South Africa's standoff with Israel falls somewhere between “condemn” and “condemn.”Opinion

In 1989, we were in our final year at the Department of Political Science, School of Economics and Political Science at Cairo University, when we began discussing a colleague’s thesis on nuclear cooperation between South Africa and Israel—neither of us had any To think that one day this African country will… Of all the countries in the world, this mission is at the forefront of opposition to Israel.

On the contrary, the end of apartheid, and the emergence of the great freedom fighter Nelson Mandela from prison to the throne, seems to us a winged fantasy, and if we expect it, we cannot expect it to happen in a few days. Coming ten years later.

Tragic experience

South Africa emerged from the ordeal of discrimination against black people believing in Mandela's words: “We forgive, but never forget” and then staying true to that principle.

And because she has not forgotten that her attitude toward Israel's war on Gaza stems from the painful experience she lived through, which began with an alternative to settler colonialism and then ended with a bloody armed struggle. A peaceful struggle, which created a state of international sympathy for those who were discriminated against, translated into exclusion, resistance and imposed isolation. He was ultimately forced to abandon his own views, understandings, laws, procedures, cognitions, and methods of governing the country and society regarding a racist system of government, causing it to collapse and building a democracy on its ruins, leaving both white and black citizens equal rights and obligations.

All this history now forms the cognitive framework for Johannesburg's approach to international issues, and now it is applying it to Gaza, and has no choice but to file a case with the International Court of Justice, accusing Israel of committing “genocide” within this narrow geographical area. Inside, it not only affects humans, but also affects stones.

a brave step

Perhaps South Africa taking this courageous step will gain importance and momentum from this experience, from this framework, and even from the image of this African country to the world, part of which is certainly related to the question of the Palestinian people. Because he also faced settler colonialism and lived behind the separation wall that turned the Gaza Strip and the West Bank into two massive prisons and the occupation imposed on those who had remained in Israel since 1948 Clear and shameful discrimination, retention of their nationality.

Also in this picture, even at its core, South Africa represents the world with its race and culture, as we find among the members of the team defending European, African and African countries before the judges of the International Court of Justice. Originating in Asia, it represents throughout the country the three religions most in conflict with the Palestinian issue: Christianity, Islam and Judaism.

South Africa adds a new dimension to this popular image by intervening today to save the Palestinian people, because every free and fair person in this world has no choice but to say from the bottom of his heart, from the bottom of his heart: and with his voice Say: Thank you, South Africa.

extremism and arrogance

Comparing the position of Mandela's country with that of other countries shows that there is a general recognition of two basic issues: first, that, like individuals, there are glorious countries and humiliated countries; there are brave countries and cowardly countries; Secondly, all those who desire to love and respect Mandela, in fact, his man, his ways and his people fully deserve that.

All this makes it more desirable and authoritative for South Africa to respond to Israeli aggression through the International Court of Justice, relying on its own entity and image, as well as its role in resolving and resolving conflicts on the African continent. Nearly a quarter of a century in the making, and its popularity in recent days.

Perhaps it is for this reason that some Israelis realize that resorting to the ICJ for the first time – especially in the hands of South Africa – means significant international pressure for them and must be taken seriously, which is the fact that Israel This is what happened when she attended the trial and defended herself, but there were also voices within Israel who, with extremism and arrogance, called for not appearing in court at all.

If Israelis scoff at the whole thing on the grounds that the court will eventually go to the Security Council and ultimately the United States of America will use its veto, then these foolhardy people do not realize that what happened at the ICJ declared Israel's moral downfall, which It represents a prelude to the high political price Israel will inevitably pay, and of course, the price Washington will pay if it insists on defending Israel. A killing machine without thought or thought.

False paint peeling off

If the court decides on a truce, Israel may not abide by it, but to condemn it, even to expose and condemn it in front of the world in this way, is to deprive it of the positive image it has built for itself. decades and increased world sympathy for the Palestinian cause.

It is no longer difficult to repaint the Palestinian mental image that is so distorted by Israel and its plans. Previously, this distortion faced many problems, but now the resistance and response will rely on the legal and logical dimensions that South Africa has raised in international courts, and its representations have been disseminated throughout the world through traditional and new media. at the same time.

Even if Israel escapes the crime of “genocide” which requires intentionality or mens rea, the crimes it has committed against the Gazans are undoubtedly war crimes and crimes against humanity, and it must be stopped, rather than waiting for a court release if Israel complies with this provision. The international community's dissatisfaction with it will grow, and all the seductive colors hiding the clear truth will fall flat: Palestinians are occupied, Palestinians are occupied. This is the source of illness and pain, and without treating it, there will be no resolution or peace, the blood will continue to flow, the fire will continue to burn, and the pain will continue to scream.

avoid responsibility

Perhaps Israel itself is well aware of this and is trying to hide it, as its defender did in court, when he did not refer explicitly or implicitly to the occupiers, but instead tried to evade responsibility for the people under occupation, when Responding to accusations that Israel is deliberately leaving Palestinians thirsty and hungry, he said: “Egypt is responsible for the Rafah crossing and ignores the six crossings between Israel and Gaza, which have been closed to intensify the pressure on Gaza.” The siege of the zone.

Pressure is expected on Israel in the coming days to fulfill its occupation responsibilities and, above all, to clarify the position of the Palestinians as an “occupied people”, a fact that has been obscured, sometimes in the name of the establishment of a formal or fictitious Palestinian Authority. name, sometimes citing the existence of movements and organizations that reject Israel’s existence and do not wish to live in peace with it.

But most importantly – and this is what has happened – the steps taken by South Africa will make it difficult for Israel to move forward with plans to expel Palestinians, whether outside the Gaza Strip – as is now proposed – or within Israel . The West Bank, as Tel Aviv intends to do in the future.

Yes, this plan was fundamentally thwarted by the determination of the people of Gaza, the vast majority of whom insisted on remaining on their land, even though it was extremely dangerous to live there while the war continued, or extremely difficult to live after the war ended, because The basic infrastructure of life there has been destroyed, but Israel's accusation of “genocide” – and the fact that she must defend herself – will leave her helpless when it comes to expelling Palestinians from their land.

The image of Israel after January 11, 2024 will be different from what it was before, and this would not have been possible were it not for the important step taken by South Africa. She then prepared compelling arguments and presented them with a clarity of language that reflected not only the elite's ability to respond to the crisis but also her belief that it was the nation's moral duty to confront killings, injustice and discrimination.

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