Thursday, February 29, 2024

ICJ ruling: What is binding on Russia, is not on Israel!

Israel has to report to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) within a month the steps it has taken to prevent genocide and what all aid it has allowed into Gaza. It’s accuser South Africa of course would review it. 

There are two ways of looking at it: 

One, Israel could ignore the non-binding provisional ruling of the ICJ and continue with its genocide for another month while doing some cosmetic touch-up. 

Two, the ICJ provisional ruling at least establishes that Israel is not just displacing Hamas but displacing a nation and its people. That Israel is more than just an apartheid state and hardly a poster boy for western democracy and its flaunted pretence on human rights. 

I know this is no relief to Palestinians: When bombing is incessant, a month is a millennium. Tens of thousands are dead; many more are dying if not out of hunger than to waterborne diseases which the UN has termed as catastrophic. 

The enemy not just want to turn Gaza into a graveyard where no life is possible, it also has plans to  “thin-out” Gaza by enabling Palestinians a “mass escape” to Europe or Africa by sea, the argument being if Syrians, Libyans and Tunisians are doing it for years, what’s so special about the Palestinians? 

Besides Israel and Palestinians, the third party which is directly affected by the ICJ provisional ruling is the United States and its vassals which we collectively term as West. 

Now since the ICJ has asked Israel to show what steps it is taking to prevent genocide, it also begs a question on the states which are enabling it: That is the United States through its funding and arms and the West collectively by other means to Israel. 

These states in essence are enabling Israel with a Licence To Kill. In other words, a party to the genocide presently underway. 

Since the ICJ provisional ruling, the crooked West has lost no time in finding a way around it. It bears your utmost attention readers. 

The UNRWA Hoax

No sooner we heard of the ICJ ruling,  we learn of Israel accusing the UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) that some of its employees were involved in the October 7 attack by the Hamas. 

UNRWA immediately suspended those employees but it was an excuse for the West to pause or suspend its funding of UNRWA which alone is giving whatever food, fuel, water, medical help etc is coming the Palestinians’ way. 

The United States, Australia, Canada and Italy have immediately halted the funding of the agency; the United Kingdom, Germany, Finland, the Netherlands have paused it while the European Union (EU) has said it’s reassessing its funding. 

But is the UNRWA only way the Palestinians could be helped in Gaza? Don’t we have the instances in South Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Bosnia in the past where air-drops of food, medicines etc was done by the Western countries? France did so to help Jordanians in the past.

It’s no wonder that Palestinians see it as the last nail in their coffin. The UNRWA are urging these countries to reconsider their decision of suspending/halting fundings. 

My question is when the system itself is rigged, what hopes you have of fair play from the United Nations of which both UNRWA and ICJ are mere organs? 

So Pause Before You Hail ICJ Ruling

So let’s have a relook at the provisional ruling of the ICJ. 

We know South Africa had called for a cessation of bombing in Gaza till the ICJ takes a call. 

The ICJ has done nothing of the sort: It has merely asked Israel to take steps and present proof that it is preventing genocide. It has not called for cessation of attacks in the interim. 

The ICJ’s defence is that since Hamas is not its member for it’s not a State, it can’t order unilateral ceasefire on the part of Israel. 

Funny isn’t it when tens of thousands of lives are being butchered, the sagacious judiciary is caught up in its statutes and articles. 

The truth is the ICJ had no option but to do the provisional ruling it did on Israel. 

There are precedents of its own judgements in the past on Myanmar, Ukraine and Syria and doing something different would have completely destroyed its authority and credibility. 

What is tragic is that in above instances the Western states lost no time in stressing that ICJ provisional measures are binding and must be fully implemented. But in the present case, the United States has openly debunked the ICJ ruling. 

 The White House has in the wake of the ruling vowed to double down on its unconditional support to Israel on Gaza. Indeed, it continues to stand by its opinion that South Africa’s allegation of genocide against Israel is “meritless, counterproductive and completely without any basis and fact whatsoever.”

Listen to these words of US national security spokesperson John Kirby: “It has not been found that they (Israel) are committing genocide, we have no indication that that is going on, that they are deliberately exterminating the people of Gaza.”

So draw whatever conclusion you must on how international law works; how the West goes selective in terming it binding in some instances while disregarding it completely on others; on how duplicitous OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation), Turkey etc are in doing little for the Palestinians except mouthing concern or whether the giants of emerging multipolar world—China, Russia and India—ought to have been seen doing a bit more. 

My view is that giants of this multipolar world are not mere spectators. There is some concrete activity in the background which includes India’s foreign minister Dr S Jaishankar visiting Iran in these volatile times recently while Russia has inked a comprehensive pact with Iran for next 20 years

If  Hamas-Gaza was just an initiator by the West to get to Iran, there are supporters of that Islamic Republic which won’t let it happen. In case you have missed the Great Game behind this geopolitical churning in West Asia, refer to my piece on it here

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