The Barbaric Conduct of the Israeli State Must Be Stopped


Richard Falk, Chandra Muzaffar, Joseph Camilleri | SHAPE – TRANSCEND Media Service

The Dignity and Freedom of the Palestinian People Must Be Upheld

14 Jan 2024 – The genocidal violence unleashed by Israel in Occupied Palestine since October 7 has produced unspeakable tragedy and suffering for the Palestinian people. Such barbaric behaviour places the State of Israel outside the bounds of a civilized world. Israel has become a pariah state, and must be treated as such by the international community.

Sadly, the response of many governments, especially in the global West, has been less than exemplary. The active support for Israel’s misdeeds extended by the United States and a good many of its allies can only be described as criminal complicity. Those governments and their leaders must also be brought to account.

The time is long past for debates about whether genocide has been committed or the US and other NATO members have been actively involved in the orgy of violence against the people of Gaza and the West Bank.

The evidence clearly indicates that the Israeli use of force satisfies the legal requirements of genocide, and Western governments have to varying degrees supported the commission and persistence of this crime of crimes. Bemoaning this ugly reality is necessary, but woefully short of enough.

We unreservedly condemn all forms of political violence directed at civilians, including the criminal elements of the Hamas attack of 7 October.  However, that attack provides no legal or moral justification for the genocidal onslaught against the Palestinian people, which has paved the way for ethnic cleansing and land grabbing. Every Israeli action since 7 October has accentuated the most objectionable features of its long occupation, and earlier policies of forced evacuation.

SHAPE BELIEVES THE TIME HAS COME FOR A BOLD RESPONSE, which is why we issue this call for urgent action on two different but closely related fronts.

The first front has to do with the immediate steps needed to stop the genocidal assault on Gaza. To this end:

– We call on governments everywhere to actively press, not just through words but by all nonviolent means at their disposal, for an immediate and permanent ceasefire and wholesale economic reconstruction in Gaza and the West Bank funded primarily by Israel and its Western backers, with the Palestinian people given full control of the rebuilding process.

– We call on Western publics to demand of their governments that they:

– Join without delay the international call for an immediate ceasefire.

– Stop all forms of diplomatic, economic and military support for Israel’s use of force in Gaza and the West Bank.

– Support South Africa’s application instituting proceedings against Israel before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) which argues that Israel’s conduct in Gaza violates its obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

– We commend and support the widespread and passionate public support for the suffering people of Palestine in Arab and other Muslim countries, and we remind the governments of those countries that they will be judged not by their words but by their deeds. Their response thus far leaves much to be desired.

Individual governments and key multilateral bodies, especially the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation but also BRICS, should:

– Spearhead a series of sharply worded resolutions at the United Nations, both in the General Assembly and the Security Council, with the primary aim of driving home the increasing diplomatic isolation of both Israel and its primary backer the United States.

– Express their firm support for South Africa’s application to the ICJ accusing Israel of genocide and requesting the Court to order an immediate stop to violent actions of a genocidal character.

– Support the appeal by Algeria and Chile to the International Criminal Court to indict those Israelis responsible for perpetuating acts of genocide.

– We urge all governments to consider the severing or at least suspension of diplomatic relations with the State of Israel, and launch an international campaign for an international embargo on arms sales and other forms of military assistance to Israel.

The second front has to do with creating the conditions for a just and sustainable peace, respectful of Palestinian rights under international law. 

To this end we call on civil society everywhere – NGOs, religious and cultural organisations, labor unions, professional bodies, corporations and banks – to: 

– Implement policies within their spheres of concern and influence supportive of Palestinian rights.

– Consider the formation of an independent, non-governmental Commission of Peace, Justice, and economic reconstruction that brings together an eminent international panel of thought leaders and practitioners. Its brief would be to consult widely with Palestinian groups and intellectuals and propose a detailed transition to a new Palestine/Israel reality that fully respects the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and remedies the wrongs of the past, notably Israel’s illegitimate and brutal occupation of Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem.

– Establish a separate panel, comprised of eminent jurists, other experts and representatives of civil society organisations to consider ways in which the United Nations system can effectively exercise its authority in the resolution of the Palestinian question. Every avenue within the UN system should be considered: the UN Security Council, but also the General Assembly, including the possibility of using a Uniting for Peace mechanism (modelled on Resolution 377A), UN agencies, and importantly the office of the UN Secretary-General, with greater space given within the UN system for a prominent, concerted and sustained civil society intervention.


Prof. Richard Falk is a member of the TRANSCEND Network, Albert G. Milbank Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University, Chair of Global Law, Faculty of Law, at Queen Mary University London, Research Associate the Orfalea Center of Global Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Fellow of the Tellus Institute. He directed the project on Global Climate Change, Human Security, and Democracy at UCSB and formerly served as director the North American group in the World Order Models Project. Between 2008 and 2014, Falk served as UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Occupied Palestine. His book, (Re)Imagining Humane Global Governance (2014), proposes a value-oriented assessment of world order and future trends. His most recent books are Power Shift (2016); Revisiting the Vietnam War (2017); On Nuclear Weapons: Denuclearization, Demilitarization and Disarmament (2019); and On Public Imagination: A Political & Ethical Imperative, ed. with Victor Faessel & Michael Curtin (2019). He is the author or coauthor of other books, including Religion and Humane Global Governance (2001), Explorations at the Edge of Time (1993), Revolutionaries and Functionaries (1988), The Promise of World Order (1988), Indefensible Weapons (with Robert Jay Lifton, 1983), A Study of Future Worlds (1975), and This Endangered Planet (1972). His memoir, Public Intellectual: The Life of a Citizen Pilgrim was published in March 2021 and received an award from Global Policy Institute at Loyala Marymount University as ‘the best book of 2021.’ He has been nominated frequently for the Nobel Peace Prize since 2009.

Dr. Chandra Muzaffar is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment, and president of the International Movement for a Just World (JUST). He is the author of the e-book ‘Whither WANA?-Reflections on the Arab Uprisings,’ which is accessible through the JUST website,


Dr. Joseph Camilleri is a Professor Emeritus at La Trobe University, Melbourne-Australia and co-convener of SHAPE (Saving Humanity and Planet Earth).




The authors are SHAPE Co-Conveners.


Join the BDS-BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT, SANCTIONS campaign to protest the Israeli barbaric siege of Gaza, illegal occupation of the Palestine nation’s territory, the apartheid wall, its inhuman and degrading treatment of the Palestinian people, and the more than 7,000 Palestinian men, women, elderly and children arbitrarily locked up in Israeli prisons.

DON’T BUY PRODUCTS WHOSE BARCODE STARTS WITH 729, which indicates that it is produced in Israel. DO YOUR PART! MAKE A DIFFERENCE!



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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 22 Jan 2024.

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