The decision by the ICC chief prosecutor, Karim Khan, to seek arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant is nothing more than a politically motivated decision, which is an offense to the rule of law and to the memories of the over 1 200 Israelis brutally murdered by Hamas on October 7, 2023.

The chief prosecutor’s decision needs to be rejected by the international community as there is simply no moral equivalence between Israel and Hamas. To include, in a single application, the names of three leaders of a terrorist organisation alongside those of democratically elected leaders who make difficult decisions regarding the safety of their country, is to make a mockery of the concepts “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity”. Israel is taking legitimate military action to protect itself against a genocidal terrorist entity whose stated mission is the destruction of the Israeli state.

The decision is also casts into question the future viability of the ICC and other international institutions which are being eroded by an anti-Western and vehemently anti-Israel agenda. There is also a profound irony in the fact that the ANC government is championing the issuing of an arrest warrant for the Israeli Prime Minister, when the self-same government ignored the ICC warrant for the arrest of Sudanese dictator and close ANC ally, Omar Al-Bashir. The ANC also shows no similar zeal for the enforcement of ICC arrest warrants when it comes to another close friend and ally, Russian President Vladimir Putin. This exposes the absolute hypocrisy and immorality that characterises the ANC’s anti-Israeli position.