Israel Is Waging Genocide in Open Defiance of the ICJ

June 7, 2024

...As a treaty ratified by the Senate, under the US Constitution the Genocide Convention is binding law. This means the United States is obligated to follow the ICJ’s decision. Independent of the ICJ case, the Center for Constitutional Rights brought its own case in US courts, hoping to force the Biden administration to comply with the Genocide Convention. A federal judge agreed it was plausible Israel was committing genocide but ruled it was for the political branches, not the courts, to enforce the Genocide Convention.

The Biden administration has continued to arm Israel, and Congress has raced to fund the genocide. After Biden told an interviewer he would halt the shipment of two-thousand-pound bombs to Israel due to concern over their use in Rafah (an empty promise), the House of Representatives passed a bill that would block funding for the National Security Council, Pentagon, and State Department if the White House blocks any weapons shipments to Israel. Speaking of the ICJ decision ordering a halt to the onslaught in Rafah, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) stated, “As far as I’m concerned, the ICJ can go to hell. It is long past time to stand up to these so-called international justice organizations associated with the UN.”

The ICJ is not the only international court Israel has run afoul of. Karim Khan, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), has announced he will seek an arrest warrant for Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and defense minister Yoav Gallant. He also plans to seek arrest warrants against three Hamas leaders. Unlike the ICJ, the ICC does not count Israel or the United States as members. Notoriously, the United States has a law on the books that allows it to use military force against the ICC if it imprisons a US military member.

The law also allows military action if Israeli personnel are imprisoned by the ICC. In a letter to the ICC prosecutor, twelve Republican Senators cited the law. They also threatened to sanction not only the ICC and its employees, but their family members. On June 4, the House of Representatives moved beyond threatening letters and passed a bill that would sanction the ICC.

Congress may be threatening the ICC, but Israel is taking action against it. Investigative reporting by the Guardian and +972 magazine uncovered how for nine years Israel has waged a “secret war” on the ICC. As part of the war, multiple Israeli intelligence agencies were involved in intercepting the communications of ICC staff and Palestinian NGOs who filed complaints with the ICC. After one Palestinian NGO, Al-Haq, provided the ICC with evidence of Israeli war crimes, Israel declared the NGO to be a terrorist organization. Both the European Union and the CIA reject this finding. This, too, is part of a pattern. When Defense for Children International- Palestine reported to the US State Department that Israeli forces raped a fifteen-year-old Palestinian detainee, Israel labeled it a terrorist group.

Spying on international courts and falsely smearing NGOs as terrorists are not the actions of a government with respect for international norms. They are fully in line with the rogue actions of an apartheid state that is now openly flouting the ICJ by violating the Genocide Convention. And by enabling Israel as it massacres civilians in Rafah, the United States has also gone rogue...

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Last modified 

June 7, 2024