International Court of Justice (Courtesy of Al Jazeera)
January 30, 2024
Israel, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not defeating Hamas, it is exterminating Palestinians. In his full scale assault on Gaza, and to a lesser extent, the West Bank, Netanyahu is failing just as he did prior to the October 7, 2023, massacre by Hamas, when he was unsuccessful in protecting Israel. His war on Hamas will not succeed. Israel has yet to make further progress in freeing the remaining hostages since the weeklong hostage for prisoner exchange last year. Due to the growing political isolation of the U.S. and Israel, there attempts underway, so far unsuccessful, to establish a two month pause in the military campaign by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF).
On January 26, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), issued the first condemnation and warning to Israel. Although it did not accuse Israel of genocide or call for a cease fire, it validated the legitimacy of the allegations by the government of South Africa. (See text of ICJ’s decision). A full reading of the court’s decision clearly shows that claims of genocide are plausible.
The ruling by the ICJ, in its closing section: VI. CONCLUSION AND MEASURES TO BE ADOPTED, contains the following:
Paragraph 75 reads: The Court concludes on the basis of the above considerations that the conditions required by its Statute for it to indicate provisional measures are met. It is therefore necessary, pending its final decision, for the Court to indicate certain measures in order to protect the rights claimed by South Africa that the Court has found to be plausible-(see paragraph 54 above).
Paragraph 54 reads: In the Court’s view, the facts and circumstances mentioned above are sufficient to conclude that at least some of the rights claimed by South Africa and for which it is seeking protection are plausible. This is the case with respect to the right of the Palestinians in Gaza to be protected from acts of genocide and related prohibited acts identified in Article III, and the right of South Africa to seek Israel’s compliance with the latter’s obligations under the Convention.
The findings by the International Court of Justice, which is an arm of the United Nations, is instructing Israel to take actions to prevent genocide of the Palestinians living in Gaza. (Read: The ICJ’s Ruling on Genocide Is Actually a Gamechanger)
Genocide in Effect
Genocide is defined as a crime committed with the intent to destroy a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group in whole or in part.
The challenge to proving genocide is to demonstrate intent. In the case of Netanyahu’s war against the people of Gaza, we have sufficient evidence to prove genocide in effect.
- In the 3.5 months, since the Hamas massacre of October 7, 2023, the IDF, has become infamous for killing the greatest number of civilians, mostly women and children, in the shortest period of time. In 3.5 months, Israel has accomplished the following:
- 26,000 Palestinians (that we know of) have been killed in Gaza. That is more than 1% of the total population of 2.2 million. This does not count the Palestinians also killed by Israeli soldiers and Jewish settlers on the West Bank.
- 63,000 Palestinians have been wounded, the majority women and children.
- According to ReliefWeb, 10,000 children have had their lives snuffed out.
- The United Nations reports that every hour, two Palestinian mothers lose their lives. An estimated 6,000 mothers have been killed.
By comparison, in the 23-month long war, Ukraine, with a population of 36.7 million, has suffered the following casualties according to reporting from the United Nations:
- 10,242, Ukrainians have lost their lives.
- 575 Ukrainian children have been killed.
- 19,300 Ukrainians have been injured, including 1,264 children.
Do the math. The duration of war in Ukraine is more than six times longer than Gaza, and Ukraine’s population is sixteen times bigger. The rate of death of Palestinian children by Israeli troops, under orders from Netanyahu, is unprecedented.
The IDF claims that 9,000 members of Hamas have been killed. Even if we take these figures at face value, almost twice as many innocent Palestinian civilians have been killed in the war in Gaza than Hamas fighters.
As disease, lack of potable water, and hunger spreads to a displaced population, more women and children will perish. It should be clear to anyone who understand the rudiments of demography: the effect will be a reduction in the rate of procreation of the Palestinian people. Thus, decreasing the number of Palestinians living today and in the future.
Biden’s Self Inflicted Wound
President Biden is losing support from within his own Democratic Party and an increasing number of Americans, who oppose his blanket military and political support for Netanyahu’s war against Palestinians. The relentless bombardment of apartment buildings, houses, refugee camps, United Nations facilities, and hospitals has made Gaza not only the most dangerous place in the world, but a death zone for a desperate and displaced population. No matter how much Biden’s advisors and press people try to spin it, the Biden administration has the blood of thousands of innocent Palestinians civilians on his hands.
When President Biden rushed to Israel to “bear hug” Netanyahu on October 18, 2023, eleven days after the Hamas attack, and pledged full U.S. support o for Israel’s war, he had already sealed his fate. Recently, President Biden has issued statements of disagreement with Netanyahu’s conduct of the war and his rejection of a Two State Solution, but President Biden gas failed to extricate himself from “the hug.”
President Biden’s immoral support for Netanyahu’s slaughter of Palestinians has been challenged by large demonstrations across the U.S., threatened walkouts by Congressional aids, and letters of protest against the war from the President’s staff and his presidential election campaign committee for 2024. More than once, Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, has had to meet with dissident members of the State Department who oppose blanket U.S. support for Israel. Increasing numbers of young voters, a critical section of the voting population that Democrats are counting on to win the 2024 election, oppose U.S. backing for the war.
Last week more serious cracks appeared, when eighteen U.S. Senators from Biden’s party signed as co-sponsors to legislation to condition aid to Israel on their compliance (or lack of) with international humanitarian law. The New York Times reports that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) estimates about half of the 51 Democratic and independent senators would vote for such a measure on the floor. Earlier in the week the Senate tabled a motion sponsored by ten Democratic Senators to link aid to human rights abuses by Israel.
This election year, President Biden will need all the support he can get to be reelected, while Democrats will attempt to maintain control of the Senate, and not lose ground in the House of Representatives. In Michigan, a battleground state in this year’s presidential election,
Arab Americans are already distancing themselves from President Biden’s presidential campaign.
President Biden’s full backing to Israel, a nation which Americans witness killing innocent women and children every day, and wiping out entire families, will be a factor in the minds of voters when they go to the polls this November.
Netanyahu Was Always No Good
Netanyahu is using the war to remain in power as prime minister. The continued assault on the people of Gaza is his “re-election campaign.” No progress has been made since the earlier prisoner exchange two months ago. However, as the families of the hostages ramp up the pressure, Netanyahu, a conniving politician, is maneuvering to continue his grasp as leader of an increasingly isolated Israel.
If one looks back at Netanyahu’s history, it is clear that he always opposed peace with the Palestinians in Gaza and the West bank. How pathetically foolish it is for President Biden to believe that Netanyahu will be a dependable partner in establishing a Two State Solution. Not only has he recently, and repeatedly stated his opposition to a self-governed Gaza, but his real desire is to rid Gaza of Palestinians by murder or driving them out. Let us acknowledge what honest Jews and non-Jews alike know: Netanyahu will not be a reliable partner for peace with an independent Palestinian state.
Netanyahu has not changed his anti-Palestinian views in twenty years. Two decades ago, Netanyahu bitterly opposed the efforts to create peace with Palestine by Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, a true Israeli statesman. Rabin, a former military professional, and commander of the Six Day War died a warrior for peace after signing the Oslo Accords of 1993 and 1995. Rabin accused Netanyahu of in effect working with Hamas to prevent the signing of the peace accords. The assassin of Rabin came from the extremist Jewish right-wing, who’s orbit was supported by Netanyahu’s Likud Party. Netanyahu vehemently opposed the peace accords and did not object when his Likud Party called Rabin a traitor for striving to create peace with Yassir Arafat. Leah Rabin had to force herself to shake Netanyahu’s hand at her husband’s funeral, because of the scurrilous campaign waged by him and the Likud Party against Rabin’s quest for peace.
Is President Biden capable of separating himself from the clutches of Netanyahu? The future of Israel, Palestine, and world peace may depend on it.
Below, watch Naledi Pandor, Minister of South Africa, on the ruling by International Court of Justice.
Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. Mr. Freeman strongly believes that economic development is an essential human right. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com