On Friday, 26 January 2024, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued a series of provisional measures that require Israel to stop acts of genocide and allow more humanitarian aid into Gaza. Unfortunately, it did not call for an immediate ceasefire which is the only safeguard to stop genocide in Palestine.
The UN body made the interim rulings in a case filed by South Africa accusing Israel of committing genocide in Gazza at a time when the world is watching Palestinians being killed in nonstop and indiscriminate attacks on all areas of Gazza and West Bank making any visible object a legitimate target to bomb.
The attack of Hamas inside Israel on 7 October 2023 was not an accident. It was an outburst of the anger and frustration of Palestinians since Israeli occupation of Palestine in 1947. This should not have happened, no one should kill innocent people. Sadly, it happened. Everyone knows Hamas did it.
The questions are, why did it happen, and who allowed it to happen? Evidently, in 1948, dozens of massacres targeting Arabs were conducted in about 400 Arab-majority towns and villages driving out at least 750,000 Palestinians from their homes. Since then illegal settlement of foreign Jews, demolition of homes and eviction of Arabs from their ancestral habitats have become normal occupation tools.
The whole of Palestine, not just Gazza, is fully controlled by Israel since 1967. The people there live as refugees in their own land, seized and occupied by Israel. Not just the land, the Israeli occupying forces control the entire lifeline of the besieged people in Gazza including food, fuel, water, electricity, and medicine supply. They live within concrete walls constructed by Israel. No Palestinian could go out or in without passing through the security check posts of Israeli security forces.
So, how did 7 October happen under the watchful eyes of the most sophisticated and reputed Israeli security and intelligence agencies? It is hard to believe that Mossad did not know about what was coming from Gazza while it is responsible for intelligence collection, covert operations, and counter-terrorism. Did they allow it to happen to make an excuse to exterminate the entire people of Gazza? The civilised world deserves an answer to this very legitimate question.
Aljazeera reports that the current President of ICJ, Judge Joan Donahue from the USA, while announcing the provisional measures said that the court had concluded that the “catastrophic situation” in Gazza could get much worse by the time it delivers its final verdict, necessitating provisional measures.
No wonder, everyday Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) is killing hundreds of innocent unarmed civilian Palestinians through nonstop bombing. If they are fighting Hamas, as they claim, why they are attacking the Hamas-free West Bank? They have killed more than 26,000 people, most of them children and women.
They killed over 120 journalists, over 300 health workers, and more than 135 people working for the UN. Almost all the buildings in many parts of Gazza are fully or partially destroyed including UN shelters, hospitals, schools, news agencies, media outlets, churches, mosques, and residential places in the name of fighting Hamas. The carnage is on and on, and there is no sign to stop it.
Where is human right for the people of Gazza and West Bank? Where is protection for women and children, and even the sick people in the hospital bed? Killing women and children by blaming them to be sympathisers of Hamas is a well-known an old tactic of the IDF. Just tell the world that those were supporters of Hamas or providing shelter to Hamas, or a place where Hamas was hiding.
Israel has excuses for any massacre it commits even though everyone knows that they are notorious for covering up the truth. To them, anyone who disagrees with Israel is a member of Hamas, anyone not supporting Israel is a supporter of Hamas and hence is a legitimate target of IDF. How long the world will allow this to happen by a country of less than 10 million people?
Isn’t Israel really doing all these acts of genocide in the name of `Israel has right to self-defence’? No one should believe this old, rusted, and deceitful rhetoric anymore. Every nation and people has the ‘right to self-defence’. Ironically, Israel has destroyed and taken away the ‘right to self-defence’ of the people of Palestine.
Yet, Israel is always playing victim. They did successfully befooled the world with fake news using their control of mainstream media. This has now changed due to the popularity of social media exposing the unpleasant truth with graphic evidence. Lots of people are now changing sides, especially in Europe, Australia, and North America, after being exposed to the facts and lies.
Ironically, many people in the west now believe that Israel is making a joke on the Holocaust by continuing to kill Palestinians caged inside the walls. They forgot Arabs did not kill the 6 million Jews in Europe, the killers were the Germans. Interestingly, the German Chancellor is defying all facts established at the ICJ to support the genocidal acts of Israel. This is not the way any sensible and rational nation will try to compensate for their own crime by supporting another crime of their victims.
Hundreds of thousands of people came out on the streets in all large, and many small, cities all over the world to support the oppressed Palestinians demanding ceasefire and permanent solution to the Palestine-Israel conflict. Leaders who supported the status quo, for the benefit of Israel, and did not solve the problem for over 7 decades should have the courage to take the responsibility for what has happened to the innocent people of Israel and Palestine.
Any further delay in settling the conflict through establishing two viable and independent states in line with the Oslo agreement will continue to add to the tragedy including loss of lives in both sides and worsening relationship between the two people, and their supporters world-wide.
Thousands of Jews, both inside Israel and globally, have come out in public in support of ceasefire and against the genocide committed by Israel in Gazza and other parts of Palestine. Many of them are against the Zionist state, especially its aggression, brutality and lack of respect to human life, and international law. They are protesting against Israel, alongside fellow Christians and Muslims, to respond to the call of their conscious. Professor Normal Finkelstein, a son Holocaust survivors, has written extensively on the Israeli apartheid, atrocities, and arrogant violation of international laws.
Given Israel has a long history of ignoring international laws and UN resolutions, it is almost a forgone conclusion that they will pay no heed to the verdict of the International Court of Justice to stop genocide. They know that the USA veto power in the UN Security Council is there to serve them unmistakenly.
So, they could get away with anything they do, and they are above any laws. The USA, and its allies, must now rethink their role as a responsible superpower not to be seen as a permanent proxy to the Zionist state rather than a genuine arbitrator and promoter of peace and justice, and a supporter of the weak and oppressed.
If the USA keeps blindly supporting Israeli arrogance, illegal occupation and settlements, indiscriminate killing, violation of international laws, and rejection of the verdict of the ICJ, there will be other superpowers, namely China and Russia, to come into play. This is very true in the quickly changing world where US authority is under serious challenges in many ways and in many places. By solving Israel-Palestine conflict the USA will not only ensure security of the Zionist state and dismantle forces of extremism but also reclaim its global moral and diplomatic authority. Alternative to this, may be to allow Hamas to be stronger, consolidate its increasing global support, and ultimately defeat Israel militarily.
With the current President of ICJ, Judge Joan Donoghue from the USA, Judge Hilary Charlesworth from Australia has supported all the rulings of ICJ. Noting that ICJ represents the best legal minds of the world, and not influenced by any war propaganda from either side of the conflict, objectively and professionally issued their decisions.
Now Australia has no real excuse not to take the lead to help implement the ICJ rulings. Regrettably, Australian Government is still funding illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestine. Ironically, its leaders conveniently speak of two state solution, but only recognised Israel.
Now is the time to be honest to treat the two states equally by recognising the state of Palestine, and becoming a part to lay the foundation to durable peace between Israel and Palestine. The Australian funding for the displaced and homeless Palestinians in Gazza requires significant and urgent boost. It is time to see if the Australian Government gives itself up to the Israeli lobby and turns its blind eyes to the ICJ and all UN bodies and humanitarian organisations to stand for its moral and international obligations.
It is well known that as per the report of the former US President, Jimmy Carter, in 2006 Hamas was democratically elected to run both Gazza and West Bank. But Hamas turned to the military option when they were denied their legitimate right to run their country by powerful nations including Israel.
It seems that Israeli plans and earlier support for Hamas to check on PLO backfired, and a democratic political party was forced to become a resistance movement losing hope on regaining Palestinian right to self-determination without resorting to arms struggle. Israel is now conveniently attacking Hamas as a terrorist organisation, and using it as a pretext to annihilate the entire nation of Palestine through military actions.
The solution to the Palestinian problem entirely depends on Israel, if not on the USA. The way the apartheid Zionist state deals with the people of Palestine is horrific and dehumanising. Thousands of Palestinians are in terrible conditions in Israeli jails, and those outside in Gazza live in an `open air prison’ in the words of Jimmy Carter. The leaders of the Zionist state consider Palestinians worse than animals, even insects.
A former Prime Minister of Israel, Menachem Begin said that his government had gone to extraordinary lengths to dehumanise the Palestinians, describing them in a speech at the Knesset as ‘beasts walking on two legs’. So they have self-claimed superiority and inherent right to do whatever they want to do with the Palestinians without any consequences or accountability. The same mentality has been nourished and practiced by the past and current Israeli Governments. Thanks to the US protection, patronage and supply of never ending funds and arms.
The ongoing and ever expanding occupation and oppression by Israel have been a root cause of radicalisation, extremism, and armed resistance activities in the Middle East in recent years. The peoples, governments, and institutions who want to stop genocide and promote peace and harmony in the region should be genuine in their efforts to stop the war immediately with a firm commitment to a free Palestinian state. Also, they must save the lives of the people who will survive the atrocities and attacks by ensuring their appropriate shelter and safety, supply of basic needs of life, rebuild and open schools, and ensure an environment of hope.
Let there be war and massacre `never again’ for everyone, not just for the Jews. The ruling of the ICJ could be a great starting point for the beginning of the end of occupation and hostility between Israel and Palestine.
The judges of the ICJ who supported the interim rulings come from all powerful countries including Australia, USA, Russa, China, France, Germany, Japan, Brazil and India. Those nations must have full confidence in the rulings and should come forward to uphold and implement them to keep the much needed confidence, sanctity, and dignity of the highest court in the world, on the UN, and more so on the human dignity and moral standing of modern civilisation.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article is solely of the author and do not reflect that of any of his affiliated institutions.