The case says Israel committed “grave violence and genocidal acts” after launching its offensive in Gaza following the attack on Israel by Hamas on Oct. 7, 2023…reports Asian Lite News
The UK’s chief rabbi, Sir Ephraim Mirvis, has claimed describing Israel’s military action in Gaza as “genocide” is a “moral inversion, which undermines the memory of the worst crimes in human history.”
Sir Ephraim added it was an “increasingly frequent, disingenuous misappropriation of the term” done to “tear open the still gaping wound of the Holocaust.”
The chief rabbi’s intervention in the Sunday Telegraph ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day on Jan. 27 comes after South Africa brought a case against Israel at the UN International Court of Justice in The Hague accusing it of committing genocide.
The case says Israel committed “grave violence and genocidal acts” after launching its offensive in Gaza following the attack on Israel by Hamas on Oct. 7, 2023.
Israel has dismissed the accusations, saying South Africa’s “profoundly distorted” claims are “barely distinguishable” from those of Hamas.
Sir Ephraim, who was born in South Africa, said claiming Israel’s activity in Gaza is genocide was an affront not only to victims of the Holocaust, but also to those of genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.
He added that the war “would end tomorrow if Hamas released Israel’s hostages and laid down its weapons,” which should “preclude any allegation of genocide,” but conceded that “no decent person could be unmoved by the tragic suffering of innocent Palestinians.”
Since the start of hostilities, Gaza’s authorities say 25,000 people have been killed in the enclave, or around 1 percent of the population. Tens of thousands of buildings, including numerous schools and medical facilities, have been destroyed.
Human Rights Watch has accused Israel of starving civilians by restricting humanitarian aid access, while Amnesty International has highlighted Israeli airstrikes on a Greek Orthodox church and a refugee camp as examples of war crimes.
Elsewhere, Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf said on Sunday that lack of support for the people of Gaza from the international community showed many politicians view Palestinian lives as “cheap.” Yousaf’s mother-in-law and father-in-law were trapped in the Gaza Strip at the start of Israel’s onslaught.