Why South Africa Has Led the Legal War against Israel

South Africa filed suit with the International Court of Justice in December accusing Israel of genocide. More recently, it requested that the court order the Jewish state to allow humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip—something which, of course, Israel has been doing since the war began. Indeed, the country’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC) has had a long history of support for the Palestinian cause, but Orde Kittrie suggests that the current government, which is plagued by massive corruption, has more sinister motives for its fixation on accusing Israel of imagined crimes:

ANC-led South Africa has . . . repeatedly supported Hamas. In 2015 and 2018, the ANC and Hamas signed memoranda of understanding pledging cooperation against Israel. The Daily Maverick, a South African newspaper that previously won an international award for exposing ANC corruption, has reported claims that Iran “essentially paid the ANC to litigate against Israel in the ICJ.”

The ANC-led government says it is motivated by humanitarian principle. That’s contradicted by its support for Russia, and by [President Cyril] Ramaphosa’s warmly welcoming a visit in January by Mohamed Dagalo, the leader of the Sudanese-Arab Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militia. Ramaphosa’s smiling, hand-holding welcome of Dagalo occurred two months after the RSF’s systematic massacre of hundreds of non-Arab Sudanese refugees in Darfur.

While the ANC has looted its own country and aided America’s enemies, the U.S. is insulating the party from the consequences of its corruption and mismanagement.

In Kittrie’s view, it is “time for Congress and the Biden administration to start helping South Africa’s people hold Ramaphosa accountable.”

Read more at The Hill

More about: International Law, Iran, South Africa

Israel Can’t Stake Its Fate on “Ironclad” Promises from Allies

Israeli tanks reportedly reached the center of the Gazan city of Rafah yesterday, suggesting that the campaign there is progressing swiftly. And despite repeatedly warning Jerusalem not to undertake an operation in Rafah, Washington has not indicated any displeasure, nor is it following through on its threat to withhold arms. Even after an IDF airstrike led to the deaths of Gazan civilians on Sunday night, the White House refrained from outright condemnation.

What caused this apparent American change of heart is unclear. But the temporary suspension of arms shipments, the threat of a complete embargo if Israel continued the war, and comments like the president’s assertion in February that the Israeli military response has been “over the top” all call into question the reliability of Joe Biden’s earlier promises of an “ironclad” commitment to Israel’s security. Douglas Feith and Ze’ev Jabotinsky write:

There’s a lesson here: the promises of foreign officials are never entirely trustworthy. Moreover, those officials cannot always be counted on to protect even their own country’s interests, let alone those of others.

Israelis, like Americans, often have excessive faith in the trustworthiness of promises from abroad. This applies to arms-control and peacekeeping arrangements, diplomatic accords, mutual-defense agreements, and membership in multilateral organizations. There can be value in such things—and countries do have interests in their reputations for reliability—but one should be realistic. Commitments from foreign powers are never “ironclad.”

Israel should, of course, maintain and cultivate connections with the United States and other powers. But Zionism is, in essence, about the Jewish people taking responsibility for their own fate.

Read more at JNS

More about: Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, U.S.-Israel relationship