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‘No Basis whatsoever’ – Germany Defends Israel against Genocide Accusations

Jan 12, 2024

Germany is planning to intervene in the ongoing genocide case against Israel at the UN’s top court, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), a government spokesman said on Friday.

The “German government firmly and explicitly rejects the accusation of genocide that has now been made against Israel before the International Court of Justice,” spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said in a statement, cited in Anadolu News Agency.

He added that “This accusation has no basis whatsoever.”

Since the start of the war on Gaza, on October 7, Israel has killed over 23,700 Palestinians and wounded over 60,000 more, the vast majority of whom are believed to be civilians.

Over 7,000 Palestinians are still missing under the rubble or their bodies continue to litter the streets, especially in northern Gaza.

‘Save the Children’ said that more than 10,000 of those killed are children, on an average of more than 100 children killed per day.

UNRWA reports that 1.9 million of the 2.3 million population of Gaza are now displaced, and the UN says that over 2.2 million are experiencing hunger or starvation.

Germany, however, insists that none of this constitutes a case for genocide, arguing that its support for Israels stems from its special responsibility towards Israel due to the Nazi genocide of Jews during World War II.

“In view of Germany’s history, crimes against humanity, and Shoah (catastrophe in English), the government is particularly committed to the UN Genocide Convention,” Hebestreit said.

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“The German government supports the International Court of Justice in its work, as it has done for many decades. The government intends to intervene as a third party in the main hearing,” he added.

On Friday, the Israeli government began defending itself at the ICJ, dismissing accusations of genocide, but also failing to provide any convincing arguments or evidence.

South Africa, which brought the case before the world court, accused Israeli authorities of perpetrating genocide against Palestinians in Gaza during their ongoing, devastating military assault.

Pretoria also requested provisional measures from the court to protect the Palestinian people, including by calling upon Israel to immediately halt military attacks.

Support at the ICC

Germany, however, remains committed to Israel, despite the growing anger worldwide over Tel Aviv’s genocidal language and behavior.

While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that his government is working to facilitate the ‘voluntary migration’ of Palestinians out of Gaza, heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu said on November 5 that throwing a nuclear bomb on Gaza was “an option”.

“There is only one place for Germany: firmly at the side of Israel. This is what we mean when we say that the security of Israel is and will remain the prime motivation for the actions of the state of Germany,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said soon after the start of the war.

“Our own history, the responsibility we bear as a result of the Holocaust, make it our permanent task to stand up for the existence and security of the state of Israel. This responsibility is our guide,” he said, quoted in the Federal Government website.

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That position remained firm even after nearly 100 days of a genocidal war.

“Israel has every right to defend itself against Hamas,” Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck said in a statement during a joint press conference with Israeli Economy Minister Nir Barkat in Jerusalem on January 11.

In that same meeting, Barkat criticized the ICJ for its supposed bias against Israel.

The German position, however, consisted with its past behavior, long before the October 7 military operation by Hamas, which, according to Israel, killed nearly 1,200 Israelis, hundreds of whom were military and intelligence personnel.

Germany has also served as Israel’s main defender against the International Court of Justice (ICC), which has been urged to look into a case of war crimes committed by Israeli individuals against Palestinians.

Part of the delay in the case is linked to countries like Germany, which continued to argue that the case cannot move forward due to legal or technical issues.

In February 2020, Germany submitted an amicus curiae (friend of the court) opinion, arguing that the ICC could not launch a formal investigation as Palestine does not meet the definition of a state under the Rome Statute.

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