January 29, 2024
From Internationalist 360
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Vanessa Beeley

We, the sons and daughters of this land, remain resolute in our cause. We do not seek acquittal from the International Court, nor do we wait for the international community’s approval to exercise our right to resist and liberate any occupied territory, especially from Israel and foreign military forces.

Myriam Charabaty

The ruling issued by the ICJ ordered six provisional measures including for Israel to refrain from acts under the Genocide convention, prevent and punish the direct and public incitement to genocide, and take immediate and effective measures to ensure the provision of humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza. The Court also ordered Israel to preserve evidence of genocide and to submit a report to the Court, within one month, of all measures taken in line with its order.

There have been mixed reactions with widescale approval from many Western analysts and disappointment and anger from Palestinians and regional analysts. I will try to unpack both sides.

Palestine and the region responds

Last night I spoke with Lebanese journalist and analyst Marwa Osman and we covered much of what I will write about but please do listen to Marwa’s opinion which is based on years of Resistance against the Zionist colonialist project that threatens the whole region.

Beyond Marwa’s invaluable insights I also reached out to another Lebanon-based journalist Myriam Charabaty who describes herself thus on her website:

An Arab political analyst focused on soft power, the colonization of the Christian identity across the Arab Nation, and the role of Arab Christians as part of an entire social fabric in the fight for Arab national liberation.

Myriam responded to the ICJ ruling with the following statement:

We, the sons and daughters of this land, remain resolute in our cause. We do not seek acquittal from the International Court, nor do we wait for the international community’s approval to exercise our right to resist and liberate any occupied territory, especially from Israel and foreign military forces.

For decades, we’ve paid a heavy price in blood and sacrifice, aiming for liberation, the end of oppression, and the preservation of our dignity and land. The failures of the international community and its courts are glaring, with examples like Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Libya, where our suffering goes unaccounted for.

The Arab-Israeli conflict remains the core issue in the Arab world, and we firmly believe that what was taken by force can only be reclaimed through force – a historically proven equation.

Yesterday, the International Court of Justice and the world were put on trial as they witnessed a live-streamed genocide. Will they choose to preserve their humanity in the face of this ongoing atrocity? By failing to confront the occupation as a whole, including the ongoing genocide in Gaza and systematic ethnic cleansing in the West Bank and Occupied AlQuds, they admit to prioritizing their interests over their humanity.

As for us, the people who have chosen the honorable path of steadfastness and resistance across the Axis, we will continue to stand with our most honorable Resistance until we achieve liberation, regardless of the cost. Resisting oppression and occupation is our fundamental human duty.

Much blood has been spilled, and our pursuit of vengeance has become a sacred endeavor. This time, our vengeance will be in the form of liberation.

A young journalist in the Gaza enclave expressed frustration and grief “there is no justice in the International Court of Justice” because the ICJ failed to call for a cessation of military activity against the people of Gaza.

It is mistaken to call it a ceasefire. By its definition a ceasefire is an agreement between two conflictual armies. Palestine does not have an Army, it does not have a Navy nor an Air-force, it is an indigenous Resistance movement whose right to armed resistance against an apartheid, brutal occupying force is enshrined in International Law.

On Instagram an account called Decolonize the Classroom also argued against the term ceasefire:

There is no humanity in Imperialism and ceasefire only treats Palestinians as objects that need to be temporarily quelled while the colony and the imperialist US gear up for a new method of containing and exploiting these objectified humans.

Moscow-based journalist Fiorella Isabel was also outspoken about the failure of the ICJ to demand stronger measures from Israel:

Children and families blown to pieces don’t give a damn about how good westerners feel about this so-called advance. Good for who? Not for Palestinians. They’ll continue fighting as will all the resistance, with or without the veneer of international law, which so happens to only function for those in North America, Europe, the UK or their chosen proxies. Not for the nations that have been occupied, exploited & vilified by western imperialism.

I also tweeted or X’d – The ICJ should have called for an immediate cessation of Zionist aggression and a removal of all military presence from inside Gaza, demanded establishment of a No Fly Zone. Instead it asks Israel to play nicely, investigate itself and gives it a month to justify genocide.

Literally hours after the ruling, the Gaza Health Ministry released the following statement:

Israel committed 18 massacres in 24 hours, killing 174 civilians , wounding 310 others. Many victims remain in the streets & under rubble as Israel’s military prevents rescue teams from reaching them. Update – 26257 dead and 64797 injuries.

These displaced children sleeping in the mud as the rainy, cold season compounds their misery in the south of the Gaza strip do not reap any benefit from the ICJ ruling. Nor do the civilians desperately trying to reach the pitiful food supplies that are trickling into areas of the enclave as they come under fire from the IOF while they try to reach the food trucks.

The genocide will continue, endorsed by the US, UK, EU and so-called international justice, the highest court in the world is powerless to prevent it. Remember, however, that when Ukraine brought a case against Russia in 2022, the ICJ did argue that Russia should immediately cease all military activity.

The court ruled by 13 votes to two for a provisional order that “the Russian Federation shall immediately suspend military operations that it commenced on 24 February 2022 in the territory of Ukraine”.

Why so unequivocal for Russia where Ukraine’s case was weak to say the least? Why so softball with Israel that has been committing genocide with publicly declared intent for 112 days?

Never forgetting that Israel is already contravening over 30 UN resolutions dating back to 1968.

Far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir immediately mocked the ICJ, writing on X: “Hague shmague”.

US State Department spokesperson and shill for Israel, John Kirby made the following outrageous denial of Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

The case in the Hague means nothing. There is no deliberate genocide in Gaza and the number of civilian victims is zero.

Western analysts see the ruling as a victory

Algeria, who is heading the UNSC this month, initiated a special meeting on Wednesday 31st January, asserting that it would enforce the “binding effect” of the ICJ’s pronouncement on the provisional measures imposed on the Israeli occupation.

Former UK Ambassador Craig Murray covered the ruling on his blog. Murray argues that:

In finding there is a plausible case against Israel, the International Court of Justice treated with contempt the argument from Israel that the case should be dismissed as it is exercising its right of self-defence. This argument took up over half of Israel’s pleadings. Not only did the court find there is a plausible case of genocide, the court only mentioned self-defence once in its interim ruling – and that was merely to note that Israel had claimed it.

Murray states that this is “perhaps the most important point in this interim order. It is the dog that did not bark. The argument [self-defence] which every western leader has been using is spurned by the ICJ. Murray adds:

What struck me most about the ICJ ruling was that the Order went into far more detail about the evidence of genocide than it needed to. Its description was stark.

Murray is cognizant of the creaky vessel that is International Law weighed down by corruption and undue influence from the Western powers. As he says:

It cannot help the infants killed and maimed last night or those to die in the coming few days. But it is a glimmer of hope on the horizon.

Murray’s argument in favour of the ICJ is one that I also feel might offer some hope for the distant future. The holding to account of all the Western regimes and leaders who have endorsed and facilitated the horrific crimes against Humanity that are being livestreamed from inside Gaza to the outside world that is in shock that such sadistic brutality is enabled by their own governments in the 21st century.

UNRWA cuts – a collective punishment of Palestinians enforced by the West.

An immediate response from Israel and the West was to cut funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the primary relief agency and lifeline in Gaza. The cuts are based on specious and unproven claims from Israel that UNRWA employees were involved in the October 7th Resistance operations.

The United States and seven Western allies (Australia, Canada, Britain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Finland) have announced they plan to cut funding to UNRWA.

International Law Professor, Francis Boyle made the following pertinent points following the cut of funding to UNRWA and the ICJ ruling:

Here’s a summary of some of the key points Boyle made during the interview listed by Decensored News:

  • The Biden administration’s aiding and abetting of Israel’s genocide is a violation not only of Article 3e of Genocide Convention, but also the US government’s own Genocide Convention Implementation Act, which Biden himself sponsored as a Senator.
  • Countries abruptly cutting off UNRWA funds are now in violation of Article 2c of the Convention: “Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.”
  • The Biden admin’s UNRWA funding cut is a felony under the Genocide Convention Implementation Act.
  • Countries who send weapons to Israel can now be sued at the ICJ for their role in the genocide. “This is exactly what I did for the Bosnians.”
  • He suspects the Biden administration will veto any resolution of enforcement in the UN Security Council.
  • It would then be turned over to the UN General Assembly (UNGA) under the Uniting for Peace resolution, where there could be “very severe consequences for Israel.”
  • The UNGA could: (1) Suspend Israel from UN participation, (2) Set up an int’l criminal tribunal and start prosecuting top Israeli officials, (3) Recommend that all member states sever diplomatic relations with Israel, (4) Recommend comprehensive economic sanctions against Israel, and/or (5) Admit Palestine as a full-fledged UN member state.

Conclusions

Even the Palestinian abroad, if they cannot be radical, they should remain silent and not be a hypocrite. In revolutions, pragmatism and diplomacy are useless. Martyr Nizar Banat

“Nizar Banat was a prominent activist and outspoken critic of the Palestinian authorities in the occupied West Bank, including accusing them of corruption. On 24 June 2021, a joint unit comprising Palestinian Preventive Security and General Intelligence forces stormed the house where he was staying, beat him with batons, and took him away in a military vehicle. He died around an hour later while being taken to hospital.”

Ghassan Kanafani, journalist, activist and a participant in the founding of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) described “peace talks” with the Occupier as “capitulation, surrender. We do not want to coexist with the occupier, we want to be free from the occupier”.

Kanafani was assassinated in Beirut on 8 July 1972. The Israeli Mossad had placed an explosive charge in his car, which killed him and his niece, Lamis, who happened to be with him. He was buried in Beirut.

In his speech at the Arab League emergency summit shortly after October 7th, Syria’s President Assad told the League:

Neither the land nor the right has returned, neither in Palestine nor in the Golan. This situation has produced a political equation stating that more Arab meekness towards them equals more Zionist ferocity towards us, and that more hand extended by us equals more massacres against us. Zionist entity knows nothing about peace. (emphasis added)

He also said:

The emergency situation at our summit today is neither aggression nor killing, as both are ongoing and both are inherent and characteristic of the entity, but the emergency is Zionism outpacing itself in barbarism, which places us before unprecedented responsibilities, both humanly and politically, at a minimum, if we put aside the national security of our region.

Perhaps most importantly Assad pointed out the endless cycle of Palestinian suffering at the hands of the Zionist colonialist settler entity:

From a humanitarian standpoint, there is no dispute about our duty to bear a large share of restoring the minimum requirements of life, whether through immediate aid or rebuilding the necessary infrastructure later, but do we continue to revolve in a vicious circle of killing and aid, then massacres, then aid, attacks, then statements?

Israel’s impunity has been reinforced time and time again spanning 75 years since the Nakba in 1948. It is systematically reinforced by the countries that protect Israel from prosecution to maintain its “useful” presence as military garrison, intelligence and surveillance hub and interference instigator in the Middle East (West Asia). Israel will ignore the ICJ ruling and flaunt the recommendations and the genocide will continue unabated.

The ICJ ruling will perhaps, after a laborious process, bring justice for Palestinians against Western regimes, individuals and entities that will be found complicit in the Zionist bloodlust.

It will not stop the ongoing genocide. Only the armed Resistance Axis can genuinely influence Israel on the battlefield in my opinion. Force must be met with force coupled with intelligent strategy when diplomacy and so-called international law have failed dismally for almost a century.

Journalist Ryan Mullis reinforced this point on X by reporting on the Zionist “Victory Conference”

Having failed to meet any of their achievable goals, Israel intends to rewrite history by occupying The Gaza Strip and Northern Samaria, labeling The Movement “Treaty of Victory and Renewal of Settlement in the Gaza Strip and Northern Samaria.” Minister Ben Gvir was seen dancing with others, and the head of the regional council, Shomron Dagan, said: “For 30 years they pulled us by the nose by force into retreats, we are going back.”

Israel is not looking for peace, it is enacting the “final solution”. Now is the time for direct action not for “pragmatism or diplomacy”.

Yesterday the Islamic Resistance in Iraq targeted the US illegal military base of Al Tanf in Syria, on the border with Jordan. US Central Command admitted the deaths of three US military personnel and twenty five injured. Al Tanf is a terrorist recruitment and training hub run by the US and allies. The recent increase in ISIS attacks on Syrian Arab Army positions have emanated from Al Tanf.

The IRI has also now threatened to impose a blockade on Zionist shipping in the East Mediterranean. There is much up the Resistance Axis sleeve and it is well coordinated and organised. It represents a serious threat to US allied hegemony in the region.

I hope this summary has been helpful. We are still heading into severe turbulence but with optimism that the nails are increasing in the Zionist project coffin (no I am not advocating genocide, the dismantlement of the Zionist entity yes).

Please keep listening to the indigenous people and give agency to their voices.




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