The Limits of Accusing Israel of Genocide

February 26, 2024
The New Yorker

On January 26th, the International Court of Justice, in The Hague, ordered Israel to take immediate measures to reduce the number of civilian casualties in Gaza, to insure the provision of basic services and supplies to Gaza, and to otherwise prevent the genocide of Palestinians in Gaza. The ruling came in a case brought by South Africa and indicated that the court believed that genocide may indeed be occurring in Gaza, necessitating an urgent decision before a proper trial can take place. Later the same day, a U.S. federal court in Oakland, California, heard three hours of heart-wrenching testimony in a case brought by Defense for Children International-Palestine, an international N.G.O., which claimed that the Biden Administration is violating the Genocide Convention by supplying weapons and other military equipment that the Israel Defense Forces use in Gaza.
“The upshot of their position is that, after the fact of a genocide, someone can be prosecuted, but while genocide is being aided and abetted, the court’s in this country can do nothing to stop it,” Pamela Spees, a lawyer for the Center for Constitutional Rights, a New York-based nonprofit that acted as the plaintiffs’ co-counsel, said. “That cannot be the case.”

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Last modified 

February 26, 2024