Palestinian-Israeli conflict critical for BRICS

This conflict does have the potential to cause a rift in the BRICS group- Given the South African position regarding Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians has been one of strong condemnation. While bearing in mind BRICS is not so much of a political organization and is more of an economic coalition. However, everything is mired in politics.

Modern Diplomacy

Some excerpts;

Long before South African President Cyril Ramaphosa chaired a video summit with BRICS leaders (Brazil, Russia, India and China) with participation of new members on November 21 to discuss the Israel-Hamas conflict, there have been some differences in perceptions and approaches among them, so it was not surprising that the BRICS bloc did not agree on issuing a joint declaration.

Last August when BRICS held its 15th summit, South Africa’s position was entirely different on the International Criminal Court arrest warrant for President Vladimir Putin. But today, South Africa has vehemently called to an arrest warrant to be issued, without further delay, for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in the ongoing bombardment and ground invasion of the Gaza Strip.

On November 20, South Africa urged the International Criminal Court (ICC) to issue an arrest warrant for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by mid-December. Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said failure to do so would signal a “total failure” of global governance.

At the end of their lengthy discussions on November 21, leaders of the BRICS bloc, despite their comprehensive analysis of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict that began October 7, were not keen on issuing any joint declaration. It has already been interpreted as a weakness on the part of BRICS. Understandably BRICS is not a political group, as it has often been explained previously during several of its summits. But there must be stern collective decisions from such blocs as BRICS to support United Nations’ efforts toward finding resolution to the conflict has affected millions of civilians, and children in the Gaza Strip.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has condemned Hamas for its attack on Israeli civilians that sparked the conflict and said both sides were guilty of violating international law. “The collective punishment of Palestinian civilians through the unlawful use of force by Israel is a war crime. The deliberate denial of medicine, fuel, food and water to the residents of Gaza is tantamount to genocide. In its attacks on civilians and by taking hostages, Hamas has also violated international law and must be held accountable for these actions,” Ramaphosa said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed the crisis on the failure of U.S. diplomacy in the Middle East. “We call for joint efforts of the international community aimed at de-escalating the situation, a ceasefire and finding a political solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. And the BRICS states… could play a key role in this work,” Putin said, and commended colleagues from the Middle East in the meeting, particularly by holding the Peace Summit in Egypt and the extraordinary Arab-Islamic Summit in Saudi Arabia.

“All these events, in fact, are a direct consequence of the U.S. desire to monopolize mediation functions in the Palestinian-Israeli settlement,” Putin said while appearing on teleconference from the Kremlin. He called for a cease-fire in Gaza, the freeing of hostages and the evacuation of civilians from the Gaza Strip.

Putin’s comments were in line with Russia’s careful approach to the Israel-Hamas war, which may present an opportunity for it to advance its role as a global power broker

Chinese Jinping called for the release of all civilians detained during the Israel-Hamas war and reiterated his call for an immediate cease-fire. “China believes that the following is urgent and imperative: first, all the parties to the conflict must end hostilities and achieve a cease-fire immediately,” Xi said, addressing leaders from countries including Brazil, Russia, India, South Africa and Iran by video. “All the parties must stop all violence and attacks against civilians, release civilians held captive, and act to prevent loss of more lives and spare people from more miseries.”

“The root cause of the Palestinian-Israeli situation is the fact that the right of the Palestinian people to statehood, their right to existence, and their right of return have long been ignored,” Xi said. China has historically been sympathetic to the Palestinians and supportive of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Putin and Xi making very valid points, avoiding over the top rhetoric which has been at the core of the 5 + 1 eyes media presentation. I’ve not seen the word antisemitism tossed around so much in a very long time

As confirmed by ICC chief prosecutor Karim Khan, countries such as South Africa, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Comoros, and Djibouti, which are all ICC members. Five nations are calling on the International Criminal Court to launch an investigation into Israel’s indiscriminate war and genocide on Gaza and the situation in the state of Palestine.

Turkey has also filed a case against Netanyahu with the ICC, accusing him of committing genocide against the Palestinians. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed to reporters on November 4 that Turkey is no longer considering Netanyahu as its interlocutor, but the head of the Turkish National Intelligence Organization, Ibrahim Kalin, remains in contact with Israel.

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