The  following two articles are  Ilan Pappe’s response to the International Court of Justice’s ruling first published by  the Palestine Chronicle and Tony Greenstein’s account of the alternative Holocaust Memorial Day first published on his blog.


If committed activists needed an additional reason for why what they are doing is essential and just, then the ICJ’s ruling is a chilling reminder of what is at stake here. 

The moral and brave approach by South Africa to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), hoping for a ruling that would bring an end to the genocide of the Palestinians in Gaza, was not matched by the court on Friday, January 26, 2024.

I am not underestimating the significance of the court’s ruling. True, the court confirmed the right of South Africa to approach the ICJ and substantiated the facts it presented, including the assumption that Israel’s actions could be defined as genocide under the terms of the genocide convention.

In the long run, the language and the definitions used by the ICJ in its first ruling will constitute a huge symbolic victory on the way to Palestine’s liberation.

But this is not why South Africa approached the ICJ. South Africa wanted the court to stop the genocide. And therefore, from an operative point of view, the ICJ missed an opportunity to stop the genocide, mainly because it still treated Israel as a democracy and not a rogue state.

Palestinians, and whoever supports any struggle against crimes committed by countries of the global north, ceased a long time ago to be impressed by symbolic actions. Actions against rogue states only are meaningful if they have an operative side to them.

The operative actions suggested by the ICJ are basically a demand from Israel to submit, in one month’s time, a report on measures taken to prevent genocide in Gaza.

No wonder, the Israeli government has already hinted that such an assignment would not be high on its agenda and, most importantly, would not have any impact on its policies on the ground.

Even if the ICJ would have demanded, as it should have, a ceasefire, it would have taken quite a while to implement it, given the Israeli intransigence. But the message to Israel would have been clear – and effective.

License to Commit Genocide

The important thing to remember in any engagement with Israel is that what matters is not how the message is intended but how it is understood by Israeli policymakers.

The Western solidarity with Israel, shown on October 7, 2023, was understood by its policymakers as a free license to commit genocide in Gaza. Similarly, opting for a report instead of action is understood in Israel as a slight slap on the hand, which gives Israel at least another 30 days to continue its genocidal policies.

If this is the case, what would be left of Gaza in a month? What would be the magnitude of the genocide in a month’s time, if not only the West but also the ICJ, refuses to call for an immediate ceasefire? I am afraid that there is no need to answer these terrible questions.

More importantly, the crime has already been committed, it is not as if there is still time to stop it. Therefore, unless the ICJ believes that Israel’s actions be reversed and rectified, it sends a very confused message. It seems to hint that, although the actions may be a crime, if the carnage is limited, then this would be welcomed by the ICJ.

History of Failure in Palestine 

The ICJ seemed to lack courage when it refrained from demanding what many countries in the global south and a huge number of people in the global civil society were asking for in the last three months.

If this whole process ends with the usual conclusion that international law has no power to stop the destruction of Palestine and the Palestinians, this will have even a greater impact on the question of Palestine.

In fact, this awareness could severely undermine the confidence, which is already very low, of the global south in the universality of intentional law.

Ever since its final institutionalization after the Second World War, the international law failed to deal properly with colonialism as a crime and was never able to challenge settler colonial projects like Israel.

It also became clear that imperialist policies pursued by the US and Britain, in clear violation of international law, are totally exempt from international law’s jurisdiction. Hence, the US was able to invade Iraq with a stark violation of international law and Britain now plans to send, without fear of reprisal, asylum seekers to Rwanda.

In the case of Palestine, throughout 75 years of the ongoing Nakba, international law – through its official and informal representatives, practitioners and delegations – was completely ineffective. It did not stop the killing of one single Palestinian; it did not lead to the release of one single Palestinian political prisoner, nor did it prevent the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Indeed, the list of its failures is too long to be detailed here.

But There is Hope 

There is a new, important lesson that should shape our activity and inform our hopes for the future.

We already learned that there is no hope for change within Israeli society, a lesson that was ignored by those involved in the so-called peace process.

The failure to understand the DNA of the Zionist society allowed Israel, since its inception, to kill Palestinians incrementally and massively either directly, by shooting them, or indirectly, by denying them basic human conditions for living.

This process, led by the US, was based on the formula that only after “peace” is restored, Israel would be obliged to change its ruthless policies on the ground.

This false paradigm has totally collapsed, even if the Biden Administration attempts, these days, to resurrect it, along with the few Palestinians who, for some reason, still put their faith in the two-state solution.

And now comes the new, important lesson: not only can we not hope for a change within Israel, we cannot rely on international law to protect the Palestinians from genocide.

This, however, does not mean that there is no hope in the future for liberation and decolonization. The Zionist project is in the process of imploding from within.

Israel’s Jewish society is disintegrating, its economy is failing, and its international image is deteriorating.

The Israeli army did not function in October and the government is in tatters and unable to provide basic services to its citizens. Under these circumstances, only wars and cynical Western interests will keep this project alive, but for how long?

And yet, such a process of implosion in history can be long, brutal and violent as it transpires in front of our eyes these days.

And we are not just onlookers. The activists among us understand that we have to double and triple what we already know has to be done.

We continue, outside of Palestine, to try and move the ‘B’ and ‘D’, in Boycott and Divestment, to ‘S’, as in Sanction.

This effort can be intensified by pushing in two directions. On one hand, we should exert more pressure on the governments of the global south to be more active, particularly in the Arab and Muslim worlds. On the other hand, we should find better ways to increase the electoral pressure on our representatives in the global north.

There is no need to tell the Palestinian Resistance what to do to defend itself and its people. There is no need to tell the liberation movement how to strategize for the future. Wherever they are, Palestinians who are involved in the struggle will continue to persevere and be resilient. What they truly need is for any external effort to be more effective, realistic and bold.

One can not but admire what the solidarity movement with Palestine has already achieved, especially in the last three months.

However, if its loyal and committed activists needed an additional reason for why what they are doing is essential and just, then the ICJ’s ruling is a chilling reminder of what is at stake here.

If there is hope to stop the genocide all over historical Palestine, it lies in the ability of the global civil society to take the lead. Because it is far too obvious that governments and international bodies are unwilling or unable to do so.



Himmler’s October 1943 speeches

Above is the recording of our hugely successful Holocaust Memorial Day meeting last night. 333 people attended from 25 countries and every continent including 218 from the UK, 38 from South Africa, 27 from the United States and 12 from Germany.

Instead of this being a typical Zionist Holocaust Memorial Day meeting, using the memory of the Holocaust to reinforce the racist, genocidal Israeli state, there were a series of speakers who spoke of the liberation of humanity from the imperialist order which led to the Holocaust.

The meeting was chaired by Esther Giles from the Socialist Labour Network. Speakers included the foremost Israeli historian of the Nakba, Ilan Pappe; Ronnie Kasrils,  the former leader of the ANC’s military wing, Umkonte we Sizwe and former Police Minister under Mandela.

Pro-Palestinian demo

Ghada Kharmi, a Palestinian doctor who was expelled with her family from Jerusalem in 1948 and a prolific author and academic, the latest book being One State, Suzanne Weiss, who as a child was hidden by the Jewish resistance from the Nazis in Auvergne, France; Stephen Kapos, who was hidden by the Holy Cross church group from the Nazis and the fascist Iron Cross in Budapest and Tony Greenstein from the SLN and Jewish Network for Palestine, the first Jewish member of the Labour Party to be expelled and author of Zionism During the Holocaust.

We intend to repeat this meeting next year. Never Again must the Zionists be allowed to lay claim to the memory of the Jewish dead of the Holocaust. They represent the perpetrators not the victims of the Holocaust.

When Yoav Gallant, Israel’s Defence Minister, called Palestinians ‘Human Animals’ he was repeating word for word Himmler’s October 1943 Speeches in Poznan, Poland calling Jews ‘Human Animals’. 

It is important that we do not allow the Zionists to colonise HMD and thus trash the memory of the Jews and others who died at the hands of the fascist barbarians. There is no one and nothing that is closer to these fascists than the regime in Tel Aviv whose closest friends today are those very same fascists – from our own Tommy Robinson to people like Geert Wilders, Germany’s Afd and Norway’s Anders Breivik, to say nothing of Trump and Bannon.

It was no surprise that the war criminals who govern us – Biden, Sunak, Scholtz and the rest immediately cut of all aid to UNWRA, the UN agency responsible for feeding the Palestinian refugees. Israel has long desired to eliminate UNWRA altogether. It is as Philippe Lazzarini, the head of the UNWRA said, collective punishment.

But even if the allegations are true, even if some UNWRA staff did participate in October 7, so what? Resistance against an occupier is allowed under international law and is the right of any occupied people.

Speakers at alternative Holocaust Memorial event

Most people will understand what the real motive is behind this decision. The leaders of western imperialism don’t even bother to hide their anger at the decision of the International Court of Justice at the Hague, weak as it was, that the case that the United States said was meritless’ was upheld by the ICJ who considered genocide ‘plausible’.

The decision to attack UNWRA is clearly in retaliation for against the decision to go to the ICJ. Such is the nature of the ‘rules based order’. See below two articles from Mondoweiss. Naturally Israel’s response was to accuse the ICJ of anti-Semitism!  The go to explanation for all criticism of Israel’s genocide in Gaza.

Israel’s deputy attorney., Gilad Noam and defence lawyer Malcolm Shaw

Never before has it been so obvious that Western support has nothing to do with Jews or anti-Semitism and everything to do with Western interests.

However in their desire to support the West’s attack dog in the Middle East the west’s war mongers are risking setting the whole of the region on fire.

If the Arab regimes, the Houthis apart, weren’t so cowardly and subservient to the West, the genocide in Gaza could have been stopped in its tracks long ago. An oil embargo, as in 1973, would have forced the United States to reign in their racist Rottweiler.



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