Jan 27, 2024, 7:50 PM
Journalist ID: 1114
News ID: 85367248
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South Africa determined to fight apartheid in world: Ambassador

Jan 27, 2024, 7:50 PM
News ID: 85367248
South Africa determined to fight apartheid in world: Ambassador

Tehran, IRNA – South Africa’s Ambassador to Iran Francis Moloi has once again stressed his country’s determination to ensure that there is no place in the world for apartheid and occupation.

South Africa filed a case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against the Israeli regime’s genocide in Gaza on December 29.

On Saturday, a day after the ICJ delivered its interim ruling on emergency measures requested by South Africa, IRNA’s correspondent went to the South African Embassy to conduct an interview with Ambassador Moloi.  

As our correspondent arrived at the diplomatic mission, a quote on one of the walls of the embassy building caught his attention. The quote, from South Africa’s late president and global anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela read: "Our freedom cannot be complete while others in the world are not free", which can makes clear many things about South Africa’s support for the people of Palestine.

The following is the first part of the interview:

Q: What was the main reason for South Africa to initiate the genocide case against the Israeli regime?

A: Well, the case that South Africa has brought in the ICJ against Israel has got to be understood in the context of our own history and experience as South Africans. And we see that the struggle of the people of Palestine is very similar to our own struggle for freedom and justice under apartheid. And in the case of South Africa, for instance, I mean, we have experienced long, long years of colonialism, racism, and apartheid for a period of 350 years. And when we achieved our freedom in 1994, that was as a result of long years of struggle, but most importantly, tremendous solidarity that was shown to the people of South Africa by the people of the world in our struggle against apartheid, colonialism, and racism. And in that struggle, many countries around the world supported us, including Iran, including the Palestinians. They were there with us in our struggle for freedom and justice.

And as I say, we achieved our freedom in 1994, but the Palestinians themselves are still engaged in that struggle for self-determination. So, their struggle and our struggle has always been the same. And as you correctly point out, it was said by President Mandela that our freedom as South Africans will not be complete. We will not be complete unless and until the freedom of the people of Palestine has been achieved. So it is in that context that we have taken this case, because we believe very strongly that in this day and age, there is no place for apartheid in the world. There is no place for occupation in the world. There is no place in the world where a people can be denied of their right to self-determination. And we as South Africa have taken that case up in order to ensure that we can achieve all these objectives.

Q: With threats from some Zionist officials, are South African authorities worried about the consequences of the lawsuit against Israel in the international court?

A : What I'll say is that, you know, the struggle for justice, the struggle for freedom is, is not an easy struggle. Obviously, the Palestinians this time around, they are faced with a very formidable opponent or state. And Israel has a tremendous amount of support from many countries around the world. We, we were cognizant of the fact that there will be many countries around the world who support Israel, who will not be happy about, about the position that you have taken. And you have referred to some of the statements that were made by Israeli spokespersons, literally denouncing the cause of action that we have taken, including other European countries as well, that said that our case is meritless, it is baseless.

There is no reason for us to do this. But the Israeli spokespersons, they are saying that, you know, the Israeli spokespersons even use very, very strong language to say, for instance, to accuse us of being the legal arm of, of Hamas, essentially accusing us of being in cahoots with, with Hamas. And we are aware that some of the countries have been saying that there will be even more repercussions and consequences for us. Well, given our own history, our own experience, we know that the struggle for justice and freedom is not going to be easy. But the important thing is not to be swayed, not to lose focus, because we know we are on the right side of history, we are on the right side of justice, and we, we will need to, to continue. Despite the threats, despite the, the challenges that we will endure. Besides, the people of Palestine have already endured so much in the last 75 years.

And they still continue to be subjected to a very horrible system of government. You have oppression there, you have occupation, you have denial of human rights. That is already tough enough. That is already tough enough. And it is also not going to be easy for those that support the struggle of the people of Palestine.We see what is happening on university campuses across the world. We see what other authorities in other countries, what are they doing against those that are protesting in support of the Palestinians. So, we know that these are challenges, these are challenges that we will face. We should not give up.

Q: Were there any specific pressure or threat to stop South Africa from supporting Palestine in the International Court of Justice?

A: Well, all that I can say is that from the statements that we have heard,particularly from the Israeli spokespersons, and some of the statements that we have heard from, you know, officials of other governments in Europe,as well as in the U.S., we have heard that, you know, officials of other governments in Europe, as well as in the U.S., we haven't seen specifically what is it that they are saying they are going to do order to put pressure on us or to punish us for the cause of action that we have taken. We have taken note of their statements. So, we will have to wait and see what happens.

Q: One of the issues raised at the court is the terms used by Israeli authorities to describe the Palestinian people. For example, the Zionists have announced that they are fighting against human animals. What do you think makes them use such expressions?

A: Well, we know from observing, how Israel has been treating the Palestinians for all these decades, we are very aware that the dehumanization of the Palestinians is one of the strategies that they use in order to oppress and to repress the Palestinians.  We are not surprised because the use of words like human animals, flattening Gaza, these are words that we think and we now know that are consistent with the Israelis' attitude towards the Palestinians. And what is even more disturbing about these words and these statements, these are genocidal statements. They now clearly show us the ultimate goal of Israel as far as the Palestinians are concerned. They have to be dehumanized; they have to be called all these names to justify why. Israel treats them in that way. And if I may just say this, that we listen very carefully to the arguments or the defenses that Israel put before the ICJ.And one of their arguments is that there is no intent when they're part of Israel and its officials to commit genocide.

And if you listen to many scholars and people who are experts on genocide and cases such as this, they always say it is very difficult to prove intent. And it has always been difficult to prove intent precisely because, one, there is no country that says, states as its official policy that they will commit genocide, number one. Number two, the officials of these states that have been accused of genocide do not say these genocidal statements openly. So, you just have to deduce intent from the actions on the ground. And that has been the challenge in proving, that there is no intent. But in the case of Israel, these words are said openly. These words are said by the highest-ranking state functionaries in Israel, from the president, the prime minister, members of cabinet, members of the so-called war room or war cabinet in Israel, and high-ranking officials in the military, spokespersons, as well as ordinary civilians and the soldiers and everybody else. So, in this case, this is a textbook case of genocide because the statements have been made to the entire world for us to know exactly what is it that Israel intends in the case of Gaza. So essentially, the charge sheet that is there in the ICJ against Israel was essentially written by Israel itself as evidenced by the specific words and statements which are really genocidal, that the high-ranking officials in the government of Israel have uttered.


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