Why South Africa’s Claims Of Genocide In Gaza Are False

THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS - JANUARY 11: Vusimuzi Madonsela (R), South African Amabassador to the Netherlands, and Ronald Lamola, South African Minister of Justice, attend a hearing as South Africa has requested the court to indicate measures concerning alleged violations of human rights by Israel in the Gaza Strip on January 11, 2024 in The Hague, Netherlands. On January 11 and January 12 at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the judicial body of the United Nations, in The Hague, South Africa seized the ICJ, to ask it to rule on possible acts of "genocide" in the Gaza Strip by Israel. (Photo by Michel Porro/Getty Images)
Michel Porro/Getty Images

Last week, the U.N.’s International Court of Justice convened at The Hague to hear arguments from South African representatives accusing the State of Israel of violating international law by carrying out a genocide to “destroy Palestinians in Gaza.”

Many influential figures across social media have agreed with the accusation, such as former UFC fighter Jake Shields who claims America is clashing with Yemen so that “… Israel can continue their genocide in Gaza.”

South Africa has also been backed by many in the film industry. A video released last week by the Palestine Festival of Literature shows 29 actors from television series like “Game of Thrones” reading South Africa’s official case file.

So, is Israel actually committing genocide? The answer is simple — absolutely not.

The term “genocide” was originally coined in 1944 by Jewish-Polish lawyer Raphäel Lemkin in his book “Axis Rule in Occupied Europe.” Lemkin created the term as a response to the systematic killing of the Jews in Nazi occupied Europe. He chose the Greek prefix ‘genos,’ meaning race, and the latin suffix ‘cide,’ which means killing.

So, to claim the only Jewish nation in the world — formed by Holocaust survivors — is carrying out the same crime that befell its ancestors just eight decades ago is something that should not be taken lightly.

According to Article II of the United Nations’ Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the term is defined as a group of acts “committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.”

All it takes is a single word in that definition to establish their innocence, “intent.”

A quick glance into Israel’s conduct in Gaza shows they have no intention of eradicating the Arabs who live there.

As Israeli Defense Forces combat Hamas, a terror organization who purposely embeds themselves in hospitals and civilian areas to use the general population as human shields, they take countless steps to save as many innocent lives as possible. For example, before an airstrike occurs, Israel often sends warning signs to civilians in the strike zone. These signs include roof knock warning bombs, leaflet droppings, direct phone calls, and even complete abandonment of strikes they can’t clear out in time. One could argue that no nation on earth does more to prevent harm to civilians, because doing so can ultimately compromise the effectiveness of the operation.

A common argument made by critics, especially in response to the aforementioned point, is the casualty count coming out of Gaza. Before addressing it directly, it should be understood that the number, which is now reportedly over 20,000, comes from the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry. Hamas is a terror organization who purposely places their own civilians in harms way, so their numbers should be taken with not only a grain, but a truckload of salt. Taking Hamas at their word is comparable to trusting the Kremlin to give accurate figures for the number of Russian casualties sustained in their current war.

If the numbers are accurate, however, it is important to understand a high casualty count does not equate to genocide. During World War II, the United States and Britain carried out a joint bombing campaign against Dresden, Germany. While their overall goal was to defeat the Axis powers, 25,000 people died as a result of the campaign. To this day, the bombing of Dresden is not considered a genocidal act and rightfully so.

Another example from World War II are the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States. The damage caused by these operations was so extensive, historians have never been able to produce a concrete casualty count. Some estimates place the figure around 110,000. Despite the soberingly large figure, America never went on trial for genocide against the Japanese because (similar to Israel) they never showed any intent to wipe out an entire race.

Many critics of South Africa’s actions at the U.N. have responded by criticizing them in return. British author and commentator Douglas Murray claimed, “Its government is profoundly anti-Semitic, has been anti-Israel for years.” He also said they, “… always do this sort of thing to try to sort of distract attention among their own population from the failings of their own government.”

Similarly, Pennsylvania Democratic Senator John Fetterman has shown a surprising willingness to differ from his party by openly defending Israel. At a luncheon hosted by the Orthodox Union, Fetterman criticized South Africa by saying they should “sit this one out.”

Israel is not committing a genocide in Gaza. For almost two decades they have worked tirelessly to defend their citizens from Hamas and other terrorist organizations. At any point, Israel’s superior military could have wiped out their enemies in the Gaza Strip, but they haven’t. The population in Gaza, on the other hand, has grown consistently at an unprecedented rate. Hamas started this war on October 7, 2023, with a massacre of innocent civilians, and it will continue until the terrorists who carried it out are no longer a threat. Let’s hope that happens soon, so civilians on both sides can live safely.

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Jacob Falach is a writer and student in Nashville, TN. You can find him on Instagram at: @jacobfalach

The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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