Support South Africa's Genocide Convention Case Against Israel

Support South Africa’s Genocide Convention Case Against Israel

We, along with nearly one thousand other organizations, have signed on to support this organizational sign-on letter calling on states to support South Africa’s Genocide Convention Case against Israel at the ICJ. We encourage any organizations that have not signed-on yet, to do so promptly. View the currently signatories here.

A note for organizations:

On December 30, a group of organizations including the Black Alliance for Peace, the Palestinian Assembly for Liberation, Popular Resistance, CODEPINK, Progressive International, the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), the National Lawyers Guild, Samidoun, Veterans for Peace, Gaza Freedom Flotilla, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (US Section), World Beyond War, The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Center (CMMLK) Cuba, Project Enduring Peace, and others met urgently to support efforts to end the genocide of Palestinians. While there are many legal and human rights-focused groups working to end genocide using various legal interventions, we saw a need to build organizational support by human rights, anti-colonial, anti-imperialist and other groups as a way to increase public pressure.

We invite your organization to sign this open letter calling for nations to submit Declarations of Intervention to the International Court of Justice in support of South Africa’s excellent case invoking the Genocide Convention against Israel. Such Declarations can be submitted at any time and will increase the likelihood that a finding of the crime of genocide by the Court is backed up by enforcement.

At present, we are gathering organizational (not individual) endorsements. We urge you to share this internally with organizations that may be supportive of this effort. Once we have gathered a significant number of endorsements, the letter will be published.

We appreciate your endorsement and any support you can provide to gather as many signing organizations as possible.


We, the undersigned organizations, commend South Africa on its Application to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) invoking the Genocide Convention against Israel. 

We now urge other countries to reinforce this strongly worded and well-argued complaint by immediately filing a Declaration of Intervention with the ICJ, also called the World Court.

Many countries have rightly expressed their horror at the State of Israel’s genocidal actions, war crimes and crimes against humanity being committed against Palestinians. Israeli Occupying Forces have bombed hospitals, residences, United Nations refugee centers, schools, places of worship and escape routes, killing and injuring tens of thousands of Palestinians since October 7, 2023. More than half of the dead are women and children. Israeli leaders have made brazenly genocidal statements openly declaring their intention to permanently and completely displace Palestinians from their own land. 

South Africa is correct in charging that under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, Israel’s actions “are genocidal in character, as they are committed with the requisite specific intent … to destroy Palestinians in Gaza as a part of the broader Palestinian national, racial and ethnic group.” 

Parties to the Genocide Convention are obliged to act to prevent genocide; therefore, action must be immediate. A Declaration of Intervention filed with the ICJ in support of the South African case against Israel is one way to ensure that all acts of genocide are stopped and those responsible are held accountable.

Israel’s killing, injuring, traumatizing, and displacing large numbers of Palestinians and denying water, food, medicine, and fuel to an occupied population meet the criteria for the crime of genocide. If a majority of the world’s nations call for a ceasefire, yet fail to press for prosecution of Israel – what is to stop Israel from ethnically cleansing all Palestinians?

For that matter, what is to stop other nations from repeating a horror of this magnitude?

We urge national governments to immediately file a Declaration of Intervention in support of the South African case against Israel at the International Court of Justice to stop the killing in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Resources: Here is an example of a Declaration of Intervention by the Maldives in the Myanmar case. There are many other examples

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