As the UN’s top court rules that it will investigate South Africa’s claims of genocide against Israel, human rights organisations and campaign groups have reacted. One said that the court ruling – basically telling Israel to obey the law – leaves the Palestinian people with no choice but to continue to defend themselves.
ICJ: Israel IS committing genocide… but…
As the Canary previously reported, on Friday 26 January the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that South Africa does have a genocide case against Israel – and that their is sufficient evidence of genocide that it imposed immediate provisional measures on it; albeit these appeared to be just telling Israel to ‘follow the law’.
The ICJ has ruled that Israel must, among other things:
- Take all measures within its power to prevent genocide – including killing and injuring Palestinians in Gaza.
- Stop any incitement to genocide – including from members of the public.
- Take immediate and effective measures to allow humanitarian assistance to enter Gaza.
- Prevent the destruction of evidence relating to genocide.
However, the ICJ did not order a ceasefire – and what South Africa asked for has not entirely been delivered. Essentially, the court has partially done its job – but not gone far enough at all.
Here, we get reactions from human rights organisations and campaign groups to the ICJ ruling.
‘Palestinians must continue to use their right to self-defence’
Advocacy organisation CAGE said:
Whilst any attempt to halt the genocide is welcome, it is disturbing that despite the overwhelming evidence the Court did not order an immediate ceasefire.
The vulnerability of the ICJ to political pressure and the recognition that any order would be ignored by Israel and its western backers is evident in its failure to require a ceasefire. However the ruling highlights the sickening complicity, double standards and hypocrisy of politicians , journalists and commentators who have encouraged and sustained the genocide.
It is inevitable that the United States will continue to veto any resolution challenging Israel at the United Nations Security Council. However , today Israel and its western backers who are engaged in genocide stand more isolated than ever.
It is imperative that communities and activists supporting Palestine utilise this moment to double down on highlighting the inherently racist and violent nature of Zionism, the complicity of many western states and politicians who continue to support the mass murder of an entire nation .
In the absence of reliable protection under international law, and the continuing supply of lethal weapons to Israel by the west, the Palestinian people are left with no choice but to exercise their inalienable right to self-defence.
How can Israel now continue its military operations?
Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s (PSC’s) director Ben Jamal said:
Whilst Israel and its supporters may cling to the fact that the ICJ has not ordered an immediate suspension of all military operations, it is difficult to see how Israel can abide by the measures ordered by the court without an immediate cessation of a military campaign, which has involved the indiscriminate bombing of civilians, forced displacement of 1.7 million Palestinians and, as made clear in devastating detail by the Court, has destroyed the societal infrastructure of Gaza and created a humanitarian catastrophe.
The judgement also carries immediate implications for the UK as a signatory to the Genocide Convention. It must not aid acts which the court has found to be a plausible case of genocide.
The UK government must now call for an immediate ceasefire, for Israel to abide by all of the measures imposed by the Court, and must immediately suspend all arms sales to Israel given the clear likelihood that such arms may be used to aid the commission of genocide.
Those in the UK and across the world who have marched to end a genocide and to condemn their leaders for their failure to act will be strengthened by this judgement. We must now ramp up all levers of pressure on our leaders to act, to abide by their moral and legal responsibilities, to demand that Israel ends the genocide of Gaza and lifts the siege to allow in urgent humanitarian aid.
PSC calls upon all people of conscience to join our National Day of Action tomorrow calling on the UK to stop arming Israel, and to come to London on 3 February for the next National March calling for a ceasefire now.
ICJ ruling a “total embarrassment” for the West
Stop the War Coalition said:
Today’s ICJ ruling is a defeat for Israel and one which British politicians must take heed of. The order that the Israeli government must take action to prevent acts of genocide is hugely significant. It is a total embarrassment for the handful of governments, including our own, that support Israel. After today’s ruling there is absolutely no way that they can justify sending any more arms to Israel.
The ruling should also serve as a shot in the arm to millions across the world who support freedom and justice for the Palestinians. This decision is in part due to our actions. Let’s keep going…
The world wants an immediate end to the genocide and we congratulate the South African government for representing the will of the people. However, the ICJ’s ruling does fall short of calling for an immediate ceasefire which is so desperately needed. We have to keep up the pressure from the streets.
The UK government: complicit in genocide?
Campaign Against Arms Trade’s media coordinator Emily Apple said:
This government and the UK arms industry are complicit in genocide. The ICJ ruled that Israel needs to take immediate action. But it’s not just Israel that needs to act.
This government must stop putting the profits of arms companies above the lives of Palestinian people. The Foreign Office assessment unit has found excuse after excuse to ignore and dismiss allegations that Israel is committing IHL violations. Enough is enough. There are no excuses left. This government must back calls for a ceasefire and stop arms exports to Israel immediately.
Featured image via Al Jazeera English – YouTube