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Turning the Victim into the Perpetrator: South Africa’s Case Against Israel

January 24 @ 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

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On December 29, 2023, South Africa brought charges against Israel to the International Court of Justice in the Hague for alleged violations of the Genocide Convention in its current military operations against Hamas. Following the barbaric attack on Israel by over 2,000 Hamas terrorists on October 7th, in which over 1,200 Israelis were barbarically massacred, and approximately 240 Israelis were kidnapped, Israel commenced its military campaign in Gaza.

Are the actions of IDF justified legally, ethically, and morally? Is Israel’s response to the October 7th attacks disproportionate and does it actually constitute “Genocide” under international law?” Is Israel allowed to use a strong amount of force to eliminate the threat emanating from Hamas? What responsibility does Israel have towards the civilians of Gaza? How are the arguments on both sides of this issue framed?

About the Speaker: Amichai Cohen is an expert on international law and the law of armed conflict. Professor Amichai Cohen is a member of the Faculty of Law at Ono Academic College. He earned his LL.B. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and his LL.M. and LL.D. from Yale Law School at Yale University.

In the past he served as the Dean of the faculty of Law at the Ono Academic College, as a visiting professor at American University- Washington College of Law (Washington DC) and at Columbia Law School (New York). He was also a visiting scholar at Cambridge University (UK) and at the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law (Lausanne).

His books include: Israel’s National Security Law: Political Dynamics and Historical Development (Routledge, 2011, with Stuart A. Cohen). [A Hebrew version of the work was published in 2014]; Revolutions and Counter-Revolutions (Hebrew, 2020); Proportionality in International Humanitarian Law: Consequences, Precautions and Procedures (with David Zlotogorski, Oxford UP, 2021).

At the IDI Cohen focuses on issues of the International Law of Armed Conflict, National Security Law, and Civil Military Relations. His work on investigations of alleged war crimes was cited extensively in the Turkel Commission Report and in the report of the UN’s Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict.


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January 24
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
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Amichai Cohen
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