In just over 48 hours, more than 22,000 community members have joined a national campaign calling on the Australian Government to publicly support South Africa’s International Court of Justice case against Israel, accusing it of genocide in Gaza.
The online campaign, initiated by the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN), demands that the government “begins to be morally and legally consistent in its support for international law” and emphasises that support for South Africa’s case “aligns with the value our nation puts on upholding human rights and striving for equality before the law.”
It complements other campaigns across the globe – including one that has garnered the support of more than 900 international organisations – that are building international pressure for governments to rally behind what human rights lawyer Professor Francis Boyle predicts will be a successful case.
Professor Boyle was the first international law expert to successfully prosecute a genocide case, for Bosnia, in the ICJ.
APAN President Nasser Mashni said the South African case, which provides detailed evidence that Israel has failed to prevent genocide and is engaging in genocidal acts against Palestinians in Gaza, was the most promising and immediate chance the international community had to end Israeli violence in the besieged territory.
“South Africa’s case is built upon meticulously presented evidence – in fact, we’ve seen this evidence with our own eyes, as the genocide has been broadcast live for the past 95 days,” Mr Mashni said.
“We’ve also heard genocidal intent expressed by everyone from the Israeli prime minister and president, to members of the Israeli Occupying Forces.
“Our government committed itself to upholding the Genocide Convention in regards to Ukraine, and the community now expects this commitment to extend to Palestinians in Gaza.
“Why is our government refusing to do so?”
Mr Mashni said the community was alarmed and frustrated at the failure of most federal elected representatives to demand an immediate end to the genocide.
“The silence of most of our federal politicians does beg the question – are they concerned about protecting Palestinians from Israeli slaughter and war crimes, or are they more interested in preserving their own political careers and perpetuating the dynamics of a toxic party politics?” he said.
Community members can still contact their political representatives to urge the government to support the South Africa case in the ICJ, by visiting https://apan.org.au/support-south-africas-icj-case/