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Press Release
January 26, 2024
Contact: Sarah Stern
(202) 601-7422


EMET Regrets the ICJ Preliminary Ruling, Profoundly Appreciates that Israel Has No Alternative but to Respond to the Atrocities of October 7th, and Applauds Over 200 Members of Congress Who Appreciate the Existential Nature of the Threat Against Israel Emanating from Hamas

(January 26, 2024, Washington, DC)

Today, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the United Nations’ highest court, came out with a somewhat predictable ruling on the preliminary claims made by South Africa against the state of Israel regarding the crime of “genocide.” The ICJ ruled that South Africa, although not a party to the dispute, had jurisdiction because it, as did Israel, signed the Genocide Convention. It did not issue a ruling on whether or not Israel was, in fact, guilty of the crime of genocide, but it did place certain conditions and restraints on the state of Israel. The one positive note is that the court failed to adhere to South Africa’s immediate request for a ceasefire.

The ICJ did admonish Israel to take actions to prevent genocide, including “killing members of the group (Palestinians), causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring physical destruction in whole or in part; and imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group.” Israel is required to prevent and punish “direct and public incitement to commit genocide in relation to members of the Palestinian group in the Gaza Strip,” to ensure that its armed forces do not commit genocide; to ensure to the extent that it can the provision of humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza; to protect evidence of genocide; and to report within one month on compliance with the Court’s order.

This decision does not even attempt to address the barbaric atrocities of October 7th, nor the fact that Israel has never been at war against the entire Palestinian people, simply against the terrorist group Hamas. Hamas breached Israel’s borders through land, air, and sea on October 7th, murdering at least 1200 people, conducting grotesque acts of massive rape and physical abuse of both men and women, butchering and burning children in front of the eyes of parents, and more human rights abuses than time allow me to elaborate upon. Hamas uses the entire Palestinian population as one massive human shield hiding beneath terror tunnels, in a vast underground system that stretches for hundreds of miles. Hamas hides among civilians fleeing south and even attempts to impede them from their attempt to travel south. Nor does it address the fact that Israel has warned the population of Gaza, repeatedly and consistently, about impending attacks.

Israel conducts itself as an advanced moral army, with systems already set in place to review and discipline any soldier who violates those high standards. Israel acts on the fundamental pillars of the war of armed conflict. However, as any nation, according to Article 51 of the UN charter,  Israel must survive and protect and defend its nine and a half million citizens from these sadistic, barbaric acts of attempted annihilation by Iran’s terror proxy, Hamas.

Because of this, we, at EMET, sincerely express our deep gratitude to over 200 Representatives led by Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Kathy Manning (D-NC) who wrote to Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on January 23 denouncing South Africa’s grossly unfounded genocide accusation against Israel in the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

In it, the Representatives write: “While barely acknowledging the Hamas terrorists who gleefully massacred, mutilated, raped, and kidnapped innocent civilians on October 7, South Africa makes grossly unfounded and defamatory charges against Israel on the world stage, abusing the judicial process in order to delegitimize the democratic State of Israel…“We vigorously denounce South Africa’s deeply hostile stance towards Israel and thoroughly reject its charge of genocide.

The letter additionally urges the Biden Administration “to offer Israel all appropriate support in opposing the South African application to the ICJ, and to encourage our allies to join us in speaking out against this unfounded attack on Israel, particularly at the United Nations and in other intergovernmental organizations.”

Says Sarah Stern, Founder and President of EMET, “South Africa’s claim is nothing more than a blood libel erroneously hurled at the only Jewish state for defending itself after the October 7th Massacre. South Africa, like many other anti-Israel nations, does not really care about the Palestinians or human rights for that matter, it only cares about delegitimizing Israel. Pretoria’s own human rights record is abysmal, with widespread arbitrary killings, torture, and government corruption.  The preliminary ruling of the Court indicates that this is nothing more than political theater. If Israel cannot protect and defend itself from radical Jihadist groups, how will, in fact, the rest of Western civilization?”

About The Endowment for Middle East Truth

Founded in 2005, EMET is a pro-American, pro-Israel, and pro-human rights, foreign policy think tank and policy shop in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit

About the Author

Sarah Stern
Sarah Stern is founder and president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET).

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