UK must take action against Israel after ICJ ruling of plausible genocide

The Balfour Project welcomes the Order by the ICJ to accept jurisdiction and to issue Provisional Measures in the case brought by South Africa against Israel for breach of the Genocide Convention. 
We endorse the press release issued by CAABU shortly after the Court had issued its Order, and draw attention in particular to the nine demands CAABU makes in the press release for action by the UK Government and Parliament, all of which we support
The Court was at pains to emphasise that it has not taken any decision on the merits of South Africa’s case. It does, however, consider it plausible that genocidal acts are being committed. It has therefore ordered Israel to take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of acts of genocide, and Israel must ensure with immediate effect that its military does not commit them. 
Israel must also prevent and punish direct and public incitement to commit genocide in relation to Palestinians in Gaza. It is also obligated to take “immediate and effective measures to enable the provision of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance to address the adverse conditions of life faced by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip”, and take effective measures to preserve evidence related to allegations of acts of genocide. This includes acts of conspiracy and incitement to commit genocide, or which are related to complicity in genocide. Finally, Israel is bound to submit a report within one month on the measures it has taken to comply with the Court’s decision.
The Balfour Project repeats its call for a bilateral cease-fire with the release of all hostages and prisoners, and for all parties to ensure that sufficient aid enters Gaza unhindered.  

Caabu Press Release: UK must take action against Israel after ICJ ruling of plausible genocide

UK must take action against Israel after ICJ ruling of plausible genocide

26 January 2024

Caabu welcomes the decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to issue provisional measures in the case of Israeli actions in Gaza. The court has determined following an application by South Africa that there may be ‘plausible grounds’ that Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinians of Gaza. (See ruling here)

It has indicated a series of provisional measures. These include Israel must take all measures to end acts of genocide in Gaza. It must preserve and prevent destruction of evidence. 

Commenting on this, Chris Doyle Caabu’s Director said that: “The UK has to revise its entire position on Gaza. For over three months, the British political class including the government and the leadership of the Labour Party have totally and utterly failed to call for an immediate ceasefire, which might have prevented or limited the Israeli atrocities including possible genocide against Palestinians. The government must demand an immediate ceasefire now. All parties should adhere to this.”

The failure to hold Israel accountable for its actions is nothing new sadly as this has gone on for decades. Israel’s violations of international law including UN Security Council Resolutions has been met with zero response. Government ministers have routinely dismissed allegations of Israel crimes as ‘unhelpful’. Given the determination by the ICJ today this must change.

Following the Court’s ruling the UK must take the following actions:

  1. The British government must insist that Israel abides by the Provisional Measures indicated by the ICJ regarding potential genocide, and if Israel does not, fully support measures by the UN Security Council to bring this about. 
  2. The UK has a duty to ensure that the government, its officials and its diplomats end all possible complicity with the Israeli authorities until such time as the Court has made a final determination as to whether Israel has been committing genocide. 
  3. There must be a full UK ban on all sales of arms and security equipment to Israel with immediate effect. The UK must also end any assistance in the transfer of any arms to Israel including via the Akrotiri base in Cyprus. 
  4. The UK should deny entry to the UK to all Israeli Ministers, politicians, journalists and others who have made genocidal comments and incited to genocide. 
  5. The British government must insist that the Israeli authorities take appropriate actions to sanction Israeli Ministers, Knesset members and others for their incitement to genocide. 
  6. The government must withdraw the Economic Activity of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) Bill including section 3 paragraph 7, that singles out Israel, the Occupied Palestinian Territories and the Occupied Golan Heights as the only territories for special exemption in almost all circumstances from divestment by public bodies in the UK. Public bodies should be encouraged to give careful consideration to the ethical and legal consequences of any investments in Israel and desist from any investments in Israeli settlements.  
  7. The government must urge an acceleration in the work of the International Criminal Court (ICC) investigating allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by all parties including both Israel and Hamas. To facilitate this, the UK must contribute financially to the ICC to ensure that the ICC is provided with sufficient financial and practical resources to undertake a fully effective investigation.
  8. The Foreign Affairs Select Committee must investigate as a matter of priority why no government minister has criticised Israeli Ministers for their genocidal comments nor has the government sought to hold Israel to account for its actions in Gaza and the West Bank. 
  9. Questions must be asked in Parliament as to how the government, the leadership of the opposition and much of the media have allowed Israel to get away with this without serious efforts to hold it to account. There must be an impartial review as to how such bodies have interacted with groups including those within political parties that have consistently glossed over Israeli crimes and pursued policies to ensure Israel is not accountable for its actions. Too many who have a track record of denying Israel violations of international law have been mainstreamed. 

The rest of the world is watching closely to see how the UK, the US and other allies of Israel react. It is vital that the UK demonstrates its commitment to the rules-based international system by backing the ICJ and its ruling as well as taking all the above actions to help remedy a long-term political failure in the Middle East. A failure to do so will have massive consequences for the reputation of Britain and the future of the world we live in.

This entry was posted in Balfour Project viewpoint, News. Bookmark the permalink.