Landmark Ruling in The Hague


Israel Warned: Don't Commit Genocide

GPM # 46

Israel’s high-flight lawyers may have thought they dodged a bullet at the International Court of Justice last Friday, in The Hague, when it ruled on South Africa’s application against Israel under the 1948 Genocide Convention.

Days after that ruling, the Israelis are not uncorking champagne.

In a virtually unanimous decision, on January 26, the UN’s supreme judicial body delivered the lion’s share of what South Africa had requested in its December 29 application to the court, accusing Israel of committing genocide in Gaza and asking the ICJ to take urgent action.

The core of South Africa’s request — that the ICJ issue a ‘provisional measures’ order, or injunction, instructing Israel to cease acts defined as genocidal under Article II of the Convention.

That’s precisely what the ICJ did. In so doing, an overwhelming majority of the court’s fifteen regular and two ad hoc judges acknowledged the plausibility of South Africa’s genocide charges.

Court President Joan Donoghue – a former U.S. State Department official — delivered a withering summary of the situation Gaza’s 2.3 million people face after sixteen weeks of unrelenting Israeli ultra-violence. In her 45-minute presentation to a packed chamber of attorneys and diplomats, Donoghue quoted a host of senior UN officials, human rights experts and the UN Secretary General himself, describing a situation in Gaza that looks, sounds and smells like genocide.

Listen to a portion of Judge Joan Donoghue’s presentation, reading out the court’s reasoning and its provisional measures order last Friday. Click on the podcast play button above, or go here.

Unknown photographer. Please reveal yourself.

Minutes after the International Court of Justice rendered its preliminary measures order in The Hague, this past Friday, we reached out to Canadian international law professor and genocide scholar William Schabas for his thoughts on the decision. Schabas is a professor of international law at Middlesex University and professor of international humanitarian law and human rights at Leiden University.

Listen to Schabas’ comments in today’s podcast. Click on the play button above, or go here.

Peace Palace, seat of ICJ in The Hague

In search of further wisdom about last Friday’s ICJ ruling in South Africa v. Israel, the GPM reached out to Dimitri Lascaris, a lawyer, human rights activist and journalist based in Montreal and southern Greece. Listen to Lascaris’ comments in today’s podcast. Click on the play button above, or go here.

Thanks to Dan Weisenberger for his fabulous guitar instrumentals.