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(19,238 posts)
Sat Jan 13, 2024, 12:34 PM Jan 2024

South African attorney Richard Spoor on Israel's presentation at The Hague. [View all]

Well, that was a very impressive and dignified response by Israel. The confidence we had coming out of yesterday’s hearing has pretty much evaporated. It does appear that SA’s case was light on hard evidence.

The evidence of genocidal intent in the form of statements by leaders is much less impactful when placed in context and countered with other statements, orders and directives requiring the Israeli military to respect the rules of war. We missed Israel’s humanitarian initiatives.


Our claim for provisional measures and in particular for an order halting Israel’s offensive, now appears to be a serious overreach. Israel cannot be ordered to stop its legitimate war against Hamas, especially in circumstances where Hamas will continue its attacks on Israel.

We were embarrassed by our government’s failure to engage properly with Israel before filing the dispute and by our hosting Hamas’ leadership in SA three weeks after that organisation’s indisputably genocidal attack on Israel on 7 October. We need to choose our friends better.



For more on Richard Spoor's human rights / workers' rights / land rights legal work in South Africa:

For more than 30 years, RSI attorneys have harnessed South Africa’s legal system to defend the rights and interests of vulnerable, marginalised individuals and groups. Our clients are mine workers and trade unionists; commercial organisations and communities, people dispossessed of their land; victims of industrial and occupational neglect or abuse. They must navigate a legal landscape that privileges the State and large corporate entities – and RSI is proud to walk alongside them throughout that journey. We listen to our clients’ stories. We understand their challenges. Through landmark judgments, pioneering settlements and targeted litigation, we empower them. We also contribute to shaping South African case law so that the principles of fairness, dignity and justice enshrined in the nation’s Constitution become a reality for all.

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