‘False’, ‘Outrageous’, ‘Antisemitic’: ICJ Ruling Infuriates Israeli Officials

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected on Friday the ruling delivered by the International Court of Justice on South Africa’s genocide case against Israel.

Jan 26, 2024

“Israel’s commitment to international law is unwavering. Equally unwavering is our sacred commitment to continue to defend our country and defend our people,” Netanyahu said in a televised address after the world’s top court ordered Israel to “take all measures within its power” to prevent acts of genocide in Gaza.

Netanyahu said Israel has an “inherent right to defend itself,” adding that the “vile attempt to deny Israel this fundamental right is blatant discrimination against the Jewish state, and it was justly rejected.”

He added that the accusation of genocide moved against Israel is “false” and “outrageous,” and reiterated that “Israel will continue to defend itself against Hamas.”

“The very claim that Israel is carrying out genocide against Palestinians is not only false, it’s outrageous, and the willingness of the court to deliberate it at all is a mark of disgrace that will not be erased for generations,” the premier also said in a statement in Hebrew, soon after the ruling.

According to the Israeli newspaper The Times of Israel, he vowed to keep fighting “until total victory, until we defeat Hamas, return all the captives and ensure that Gaza will not again be a threat to Israel.”

The Israeli Broadcasting Corporation (KAN) reported that Netanyahu asked his ministers not to comment on the court’s decision.

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However, some ministers decided to attack the top UN court in their statements.

Israeli National Security Minister Ben-Gvir was quick to accuse the court of being “antisemitic”.

He said in a statement that The court’s decision “proves what was previously known, that the court does not seek justice.”

“We should not listen to decisions that threaten the continued existence of the State of Israel. We must continue to defeat the enemy until complete victory,” Ben-Gvir’s statement added.

Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said that the “judges of The Hague, who are concerned about the residents of Gaza, should invite countries to receive them and help rebuild Gaza.”

For his part, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said – in a post on X – that Israel does not need to be ‘lectured on morality’ from the International Court of Justice.

“The State of Israel does not need to be lectured on morality in order to distinguish between terrorists and the civilian population in Gaza,” Gallant wrote, adding that “the ICJ went above and beyond, when it granted South Africa’s antisemitic request to discuss the claim of genocide in Gaza.”

The International Court of Justice ordered Israel on Friday to take measures to prevent and punish direct incitement of genocide in its ongoing war in Gaza.

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“The state of Israel shall (..) take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of all acts within the scope of Article II of the genocide convention,” the ICJ said.

An overwhelming majority of the ICJ’s 17-judge panel voted to order urgent measures, which covered most of South Africa’s request, aside from ordering a halt to the Israeli war on Gaza.

The court ordered Israel to refrain from any acts that could fall under the genocide convention and also ensure that the Israeli army do not commit any genocidal acts in Gaza.

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