Will a South African Victory Stop the Gaza Genocide?

BRICS, 5 Feb 2024

Pepe Escobar | Strategic Culture Foundation – TRANSCEND Media Service

As much as the ICJ may be dismissed as a collective West farce, the fact is the ruling explicitly calls for Israel to stop the killing.

27 Jan 2024 – Let’s cut to the chase:

By 15-2, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has just ruled in favor of BRICS member South Africa, and ordered Israel to take all necessary measures to prevent a genocide in Gaza.

When it comes to the most scrutinized genocide ever, followed 24/7 by every smartphone on the planet, it’s fair to argue that South Africa has just scored an astonishing win against Zionism.

And yet, as a Global Cynic Armada argues, in practical terms there has been no call for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Of course it may also be argued that calling for a ceasefire only applies to a war – as in the case of the proxy war in Ukraine. Gaza is a case of genocide of an indigenous population perpetrated by an occupying power. That calls for an immediate halt to all genocidal acts. Essentially this is what the ICJ has ordered.

The South African Foreign Ministry has noted that “if one reads the sentence, it’s implicit” that a ceasefire must be imposed.

The inestimable former British ambassador Craig Murray has noted that “after an extremely damning exposition of the facts by South Africa”, powerfully “and meticulously well stated”, conclusions were inevitable.

These are the highlights:

“The military operation conducted by Israel in Gaza has resulted in untold death and injuries, destroyed substantial infrastructure and housing units, caused mass malnutrition, collapsed the healthcare system, and displaced the majority of its inhabitants. This war has affected the entire population of Gaza and will have far lasting consequences. The court has taken note of the language of dehumanization by senior Israeli government officials.”

Hence the ICJ “accepts the South African demand for urgent provisional measures to be taken for the protection of Palestinians in Gaza against Israel and recommends” (italics mine) the following:

By 15-2: “The state of Israel shall take all measures to prevent the commission of genocide to Gaza.”

By 15-2: “The state of Israel shall ensure that the military not commit any acts of genocide.”

By 16-1: “Israel shall take all measures to punish all public solicitations to genocide.”

By 16-1: “Israel shall take immediate and effective measures to address adverse conditions to life in the Gaza Strip”.

By 15-2: “Israel shall take effective measures to preserve evidence of actions impacting the Genocide Convention.”

By 15-2: “Israel shall submit to the court a report of all measures taken to follow the orders of this court within one month.”

The Houthis and the Genocide Convention

The ICJ decision is binding (italics mine). Yet even as the ICJ decided that Israel must “take all measures to prevent death and injury”, and provide for all Palestinian humanitarian needs (including access to food, medicine, infrastructure), what happens if Tel Aviv simply ignores the decision?

Even considering that Israel must file a report on the remedial actions within one month of the ruling, all bets are off on whether biblical psychopathy practitioners will comply.

The answer came fast. Israel’s National Security Minister Ben Gvir, a cartoonish candidate for the role of out of control psycho in a cheap horror flick, stated that “the decision of the antisemitic court in The Hague proves what was already known: This court does not seek justice, but rather the persecution of Jewish people. They were silent during the Holocaust and today they continue the hypocrisy and take it another step further.”

Psychos don’t do history. The ICJ in its current iteration was founded in 1945.

What the ICJ ruling certainly did was de facto legitimize the moral strength of the Houthis supporting “our people” in Gaza.

And this while the US and the UK are spinning across the Global South that they must strike against the Houthis, whose policy of defending Palestine translates as upholding the Genocide Convention. The US and the UK cynically evoke the necessity to “protect international law.”

The overwhelming majority of the Global South instead interprets it as a peacekeeping force upholding the Genocide Convention – the Houthis – attacked by the rogue purveyors of the “rules-based international order”.

In parallel, a crucial point has been underlined by crack international lawyer Juan Branco. France currently presides the UN Security Council. According to Article 94.2 of the UN Charter: by South Africa’s request, the UN must (italics mine) force Israel to apply the ICJ ruling.

No one should count on trashy Macronist France to do the right thing.

The Killing Won’t Stop 

From the Global South’s point of view, it’s no less than appalling that an African, Ugandan judge Julia Sebutinde, opposed all the provisional measures requested by South Africa against Israel.

As the ICJ ruled that “Israel’s actions in Gaza may (italics mine) constitute genocide with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a specific ethnic group – the Palestinians”, it logically follows that US complicity with Israel amounts to US complicity in the genocide of Palestinians.

The ICJ ruling in fact indicts US, UK, Germany and other collective West members who all stated that the South African case is “without legal merit” and should be thrown out.

So it’s no wonder that a team of 47 South African lawyers is already preparing a lawsuit against the US and UK for complicity.

Whatever happens next, the hyper-committed Global Cynic Armada will not relent. The ICJ ordering Israel to “take all measures to prevent death and injury” certainly can be interpreted as calling for a ceasefire, without mentioning the magic word.

But what the Global Cynic Armada really sees is four interlinked toxic items: No ceasefire; kill the Palestinians, but softly; feed them before you kill them; and you still have one full month to engage in widespread killing.

As much as the ICJ may be dismissed as a collective West farce, the fact is the ruling explicitly calls for Israel to stop the killing. One may argue that the ICJ did the absolute maximum of what it can possibly do under its jurisdiction and procedures.

Yet considering that the ICJ has less than zero ways to enforce its ruling – it depends on the hyper-corrupt UN – the Global Cynic Armada may have got the grim picture right: the killing won’t stop.


Pepe Escobar, born in Brazil, is a correspondent and editor-at-large at Asia Times and columnist for Consortium News and Strategic Culture in Moscow. Since the mid-1980s he’s lived and worked as a foreign correspondent in London, Paris, Milan, Los Angeles, Singapore, and Bangkok. He has extensively covered Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia to China, Iran, Iraq and the wider Middle East. He is the author of Globalistan (2007), Red Zone Blues (2007), Obama Does Globalistan (2009), Empire of Chaos (2014) and 2030 (2015), all by Nimble Books. Pepe was contributing editor to The Empire and The Crescent and Tutto in Vendita in Italy and is also associated with the Paris-based European Academy of Geopolitics. When not on the road he lives between Paris and Bangkok.

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