The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

The ICJ Ruling On Israeli Genocide In Gaza

So, the ICJ has ruled:

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:

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(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

The state of Israel shall ensure WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT that its MILITARY does NOT commit any acts described in point 1.

The court will rule on whether or not a genocide is occurring in a month, at which point a lot more Palestinians will be dead, including from the Israeli engineered famine.

When Russia invaded the Ukraine, the ICJ ordered Russia out one month after the original invasion.

Of course, Russia ignored the ruling, just as Israel will—the genocide will continue, evidence will be destroyed and humanitarian assistance will not be provided.

The ICJ ruling matters because Israel survives due to support from the US and Europe. When that support goes away, so will Israel. Their crimes are not possible without the US shipping them arms 24/7, and their economy needs assistance from the West.

Anything that chips away at the support of various internal political groups in Western countries for the Israeli project thus matters because Israel support is a domestic issue.

Although people don’t like to come out and say it, there are a lot of rich Jews (no, don’t, this is backed up by the statistics) and a lot of them are Zionists, and money is political power. In the US evangelical Christians also support Israel. There is a lot of money and a lot of votes for politicians in letting Israel ethnic cleanse and genocide Palestinians.

(This does not, obviously, mean Jews are bad, or even Evangelical Christians. It means Zionists are bad, and there tend to be more Zionists in those two groups.)

Domestic political support in places like the US, Germany and France for Zionism is what matters. Anything that cuts away at the legitimacy of Zionism is thus dangerous to the ethnic cleansing and genocide program. Europeans, in particular, like to think they support international law and even the US drones on about the “rules based order” constantly.

Elites, at first, were unified in support of Israel’s actions in Gaza. The reason is simple: it’s seen as career and political suicide to oppose Zionism, and this perception is largely correct. Over time, however, Israel’s actions became so grossly disproportionate and their targeting of civilians, schools, hospitals and even children and babies, that more and more members of the elite felt they couldn’t support Israel.

But that doesn’t mean they’ll speak out against genocide, it means, in practice, that they are mostly silent: caught between the fact that opposing Israel is career suicide and that supporting an obvious genocide may also come back to haunt them.

Still, if they have cover, many of them would like to just abandon Israel. They don’t like being put in this position, and Israel has been particularly naked about its crimes: screaming them to heavens for all to see and making plausible deniability all but impossible.

So, the ICJ ruling is still a good thing, not because it can or will be enforced, but because it makes the cost of supporting Israel just a little higher.

And the day the West won’t or can’t support Israel, is the day their little apartheid state is done.



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  1. Soredemos

    I’d say in aggregate Evangelicals ARE bad. I don’t care if many of them are nice people individually; as a whole they’re a fucking tumor on the body politic.

    (Also I’m not even so sure about the notion of many being individually good people. Not just with Evengalicals, this goes for many groups; at what point do the ‘good people’ support so many bad things politically that you can’t really describe them as good any more? I don’t care how many charities you volunteer at, if you keep voting for politicians and policies that so obviously do net harm, how are you yourself any good? Or are you just so politically oblivious that you genuinely don’t know what you’re voting for? In which case, isn’t that a level of ignorance that is itself utterly loathsome?)

  2. Mark Level

    I’m currently watching The Electronic Intifada’s livestream (1 of the best sources on the region, along with the Grayzone.) There’s a Boston University Law School professor on, Susan Akram, who makes some good points– 1. The Law “is only a tool” but if wielded correctly can accomplish things. 2. the ruling, as Ian also emphasizes, implicitly recognizes that there IS a genocide occurring by explicitly demanding that the aspects (not all, but the biggest ones) of it stop, as listed by Ian above. The outcome is far better than pretty much any of us expected, even without the demand for a Cease Fire.

    Even Ahram Barack, the Israeli Judge, voted with the majority that Israeli leaders stop their full-throated calls for extermination.

    I’ll agree with Sorodemos’ broad brush that Evangelicals are bad people. (I lived in central Louisiana for 18 months in the early 80s & every one I knew was ignorant, proudly so, violent and extremely racist.) As to S’s final point, I think voting for the worst people possible is not confined to Evangelicals, it seems to be characteristic of the US populace, & many others as well!! I’m not sure why people vote to be ruled (not “represented” by any means) by Alpha Boss types who will exploit & crap on them, but that’s obviously how “democracy” works for some deep-seated psychological reasons. Ian has mentioned Tribalism, but that’s just the visible part of the Iceberg . . . Really, a bit of reading I did on the early Greek (Socrates I think especially) concept of “Slave Morality” yielding to “Master Morality” is the underlying pathology. Obviously Nietzsche expanded quite a bit on this. That seems to be what we get domination from utterly cruel & corrupt people (a mix of psychopaths & sociopaths) & why the modern “civilization” is spiraling downward into collapse.

  3. Feral Finster

    Ain’t it funny how the quickly the ICJ ruled against Russia in its war in Ukraine, and the Biden Administration piously assured us that Russia Must Obey International Law, something something Muh Rules Based International Order.

    But when Israel quite intentionally targets civilians, even the comparatively mild chiding from the ICJ is duly dismissed by the Administration and its buttbois.

    Of course, the tillerson Memo laid it out in black and white – the United States cares about international law and Muh Human Rights, only to the extent it can use these as a stick to beat countries it doesn’t like with, whilst ignoring far worse by the United States and its pets.

  4. Oakchair

    We could be cheering how much society is improving given that now there is a large opposition to genocide and war crimes. Hell 20 years ago Americans were proud to be bombing and slaughtering people. There isn’t an American admisntration since Truman that didn’t commit blatant war crimes or genocides. This might be the first time the American populace wasn’t in overwhelming favor of at the start. This is massive progress people.

  5. Purple Library Guy

    So, although it seems Israel is totally denying this is the case . . . The ruling calls for Israel to make sure they don’t do various genocide-y things, and one of them is killing members of the group.
    So how exactly are they supposed to not do a cease fire, and yet stop killing members of the group? All the IDF take a quick course from the Star Wars stormtrooper school of marksmanship so they don’t actually kill anybody? What?

  6. mago

    Your average Westerner is distracted and overwhelmed by propaganda, financial crises and the mind dumbing entertainment they consume to escape the shit show world in which they live to have a clue or even give a good goddamn about it.
    The what court did what to who over where ?
    Of course I could be wrong.
    Don’t think it’s cynical, however.

  7. capelin

    My sense is that the ripple out from this ruling is the real meat. National and other courts can now use this as a reference to bring charges against a whole range of characters.

    It also locks in an understanding at a point in time; while giving Israel more rope…

    Nasty timed offensive with the *allegations* of UN aid workers being part of Oct7.

    For people who’ve been in confusion/denial about Gaza, the Court ruling legitimizes their growing feeling of wtf this _ain’t right.

    200 people a day.

    Depending how the Court plays things going forward, we may be seeing the flowering of a key player. I don’t know enough about the tangled web of UN power structures to say whether that’s a good thing or not, given their recent history.

  8. Ventzu

    I don’t think the ICJ is due to rule on the genocide charge in a month. That is expected to take years. The month is for Israel to report back on what actions they have taken to implement the provisional measures, and for SA to comment on these.

    I don’t Israel will comply, so presumably that will be a referral to the security council, which the US will veto. However countries that continue to provide material support to Israel, could be seen as complicit under the genocide convention.

    My guess is that the probability of the West backing a broader ME conflict has increased, if only to obfuscate the issue, and aid their re-election hopes.

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