Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Israel: Communist lawmaker Ofer Cassif faces possible expulsion from Knesset

Seventy Knesset members signed a motion on Monday to support the expulsion of lawmaker Ofer Cassif (Hadash) from the Knesset over his support of South Africa’s petition against the Israeli government at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Cassif announced on Sunday that he would be joining the lawsuit against the war in Gaza in the Hague. More specifically, in his announcement, he claimed:

“My constitutional duty is to Israeli society and all its residents, not to a government whose members and its coalition are calling for ethnic cleansing and even actual genocide.” Immediately afterward, he stated, “Those who hurt the country and the people are the ones who led South Africa to turn to The Hague, not me and my friends.”

“I will not give up the struggle for our existence as a moral society. That is true patriotism – not wars of revenge and calls for destruction, not unnecessary bloodshed, and not the sacrifice of civilians and soldiers in futile wars,” Cassif concluded.

Cassif is one of more than 700 Israelis who are signing onto a petition of support for South Africa’s case. The petition read: “We, Israeli citizens, write to express our support for South Africa’s proceedings before the ICJ claiming that Israel’s conduct in Gaza violates its obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. The materials that emerge from South Africa’s application are horrific and credible. Israel is taking systematic steps to wipe out the population of Gaza, to starve them, to abuse them and to displace them. It implements a policy of erasing life possibilities, and leads to genocide. It systematically kills large sections of the population, leading academics, writers, doctors, medical staff, journalists and ordinary citizens.

“We join the double concern expressed in the proceedings that Israel violates its obligations by committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza, and by failing to prevent the genocide, including by failing to hold senior Israeli officials and others accountable for their direct and public incitement to genocide. We also join the applicants requesting a series of ‘provisional measures,’ including that Israel immediately suspend its military operations in Gaza.”