When It Comes to the Israel-Palestinian Conflict, China Sides against Israel—and against the Jews

In the rhetoric of Iran’s ayatollahs, the United States is the “Great Satan” while the Jewish state is the “Little Satan.” The Chinese Communist Party seems to have adopted a similar approach during the recent fighting between Israel and Hamas, writes Tuvia Gering:

China often portrays the U.S. as biased against the Palestinians, while positioning itself as the ideal mediator in regional conflicts. Indeed, China did contribute a balanced voice in the early days of the Gaza conflict, based on statements from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and state media. As the operation intensified, however, China began to criticize Israel, but, strangely enough, Israel was almost never mentioned. The U.S. was the main target of their polemics, as if it were bombing Palestinians.

China made it clear that it saw the military operation as an opening to tarnish the international image of its strategic rival, who also happens to be Israel’s most important ally. American claims that China perpetrated crimes against humanity and genocide against Muslims in Xinjiang made the Israel Defense Forces’ actions in Gaza the ideal battering ram for Beijing’s [propaganda].

[Moreover], Chinese criticisms were laced with anti-Semitic overtones. During the operation, an English-speaking presenter from China Global TV Network made egregiously anti-Semitic statements, claiming, among other things, that “Jews dominate [U.S.] finance, media, and Internet sectors.” Chinese diplomats active on Twitter have often shared anti-Zionist and at times anti-Semitic posts.

Former Chinese ambassadors to Israel would frequently declare, “there is no anti-Semitism in China.” Even if this were true in the past, it is no longer the case; such remarks are regularly broadcast on national platforms, not to mention the thousands of anti-Semitic articles and comments posted daily on personal blogs and popular nationalist sites. They instill hatred of Jews and the Jewish state in a new generation of Chinese people and contribute to the spread of global anti-Semitism.

Read more at Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security

More about: Anti-Semitism, China, Israel-China relations, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

The ICJ’s Vice-President Explains What’s Wrong with Its Recent Ruling against Israel

It should be obvious to anyone with even rudimentary knowledge of the Gaza war that Israel is not committing genocide there, or anything even remotely akin to it. In response to such spurious accusations, it’s often best to focus on the mockery they make of international law itself, or on how Israel can most effectively combat them. Still, it is also worth stopping to consider the legal case on its own terms. No one has done this quite so effectively, to my knowledge, as the Ugandan jurist Julia Sebutinde, who is the vice-president of the ICJ and the only one of its judges to rule unequivocally in Israel’s favor both in this case and in the previous one where it found accusations of genocide “plausible.”

Sebutinde begins by questioning the appropriateness of the court ruling on this issue at all:

Once again, South Africa has invited the Court to micromanage the conduct of hostilities between Israel and Hamas. Such hostilities are exclusively governed by the laws of war (international humanitarian law) and international human-rights law, areas where the Court lacks jurisdiction in this case.

The Court should also avoid trying to enforce its own orders. . . . Is the Court going to reaffirm its earlier provisional measures every time a party runs to it with allegations of a breach of its provisional measures? I should think not.

Sebutinde also emphasizes the absurdity of hearing this case after Israel has taken “multiple concrete actions” to alleviate the suffering of Gazan civilians since the ICJ’s last ruling. In fact, she points out, “the evidence actually shows a gradual improvement in the humanitarian situation in Gaza since the Court’s order.” She brings much evidence in support of these points.

She concludes her dissent by highlighting the procedural irregularities of the case, including a complete failure to respect the basic rights of the accused:

I find it necessary to note my serious concerns regarding the manner in which South Africa’s request and incidental oral hearings were managed by the Court, resulting in Israel not having sufficient time to file its written observations on the request. In my view, the Court should have consented to Israel’s request to postpone the oral hearings to the following week to allow for Israel to have sufficient time to fully respond to South Africa’s request and engage counsel. Regrettably, as a result of the exceptionally abbreviated timeframe for the hearings, Israel could not be represented by its chosen counsel, who were unavailable on the dates scheduled by the Court.

It is also regrettable that Israel was required to respond to a question posed by a member of the Court over the Jewish Sabbath. The Court’s decisions in this respect bear upon the procedural equality between the parties and the good administration of justice by the Court.

Read more at International Court of Justice

More about: Gaza War 2023, ICC, International Law