Home NewsAsia Concerns SA’s ICJ case could be jeopardised by new government

Concerns SA’s ICJ case could be jeopardised by new government

by Zahid Jadwat

Pro-Palestine activists fear the ANC may be forced to drop SA’s ICJ case against Israel by coalition partners. [Picture: Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu via Getty Images]


There are concerns among some within the South Africa’s pro-Palestine movement that the incoming government might jeopardise the genocide case against Israel. This depends on who forms the new government, and their foreign policy stance.

Speaking in an interview on Salaamedia on Friday, activist Mahfouz Raffee explained the African National Congress (ANC) could be pressured to drop the case currently before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Netherlands.

The ANC-led government took Israel to the world’s top court as mounting evidence pointed to genocide in Gaza, Palestine, where Israel is waging a war of extermination.

The concern is, however, a loss in support at the polls may force the ANC to work with parties who view the Palestinian issue very differently. The party garnered just over 40% of the vote last week, placing it in a much weaker position.


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Palestine solidarity movement

Raffee cautioned the case before the ICJ was vulnerable to abuse by some forces. He argued it could be used as a “bargaining chip” as coalition governments are known to be highly contested spaces.

But it was not just the genocide case that was vulnerable. Broader solidarity actions, such as sanctions and boycotts, could become more difficult under a coalition government, he said.

“This is much less likely to happen with the ANC in a position of weakness unless, of course, it was emboldened in a government together with other strong forces in support of justice – in Palestine, in particular.”

He also said it was important that key positions like those of finance minister and arts minister should be held by “progressive leaders” and “people who will go beyond just rhetoric”.

The ANC on Thursday announced it was hoping to form a government of national unity, meaning all parties represented in the new Parliament were welcome to participate. On Friday, its coalition task team met with the Democratic Alliance (DA), and more consultations are anticipated in coming days.

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