JUSTICE - No. 71

22 No. 71 JUSTICE here is a well-known allegory describing a frog who did not realize that he was being boiled alive because the heat of the water was raised so gradually that the frog did not feel the increase in temperature. Like the frog, Israel and the world Jewish community have been subject over recent years to an increasingly vitriolic campaign of delegitimization that has been advanced gradually, stage by stage. Not every member of the global Jewish community was aware of what was being done; yet Israel’s opponents worked with the same careful pacing as someone raising the temperature to boil the frog. South Africa’s case before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) was only the latest attempt to delegitimize Zionism and Israel on a global scale. However, the delegitimization of Zionism predates the current war by a few decades. In 1975, the UN General Assembly declared that Zionism was a form of racism.1 In 2001, the Jewish delegates to the Durban Conference against Racism reported on the toxic atmosphere of the Conference, where the only international conflict explicitly addressed in the final report was that of Israel and the Palestinians. The report stated that, “We are concerned about the plight of the Palestinian people under foreign occupation.”2 In 2006, the UN General Assembly expressed “Grave concern at the violations of the human rights of the Palestinian people.”3 In 2003 [see UN GA Res. 10/14, UN Doc. A/RES/ES-10/14 (Dec. 12, 2003)], the League of Arab States complained to the International Court of Justice that Israel’s separation barrier was an “apartheid wall.”4 In 2019, “Palestine” complained to the UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination that Israel was committing “Racial Discrimination.”5 The UN Committee decided to deal with the Palestinian complaint, notwithstanding the opinion of the Legal Advisor to the UN that the Committee had no jurisdiction to do so.6 In 2023, the UN General Assembly requested an advisory opinion from the ICJ on the question of the “Legal Consequences Arising from the Policies and Practices of Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Including East Jerusalem.” The documentation submitted to the Court by the United Nations included a statement by the Human Rights Council expressing “Grave concern about the continuing systematic violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people by Israel, the occupying Power….”7 The common thread across all of these incidents is a fundamental denial of the Jewish people’s identity as a group indigenous to the land of Israel, as well as their right to live peacefully in their own land and engage in actions intended to protect that right. The latest iteration of this denial is a warping of the term “genocide,” where Israel’s enforcement of its right to defend itself is deemed a genocidal attack on the Palestinians. The 1948 Genocide Convention defines genocide as: Any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, The International Court of Justice and Genocide Robbie Sabel T 1. UN GA Res. 3379, 1975 A/RES/46/86, available at https://digitallibrary.un.org/record/135193?ln=en, revoked by UN GA Res. 46/86 of 1991 A/RES/46/86. 2. World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance August 31- September 7, 2001, Durban, para. 63, available at https://www.un.org/ en/durbanreview2009/pdf/DDPA_full_text.pdf 3. The UN GA approved the report of the UN Human Rights Council. See UN GA Res. 1-3, UN HRC, UN Doc. A/HRC/S-1/3 (July 5-6, 2006), available at https:// documents.un.org/doc/undoc/gen/g06/130/72/pdf/ g0613072.pdf?token=a1Xka5Li4jIgxeR0ZI&fe=true 4. Legal Consequences arising from the Policies and Practices of Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, Written Statement of the League of Arab States (Jan. 28, 2004), available at https://www. icj-cij.org/sites/default/files/case-related/131/1545.pdf 5. International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, UN Doc. CERD/C/100/3 (Dec. 12, 2019), available at https://www.un.org/unispal/wpcontent/uploads/2021/06/CERDC1003_150621.pdf 6. Note for the file Treaty Bodies Secretariat (Aug. 23, 2019), Transmission of the content of OLA Memorandum at the request of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. 7. https://www.icj-cij.org/sites/default/files/caserelated/186/186-20230117-REQ-01-00-EN.pdf; see also Legal Consequences arising from the Policies and Practices of Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, Advisory Opinion, 43 I.L.M. 1009 (Feb. 3, 2023).