ICJ orders Israel

Whether Israel refrains will determine whether it remains within the world order

Israel has come to a moment of choice, when it has to put aside one of the myths it has cocooned itself in. It can either pretend to be a good international citizen, and obey the orders of the International Court of Justice and not launch an attack on Rafah, or it can pretend to be the prime defender of Jews by ignoring the orders and continuing on its assault. It should be noticed that both are myths. Israel is hardly a good international citizen, for it is situated on Palestine’s land and rejects even the two-state solution forced on the Palestinians by the rest of the world. In addition, it occupies those Palestinian lands it seized in 1967. Its inability to protect its own citizens was shown up on October 7 by the assault that took place.

The ICJ judgement was pursuant to the genocide case South Africa had filed against Israel, and includes a determination that the situation in Gaza has deteriorated. It comes soon after the International Criminal Court’s issuing of warrants for the arrest of the head of Hamas and Israel. Israel has not signed the Rome Statute, and thus does not accept the jurisdiction of the ICC, despite the latter’s gesture towards evenhandedness. The ICJ is not influenced by public opinion, but it cannot be a coincidence that the global protests against the Israeli slaughter of unarmed Palestinians have continued, and Toronto Tech became the first university to give in to student pressure, agreeing to review its investments. Even in the USA, it does not seem the kneejerk support of Israel does not seem possible any longer in view of how vicious the Israerli assault has been. One reaction has been that of Ireland, Norway and Spain, which have recognized Palestine.

The ICJ has merely added its voice, no doubt a weighty one, to the many which were calling for Israel not to attack Rafah. Israel should realize that its reaction to the September 7 attacks is universally seen as overblown. It should also realize that the support of the USA has saved it from an ICJ finding of genocide, as opposed to its expression of suspicion and an an order that investigators be admitted. Any other country would have been found guilty of the charge by now, so Israel has little reason to complain. While the indomitable Palestinian people continue their resistance, the rest of the world must not let up the pressure.

The Editorial Department of Pakistan Today can be contacted at: [email protected].


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