FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 4, 2024
Media Contact: Melissa Garriga | [email protected]
Grassroots Diplomats Appeal to U.N. Missions, Embassies, and Consulates to Support South Africa's Case Against Israeli Genocide
Calls to Join South Africa's ICJ Filing Against Israel Were Well-Recieved
MULTIPLE CITIES – To seek justice and accountability, grassroots diplomats have embarked on a week-long campaign across the United States, urging missions, consulates, and embassies to support South Africa's legal action against Israel in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) under the U.N. Convention on Genocide. The nationwide delegations of "grassroots diplomats" took on this campaign because officially appointed U.S. diplomats continue to insist on supporting Israel's ongoing genocide of Palestinians in Gaza, rejecting the sentiments of a majority of people in the U.S. and around the world who want a ceasefire and an end to the slaughter.
The campaign started two weeks ago with an open call for people to join in a petition and letter-writing campaign urging countries to invoke the genocide convention and charge Israel with genocide in the International Court of Justice. Since then, South Africa stepped up and filed genocide charges against Israel. The campaign then shifted its focus to getting other countries to submit a "Declaration of Intervention" in support of South Africa's case at the World Court accusing Israel of genocide.
Yesterday, the delegation visited the Pakistani Consulate in Chicago, emphasizing the importance of aligning with the Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the U.N., which has already labeled Israel's actions in Gaza as genocide.
Today, delegations in several significant cities visit missions, consulates, and embassies, delivering petitions and letters and urging countries to support South Africa.
In Detroit, peace activists thanked Lebanon for its solidarity, and the delegation sought support for South Africa's ICJ case. One of the members of the Detroit delegation was high-schooler Atticus Fasnakis-Nosal. When asked why they decided to join this action, they explained they are "helping lead this delegation in Detroit as a plea to sympathetic governments to join against Israel's settler colonial injustices, mirroring South Africa's brave stand at the International Court of Justice. This is a collective sense of confronting the shadows of occupation, urging justice to emerge from the gloom and illuminate a path forward."
The Houston delegation was kindly received from the Honduran Consulate as they delivered a copy of the petition and letter.
In Los Angeles, the delegation had an inspiring meeting with the staff at the Consulate of Belize. At the Chile consulate, they spoke with Consulate General Francisco Leal. The group was able to express their gratitude to both Belize and Chile for speaking out against the slaughter in Gaza and to encourage both countries to join South Africa's ICJ filing.
In Miami, activists targeted the Irish Consulate, urging Ireland to support South Africa's case, citing condemnation from Irish officials, including Prime Minister Leo Varadkar. Petitions were also submitted to the French Consulate, stressing the need for global backing. The Miami delegation thanked the Consul General of Türkiye for supporting Palestine and urged Türkiye's involvement in South Africa's ICJ case.
In New York, the team engaged with the mission of Cyprus, emphasizing the critical need for widespread support against Israeli actions, as well as the U.N. mission of Chad. They also had an encouraging meeting with Colombia's U.N. Ambassador, Arlene Tickner, exploring the possibility of a Declaration of Intervention supporting South Africa's legal action.
In Orlando, peace activists gathered at the Mexican Consulate to implore the Mexican government's support for South Africa's case against Israel. The delegation made similar appeals at the Brazilian Consulate. Orlando also had a great meeting with an Assistant Consul at the Haitian Consulate, urging them to support South Africa's case against Israel, as well as with the Vice Consular of Colombia, as they delivered our petition urging them to support South Africa's case against Israel.
In Washington D.C., the delegation engaged with the Deputy Minister at the Colombian Embassy, urging Colombia to continue opposing Israeli actions and join South Africa's case. The team also met with Honduras and the Bolivian Embassy to join the cause, expressing hope for their support in South Africa's case against Israel.
After the meeting with Bolivia, CODEPINK's Medea Benjamin shared that they were encouraged by the compassion & solidarity with the Palestinian people they saw in the meeting with the Bolivia staff.
"We hope they & others will join South Africa's case against Israel for genocide at the ICJ," Benjamin said.
The New York, D.C., and Los Angeles delegations each had the opportunity to stop and talk with South African representatives to express on behalf of the world our extreme gratitude for invoking the genocide convention against Israel.
During the next week, petition deliveries will continue across the country in Boston, Cleveland, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Orlando, Phoenix, Portland, Raleigh, San Antonio, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa, and the District of Columbia.
This grassroots diplomatic effort represents a unified plea for justice, demanding global solidarity against Israel's genocide of Palestinians in Gaza. The tireless advocacy seeks to bridge nations in support of South Africa's pursuit of justice in the International Court of Justice. Deliveries will continue into the first of next week with the hopes of engaging with as many missions, consulates, and embassies as possible before the start of the ICJ hearing on Jan. 11.
For more information about the campaign or the delegations or to interview any of the participants, please contact Melissa Garriga at [email protected].