Craig Murray: Stopping Genocide

Almost the entire political Establishment of the West have outed themselves as enthusiastic proponents of a racial supremacism, prepared to give active assistance to a genocide of indigenous people.

U.N. headquarters, Geneva. (UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré)

By Craig Murray

Every single state in the world has a positive duty to intervene to prevent the Genocide in Gaza now, not after a court has reached a determination of genocide. This is made crystal clear in para 431 of the International Court of Justice judgment in Bosnia vs Serbia:

“This obviously does not mean that the obligation to prevent genocide only comes into being when perpetration of genocide commences ; that would be absurd, since the whole point of the obligation is to prevent, or attempt to prevent, the occurrence of the act. In fact, a State’s obligation to prevent, and the corresponding duty to act, arise at the instant that the State learns of, or should normally have learned of, the existence of a serious risk that genocide will be committed. From that moment onwards, if the State has available to it means likely to have a deterrent effect on those suspected of preparing genocide, or reasonably suspected of harbouring specific intent (dolus specialis), it is under a duty to make such use of these means as the circumstances permit.”

This case was specifically on the application of the Genocide Convention. That the ICJ has ruled there is a positive duty on states to act to prevent genocide makes it even more astonishing to me that no state has invoked the Genocide Convention over the blatant genocide being committed by Israel in Gaza.

Not least is it puzzling that this action has not been undertaken by Palestine itself, which is a party to the Convention and does have the ability to invoke it.

Last Monday, I attended a surreal event at the United Nations in Geneva. It was part of the celebrations of the 75th anniversary of the Genocide Convention.

It had been organised before the start of the current phase of the genocide of the Palestinians, and the subject was the suppression of incitement to genocide in the media and social media. It was formally a meeting of the U.N. Human Rights Council, but other states were also entitled to attend and to speak.

Delegates came and went, but over the course of the day approximately 60 nation states were present in the hall. Not all spoke, but enough did to give a feeling for the diplomatic dynamics.

I think this is best summed up by recounting the tale of two  women who spoke. The first was the delegate of Palestine who spoke movingly of the current genocide in Gaza and the terrible destruction wrought upon tens of thousands of entirely innocent people, chiefly women and children.

Palestine was followed by the delegate representing Denmark, who said the government of Denmark was taking important concrete measures to prevent the incitement of genocide, including legislation to combat anti-semitism in social media. Two nations speaking entirely past each other.

Developed vs. Developing Nations

And that was how the discussion went. Arab, African and South American states stressed the urgent need to stop the current genocide; developed nations stressed the need for states to control social media and counter “disinformation” and anti-semitism.

The experts invited to join the discussion very much focused on Palestine – indeed that is where I got the reference to the precise passage from the ICJ judgment above.

None of which still explains why none of the pro-Palestinian states has fulfilled their duty and reported Israel under the Genocide Convention, thus triggering a determination by the International Court of Justice. This is particularly strange as several states have referred Israel to the International Criminal Court for war crimes.

Yet I have not found a single diplomat from any nation who disagrees with me when I say that this is a waste of time as the ICC is a western tool and will do nothing. I have not found a single diplomat who disagrees with me when I say that the ICJ is much better and a reference under the Genocide Convention is a far better route.

Yet still no political leader has taken it.

Fatah is influenced by two negative factors. The first is that it has become so immersed in the running of the Palestinian Authority it feels crippled by responsibility. Israel has already cut off the flow of funds to the Palestinian Authority which go to Gaza to pay 60,000 public sector workers there. The PA is worried about the potential to cut funding to the West Bank as well.

The ICJ already has a Palestinian case before it. On 19 February there are oral hearings on an advisory opinion for the U.N. General Assembly on the status of the Occupied Territories. Arguments are being made that it would not be helpful to introduce another case.

It is always possible to find arguments for not rocking the status quo. There is no doubt that there will be heavy pressure from the U.S.A. on the PA not to activate the Genocide Convention – not least because of the stark fact that “Genocide Joe” Biden should, on any rational view, be himself indicted for conspiracy or at least complicity.

I do not myself think that the Fatah leadership is consciously willing the destruction by Israel of Hamas, and certainly not at the cost of so much civilian life. But old resentments – and remember Hamas killed many Fatah people – may feed in to the process whereby frankly spurious arguments against activating the Genocide Convention are given undue weight.

Many other nations which support Palestine are not acting because it appears Abbas does not want them to act.

But there is something much more profound than that. This feels like a moment so shocking that the entire world is stupefied, not quite knowing how to act. An enormous rift has been exposed in international affairs.

Previously, the developed nations had given lip service to the values of international organisations and to the basic concepts that move the U.N., such as decolonisation, human rights and conflict resolution.

Suddenly, not only is genocide occurring with a scale and rapidity that is simply stunning – in the first six weeks in Gaza ten times the number of children were killed as in two years of war in Ukraine – but the western nations are roaring on a racial extermination that dehumanises its victims.

The western political class are systematically silencing internal opposition, and promoting blatant White Power marches thinly disguised as against anti-semitism.

Every developing and Arab state who spoke at the U.N. session in Geneva described Israel in terms of colonial occupation. That is a real shift to plain speaking.

The Masks Are Off

The world has been jolted, suddenly. Masks have been ripped off. Almost the entire political Establishment of the West have outed themselves as enthusiastic proponents of a racial supremacism, prepared to give active assistance to a genocide of indigenous people.

There really is no way to face up to the Genocide in Gaza without facing up to the active support of Joe Biden, Ursula von der Leyen, Rishi Sunak and most western political leaderships – including both Labour and Conservatives in the U.K.

We also have to face the complicity of ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan and a number of other western stooges operating at senior levels within international institutions. Where the World goes from here, in the face of the raw racial hatred and enthusiasm for the killing of babies that has been revealed by those in power, is very difficult for people to come to reckon.

I know we have been here before, with the invasion of Iraq and numerous other instances of brutal abuse of power on the world stage. But this has a different feel. I am trying to understand why.

Possibly because the balance of power in the world has swung considerably. Possibly because social media enables more people, particularly the young, to see the truth. I do not fully understand why; but this feels very different, momentous.

Almost all of the nations that have been utterly appalled by the actions of the U.S., U.K. and E.U. over Gaza, are to some extent dependent on “aid” flows from those sources.

It is also worth noting, at this crucial time, the failure of China to provide any kind of leadership. I have previously praised China’s singular lack of interest in expansion or in meddling overseas, as compared to the fading and ultra-aggressive U.S. hegemon.

But China’s narrow definition of its interests is not helpful where there is an overwhelming need for China to throw its weight into the balance for the sake of humanity.

Everybody is failing the Palestinians. Even you and me. None of us are doing enough. I have struggled to get this article right, and there are perhaps six hours of work in it, in addition probably to another eighteen hours in various meetings on the subject trying to get things moving diplomatically.

In those hours, 140 Palestinian children will have been killed by Israel and 300 maimed. Is there anybody reading this who really is doing enough to halt so great an evil? How do we avoid feeling trapped by frustration, helplessness and overwhelming sorrow?

I am sorry I cannot immediately find more answers. But let us all work harder, wherever we are, to do our little bit for peace.

Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster and human rights activist. He was British ambassador to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October 2004 and rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010. His coverage is entirely dependent on reader support. Subscriptions to keep this blog going are gratefully received.

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14 comments for “Craig Murray: Stopping Genocide

  1. JonnyJames
    December 13, 2023 at 12:39

    As usual, Mr. Murray makes excellent points. The only quibble I have is that the US is engaged in a dangerous and reckless game to maintain a degree of hegemony. Israel has the “Samson Option, and Hannibal Directive. The US has the Wolfowitz Doctrine and Nuclear First Strike Doctrine.

    Many have asked: Why doesn’t Russia, China, Turkey, Iran DO SOMETHING to stop the bloodbath genocide? It may be a bit more than merely a narrow pursuit of national interests.

    What do we think would happen if any of these countries engaged Israel and/or US forces directly? What would Israel do if threatened from any of these countries or all of them? What would the US do? Would “tactical nukes” be used first? What is the likelihood of escalation to ICBM exchange? We can speculate on likely outcomes, based on official policy, and it aint pretty..

    This may sound hyperbolic, yet the threat of rapid escalation is real, especially since official policy is finger on the nuclear trigger.

    To be crude: will any country want to play a game of “nuclear chicken” with a bunch of bloody nutters?

  2. GWL
    December 12, 2023 at 21:33

    “the failure of China to provide any kind of leadership.”
    The Global South, including the Arabs and the Muslim world generally, feel empowered to speak out against the power of the Hegemon PRECISELY because they know China has their back!

    “China’s narrow definition of its interests”
    Here again, we all know that China’s stance is for a permanent cease fire, and serious negotiations for a Palestinian state. This is not “narrow”. It is the demand of humanity.

  3. ray Peterson
    December 12, 2023 at 17:33

    Why “a different feel”?
    The Christian West US/NATO national powers
    adore the manger scene: “And she gave birth to her first-born son
    and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger,
    because there was no place for them in the inn” (Luke 2.7).
    Biden and Blinken will be celebrating at the White House with
    its Christmas tree all lit up.
    While Doctors without Borders describe pregnant mothers
    being forced to deliver their babies with “a clothes pin and cloth.”
    Palestinians suffering from US/Israeli genocide are closer to
    celebrating Christmas than we Christians! A sickening, sinking feel.

  4. Em
    December 12, 2023 at 12:53

    The fundamental difference between the Russian incursion into the Ukraine and the Palestinian/Hamas surprise breaching of their prison walls, into Israel lies in the fact that the Ukraine had been a full-fledged sovereign, independent country, ever since the demise of the USSR in 1991. Russia no longer had any say in the administration of Ukraine, nor did it want to have any!
    No long-time observer in their right mind – in possession of their full intellectual faculties, would suggest that Russia launched a “special military operation” into the Ukraine without having been subjected to at least three decades of provocation by US/NATO deceits and lies.
    Likewise, no long-time empirical observations of Israels mistreatment of the indigenous Arab Palestinian population, for an entire century – attempting to uproot them from the land (putting it mildly), has any legitimate right to condemn them for their infraction of their jailers prison rules – breaching the walls, on Oct.7th, of “the worlds largest concentration camp”, without provocation by Israel/US power elites.

  5. Rudy Haugeneder
    December 11, 2023 at 23:16

    Like the war on climate change: Blah, blah, blah. Only the young can change it to action, but nobody seems to be listening to them — yet. Unfortunately the world “yet” has multiple meanings, most of them not overly optimistic because it appears that in politics and diplomacy, most participants are cowards unwilling risk their well-paid careers for the cause of actual justice.

  6. ingamarie
    December 11, 2023 at 20:50

    I think part of the numbness, or sense of helplessness comes from the blatant, undeniable nature of what is happening now….a Genocide so out in the open that it is impossible to deny that it is happening. A genocide being committed by the Zionist branch of a people who themselves faced genocidal extermination just over 70 years ago, and for which they have been somehow seen as beyond criticism….A genocid that is perhaps telling us something we can’t quite come to grips with.

    WH Auden did remind us in a poem that ‘those to whom evil is done/do evil in return’ but this carpet bombing of a civilian population with virtually no place to run to seems almost beyond evil as we construe it. What’s worse…….it implicates all of us in the west. Perhaps we’ve been silenced too easily by that sweepingly bad generalization about ‘anti-Semitism’…….perhaps making sure we weren’t ‘anti-Semitic’ has paradoxically involved us in new crimes against humanity. Perhaps there are no good sides to stay on… progressive choices that can be easily made going forward. And worst of all, perhaps our elites have failed us and wish to continue to do so by staying silent now.

    Perhaps, hard as we try, we in the west are as captured by white colonial racism as any of our forebears. Perhaps there’s no way to innocence, purity, or the right side of this mess.

    PERHAPS, GIVING AWAY OTHER PEOPLE’S LAND…TO ANYONE…IS A TIME BOMB WAITING TO EXPLODE IN THE FUTURE’S FACE. As it is doing now, in Gaza….and as Gaza condemns us now, with our inactions that are defining us for the 80% of the world who may not share our precious ‘western values’.

    I will not forget the leaders too frozen in obeisance to Washington to speak for the children. And they will never receive my support, donations or support. Shame on the lot of them.

  7. December 11, 2023 at 19:44

    There’s an Elephant in the diner; And it’s stomping on everybody’s feet; But if we even point it out; We won’t get anything to eat.

  8. Jack L0max-Tasmania
    December 11, 2023 at 17:24

    Is this genocide the total responsibility of its immediate perpetrators ? The answer is a clear and responding NO! The first objective of this Jewish Klu Klux Klan was to use their immense fortunes to get secret control of the most powerful governments in the world at that time Britain with its empire and America with its undeclared but growing empire. For many years now they have secretly (and not so secretly -ie the US Neocons) had total control over the policies of the two most powerful countries in the world. With the passing of time that has evolved into the American empire with UK as its number one part junior partner in crime part leading colony. The UN was an American project post 1945 and is situated in New York so not much hope for the victimised Palestinians there. But global power is shifting and in the long term the criminal geocidal Zionists will come to regret this open show of control over their western empire and its media. Sadly no consolation for the butchered babies and the brutally killed children. They are indeed eyeless in Gaza-as well as limbless and totally shattered by the merciless power of Israel.

  9. Lois Gagnon
    December 11, 2023 at 15:57

    The US lead Western empire wants to hold on to its base of operations in Israel. This is the same imperial project that has plagued the world since Columbus. It continues in Ukraine, Israel and many other places being used and abused by the same force. Genocide is baked into the cake of settler colonialism. It must be stopped in its tracks now. Vladimir Putin made a remark recently that the lone dictatorial hegemon has become too much of a threat to the world.

    Gaza is the end game to this project for all of us eventually if we don’t bring it to an end.

  10. Joe
    December 11, 2023 at 15:46

    Many of us have found that truth and justice do not concern the US.
    We are are astounded by the overt racism of our former democracy.
    Perhaps much like the socialists of Germany when Hitler took power.
    The US govt is completely controlled by bribes to political parties.
    The mass media are the same: money controls the propaganda.
    I cannot believe that many really accept the foolish zionist propaganda.
    But the protestant zionist opportunists are immoral, ignorant tribalists.
    The US is utterly discredited, and the world will celebrate its demise.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      December 11, 2023 at 16:37

      Right on all counts. Thank you.

  11. Joy Al-Sofi
    December 11, 2023 at 15:31

    Trying to undo the sins of the nation state within the confines of the nation-state concept is likely to be unsuccessful. Part of what I want to do is to encourage more of us to think about new ways to think and act on this issue.

    This ia my contribution, and I recognize it is not enough. There must be a permanent ceasefire, not with Palestinians suffering under oppressive conditions, but as a place where all live with peace and equality. It is time for Pope Francis to do more than talk. He must go to Gaza and make a stand for peace and freedom.

    Please sign the petition and share widely.


    This is one small thing we can do. If we can do more, let us do more.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      December 11, 2023 at 16:38

      We can fight for socialism. Nationalism is a foundation of capitalist imperialism. It must be replaced by socialist internationalism.

  12. Valerie
    December 11, 2023 at 14:46

    ” Is there anybody reading this who really is doing enough to halt so great an evil?
    How do we avoid feeling trapped by frustration, helplessness and overwhelming sorrow?”

    Realistically we cannot avoid those feelings. Personally, i speak to anyone i engage with about this evil genocide.

    And like Mr. Waters said we cannot possibly put ourselves in their position. But eleven days ago i broke my wrist and had to go to emergency out-patient at the hospital. As i sat in the clean, calm, emergency waiting room, all i could see was the chaos and turmoil in the Gazan hospitals. Even then, i could only glimpse a fraction of their horrendous situation in my mind’s eye. And now there are no hospitals and scant treatment in Gaza.

    “Put yourself in the shoes of that woman when the surgeon says to her, ‘I have no anesthesia, I don’t even have water or soap to wash my hands, but I’m going to try and save your life”

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