by LUKE ZUNGA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – SOUTH Africa filed a case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to investigate atrocious activities in Gaza, arising from collective punishment of Gazans, where over 25, 000 Gazans have been directly killed by aggressive actions of Israel.
This is a very important step for South Africa and Africa as a whole, that there is still a voice of reason, and that South Africa is an important international player in World politics.
South Africa is not in a cocoon as the European Union (EU) and other parts of Africa and Asia are to the US, France and Britain. One would not expect such application from EU countries who left their political heads to the US.
South Africa may be looked down upon by these cocooned countries, but it is important that somebody speaks clearly about the horrendous climate in Gaza, without abrogating blame to any of the parties at conflict. It is the ICJ which should articulate what they saw.
The UN was formed by effective adoption of the UN Charter on 24 October 1945. Now it has 193 member countries. One of its arms is the International Court of Justice, an international court to settle disputes or grievances between countries.
Its decisions are binding on parties in the case and may become case law by application. In this case the citation of Israel is not complete without the USA. However South Africa is careful not to go too far, because there are many countries who turn a blind eye to the involvement of the US government.
Gaza is not an international country and is not a member of the UN, other than as an observer. Gaza and West Bank are Bantustans, to use the South African version. The war is between a country and its Bantustans, and the question must arise whether this falls under international law of war or a country protecting its people as Israel should.
Otherwise, Israel is committing genocide. There are a few more questions for clarification on questions of accountability and human protection.
There is US case law which may be relevant for the USA.
The most notorious arms dealer in the world was Russian Viktor Bout. In April 2012 he was convicted and imprisoned for 25 years in US Court, after extradition from Thailand, for a case of probable cause that:
1. That there was a conspiracy. Viktor Bout supplied arms to conflict countries and international armed groups. Viktor Bout was not directly involved but he conspired by supplying arms, knowing what the arms would be used for.
2. Viktor Bout knew who the organization he was supplying to, in this case FARC of Colombia. In other words, they had definite knowledge of each other. The US supplies Israel with arms knowing that they would be used against Gazans, because the US was in strategic knowledge of Israel and is its financial and military backer. Otherwise, why could the US government amass frigates at the coast of Gaza to support Israel, knowing that that would facilitate the massacre. The US never tried to stop it.
3. That Viktor Bout knew he was entering into a weapons deal for a specific purpose. This is common knowledge.
4. That he knew the weapons were going to be used to kill people and was an accessory to violence beyond comprehension as is happening in Gaza. The thinking is not to blame the US citizens, but there are politicians who must be held up to their own law. However, the South African application left out the USA, because South Africa did not accuse any of the parties. Maybe the investigation will apply to the Bout case.
NB: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of CAJ News Africa.
– CAJ News