The blood libel at The Hague

Anti-Israeli genocidaires accuse Israelis of genocide

The South African delegation presents its case against Israel at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Jan. 11, 2024. Source: X.
The South African delegation presents its case against Israel at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Jan. 11, 2024. Source: X.
Clifford D. May
Clifford D. May is the founder and president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), as well as a columnist for “The Washington Times.”

They say you can’t kill an idea and maybe they’re right. Among Hitler’s ideas: murdering Jews—every man, woman and child.

Early in World War II, Winston Churchill observed that the deliberate and systematic destruction of a people was a “crime without a name.”

But in 1944, Raphael Lemkin, a Polish-born Jewish lawyer who fled to America, where he advised the War Department, coined one: genocide. The word is a combination of “genos,” the Greek word for race or tribe, and “cide,” the Latin word for killing.

In 1948, the newly founded United Nations established the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the organization’s first human rights treaty.

It defines genocide as the “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.”

On Oct. 7, 2023, Hamas terrorists invaded Israel, where they murdered as many men, women and children as they could.

In response, the South African government filed a lawsuit under the Genocide Convention to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague.

You know the punch line: It is not Hamas but Israel that South Africa is accusing of genocide.

A few reminders:

Israel was founded in part of the ancient Jewish homeland which for centuries had been under foreign imperialist rule.

There are many Arab and Muslim states, but Israel is the only state in the world where Jews constitute a majority.

It’s a country in which survivors of Hitler’s genocide and Jews expelled from Arab and Muslim countries have found refuge.

Israel’s Arab and Muslim citizens, roughly 20% of the population, enjoy rights unavailable elsewhere in the Middle East.

During multiple wars, the Israel Defense Forces has done more to avoid civilian casualties than any other army in the world ever has. In Gaza, the IDF has provided advance warning to Palestinian civilians where it plans to fight, sending 7.2 million leaflets, 13.7 million texts and making 15 million phone calls so far to help noncombatants avoid being used by Hamas as human shields.

So, to accuse the Israelis of genocide is a lie and a blood libel.

By contrast, Hamas is proudly genocidal. The Hamas Charter declares that “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”

Hamas instructs Muslims to “fight Jews and kill them.”

Yet South Africa isn’t asking the ICJ to order Hamas to release the more than 130 hostages it’s now torturing in its tunnels and lay down its weapons.

No, South Africa—joined by other anti-Israeli and antisemitic governments—wants the ICJ to order Israelis to cease defending themselves so Hamas can deliver on its promise to repeat the atrocities of Oct. 7—the worst assault on Jews since the Holocaust—“again and again.

This is hardly the first time Israel’s enemies have combined lawfare with warfare.

Twenty years ago next month, the Palestinian Authority demanded that the ICJ condemn Israel’s construction of security barriers—the accusers called them “apartheid walls” and “Holocaust walls”—to prevent terrorists from infiltrating Israel from the West Bank.

Hamas is, of course, a client of the Islamic Republic of Iran whose rulers have been threatening and inciting genocide against Israel for 45 years.

Under the Genocide Convention, doing so is “a crime in and of itself,” as often noted by Irwin Cotler, the renowned Canadian human rights attorney. But Tehran hasn’t had to defend itself at the ICJ.

Another of Iran’s proxies, Lebanon-based Hezbollah, since Oct. 8 has fired 2,000 missiles at Israel’s northern communities, killing Israeli civilians and forcing tens of thousands to flee their homes.

“If all the Jews gathered in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide,” Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has said. “It is an open war until the elimination of Israel and until the death of the last Jew on earth.”

Can genocidal intent be clearer than that?

A third Tehran proxy is Ansar Allah, better known as the Houthi rebels of Yemen. Its flags carry this slogan: “God Is the Greatest, Death to America, Death to Israel, A Curse Upon the Jews, Victory to Islam.”

Three years ago, the Biden administration removed the Houthis from its Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) list for what it called “humanitarian” reasons. No concern was expressed about its genocidal declarations.

Over recent months, the Houthis have been attacking commercial shipping off the Yemeni coast, along with U.S. naval vessels attempting to defend freedom of the seas.

Last week, the Biden administration carried out strikes against dozens of Houthi targets. Undeterred, the Houthis fired a cruise missile at an American destroyer on Sunday and struck an American-owned ship on Monday.

And Iran’s rulers are certainly feeling no heat. On Monday, the Washington Free Beacon reported that the World Economic Forum invited Iran’s foreign minister to attend its annual gathering of “the world’s top businessmen and government officials.”

Meanwhile Russia’s ruler continues to slaughter Ukrainians while China’s ruler destroys the cultures of Tibet and East Turkestan (aka Xinjiang) and threatens Taiwan. With these and other neo-imperialists, South Africa is cozy.

Dr. Frans Cronje, former CEO of the South African Institute of Race Relations, described South Africa’s indictment of Israel at the ICJ as a “brilliant display of stigmatization and propaganda,” a significant contribution to Tehran’s “ideas war.”

Prominent among those ideas is the destruction of Israel, a national, ethnical, racial and religious group, the only surviving and thriving Jewish community remaining in the Middle East.

Genocide, it turns out, is an idea that didn’t die in Hitler’s bunker. It’s alive and well and it’s now being directed against Israelis defending themselves from genocidal enemies and their Jew-hating accomplices.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.

Just before you scroll on...

Israel is at war. JNS is combating the stream of misinformation on Israel with real, honest and factual reporting. In order to deliver this in-depth, unbiased coverage of Israel and the Jewish world, we rely on readers like you. The support you provide allows our journalists to deliver the truth, free from bias and hidden agendas. Can we count on your support? Every contribution, big or small, helps JNS.org remain a trusted source of news you can rely on.

Become a part of our mission by donating today
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates