Armed Conflict and the ICJ 202

Tomorrow the International Court of Justice will give its decision on the South African interim request for provisional measures to prevent genocide in Gaza. Many are holding their breath for something that will help. How will this go?

You can read my views on some of the arguments in play in my article for Middle East Eye. There is no comment section on MEE, so feel free to discuss that article here.

You will recall that my observation of the demeanour of the judges at the Hague left me not too hopeful. They definitely appeared very uncomfortable to be taking a case which effectively puts the actions of the entire western political establishment on trial, not just Israel. Yet it was impossible to say that South Africa had not presented a strong prima facie case of genocide, including plentiful evidence of intent, which at this stage was all South Africa needed to do.

As I reported the judges got most visibly interested by the procedural arguments that South Africa could not bring the case because it was not in a dispute with Israel at the time of filing. But I don’t think that will stand. Firstly, it doesn’t pass the commonsense test; there is no doubt there is a dispute between South Africa and Israel over whether Israel is committing genocide. While the procedural problem does not in fact arise from the text of the Genocide Convention, but merely from previous jurisprudence from the court that indicates parties should aim to achieve a resolution before going to the court.

None of that previous jurisprudence relates to genocide. In any case of alleged genocide, there is obvious urgency. If Israel’s procedural argument is accepted, then any country committing genocide would only need not to respond to correspondence on the subject and nobody could take them to court for it, until after a “reasonable period” to reply, during which the genocide could continue. What is a “reasonable period” where scores of children are being killed every day? I don’t think the court is going to fall for that one, much as they visibly gasped to be let off the hook.

Judges are of course themselves highly privileged members of the ruling elite. The extent to which that elite is bought up by the Zionist cause has never been clearer to the world. But I retain some hope still because the ICJ has a truly strong record. If tomorrow we learn it has failed, we will know the notion of international law has been finally abandoned.

Both Israel and South Africa’s legal teams will by now probably have been given, in strictest confidence, an indication of the result by the President. This is done to head off any unexpected spontaneous eventuality in court. If they haven’t yet, they will first thing tomorrow morning.

But where there are seventeen judges of different nationalities, including one South African and one Israeli, and several of them are open to influence and discussion with their national governments, you would have to be extremely foolish to believe that the decision has not already leaked out to senior official circles. Which leaves me rather heartened by the fact that South Africa’s foreign minister is flying to The Hague for the decision. That would not be done if the result is a humiliation.

Where there is humiliation is in the willingness of the Western political class to abase themselves utterly in acknowledging the plain truth of Israel crimes. On a macro scale they state it is nonsense to claim that 15,000 dead children so far might indicate a genocidal intent. On a micro scale, in the past 24 hours Rishi Sunak, Keir Starmer and the spokesman for the US State Department have all refused to say, point blank, that it is a crime to shoot an unarmed civilian carrying a white flag.

I expect tomorrow will be a fudge. The court will say it will decide on the case in due course, and in the meantime Israel should be careful to take all steps to comply with international humanitarian law and to take all necessary actions to crack down on incitement to genocide. Then nothing would change.

If, however, the court does order a ceasefire on the grounds of a prima facie case for genocide, then I do think you will see a serious moderation of the actions of western politicians, including a reduction in armaments to Israel. That will of course not stop Israel.

Israel has been engaged in the genocide of the Palestinians for 75 years. All we have since October 7 is a more intensive phase again. In the year to October 7 2023, Israel killed over 350 Palestinians. Israel will continue its genocidal policies until the Apartheid State of Israel is abolished. That is the fundamental truth that the ICJ will not address tomorrow.


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202 thoughts on “Armed Conflict and the ICJ

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  • Ian Stevenson

    I was disappointed the ICJ did not call for a ceasefire, but it was very clear about adequate aid reaching the people of Gaza. The people providing that inside the strip will come from various countries and they will insist their citizens are not in the line of fire whilst doing so.
    Repair to electricity and water supplies, and restoration of the hospitals, will need outsiders to enter.
    In a logical world that would mean an end to the bombing. However, we are not in one.

    • frankywiggles

      The ICJ ordered Israel to stop killing and other genocidal acts against Palestinians. That is effectively an order for a ceasefire.

      • Ronda24

        The Judgement does indeed appear to have some teeth (see para 86 (2)):

        ….45. The Palestinians appear to constitute a distinct national, ethnical, racial or religious
        group and hence a protected group within the meaning of Article II of the Genocide Convention

        ….86. For these reasons,

        THE COURT,

        Indicates the following provisional measures:
        1. The State of Israel shall, in accordance with its obligations under the Convention on the
        Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide , in relation to Palestinians in Gaza, take all
        measures within its power to prevent the commission of all acts within the scope of Article II of this
        Convention, in particular:

        (a) killing members of the group;

        (b) causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group…….

        2. The State of Israel shall ensure with immediate effect that its military does not commit any
        acts described in point 1 above;……..

    • Yeah, Right

      The court can’t really call for a ceasefire because one of the parties to the conflict isn’t a party to the court.

      Remember, the case is South Africa versus Israel, so the court can only give interim orders to those two parties.

      To South Africa the ruling is: yep, we agree, there is merit in your case so we’ll proceed.
      To Israel the order is: we are putting you on notice not to do ANYTHING that might be construed as genocide.

      That’s pretty much all that the Court can do at this stage, because (a) this is an interim order and (b) it can only issue orders to Israel, it can’t issue any orders to Hamas.

      And a “ceasefire” is a two-way street, it must include Israel and Hamas otherwise such an order would be manifestly absurd.
      But the court can’t issue any orders to Hamas because they aren’t a party to the case that the ICJ is hearing.

      So on an emotional level, yes, this can be disappointing. But on a legal/political/commonsense level it is perfectly understandable that the court doesn’t want to make itself into a laughing stock by issuing orders that are manifestly absurd.

  • Allan Howard

    The following is from the Sky News article I posted a link to a short while ago – ie BNs response to the court’s ruling:

    Netanyahu reacts to ICJ orders

    Benjamin Netanyahu has praised the ICJ for having “justly rejected” South Africa’s case, despite the court imposing several conditions on Israel.

    It appears the prime minister was referring to the fact the court did not order a halt to hostilities, an apparent rejection of one of South Africa’s key requests.

    The ICJ issued several orders, including that Israel must punish public incitement to commit genocide and enable the provision of urgent basic services and humanitarian assistance in Gaza, while the court investigates South Africa’s accusations of genocide.

    Mr Netanyahu called the allegation of genocide “not only false, it’s outrageous”.

    “Like every country, Israel has an inherent right to defend itself. The vile attempt to deny Israel this fundamental right is blatant discrimination against the Jewish state, and it was justly rejected,” he said.

    Read his statement here in full:

    “Israel’s commitment to international law is unwavering. Equally unwavering is our sacred commitment to continue to defend our country and defend our people.

    “Like every country, Israel has an inherent right to defend itself. The vile attempt to deny Israel this fundamental right is blatant discrimination against the Jewish state, and it was justly rejected.

    “The charge of genocide leveled against Israel is not only false, it’s outrageous, and decent people everywhere should reject it. On the eve of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, I again pledge as prime minister of Israel – never again.

    “Israel will continue to defend itself against Hamas, a genocidal terror organization.

    “On 7 October, Hamas perpetrated the most horrific atrocities against the Jewish people since the Holocaust, and it vows to repeat these atrocities again and again and again.

    “Our war is against Hamas terrorists, not against Palestinian civilians. We will continue to facilitate humanitarian assistance, and to do our utmost to keep civilians out of harm’s way, even as Hamas uses civilians as human shields.

    “We will continue to do what is necessary to defend our country and defend our people.”

    Right, so it’s a ‘vile attempt’ by S. Africa to deny Israel the right to defend itself! In OTHER words, it’s a vile attempt to try and stop Israel from slaughtering women and children and babies and pregnant women and the elderly etc, etc, etc, and totally destroying Gaza.

    • Allan Howard

      Needless to say, if BN and Co agreed to a permanent ceasefire, as Hamas has been calling for for weeks, there would be no need for Israel to defend itself, and he is spouting complete bollocks when he says that Hamas has vowed ‘to repeat these atrocities again and again and again’, and knows that the very thing he and his fascist buddies are so vehemently opposed to could bring about a permanent end to any and all hostilities – ie a two-state solution (as Biden et al have been going on about) or, more realistically, a one-state solution.

      I just did a search and the following article from 2017 came up in the results in which it says this:

      Despite proclamations of a State of Palestine by Arafat and his successor, Mahmoud Abbas, it has never materialised as a de facto entity, and despite Mr Netanyahu’s declaration of support for a Palestinian state in 2009, it is unlikely that any right-wing government would permit its emergence for both ideological and security reasons.

      Israel and the Palestinians: What are alternatives to a two-state solution?

      • Allan Howard

        Netanyahu knows damn well that if he agreed to a permanent ceasefire and promised to work as quickly as possible towards a solution, one way or the other, for the Palestinians, then Hamas would release the hostages and peace would break out. The only problem is that he’s a conniving lying duplicitous devious deceitful mendacious untrustworthy psychopath and, as such, it’s down to the Israeli people to realise that he is and get shod of him, and replace him and his fascist buddies with people who are trustworthy, and will do what’s right for both them, and the Palestinians, and bring about permanent peace.

        • Yeah, Right

          “Hamas has one goal: To wipe Israel and its people off the face of the earth.”

          No, he didn’t say that. Stop putting words into his mouth.

          “Hamas has one goal:” Yes, it does.
          “To wipe Israel and its people off the face of the earth.” Yes to the first, and No to the second.

          Sorry, he wants ISRAEL gone. He sees no legitimacy to that REGIME, and his organization is dedicated to the destruction of that regime and its replacement by a PALESTINE.

          There actually isn’t anything wrong with such a sentiment, just as there was nothing wrong with the ANC engaging in a military and political struggle to eradicate the Apartheid regime that was blighting South Africa.

          But there is nothing – absolutely nothing – in his words that even hint that Hamas wants to “wipe the people of Israel” off the face of the Earth.

          Nothing. Zip. Nada. Zero.

          Hamas doesn’t like ZIONIST ISRAEL. Hamas wants to replace that with a SECULAR PALESTINE, and it is willing to use force to achieve that end.

          An understandable aim, and IMHO a rather laudable one.

  • Republicofscotland

    Well the ICJ didn’t disappoint, it didn’t call for a ceasefire and it didn’t outright say that the occupying Zionist forces in Palestine were committing genocide even though social media is awash with with what can only be described as war crimes and ethnic cleansing whilst some Zionist politicians and top military personnel are on record saying that the clearing of of Palestinians is the priority, calling Palestinians “Human Animals”.

    The ICJ weakly stated that Israel must do everything in its power to prevent genocide, basically today has shown a number of things, one that Israel IS above International Law, that the ICJ is not fit for purpose, and that the poor oppressed Palestinians will continue to be ethnically cleansed from their own homelands.

    Of course the ICJ couldn’t do the right and proper thing and call a spade a spade with regards to genocide, that would’ve meant holding the Zionists and their backers to account, backers such as Sunak, Starmer, Biden, Scholz, Von der Leyen etc, this would’ve brought chaos to the Western powers and destabilised their entire way of Western hegemony.

    The Zionists can now return to ethnically cleansing Gaza and then the West Bank of oppressed Palestinians which has mostly women and children residing in it.

    The Global South will be looking on in dismay, but they won’t be surprised by the ICJ’s decisions.

    • Jack

      The Global South will be looking on in dismay, but they won’t be surprised by the ICJ’s decisions.

      If the perpetrator of the same crime Israel now commit was done by a black african leader, not backed by the west, the verdict would have been totally different of course.

      It is high time the global south leave western infested organizations like ICJ. The charade is over, after this statement today by this phony, judicial body today.

      • Republicofscotland

        Indeed Jack, why didn’t Blair and Bush find themselves in the dock at the Hague? A court in Malaysia found both men guilty of war crimes in absentia, yet the ICJ … well, we know what happened.

        Craig had a wee bit of hope that the ICJ would come good on this after it ruled against the UK on the Chagossian people being illegally evicted from their homes, but we should’ve known that the ICJ wouldn’t go the extra mile to do the right thing.

        The poor oppressed Palestinians will now have to look back at the skies waiting for Zionist bombs raining down on them, not that the bombs ever did stop in the first place.

          • Republicofscotland

            And if it were the ICJ would that have made any difference? afterall the two war criminals are still at large.

        • Juba

          The ICJ could not order a “ceasefire” – as HAMAS is not a “state entity”. It’s a resistance group that is resisting its oppressor, who is a UN-recognized state.

        • Jack

          Exactly, speaking on Chagos, remember that the current president and judge of ICJ, Joan E. Donoghue (of the United States), put the only dissenting voice on the Chagos lawsuit:

          The ICJ agreed with Mauritius’ submission, which argued it had been coerced into giving up the islands. Such an act is a violation of UN Resolution 1514, which prohibits the breakup of colonies before independence. The only judge who dissented from the court’s main opinion was Joan E. Donoghue of the United States.

    • Yeah, Right

      This is an INTERIM order. That was all that South Africa was asking for at this point in time.

      And as far as an INTERIM order goes this is all that South Africa could have reasonably expected, and I would suggest that they have succeeded beyond their wildest hopes.

      …”it didn’t call for a ceasefire”…
      The court can’t call for a ceasefire because – axiomatically – that would have to be directed at BOTH parties to this conflict.

      Which is manifestly absurd, because the two parties of this armed conflict (Hamas and Israel) are not the same as the two parties in this court case (South Africa and Israel).

      So a court order can only be issued to South Africa and to Israel, but the court can’t direct any order to Hamas.

      QED: the court can’t demand a ceasefire, because both Hamas and Israel have to be ordered to “cease fire” and the court simply can’t order the former to put down its weapons.

      …”and it didn’t outright say that the occupying Zionist forces in Palestine were committing genocide”…

      IT IS AN INTERIM ORDER. The court can’t prejudge its eventually ruling on that point of law by saying something in its interim order that it hasn’t yet ruled on. That would be, again, a manifestly absurd proposition.

      The court did everything it can do:
        a) it refused Israel’s argument that there is no case to answer. The court agreed with SA that there *is* a case and the court *will* hear it.
        b) if stated categorically that there is the possibility that Israel is committing genocide and THEREFORE Israel is on notice that it MUST cease any and all actions that might amount to a violation of the Genocide Convention.
        c) it stated categorically that Israel is ordered to retain all records relevant to the court case and must prevent and punish all calls by Israelis that amount to an incitement to commit genocide.

      By issuing those orders the court is putting Israel on notice AND it is very, very, very strongly dropping hints that the bench is leaning towards finding Israel guilty on all these counts.

      And, never forget, these orders have been arrived at FIFTEEN to TWO, which is a stunning slap in Netanyahu’s face.

      I mean, honestly, even the judge from the USA(!!) and from Germany (!!!) took their turn to walk up to him and slap him across the chops.

      This is a stunning blow to Israel, and if they refuse to change their ways (and I suspect that’s exactly what will happen) then the Zionists are going to rue the day they ever thought that going hammer and tongs on the Gaza Strip was a good idea and the opportunity of a lifetime.

    • Clark

      Republicofscotland, have patience. I know patience is hard at such a distressing time as this, but remember what Craig wrote weeks ago – the ICJ deals only with states, whereas it’s the ICC that deals with individuals. Go back to Craig’s earlier posts, and quote from them: now that the ICJ has imposed Provisional Measures, backers of Israel who break them are at risk of charges from the ICC.

      • Republicofscotland

        Yes Clark, I know, but in reality does anyone expect the Zionists to stop their ethnic cleansing of Gaza (I don’t); and if not, how or by whom will it be enforced to make them stop? I don’t see solid provisions for that to happen. Meanwhile the killings go on. I think it’s now over 13,000 Palestinian children killed by the Zionists since Oct 7th.

        From “The ICJ Could Not Order A General Ceasefire. It Ordered Israel To Cease Fire.” (Moon of Alabama, 26 Jan 2024):-

        Posted by b on January 26, 2024 at 18:17 UTC | Permalink:

        «  No legal scholar expected the International Court of Justice to order a general ceasefire.

        The court could not order a general ceasefire because its jurisdiction covers only one of the warring parties. An order for a general ceasefire would require that all parties of a conflict are nation states and have signed the Genocide Convention. Hamas however is not a state and is not a signatory of the Genocide Convention and thus not under the ICJ’s jurisdiction.

        So the court did indeed not order a ceasefire.

        It could not.

        But the court ordered Israel to cease fire.

        Point 85/86 of the court’s order says:

        85. The Court deems it necessary to emphasize that all parties to the conflict in the Gaza Strip are bound by international humanitarian law. It is gravely concerned about the fate of the hostages abducted during the attack in Israel on 7 October 2023 and held since then by Hamas and other armed groups, and calls for their immediate and unconditional release.
        86. For these reasons,
        THE COURT,
        Indicates the following provisional measures:
        (1) By fifteen votes to two,
        The State of Israel shall, in accordance with its obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, in relation to Palestinians in Gaza, take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of all acts within the scope of Article II of this Convention, in particular:

        (a) killing members of the group;

        (b) causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

        The court clearly orders Israel to take all(!) measures to prevent the killing or wounding of Palestinians.

        In short: The court orders Israel to cease fire.

        All of it. Now.  »

  • harry law

    The ICJ has found in favour of South Africa and that a prima facie case of Genocide has been proven, that being the case all the evidence governmental bodies submitted to the Foreign Minister David Cameron before he appeared before the armed services committee, in effect telling him Israel [in their view] always acted within International Human Rights Law, was false, but Cameron accepted Israeli lies and overuled grave concerns from those UK bodies. Now he must resign and face accusations of being complicit in war crimes as documented in all IHL and as the ICC act 2001 UK. Along with other complicit individuals.

    • harry law

      Heidi Matthew, an assistant professor of law at Harvard said…
      I think we can infer from this that *at a minimum* there is a serious risk that Israel will commit genocide. This is important because it puts *all states* on formal notice of the serious risk of genocide, which triggers states’ duty to take concrete steps to prevent genocide.

      Among other things, this means that in order for states to fulfill their international obligations under the Genocide Convention they must *do something*. For e.g., states exporting arms or military technology to Israel must stop.
      In my opinion this means UK arms sales to Israel must cease.

      • Yeah, Right

        At the very least it makes it extremely difficult for any country – even the USA and UK – to run any interference for Israel **if** the Israelis show two fingers to the court and continue to prosecute a genocidal assault on the Gaza Strip.

        I mean, honestly, those two countries in particular are caught between a rock and a hard place: does their much-vaunted “rules-based international order” mean anything at all, or is it just talk?

        Because this is one of the few cases where “the rules” are actually written down, and it is written in black and white that the “international order” gives the ICJ the right to “rule” on these issues.

        Israel will now violate this interim order. Which means this goes to the UN Security Council, when the USA *will* veto any resolution against Israel. Which will then bounce the issue down to the General Assembly where that body can vote on action against Israel under the “uniting for peace” procedure.

        A procedure, I’ll remind everyone, that the USA created as another of its “rules” for the “rules-based international order”.

        I suspect very much that the world has run out of all patience with Israel and with the very concept of One Rule for You, But Not for Me.

        This is going to end very, very badly for Israel. And by extension, to the USA and the UK.

        They’d be much better advised to throw Israel under the bus now. At least then Biden can pretend it was his idea.

  • Tom Welsh

    “Rishi Sunak, Keir Starmer and the spokesman for the US State Department have all refused to say, point blank, that it is a crime to shoot an unarmed civilian carrying a white flag”.

    Playing the part of devil’s advocate, I would like to point out that this is not absolutely clear. Almost every time, that would be a crime. Consider, however, the following “edge case”:

    For whatever legitimate reason, soldiers have been ordered to enter a given area and maintain – or, if necessary, restore – order. Repeatedly, people dressed as civilians and apparently unarmed have either given vital intelligence to the enemy, or have actually turned out to be suicide bombers.

    Under those circumstances, an apparently unarmed civilian (in other words, a person not wearing uniform) carrying a white flag might appear to soldiers to represent an imminent deadly threat. If the soldiers do not shoot the “civilian”, they risk being killed themselves without warning.

    I’m just mentioning this scenario as one that has happened before, and that should be borne in mind. In Gaza, the consistent and cynical murderous intentions of Israeli soldiers make them the deadly enemy of all Palestinians, so it’s doubtful if the concept of a “civilian” means anything at all.

  • Tom Welsh

    “If, however, the court does order a ceasefire on the grounds of a prima facie case for genocide, then I do think you will see a serious moderation of the actions of western politicians, including a reduction in armaments to Israel. That will of course not stop Israel”.

    In that case Hamas’ terribly sacrificial strategy will be working. A wedge will be driven between the Zionists and their Western supporters and advocates. Once created, such a wedge could quickly open up a huge chasm.

  • Tom Welsh

    Is it “genocide” to declare publicly that one intends to take over and exclusively rule a country, getting rid of the existing inhabitants by whatever means? Because that is what the Zionist leaders said back in the 19th century.

    Ever since, Zionist leaders have made it perfectly clear that they intend to get all Gentiles – including Palestinians – out of Israel as they define it. If the Palestinians can somehow be persuaded to leave, well and good. Otherwise…

    This has never been a secret. On the contrary, it has been trumpeted abroad at all times.

    • SA

      And this is why certain western countries have criminalized anti-Zionism as a way of closing down this argument. Zionism and an exclusive Jewish state based on a biblical myth is intrinsically exclusive and denies the rights of all others.

  • nevermind

    Once South Africa withdrew its ambassador from Israel, due to the ongoing and multiple atrocities, they clearly did have a dispute and difference of opinion, so this ,’no dispute’ technicality is a ytrap door, not a way out for those judges.

  • AG

    Why is there an ad hoc judge from Israel in the ICJ in a case over Israel? This is absurd.

    I am happy that most experts seem to be relieved.

    As a total layman I do feel disappointed in ways JACK had expressed it earlier.
    To rule forcefully that this is a case of genocide since the intent is beyond any doubt would have offered a killler argument for any future discourse. The current prudent verdict is nothing for the fierce propaganda wars going on. I would have loved to see a devastating condemnation. And the question does arise in how far any of what ICJ said now will indeed materialize.
    Since if it had had merely symbolic significance in any case, at least a 100% condemnation would have benefitted the rhetorics used against Israel. Now eventually we have neither action nor arguments.

    Counter-arguments to my naive view are listed by Yves Smith on naked capitalism:

    “(…One of the advantages of being a pessimist is that being wrong is a positive event. Like Norman Finkelstein, I had worried that there was still enough fear of crossing the US that the International Court of Justice jurists would use shortcomings in how South Africa had teed up its case procedurally to demur, at least until South Africa tried again. The other end of the spectrum that yours truly had anticipated was that the Court would rule significantly for South Africa by supporting its provisional measures calling for humanitarian relief, provision of medical services, and similar requirements, as well as less controversial but important steps like the preservation of evidence but not constrain the Israeli army, as South Africa had also sought via asking for a ceasefire.

    I am basing this post on notes taken from the live presentation, where President Joan Donaghue read most of the ruling verbatim. We have embedded the video below and [in a 9 AM EST update] have added the text of the order.

    Of critical importance, and a huge smackdown to Israel, is the Court came as close as it reasonably could to calling for a ceasefire in ruling for the provisional measure (which it devised itself) for Israel to cease military action against Palestinians as members of a protected group under the Genocide Convention.1 I had opined that the Court could not call for a ceasefire since it could not bind Hamas to comply. It would not be sound or shrewd to give Israel an easy pretext for defying the court by saying that a one-sided ceasefire would leave it defenseless. But impressively, the court went as far as it could, and way way further than I expected, in constraining Israel military operations against the Palestinian population.

    Experts will soon opine but I assume this would still allow Israel to pursue Hamas members if it could do so without violating the Genocide Convention. This was 15 to 2, with the only dissents Uganda and the ad hoc judge from Israel. (…)”.

    • Neil

      AG: “Why is there an ad hoc judge from Israel in the ICJ in a case over Israel? This is absurd. ”

      No, not absurd. If you have been paying attention, you would know that BOTH sides (since neither already has a judge on the bench) have the right to appoint an ad-hoc judge. A right they have both exercised. That is why there were 17 judges and not the usual 15.

      • AG

        sorry Neil, I was upset.
        I realized the moment after posting.
        p.s. but why let them both vote too? Wouldn´t it be enough to be observers?

        (And what about Palestinians as the victims? The victim has no representation of its own but Israel as the culprit does? I am aware they don’t have the same status regarding statehood. But such genocidal cases will most likely target those very group who by historic outcome have a weaker position and might not have nation state of their own. That’s what makes genocide more likely, in fact. Or am I wrong?)

      • Jack


        Since if it had had merely symbolic significance in any case, at least a 100% condemnation would have benefitted the rhetorics used against Israel. Now eventually we have neither action nor arguments.

        Exactly, ok the ICJ was too scared of calling Israel out on genocide but why on earth not even call for a ceasefire, even though Israel would have ignored such a call??

        • AG

          I guess they call it professional courtesy
          p.s. Yves Smith does make a point that a ceasefire might have back-fired. That´s why I wished for them to go all-in and deliver a crystal-clear condemnation which would have left all the empty talk behind. Since it doesn´t matter anyway. But let us not indulge too much in defeatism. May be they can salvage something from the verdict.

    • Peter Mo

      It’s a shocker. Clearly the judges have engaged in a trade-off amongst themselves. The case required a simple yes/no to a ceasefire. Ignoring it they went the gutless spineless way.

  • AG

    to quot the only critical German paper left, junge Welt:

    Killing may continue
    Gaza war: International Court of Justice only calls on Israel to prevent genocide against Palestinians

    In the end, this is not even half a victory: Israel is allowed to continue bombing, but must prevent the war against the population in Gaza from turning into genocide.

    The ICJ ruling is not expected to bring about any far-reaching changes in Israel’s conduct of the war.

    On Thursday evening, the Ministry of Health in Gaza reported 20 civilians killed while waiting for humanitarian aid at a crossroads. A witness told AFP that the people were trying to get food and flour “because they have nothing to eat”. Then tanks suddenly appeared and “opened fire on the people”.

    What more does a ICJ need? How many have to be killed? Is there a percentage?
    Or does the perpetrator government indeed have to publish a bulletin “This is why we intend genocide?”

    I am aware of the intricacies of the law. But what sense is there for a category “genocide” if it is in effect not called out by the court itself if the nation in question is too powerful. Had this been some “basket case” country how would have they decided?

    Naturally, nonetheless, I hope Craig is right with what he said on Judging Freedom.

    • AG

      …and if this doesn´t work lawyers have to introduce a new 5th category named “extermination” and find a sound way to distinguish that from “genocide”.
      Since I always argued that Gaza is no extermination. However if an extermination can be identified I assume the worst is already under way and its too late. So obviously there are major shortcomings in the framework of intern. law here…

    • frankywiggles

      Naturally MSM is helping Israel spin its historic defeat as a win. What else would you expect them to do? The zionists are in the dock now for genocide, for the first time in their genocidal existence, and have been told by the world court they must cease their genocidal actions. That’s a historic defeat for the untouchables.

    • nevermind

      I hope the killing will not continue with German precision tank munitions; Scholz should have the brevity to stop sending armaments into Israel which will be used contrary to the ICJ demands.
      For that matter and reason, Akrotiri and Djekeliah should not be used to fly arms into Israel from around the world.
      This is not a ‘sacred commitment’: it is mass murder of (mainly) civilians – more of the same war crimes as in the past.

  • harry law

    I do not think the court has the power to stop all of Israel’s actions i.e. a ceasefire, however what the court has ordered amounts to a ceasefire, as the following compulsory orders cannot be carried out unless there is a ceasefire.

    «  1/ The State of Israel shall take immediate and effective measures to enable the provision of
    urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance to address the adverse conditions of life
    faced by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip;

    2/ The State of Israel shall, in accordance with its obligations under the Convention on the
    Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, in relation to Palestinians in Gaza, take all
    measures within its power to prevent the commission of all acts within the scope of Article II of this
    Convention, in particular:
      (a) killing members of the group;
      (b) causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
      (c) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical
    destruction in whole or in part; and
      (d) imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group  »

  • Johnny Oh45

    I am catching up with the verdict and provisional measures directed by the ICJ and am pleased to see that there is NO linkage being made between the measures directed and a direction for Hamas to release the Israeli hostages which is what the US government and its European allies have been asserting as a pre-condition for there being a humanitarian pause. Breaking that link means that there is now no cover for NOT intervening to safeguard the Palestinians from genocide.

  • harry law

    Because the ICJ is the official legal organ of the United Nations, this decision must form part of ‘The Rules based order’ – or am I being naive?

    • Jack

      One could only imagine if the roles were reversed, palestinians murdering 30000 israeli jews in 120 days. What would ICJ say then?
      ICJ: ‘Nah Hamas could keep on doing what they are doing, we wont call for a ceasefire, but hey Hamas, a little tip, keep the killing down a bit so you wont reach that threshold of commiting genocide would you?’ Alright now go back and kill some more!’


      This phony ICJ even demanded that palestinians, release the hostages, what about the thousands of the hostages in Israel?!

      Speaking of which, I would not put it past the ICJ if their next statement will be about palestinians/Hamas, that they are somehow the ones commiting genocide not Israel.

      The global south need to create their own type of ICJ, the ICJ is not fit to deal with the crimes commited by the west and/or western-aligned rogue regimes like Israel.

  • Allan Howard

    I just went on the Sun’s website to see how they are spinning the court’s ruling and, as such, assumed it would be fairly high profile on their main page, but it was no-where to be seen, so I then did a search on their search engine re >international court of justice israel< and nothing relevant whatsoever came up in the results. I mean perhaps they're still 'working' on an article, but is it possible they are just gonna blank it completely. I wouldn't be THAT surprised if they DID!

    Anyway, so I just this minute did a search on the Mail's website, and there's more than a dozen articles about it, so I jjust opened one of them that looked particularly interesting entitled: State Dept says World Court order consistent with U.S. view, and this is what it initially says:

    WASHINGTON, Jan 26 (Reuters) – The United States on Friday said the ruling of the International Court of Justice on the Israel-Hamas war was consistent with Washington's view that Israel has the right to take action, in accordance with international law, to ensure the Oct. 7 attack cannot be repeated.

    "We continue to believe that allegations of genocide are unfounded and note the court did not make a finding about genocide or call for a ceasefire in its ruling and that it called for the unconditional, immediate release of all hostages being held by Hamas," a State Department spokesperson said.

    So they note that the court didn't make a finding about genocide, and deceitfully and misleadingly say this when they knew the court wouldn't be doing so at this stage, and that it will only be doing so at some point in the future..

    • Allan Howard

      It just occured to me that even if the Sun HASN’T posted an article yet about the court’s ruling (or isn’t going to), that something should have come up in the results about South Africa and its submission to the ICJ regards Israel commiting genocide when I did aa search a bit earlier.. But nothing DID! So I just did another search on their website re >south africa israel genocide<, and got five results, none of which were remotely relevant. So I can only conclude that the Sun is blanking the whole thing which, if that is the case, is a very odd decision given that surely a majority of their readers watch the ITV or BBC or Channel 5 news. That said, I expect quite a lot of them watch Talk TV or GB News, both of whom I'm sure will be covering the court's ruling, but no doubt fraudulently pulling it to bits.

      I just turned the box on, and put Channel 4 News on, and a woman speaking from Ramallah in the West Bank is being given a really hard time by the presenter.

  • Seansaighdeoir

    Without the court making a specified genocide related ruling I see this as at best a missed opportunity. At worst its effectively giving Israel the green light to ‘carry on genociding’.

    The current rulers of Israel won’t bat an eyelid at the ruling today and why should they? UK news this afternoon was leading on the fact that the court did not make a point of a finding of genocide or call for a ceasefire. That was then ‘translated’ as the court found Israel was not carrying out a genocide (which everyone right minded person knows is true) and Israel rejects the charge anyway.

    So I see nothing changing unless it changes within Israel. At something like 90% support for what the current policy that looks unlikely. Until that happens the US & UK will go on supporting them.

    The only possible changes to that support could be the elections which may cause some frisson of reality to breakthrough – at least here in the UK. It is not likely to be a problem in the US where both parties are completely in hock to the Zionist lobby.

    Israel has been genociding the Palestinians for 75 years already so they’re not going to care either way.

  • Allan Howard

    JVL posted a couple of videos on their website yesterday under the heading ‘Israel army spokepeople lie and deny’, the first of which is an ITV New At Ten clip (9mins) from a couple of days ago showing a group of five Palestinian men waving a white flag and holding up their hands, and then the IDF shooting at them and killing one of them. And the one they shot and killed just happened to be the one the ITV reporter had just spoken to briefly.

    And in the second one (14mins 40secs) ‘Novara Media, shows footage of the Israeli Government Spokesman, Eylon Levy lying repeatedly in interviews with Victoria Derbyshire and Krishnan Guru-Murthy.

    Michael Walker and Ash Sarkar comment.

    • Jack

      The lying and sadism is on full display, the crimes being commited day in and dayout, Israel is like a collective psych ward believing they are the normal ones:
      Explosive food cans left behind for Gaza’s civilians by Israeli forces
      «  Israeli forces have reportedly left behind explosive food cans in Gaza, posing a severe risk to the civilians in the area. These perilous remnants add to the already dire humanitarian situation in besieged Gaza, further endangering the lives of innocent civilians caught in the conflict.  »

      I hate to repeat myself but the effort should have been on nailing down a war crime lawsuit or a crimes against humanity lawsuit at the ICJ before taking on the genocidal lawsuit because flagrant evidence pouring out daily from Gaza to the extent that even the ICJ would not deny that Israel commiting such abovenamed crimes.

  • harry law

    Here is South Africa’s formal statement on the ICJ ruling today.

    «  26 January 2024
    Today marks a decisive victory for the international rule of law and a significant milestone in the search for justice for the Palestinian people. In a landmark ruling, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has determined that Israel’s actions in Gaza are plausibly genocidal and has indicated provisional measures on that basis. For the implementation of the international rule of law, the decision is a momentous one. South Africa thanks the Court for its swift ruling.

    The United Nations Security Council will now be formally notified of the Court’s order pursuant to Article 41(2) of the Court’s Statute. The veto power wielded by individual states can not be permitted to thwart international justice, not least in light of the ever-worsening situation in Gaza brought about by Israel’s acts and omissions in violation of the Genocide Convention.
    Third States are now on notice of the existence of a serious risk of genocide against the Palestinian people in Gaza. They must, therefore, also act independently and immediately to prevent genocide by Israel and to ensure that they are not themselves in violation of the Genocide Convention, including by aiding or assisting in the commission of genocide. This necessarily imposes an obligation on all States to cease funding and facilitating Israel’s military actions, which are plausibly genocidal.

    Above all else, the provisional measures are directly binding on Israel, which is required pursuant to the Court’s order and to the Genocide Convention itself, to stop all acts by it that are plausibly genocidal, such as those raised by South Africa in its Application and request for the indication of provisional measures. There is no credible basis for Israel to continue to claim that its military actions are in full compliance with international law, including the Genocide Convention, having regard to the Court’s ruling.

    South Africa sincerely hopes that Israel will not act to frustrate the application of this Order, as it has publicly threatened to do, but that it will instead act to comply with it fully, as it is bound to do.

    South Africa will continue to act within the institutions of global governance to protect the rights, including the fundamental right to life, of Palestinians in Gaza – which continue to remain at urgent risk including from Israeli military assault, starvation and disease – and to obtain the fair and equal application of international law to all, in the interest of our collective humanity. Notably, South Africa will continue to do everything within its power to preserve the existence of the Palestinian people as a group, to end all acts of apartheid and genocide against the Palestinian people and to walk with them towards the realisation of their collective right to self-determination, for, as Nelson Mandela momentously declared, “our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians”.

    The indication by this Court of provisional measures pursuant to the Genocide Convention marks a significant historical step towards that goal.  »

    • Bramble

      “Third States are now on notice of the existence of a serious risk of genocide against the Palestinian people in Gaza. They must, therefore, also act independently and immediately to prevent genocide by Israel and to ensure that they are not themselves in violation of the Genocide Convention, including by aiding or assisting in the commission of genocide. This necessarily imposes an obligation on all States to cease funding and facilitating Israel’s military actions, which are plausibly genocidal.”
      Well, today the UK continues to supply Israel with the means to commit genocide – but has announced it will withhold humanitarian aid to the UN’s key aid agency for Palestinian refugees (due to unverified allegations that some of its employees took part in what happened on October 7th). Perhaps the UK doesn’t think Palestinians are starving fast enough.

    • Lysias

      Kudos to South Africa for its bravery. And also to Craig, whose piece here on the Genocide Convention started the ball rolling.

  • Jack

    Speaking on israeli impunity, remember in 2009 when Israel waged their so called “Operation Cast Lead” against Gaza, killing some 1500 palestinians – majority civilians – warcrimes galore according to every human rights organization. Did anyone in Israel face criminal charges for the heinous crimes? Well…:
    «  Only four Israelis were convicted of wrongdoing; only three of them were expected to serve jail time. The severest sentence meted out was seven and a half months, for the theft of a Gazan’s credit card. Two soldiers convicted of using a nine-year-old child as a human shield received three-month suspended sentences.In a touching gesture of atonement, Israeli information minister Yuli Edelstein declared, “I am ashamed of the soldier who stole some credit cards.”  »

    Norman Finkelstein in his book Gaza: an inquest into martyrdom:
    «  That is how they value people from other ethnic groups in Israel, a credit card theft they put as a more severe of a crime than murdering civilians in the thousands.  »

    This is what you get what you have a state, or rather a population, believing they stand above other people, that they are more valuable than other human beings. Germans had the Master Race idea: and Israel of course have the Chosen-people belief:
    Majority of Israeli Jews believe they are ‘chosen people’

    In the best of worlds, the world should occupy Israel and deprogram the israeli population because there is something terribly wrong with Israel, and I assume we have just seen start of what is to come. After palestinians are finished with they will go after Lebanon, Syria – doing the same as they have done with Gaza – then drag the west to attack Iran and so on. Perhaps they will even use their nukes.

    • Seansaighdeoir

      The Talmud (can’t remember which Sanhedrin the quote is in) specifically teaches that the Jews are the only race with a ‘proper soul’.

      The value of the life of a Jew over a Gentile (or non Jew) therefore is actually part of Talmud teaching so its not surprising they grow to have this distorted superiority complex.

      Even those Orthodox Jews who stand against Zionism as not being part of Torah prophecy will under go this form of Talmudic training.

      There are many examples in the Sanhedrin which reference the responses a Jew must make to Jew or Gentile in all aspects of law and social situations and the difference to each is stark.

      It is often said that Zionists are ‘secular’ which is true but only in a limited degree.

      For instance Netanyahu is very influenced by Chabad as are many others in Likud, as well as people like Trump and Putin and secular Jews will still have undergone Rabbinic teaching even if later they appear to reject it.

  • Mr Mark Cutts

    I suppose we have to wait until we get to a Geman acceptable level of dead Palestinans/medics/journalists and perhaps some other parts that the IDF have not reached before they can consider the actions as a Genocide?

    Great work by South Africa but if this madness doesn’t stop – who can stop it?

    The answer is easy – The US. But the problem is the US doesn’t want it to stop otherwise the whole thing would have been stopped weeks ago.

    We have gone from Israeli boasts that this would all be done and dusted in 6 weeks, to – in a few months to – this could take years.

    Not exactly the plan coming to fruition is it? The ‘plan’ for the US is relatively obvious to myself at least:

    The Democrats want an Israeli bigger Proxy war – not with Hamas or even Hezbollah – they want Israel to take on Iran and Syria (unfinished business) and if the Israeli populace are stupid enough to let Netanyahu and his latest set of ‘Crazies’ do it – it is the end of Israel.

    The US will take part (as they often do) at a very safe distance in this madcap scheme and like Afghanistan and Syria they will just disappear – just like they have done to the Proxy Warred Ukrainians when things don’t go their way.

    Watch out for the release of the US backed and anti Syrian and Russian Terrorists who are parked up in Idlib- they will be armed and released for future use in Syria.

    You could call this ‘Overstretch’ by the US but it isn’t. It’s Proxy War overstretch from the Proxies.

    Of course the US will continue to supply all the combatants in their War against Russia and China (and indirectly the BRICS countries) but that’s what you have to do to try and remain Top Dog.

    If the US pushes its luck too far then China and Russia have to become involved. Now if that happens then we really all are in very very serious trouble and no amount of Laws will stop that once it all gets out of hand.

    These things have a habit of getting out of hand as WW1 would be over by Xmas – wouldn’t it? That was in one country – the bad scenario would affect the whole world – not just France.

    Anyone who goes along with the US war plans for other countries has to be certified – surely? I’m not convinced – looking at the media and Western politicians’ world views.

    • Carlyle Moulton

      No one who starts a war expects the war that actually results. Hitler didn’t expect World War II he expected a nice little war where he would quickly take all of Europe with absolutely no BLOWBACK.

  • Ewan2

    The first line of the BBC article on the ruling:

    ” This was not a complete victory for South Africa, or the Palestinians. ”

    There’s almost a sense of relief that Israel can continue with military operations.

    Later in the article, in a paragraph of its own:

    ” The belief that Israel has ” The most moral army in the world ” is one almost universally held by the country’s Jewish citizens. ”
    Really! How do they decide? Is there a grading system for armed forces’ moral behaviour? Considering the often unprovoked attacks on Palestinians since 1948 one can only wonder what the word ‘moral’ means to the average ‘Jewish citizen ‘ of Israel.

    The last paragraph:

    ” Israel , a country born out of the ashes of the world’s worst example of genocide, must now live under this legal shadow until the court delivers its verdict.”

    Nothing about how good it might be to stop the fighting, no, the article concludes with dire fate of living ‘ under a legal shadow’. What suffering!
    The most moral and the most victimised – both are impossible to ‘grade’. How does one grade genocide? Grading genocide can only mean that some lives are more important than others, an attitude that can only encourage further genocide.

    • Tom Welsh

      ”Israel, a country born out of the ashes of the world’s worst example of genocide…”

      A non sequitur so glaring that it would make a good textbook example.

      Assuming that “the world’s worst example of genocide” refers to the German efforts 80-90 years ago to kill as many Jews as possible, how are its “ashes” in any way related to Palestine and the Palestinians? Those “ashes” would be in Germany, where apparently there was a concerted effort to get rid of the Jews – exactly as, for 75 years and more, the Zionists have been making a concerted effort to get rid of the Palestinians. How could anything “born out of the ashes” of those German massacres possibly be taking place in Palestine, nearly 3,000 km away as the crow flies?

      What the quoted words really mean, it seems, is something like, “Because some people 3,000 km away and 80-90 years ago tried hard to exterminate other people who included the parents, grandparents, etc. of some of us, we are now entitled to exterminate the people who have lived here for the past 2,000 years and in some cases long”.

        • Tom Welsh

          If so, only because I finally became so exasperated I gave it my full attention. It’s strange how so many of us live with obvious lies and illusions for so long – then one day, something gives.

          We have Hamas to thank.

      • Bayard

        “”Israel, a country born out of the ashes of the world’s worst example of genocide…”

        It’s bollocks, timewise as well. If Israel was born out of the ashes of anything, it was born out of the ashes of the First World War. The idea was already up and running by WWII.

  • Jack

    How could there be any justice if one cannot speak the truth about things? Why is it that media succumb to a regime that engages in the most vile type of crime in multiple decades, openly!?

    Sky News apologizes over IDF ‘Nazi’ comparison
    An anchor for the network accused an Israeli lawmaker of advocating “ethnic cleansing” for Palestinians in Gaza

    It is like the israelis are so delicate, so soft that they will break if someone tell the truth about them. They live in a fantasy world where only their own suffering 80 years ago is what matters, any triggering-words that remind themselves that they are commiting the same brutalization must be put down instantly and censored. And of course, nazi analogy is suddenly just fine when it comes to describing palestinians.
    Heck the majority of israeli society need to see a shrink. Their behaviour and judeocentric worldview are so incredibly damaging for the whole of the world.

    Also on a sidenote, why on earth are israeli reps. on western television day in and day out anyway and treated often with the uttermost respect? Have this occured before? A genocidal regime is free to spew their propaganda/disinformation on prime time in western newscasts? Compare how they treat palestinians, the real victims:
    Julia Hartley-Brewer’s VILE Attack On Palestinian Politician
    I mean look at her face and grimaces, it looks like she is possessed, and all these unnatural smirks, it looks artificial, AI generated.
    Now look how kind she suddenly become when she interview israelis:
    ‘Israel Was First, Europe Is Next’ For Hamas | Julia Hartley-Brewer Speaks To Hostages’ Relatives
    Many more examples:

    Another idiotic meme the western MSM use are the phrase “Israel’s war with Hamas”. No it is not about Hamas it is a war against the whole of the palestinian population! How many times have you heard the media use the phrase “Russia’s war against the Zelensky/Servant of the People party”?
    All these seemlingly small phrasings etc is what have laid the ground for the acceptace in the western world for what Israel is doing.

    • Brianfujisan

      Jack… the corporate media indeed. Wouldn’t it be great if someone (maybe someone like Craig) could organise a group people to take the BBC and Sky to the Hague for their unashamed complicity in the Gaza Genocide… And maybe the same in the US with the New York Times… If we can’t ever deal with the Media lies and distortions… All the way to WWIII.

      ALSO Jack, with regards to your above post ‘re Norman Finkelstein’s books,

      In ‘Method and Madness: The Hidden Story of Israel’s Assaults on Gaza’ (2014)
      Finkelstein tells us that over some years – Operation Cast Lead (2008-9), Operation Pillar of Defence (2012), Operation Protective Edge (2014), have resulted in the deaths of some 3,700 Palestinians. Meanwhile a total of 90 Israelis were killed.
      Also NF tells of the crazed utterances of Israel’s leadership. After the 2008-9 assault, Israel’s then – foreign minister, Taipei Livni, boasted “Israel demonstrated real hooliganism during the course of the operation, which I demanded”
      So, all the October 7th genocidal language is not new.
      Consider too, the numbers of dead over those years of Israeli assaults 3,700 Palestinians, compared with less than four months of this current phase of genocide – 25,000 / 26,000 dead, half of them children.

      And still the Media lie.

    • Tom Welsh

      “How could there be any justice if one cannot speak the truth about things?”

      An excellent, penetrating, and indeed fundamental, question. Furthermore, how could there be understanding, honest debate, scientific progress, good government, or indeed civilisation if one cannot speak the truth?

      There can’t. Which is why absolute freedom of speech (and all forms of communication) are indispensable to civilisation.

    • Tatyana

      I’m damn tired of this lying language of official narratives. When they say “there is no reliable data,” and in the full version it sounds like “we have information, but we will not confirm its accuracy because it is not in our interests.”

      Huge piles of deliberate logical errors, stylistic tricks and ‘artistic’ distortions. It’s time to call things what they are:
      Jews survived the Holocaust. They didn’t like being victims of genocide. This does not make them more sensitive to genocide than any other people against whom genocide is committed.
      The Germans survived Nazism. They didn’t like being responsible for genocide. This does not make them more sensitive to responsibility than any other people who commit genocide.
      Logically, both of the above have their specific experiences as victims or perpetrators, but this doesn’t make them experts on the Palestinian genocide.

      Further, Hamas terrorist attacks did not come out of nowhere. They have reasons. Israel should implement UN resolutions and see if this changes Hamas’s position – logical, right? In my opinion, this would not only be rational, but also in full compliance with international law.

      It’s amazing how the media is incapable of saying obvious things in simple language.

      • Ebenezer Scroggie

        A brilliant post, Tatyana.

        “Hamas terrorist attacks did not come out of nowhere.”

        The UNSCSG said as much. He was as much right as you are, Tatyana.

        “It’s amazing how the media is incapable of saying obvious things in simple language.”

        Craig Murray has the skill as you said in that sentence, Tatyana.

        It’s not a linguistic thing. It’s a matter of clarity and of knowledge and of expression of thought. You are good at that. As is our host Craig Murray.

      • AG


        Therefore Germans have cultivated the singularity hypothesis of the Holocaust which actually excuses them and anyone else to draw the conclusions that you rightly demand.

        The Holocaust as beyond comparison enjoys the privilege of dominating any other crime and thus decisions over those other crimes. Thus they do not even have to claim to be “experts on the Palestinian genocide”.

        It suffices to apply the singularity argument (which is enshrined in various forms in German law and national self-image) to negate the Palestinian genocide the same relevance as the Holocaust.
        So you end up with two-classes of crimes against humanity: The Holocaust and everything else.
        From this intellectual blunder everything else derives.

        • Tatyana

          You noticed one more thing that needs to be stated directly – the word Holocaust has become widespread because colossal efforts were made. The further may sound cynical, and I apologize in advance to sensitive people, but I have to make this point without the emotional component for the sake of clarity:
          the Holocaust event was promoted according to all the laws of marketing.
          It’s like intrusive mass advertising, widespread – you may never try a Big Mac from McDonald’s in your life, but you know the name, weight, composition, appearance, and even most likely you can sing along “special sauce, lettuce, cheese, on a sesame seed bun …”
          The same with the Holocaust: you may never relate to Jews, Israel, Germany, World War II, but you can sing along.

          Now try asking passers-by on the street how many resolutions the UN has created obliging Israel to end its occupation of Palestine. I bet you’ll get some surprised eyes and some confused guesses.

          This is how what you call “democracy” works. Your governments control your media, and your media condition your opinions so that your government can claim to be carrying out the will of the people.
          We need not only freedom of speech, but also responsibility for dishonesty, for bad unprofessional performance of journalistic duties.

          • Tom Welsh

            In this connection, I suggest that a good introduction is “The Holocaust Industry: Reflections On The Exploitation Of Jewish Suffering” (2000) by Dr. Norman G. Finkelstein.

            An American Jew (as his name telegraphs), Dr. Finkelstein is the son of two Holocaust survivors, and thus has impeccable moral standing to discuss the Holocaust. He is one of those rare people who value truth and honesty above everything else, and who therefore constitute a precious resource to the rest of us who wish to understand important but controversial events. Shortly after 1948 he spent some time on a kibbutz in Israel.

            The whole book invites quotation; I recommend anyone who wants to learn the unvarnished truth about the Holocaust to read it at least once. The following may give some idea of Dr Finkelstein’s views:

            ‘In the final pages of this book I will suggest that in studying the Nazi holocaust we can learn much not just about “the Germans” or “the Gentiles” but about all of us. Yet I think that to do so, to truly learn from the Nazi holocaust, its physical dimension must be reduced and its moral dimension expanded. Too many public and private resources have been invested in memorializing the Nazi genocide. Most of the output is worthless, a tribute not to Jewish suffering but to Jewish aggrandizement…

            ‘Everything changed with the June 1967 Arab-Israeli war. By virtually all accounts, it was only after this conflict that The Holocaust became a fixture in American Jewish life’.

          • AG


            In Germany, Finkelstein (among historians of course) is regarded as antisemitic. Needless to say.

            It’s been 20 years since I read it, so I might be wrong in hindsight. But I did not think it’s among his best works. I had the impression back then that he gets carried away by his passion sometimes, overblowing some arguments that are lacking the proportionate evidence. (But don´t ask me the particulars… )

            On this note, here’s a ‘Google Translate’ German review of “Holocaust Industry” from 24 years ago:
            “N. Finkelstein: The Holocaust Industry”

            I link it here since despite the criticism (which might be correct) that the openness of the reviewer to Finkelstein’s arguments is astounding thinking of Germany today (and of how academia here 100% disregards him without attempting any scrutiny).

            Of all the countries in the world Finkelstein in the FRG is non-existent.

          • AG

            TATYANA et. al.

            May be of interest: another google-trans. review regarding antisemitism:

            “W. Benz: What is anti-Semitism?”


            The author of the book, not the review, used to be one of the most respected historians on this subject.
            As a former high school pupil having read those works for me the issue is evident:

            Neither Wolfgang Benz nor the reviewer knows anything about the Palestine conflict remotely as expert as about the history of antisemitism.

            The entire problem is in the 1st paragraph:

            “(…) Since the anti-Semitic invectives of prominent personalities (such as Walser, Norman Finkelstein, Jürgen Möllemann or Martin Hohmann) have had a lasting mobilizing and almost catalytic function for anti-Semitic resentment in the German population (…)”

            There Norman Finkelstein is being put into the same category as a novelist – Martin Walser, who had a private feud going on with Ignatz Bubis (the then-head of Central Council of Jews in Germany) 25 years ago – both old powerful men;
            and two politicians:
            one of which, Jürgen Möllemann, who killed himself after a scandal which caused the media to call him antisemitic (I don´t remember the exact wording of his comments). However, his criticism was mainly of Israel´s occupation (maybe adding antisemitic associations, maybe not, in order to increase electoral popularity via creating a scandal – this happened in 2003) – which had nothing to do with the other, Martin Hohmann – the other politician in this lot, who probably is in fact a right-wing nut.

            So Finkelstein is being smeared, in complete disregard for his scholarship, and defamed by being compared with people who have zero expertise.

            So Benz in his book makes no attempt to distinguish things. And this is one major issue in Germany.

            The history of antisemitism and the Holocaust and Zionism, and the criticism of Zionism and the history of the Palestine conflict are all put into one and treated as a giant single phenomenon, with total disregard for geopolitical complexities and the plight of suppressed peoples today and in the past 500 years.

            Post-colonialism has been able to raise awareness of this, but on the other hand is being pushed back, lately on the ‘antisemitism = antizionism’ track.

            All these accusations of antisemitisim (whether true or not) – which were themselves protected by freedom of speech – nonetheless became normative powers after the Anti-Semitism Definition was drafted and introduced into parliaments for ratification in the form of bills.

            That’s when opinion became criminalized. The moment when discourse was burnished and ruined in the long term.

  • Tom Welsh

    Has anyone noticed how strikingly similar the Zionists’ statements, demands, and assumptions are to those of a hopelessly spoiled toddler? They are absolutely entitled to everything, without limit. They take no cognizance of any other people’s rights, wishes, or property – not even their right to life. They are always in the right, regardless of the facts. Anyone trying to reason with them is obviously a mean, hateful monster who wants to kill them all. Left to their own devices, they happily cheat, lie, steal, and kill. If criticised or admonished for their crimes, they deny everything and claim absolute innocence. And if thwarted in the least little thing, they immediately set up such a howling, wailing, and storm of self-pity that their foolish, doting, over-indulgent parents give them whatever they demand – anything to stop the racket.

    • On the train

      Hmmm, yes you are right. I have a huge amount of experience with toddlers and your description of toddler behaviour is quite accurate.

    • Jack

      Exactly – a spoiled toddler.
      if one read about sociopathy and psychopathy it is also quite close description on how Israel as a society behaves.

      Traits like: Lies, deceitfulness, manipulations, self-centered narcissistic focus, lack of empathy, callous, indulgence in self-victimization, denialism.

      Just take the fact that majority of israelis are supportive of the war and even targeting palestinians according to polls.
      There have been protests in the streets but not against the war per se, rather the demonstrations stems from accusations that Netanyahu being too soft etc.

  • Ewan2

    From Albert Einstein’s letter to the NYT, 1948 about Begin’s party and his visit to the US:

    ” This is the unmistakable stamp of a Fascist party for whom terrorism [against Jews, Arabs and British alike], and misrepresentation are the means, and a “Leader State” is the goal. “

    • Nota Tory Fanboy

      Obviously there was Entebbe, and I haven’t looked at your link but does it mention anything about Ugandan ties to Malawi (which has very interesting ties to the Tory Party…)?

  • AG

    Following is only of limited interest since dedicated to the German aspect and intended intervention against SA.

    The source of below text is usually very much on government course. Sometimes there are exceptions:
    “The Blog for Issues of German Constitutional Law.”

    I quoted from them before, mostly to the negative.
    This is more critical.

    Almost unsurprising: The author may be a German law PhD, however ethnically he is an immigrant, Khaled El Mahmoud.

    This cannot be overstressed in the light of hypocrisy regarding the latest deformation of the “woke” term (which originally was a term to describe African Americans´ awareness of everyday racism towards their peers ) and the identity discourse which has gone completey off the rails.

    Thus despite our oh-so progressive German society now protesting against the second smallest party in the Bundestag by the hundreds of thousands, this happens to the detriment of Gaza and its recognition. Total negligence of the Friday ruling and the massacres by the public.

    The same citizens completely ignoring the killing (this WE planned Gaza protest with 2000 people) while 300.000 in fact reminding of the Holocaust incessently. (in fact it does mirror a bit the limited intellectual scope of the Israeli mass protest of the summer. The obvious being eclipsed.)

    So it is almost always ethnic Arabs who point out the racist nature of German attitude towards Gaza.

    Apparently one is not capable of understanding facts if not personally involved or at least projected by others as an individual affected personally. (all “Arabs feel for Palestine”. Failing to grasp what this notion in fact means if turned the other way towards non-Arabs.)

    The text juxtaposes the German intervention in the pending verdict of Rohingya at the ICJ with the proclamation to do so again in the case of SA/ISRAEL

    This is a legal text by a young gentleman with a career ahead of him. There is no condemnation naturally. But in established circles you won´t get more than this in the FRG. Only in the form of a work-around. To stay in safe distance from antisemitism smears.

    “Measuring with Double Legal Standards
    Germany’s Intervention in Support of Israel before the ICJ”

    “During the period from 7 October 2023 to 23 January 2024, at least 25,490 Palestinians were killed, and 63,354 Palestinians were injured in Gaza. As of 22 January 2024, Israel’s attacks have resulted in the deaths of 11,000 children. Since 7 October 2023, 1.9 million people, representing 85% of Gaza’s population, have been forcibly displaced [as discussed in relation to the evacuation order dated 13 October 2023] and are increasingly at risk of starvation due to the ongoing siege, which severely restricts access to humanitarian aid. Considering these facts and Germany’s submissions on the construction of Article II Genocide Convention, it appears virtually inconceivable that Germany would be able to intervene in the Genocide in the Gaza Strip case without returning to a stricter construction. This assumption is further supported by the fact that, as things stand, Germany’s submissions in the Rohingya case appear to either confirm or even strengthen South Africa’s position. Accordingly, the question becomes whether the ICJ would admit Germany’s intervention if the latter were to return to a more restrictive construction.”

    p.s. Of course the new wave of antisemitism redderick in Germany is one tactic to win the election by the most unpopular German government in history. But they have a long way to go. I hope they fail spectacularly.

    • AG

      love Craig. Elevates every panel. Even if he may not be an expert on every single aspect of intern. politics (simply because that´s not humanly possible). But you are on the safe side whenever keeping to his statements.

      That´s also why British security services are after him and why he has to be kept safe from them.

      And thx to Craig also for finally pointing out what I had been asking for months: Does Art. 51 apply or not?

      And as it seems no one can tell for sure. That would concur with everything else I heard, including the German government´s press conferences always reminding of Art. 51 however never really getting into the matter of the 2004 ruling and the contradictions that arise from it.

  • Ian Stevenson

    published today
    My opinion -for what it is worth-is that eliminating Hamas is not attainable, at least in the long run. The professional analysts at RUSI seem to agree.
    The brutality of the response will motivate Israel’s enemies for years to come. They need ‘rescuing from themselves’. By which I mean the US need to lean on them hard to stop.
    BTW Bernie Sanders in the Guardian has a good article.

  • harry law

    Keir Starmer’s reaction to the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) damning judgment yesterday, has been deafening silence. Starmer, who has previously declared himself an unconditional Zionist, has supported Israel’s ‘right’ to commit war crimes, when he agreed with Israel’s Defence Secretary live on LBC i.e. that Israel has the right to commit war crimes by cutting off food, water and energy and lay siege to Gaza. How any member of the Labour party can support this Psychopath is beyond me, they must be sycophants with no brain cells to know right from wrong, their support for this disgusting creature tells you all you need to know of him and his followers.

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