Cabinet-level Israeli officials fired back at the US State Department after it called for “inflammatory and irresponsible” comments on the upcoming ethnic cleansing of Gaza to stop, claiming the administration of Benjamin Netanyahu has stated multiple times cleansing is not among the administration’s objectives in the strip.
Actively confirming that 22,000 murdered Palestinians is just the first step of a campaign of ethnic cleansing of the Gaze Strip, National Security Minister Idimar Ben Gvir said “we’ll do what’s best for Israel: facilitating the relocation of hundreds of thousands from Gaza will allow those in the Israeli-Gaza border communities to return home and live securely while safeguarding the IDF soldiers”.
“We highly value America’s friendship, but respectfully, we aren’t another star on the American flag,” he added.
It’s as clear a confirmation as possible that the war has nothing to do with self-defense, a talking point which has been the eternal justification of Israeli maltreatment of the Palestinians; and it’s not the first time this confirmation was made.
IDF spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said the military was “adjusting” its “fighting methods to each area in Gaza… out of the understanding that we will be needed for additional missions and continued fighting during the entire coming year,” the Times of Israel reported on December 31st.
Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich told Israel’s Army Radio that what needs to be done in the Gaza Strip “is to encourage emigration,” adding that “I’m for completely changing the reality in Gaza, having a conversation about settlements in the Gaza Strip… We’ll need to rule there for a long time…”
Ben Gvir, quoted above, and Smotrich reiterated variations of those statements in cabinet discussions on Monday, according to Antiwar, which also quoted an opposition liberal who claimed that a day would come when the two men would stand guilty before an international tribunal for war crimes.
Perhaps they would stand before a representative of South Africa, which recently launched a case of genocide against Israel in the International Court of Justice using the strongest legal language.
“Israel has engaged in, is engaging in and risks further engaging in genocidal acts against the Palestinian people in Gaza,” South Africa’s application said, adding that the ICJ should declare “on an urgent basis that Israel is in breach of its obligations in terms of the Genocide Convention, should immediately cease all acts and measures in breach of those obligations and take a number of related actions”.
This isn’t empty language, and Israeli officials admit they will be heading to the ICJ to defend the nation against these genocide claims as soon as next week. Typically, writes The Huffington Post, Israel does not cooperate with the ICJ, claiming it is antisemitic and biased against Israel.
“The ICJ is incredibly influential in shaping international law and public perception,” reports Huff Post’s Sanjana Karanth. “This means the court’s recognition of South Africa’s genocide accusation could shape the public perception that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza and lead to diplomatic chaos”.
The ICJ demands that a genocide claim come with proof of the intent and desire to implement a genocide, described as the major destruction or removal of an ethnic group and its heritage through war, resettlement, and cultural erasing, and proof that acts reflecting that desire and intent are being carried out. South Africa will no doubt use the statements of the extreme religious Zionists Smotrich and Ben Gvir as proof of desire and intent, and little effort would be needed to show that the negligence with which the IDF is carrying out its retaliation against Hamas corresponds to the intent of these two men. WaL
PICTURED ABOVE: View of the courtroom at the opening of ICJ hearings in the case Timor-Leste v. Australia. PC: UN/ICJ – released for informative material.