Professor Anthony Van Nieuwkerk from the Wits School of Governance has expressed his concerns over the diplomatic ramifications of South Africa’s case against Israel.
In December, South Africa launched a case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), accusing Israel of genocidal acts in Gaza. Israel, in turn, rejected the case with disgust.
The case is scheduled to be heard on Thursday and Friday, and Professor Van Nieuwkerk believes that it could have significant implications for South Africa’s international relationships.
He points out the influence of a powerful Jewish lobby in the capitals of the western world, which is urging countries to align with Israel and against South Africa.
This alignment could potentially result in South Africa losing some of its supporters and allies in the West, while gaining support from the East and the South. However, Professor Van Nieuwkerk raises concerns about the impact on South Africa’s economy.
He suggests that if the country loses business with some of the countries it currently trades with, it could have negative consequences for its economy.
In an 84-page submission to the ICJ, South Africa has called for Israel to immediately suspend its military operations in Gaza.
The country alleges that Israel has engaged in genocidal acts against the Palestinian people in Gaza, a claim that Israel vehemently denies. Government spokesman Eylon Levy has described the South African case as an “absurd blood libel” and vowed to fight against it.
The outcome of this case will not only determine the legal implications but also the diplomatic and economic consequences for South Africa. It remains to be seen how the ICJ will rule and what impact it will have on the relationships between South Africa, Israel, and other countries around the world.