South Africa is dead wrong to charge Israel with ‘genocide’ at World Court — here’s what you need to know

Pro-Palestinian protesters gather near the International Court of Justice (ICJ) as judges hear a request for emergency measures by South Africa to order Israel to stop its military actions in Gaza, in The Hague, Netherlands January 12, 2024. (PHOTO: Reuters/Thilo Schmuelgen/All Israel News)

‘But like all Israelis, we’re bracing for the possibility the World Court condemns us tomorrow for acting in self-defense,’ writes All Israel News [an Israel-based news site from a Messianic perspective] in an editorial opionon published on the eve of the court’s ruling this afternoon on provisional measures sought in South Africa’s genocide case against Israel

On Friday, the International Court of Justice in The Hague is expected to issue its preliminary finding in South Africa’s case charging the State of Israel with committing genocide in the Gaza Strip and having “genocidal intent” against the Palestinian people.

We pray that the Court delivers true justice, throwing out the case as preposterous, pernicious and demonstrably wrong.

After all, South Africa is dead wrong.

Israel is not engaged in genocide – nor do we have any genocidal intent against any of our neighbors, including the Palestinian people.

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If Israel had such barbaric intentions, we have the firepower to reduce Gaza to glass and kill all 2.2 million people – but we haven’t and we won’t.

If we did have such Nazi-esque intentions, we would never go to extraordinary lengths to warn Gazans to evacuate dangerous combat zones and go to specific safe havens – but we delivered millions of live phone calls, recorded phone calls, text messages, and leaflets dropped from the sky to protect Palestinian civilians.

If we did want to annihilate the Palestinians of Gaza, we would starve them of food and water and not allow any humanitarian aid into the Strip – but instead we have made sure that 170,000 tons of food, water, shelter, medical supplies and have been provided to them since the war began and we are making sure they are resupplied on a daily basis.

The truth is that Israel is facing a genocidal enemy in Hamas.

Hamas is a terrorist organization that openly states in its 1988 charter that its seek the total annihilation of the Jewish state of Israel.

Hamas leaders openly and proudly declare that they want to repeat October 7’s savage, barbaric, ghastly murder of Jewish men, women, and children over and over and over again until they get the job done.

That’s why we pray that the World Court throws out this case tomorrow, and why we ask Evangelical Christians around the world to join us in fervent prayer for true justice to be done.

But we the editors of All Israel News are not exactly holding our breath.

We are not confident that the Court will do the right thing.

Rather, we – like all Israelis – are bracing ourselves for the possibility that a new and sickening injustice will be perpetrated against us as the world condemns us for acting in self-defense against a genocidal enemy.

Why does so much of the world hate Israel?

Let’s put South Africa’s case against Israel in a broader historical context.

The return of the Jews to the land once known as Canaan after a 2 000-year exile, and the establishment of the modern State of Israel in what the Bible describes as the Promised Land, pose a challenge to various worldviews.

It contradicts the Islamic perspective, presents a significant challenge to secular and atheistic beliefs, and diverges from Replacement Theology held by some Christian denominations.

In the worldview of Islamic fundamentalists, any land once under the authority of Islam is deemed to remain so indefinitely, even if temporarily owned by others. Consequently, all Jews residing in the land of Canaan, according to their perspective, should live under the authority of Islam.

Israel, therefore, is not a tension to be managed.

It is a problem to be solved.

To be sure, not all Muslims seek to engage in genocide against Israel.

But radical Islamists such as the Iranian regime and its proxies like Hamas and Hezbollah certainly do. Indeed, they proudly and continually proclaim, “Death to Israel,” as they vow to “wipe Israel off the map.”

This is why Israelis can never lower our guard.

Ever since the Amalekites in Biblical times, we have faced enemies determined to kill us all, and we must continually seek God’s help to fend them off.

The modern secular worldview, which emerged relatively recently, dismisses considerations about the existence of God and regards biblical prophecies as irrelevant.

The establishment of the State of Israel poses a challenge to this perspective, embodying the fulfillment of an event foretold for millennia, seemingly implausible based on common sense.

The survival and endurance of the Jewish people, expelled from our homeland and dispersed globally – not only avoiding assimilation or disappearance but also returning to our ancestral land after thousands of years to regain our independence and sovereignty – baffles those who reject the existence of God and reject the Bible as the Word of God.

Most secular people don’t have genocidal intentions against Israel. But many have no moral frame of reference by which they can take a strong and forceful stand against those who do want to destroy us.

Supporters of replacement theology, prevalent in some Christian denominations, do believe in God and the Bible, of course. However, in their twisted and confused understanding of the Scriptures, they believe that God rejected the Jewish people, assigning the role of the “chosen people” to Christianity.

They do not believe that biblical prophecies regarding the re-gathering of the chosen people in the “last days” of history, and our return to ancient land of Israel, were intended to be interpreted literally.

Not surprising, they find themselves completely disoriented by what’s been happening over the past 150 years.

Those who embrace replacement theology (a.k.a., “supercessionism”) rarely have genocidal intentions against Israel. But because they don’t believe God loves the Jewish people or has a plan to bless us or redeem us, they may not exhibit much sympathy or compassion towards us when people hate us and seek to kill us.

After all, deep down they believe we deserve it.

What does the rebirth of Israel really mean?

Yet the establishment of the modern State of Israel proves the truth of the Bible.

So does our survival, against all odds.

It indicates, without a doubt, that we are living in the last days.

The biblical prophecies regarding the gathering of Israel are being fulfilled before our eyes.

God does not change, and His words stand forever.

As the Lord told Abram in Genesis 12:3, whoever blesses Israel will be blessed, and whoever curses will be cursed. This principle extends both to God’s chosen people in the flesh but also to spiritual Israel, encompassing all born-again believers.

Any harmful intention directed against them is a rebellion against God and, therefore, destined for failure, whether in the short or long term.

When observing and interpreting news, events, and processes related to Israel, it is worth keeping the above-mentioned facts in mind.

This is especially relevant in the context of intensified anti-Israel demonstrations and the false, absurd accusation of genocide amid the current war against Hamas and Hezbollah.

While it’s not surprising that, based on their worldview, so many people view Israel with suspicion and harbour negative assumptions and believe false slanders, this does not imply that the situation is hopeless.

According to the Word of God, the Messianic era is coming, and Israel will eventually become the light of the nations.

Until then, our responsibility is to pave the way for the Prince of Peace and approach daily events with the right attitude.

This perspective should guide our approach to the current situation.

What South Africa gets totally wrong?

Let’s now look more carefully at how completely wrong South African government is.

The reasons for Israel’s delayed ground attack after October 7 – not sending ground forces into northern Gaza until October 28 – was not clear to many observers.

While it’s true the IDF had to prepare its troops and position tanks and other equipment, Israel also clearly took a considerable amount of time to communicate extensively with the civilian Palestinian population, urging them to evacuate the soon-to-be battle zones through phone calls, the internet, leaflets, and other channels.

We agree that the civilian casualty toll in Gaza is distressingly high.

However, we must note that Hamas deliberately uses civilians as human shields—an action classified as a war crime under international law.

What’s more, Israel has aimed to minimize civilian casualties, even if it meant putting our own soldiers at risk.

In contrast, Hamas intentionally seeks to escalate civilian losses.

Indeed, Hamas wants to influence international public opinion by increasing the number of Palestinian civilian casualties, particularly among children.

Yet while Hamas invaded Israel on October 7 to target and slaughter Jewish civilians – and has targeted Israeli civilians with thousands of rockets – the IDF is not targeting Palestinian civilians.

Just the opposite, the IDF is targeting Hamas terrorists.

Tens of thousands of Israeli military officers and enlisted soldiers, including hundreds of Messianic Israeli soldiers – well-versed in the army’s internal rules and norms, and possessing combat experience across the air force, ground units and navy – unanimously attest that the Israeli army maintains the highest ethical standard in global terms.

This assertion is substantiated by statistics on the ratio of civilian casualties to armed fatalities, considered reliable in international forums, and is further supported by reports from impartial international observers who have previously served as soldiers or reporters in various war zones worldwide.

Israel rejects the collective guilt of Palestinians

Contrary to South Africa’s accusations, Israel differentiates between Palestinian terrorists and the Palestinian people, not just in words but also in directives and practical measures.

Assertions of collective guilt of Gazans not only distort the truth but also harm Israel in several ways. They contribute to a toxic public discourse, impede the potential for constructive dialogue leading to future reconciliation, and complicate the challenging task of building trust. Additionally, such generalisations fuel the efforts of those spreading false information about Israel, including baseless accusations of genocide.

We at All Israel News categorically reject the notion of blaming all Palestinians for the attacks of October 7.

Every death of innocent Israelis and Palestinians is a tragedy.

We abhor the reign of terror and tragedy that Hamas has brought upon the people of Gaza and Israel.

And we pray for the complete liberation of Gaza from the ghastly Hamas government.

While it’s true that Hamas came to power through elections, anyone familiar with the organisation, tribal culture, and power structure of Gazan society recognizes differences between the democratic elections in free societies and the electoral processes in Palestinian territories.

This is particularly evident when considering how easily the average person, not guided by the spirit of God, can be swayed in any direction through propaganda, social pressure, material benefits, or violence.

This reality is vividly illustrated by an instance from the Book of Acts: In Lystra, the crowd initially revered the apostle Paul and Barnabas as gods, even planning to offer sacrifices to them. However, swayed by propagandists, the same crowd swiftly shifted their perception, exemplifying the ephemeral nature of public opinion. This abrupt change culminated in the stoning of Paul, emphasizing the volatile sway of people’s sentiments.

Not all pro-Palestinian protestors endorse Hamas terrorists

The sweeping generalisations that many make about “pro-Palestinian protestors” is also a mistake.

Any well-meaning person, upon witnessing real suffering in videos from the war, may demand an immediate end to the conflict.

That’s especially true when they don’t understand the genocidal intentions of Hamas and are being fed misleading information by much of the mainstream media about Israel’s motives and actions.

But that doesn’t make every protestor a supporter of Hamas terrorism and genocide.

Many individuals lack comprehensive knowledge of the Middle East situation, its intricate cause-and-effect dynamics.

At the same time, numerous adversaries of Israel are capitalizing on war-related suffering to disseminate fake news to whip up anti-Israel fervor.

That’s why we at All Israel News see it as an utmost responsibility to offer firsthand information grounded in reliable facts, in the Spirit of truth.

Again, while the existence of the State of Israel may challenge the worldview of many, leading to anti-Israeli sentiments, it does not mean that all pro-Palestinian protesters endorse the demonically cruel crimes of Hamas.

Such a false generalisation is counterproductive, contributing to the isolation of Israel and hindering constructive dialogue. It also undermines the possibility of reaching out and convincing the wider audience with true arguments.

Where we stand

At this critical moment in history, we as the editors of All Israel News want you to know the truth, even if you find it uncomfortable.

So, let’s be clear – this is where we stand.

We believe that the God of the Bible loves Israel and the Jewish people and has a good and redemptive plan for our lives.

We also believe that the God of the Bible loves the Palestinian people and has a good and redemptive plan for their lives, too.

We wish this war had never happened and that neither Israelis nor Palestinians were suffering.

Our hearts go out to every life lost, every wound suffered, and every hostage taken.

But we categorically reject the allegation that Israel is engaging in genocide.

We believe that Israel has a right – and a responsibility – found in the Bible and international law to defend its people from all our cruel and violent enemies.

We hope this war will be over soon, and we pray for the peace of Jerusalem, as the Bible commands us.

We are also praying for the safe and immediate release of all of our hostages.

Until then, we are grateful for all the steps that the IDF is taking to protect civilian lives and to ensure that humanitarian aid is flowing into the Gaza Strip.

Along the way, we will continue to report the truth and provide analysis of what’s happening in Israel and the region, why it matters, and how Christians can bless Israel and her neighbors, doing so in the name of Jesus.

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