Press conference (virtual)
On Wednesday, January 10 at 12 NOON EST, South Africa’s High Commissioner, Palestine’s ambassador, legal experts and others will participate in a press conference to call on Canada to endorse South Africa’s request for the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to make an urgent order declaring Israel in breach of its obligations under the Genocide Convention. At the same time a public letter will be released echoing this demand.
On January 11 the ICJ will begin hearing South Africa’s claim that Israel’s onslaught on Gaza “are genocidal in character because they are intended to bring about the destruction of a substantial part” of the Palestinian population.The following day Israel is scheduled to respond to the accusation it is committing genocide in Gaza.
The Trudeau government has thus far refused to endorse South Africa’s case even though Ottawa backed similar efforts regarding Russia, Myanmar and elsewhere. Global Affairs has simply told the Globe and Mail it was “aware” of South Africa’s case.
The press conference will be virtual. (Registration link).
January 9, 2024
Press conference: Trudeau must support South Africa’s ICJ submission
The South African government recently requested the International Court of Justice (ICJ) make an urgent order declaring Israel in breach of its obligations under the 1948 Genocide Convention. This is an important non-violent effort to curtail the destruction of Gaza, which has seen 23 000 killed, 60 000 injured and 2 million displaced. Half a million Palestinians in Gaza are threatened by famine.
South Africa’s 84-page brief to the ICJ argues that Israel’s operations “are genocidal in character because they are intended to bring about the destruction of a substantial part” of the Palestinian population in Gaza. According to Israel’s Haaretz a senior government legal expert has warned the country’s military commanders that “there is a real danger that the court will issue an injunction calling on Israel to halt its fire.”
The Trudeau government has thus far refused to endorse South Africa’s case to the ICJ even though Ottawa has backed similar efforts concerning Myanmar, Russia and elsewhere. Global Affairs responded to Globe and Mail inquiries about Canada’s position by simply stating it was “aware” of South Africa’s case to the ICJ.
Hundreds of civil society groups and the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Turkey, Jordan, Maldives and Malaysia have publicly endorsed South Africa’s case. As a signatory to the Genocide Convention, Canada has an obligation to seek to prevent and punish the crime of genocide. Canada should add its voice to South Africa’s bid to curtail Israel’s horrors in Gaza.
Contact: Karen Rodman, email@example.com