South African Foreign Minister Grace Naledi Mandisa Pandor issued a statement on Tuesday calling on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to arrest Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) officers, and other “key decision-makers” for war crimes.
“The murder of children and women by Israel is an act that should have resulted in the International Criminal Court issuing an immediate arrest warrant for key decision-makers, including Mr. Netanyahu, who is responsible for violations of international criminal law,” Pandor told South Africa’s National Assembly.
“The facts that have been released, details of the devastation of the current conflict, are horrendous. Over a thousand Palestinians are dead, thousands injured, public facilities destroyed and cruel and wanton bombardment is ongoing. Therefore, as South Africa, we remain steadfast in calling for an immediate, comprehensive ceasefire,” she said.
Pandor was serenely untroubled by the savage Hamas atrocities of October 7. She dismissed the Jewish victims of Hamas as “soldiers” and “settlers” who deserved their fate. In an op-ed written to support her call for arresting Netanyahu, she again justified the rape gangs, death squads, and child murderers of Hamas by claiming the Palestinians have an unlimited “right to resist.”
“The root causes of this war go back to Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians over the past 75 years, the illegal occupation of their land, and the ever-expanding web of illegal settlements deep into Palestinian territory,” she insisted.
In July, Pandor favorably compared Palestinian terrorists to black South Africans who struggled against apartheid, while she was wearing a Palestinian scarf. This earned her a sharp rebuke from South Africa’s chief rabbi, Warren Goldstein, who slammed Pandor’s remarks as “factually, politically, morally repugnant.”
“They are views which are a defamation of the Jewish state and an insult to the victims of the real apartheid, because if everything’s apartheid, nothing is apartheid,” Goldstein said.
“Israel is the only democracy in the region, and the South African government’s support for tyrannies in China, Russia and Iran mean that it does not have the moral credibility to level accusations such as this,” he said.
Pandor consulted with Hamas terrorist leader Ismail Haniyeh by phone the week after the Hamas atrocities. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa struggled to control the ensuing controversy by insisting that “support for the Palestinian struggle against occupation does not equate to support for Hamas.”
Ramaphosa denied rumors that Pandor offered material support to Hamas during her conversation with Haniyeh. Under pressure from South Africa’s Jewish community, Ramaphosa reluctantly denounced the Hamas atrocities on October 7, but then immediately accused Israel of “genocidal and atrocious activities” against Palestinians in Gaza.
Two weeks after her chat with Haniyeh, Pandor jetted off to Iran — patrons of Hamas, and the world’s leading state sponsors of terrorism — to meet with President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian. Iranian proxy forces in Iraq and Syria have been attacking U.S. troops with rockets and drones since mid-October.
Amirabdollahian invoked the spirit of apartheid adversary Nelson Mandela after meeting with Pandor, accusing the “illegitimate Israeli regime” of conducting a “massacre” against “the resilient and oppressed people of Gaza.”