US Congress introduces bill to review relations with South Africa following ‘politically motivated’ ICJ case

US Congress introduces bill to review relations with South Africa following ‘politically motivated’ ICJ case
The US has been angered by South Africa's bid to have Israel prosecuted for genocide in Gaza at the ICJ.
2 min read
12 February, 2024
The International Court of Justice has held hearings in January 2024 on a case brought by South Africa accusing Israel of genocide in the Gaza war[GETTY]
Two Congressmen have introduced a bill that calls for a "full review" of relations between the US and South Africa, accusing it of "anti-Semitic and anti-Israel-related statements and actions", after Pretoria took Israel to the  International Court of Justice for genocide in Gaza.

Representatives John James and Jared Moskowitz, who sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced the US-South Africa Bilateral Relations Review Act early last week. 

The bill called for an assessment of whether "South Africa has engaged in activities that undermine United States national security or foreign policy interests" along with a presidential review of the relationship between the two countries.

It alleged that South Africa has a history of "siding with malign actors, including Hamas" and claiming "anti-Semitic and anti-Israel-related statements and actions" from members of the South African government. 

These included President Cyril Ramaphosa who said Israel was committing genocide at a pro-Palestinian rally and the filing of a "politically motivated suit" in the ICJ, which the representatives claim “wrongfully” accused Israel of committing genocide.

Israel has made similar claims against South Africa over its ICJ filing.

The bill also spotlighted South Africa’s relationships with US rivals Russia and China with James claiming the BRICS nation has been "building ties to countries and actors that...threaten our way of life".

"Under this current administration, America has been put last, leaving our allies and partners beholden to dictators and despots in Beijing and Moscow for critical needs like energy," he added.

Vincent Magwenya, South Africa’s Presidential Spokesperson, said: "Our bilateral relationship with the US remains robust. We have engaged at various levels of leadership to establish at least an appreciation of our position on geopolitical issues. And we will continue to do so to strengthen our bilateral ties."
Earlier this month, Congress voted to advance another bill proposed by Moskovitz, entitled the ‘No Technology for Terror’ Act, which sought to strengthen existing efforts to prevent the re-export or transfer of US-origin goods to Iran.