, it is imperative that international institutions refrain from actions that could exacerbate this alarming trend.
“Following these developments, the World Jewish Congress and its affiliated communities express our steadfast support for the South African Jewish community. Now, more than ever, it is crucial to ensure that they continue to contribute meaningfully to their country but also feel secure and at home in South Africa,” Lauder concluded.