Germany announced on Friday that it will intervene as a third party in South Africa’s case against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and will present its own case to the court that Israel has not committed genocide.
Germany’s government said in a statement that there is “no basis whatsoever” for an accusation of genocide against Israel at the International Court of Justice.
“We know that different countries assess Israel’s operation in Gaza differently,” government spokesperson Steffen Hebestreit said. “However, the Federal Government firmly and expressly rejects the accusation of genocide that has now been made against Israel at the International Court of Justice.”
Given Germany’s Nazi history, Hebestreit said, the German government “sees itself as particularly committed to the Convention against Genocide.”
The convention is a “central instrument” for preventing future crimes against humanity like the Holocaust, he said, adding, “We firmly oppose political instrumentalization.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Friday evening and thanked him for the decision to intervene in the ICJ case.
Netanyahu told Scholz, "Your stance and Germany's stance on the side of the truth moves all the citizens of Israel. This blood libel, which is full of hypocrisy and malice, must not be allowed to prevail over the moral principles shared by our two countries and the entire civilized world."
Israel’s Ambassador to Germany, Ron Prosor, thanked Scholz as well and wrote in a statement posted to X, “Thank you, Germany. Thank you, Chancellor Scholz. Under your leadership, Germany proves its true friendship towards Israel and the Jewish people by unequivocally stating that Israel is not committing genocide. Germany is firmly standing on the right side of history.”
“Thank you for showing the world what true friendship looks like,” added Prosor.
On Friday, Israel responded at the ICJ to the allegations that were made by South Africa’s in Thursday’s hearing.
The United States on Thursday rejected South Africa’s allegations that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza.
Speaking to reporters, White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said, “We have said repeatedly that we believe these allegations, this case is unfounded and that there is no basis for accusations of genocide against — against Israel. That’s not a word that ought to be thrown around lightly. And we certainly don’t believe that it applies here.”
State Department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel made similar comments in his press briefing, saying that “the allegations that Israel is committing genocide are unfounded.”
“Those who are violently attacking Israel, who continue to openly call for Israel’s annihilation and the mass murder of Jews – genocide is one of the most heinous acts any entity or individual can commit, and such an allegation should only be made with the greatest of care,” he added.
At the same time, Patel also said he disagreed with the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s statement that “South Africa is functioning as the legal arm of Hamas”.
“That is not a characterization that I would make from up here when it comes to our South African partners, but again, we continue to feel very strongly that the allegations that Israel is committing genocide are unfounded,” he stated.
(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)