Craig Murray: Your Man in The Hague — Day 2

The former British diplomat gives his personal account of being inside the courtroom for Israel’s defense on Friday in the genocide case brought against it by South Africa. 

ICJ judges in the face of the Israeli defense. (UN TV Screenshot)

By Craig Murray

As with the South African case, according to court procedure the Israeli case was introduced on Friday by their “agent”, permanently accredited to the court, Tal Becker of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He opened with the standard formula “it is an honour to appear before you again on behalf of the state of Israel”, managing to imply purely through phrasing and tone of voice that the honour lay in representing Israel, not in appearing before the judges.

Becker opened by going straight to the Holocaust, saying that nobody knew more than Israel why the Genocide Convention existed. Six million Jewish people had been killed. The Convention was not to be used to cover the normal brutality of war.

The South African case aimed at the delegitimisation of the state of Israel, he said. On Oct. 7 Hamas had committed massacre, mutilation, rape and abduction. 1,200 had been killed and 5,500 maimed. He related several hideous individual atrocity stories and played a recording he stated to be a Hamas fighter boasting on WhatsApp to his parents about committing mass murder, rape and mutilation.

The only genocide in this case was being committed against Israel. Hamas continued to attack Israel, and for the court to take provisional measures would be to deny Israel the right to self-defence.

Provisional measures should rather be taken against South Africa and its attempt by legal means to further genocide by its relationship with Hamas. Gaza was not under occupation: Israel had left it with great potential to be a political and economic success. Instead Hamas had chosen to make it a terrorist base.

Tal Becker arguing for Israel on Friday. (UN TV Screenshot)

Hamas was embedded in the civilian population and therefore responsible for the civilian deaths. Hamas had tunnels under schools, hospitals, mosques and U.N. facilities and tunnel entrances within them. It commandeered medical vehicles for military use.

South Africa had talked of civilian buildings destroyed, but did not tell you they had been destroyed by Hamas booby traps and Hamas missile misfires.

The casualty figures South Africa gave were from Hamas sources and not reliable. They did not say how many were fighters? How many of the children were child soldiers? The application by South Africa was ill-founded and ill-motivated. It was a libel.

This certainly was a hardline and uncompromising start. The judges appeared to be paying very close attention when he opened with the Oct. 7 self-defence argument, but very definitely some of them started to fidget and become uncomfortable when he talked of Hamas operating from ambulances and U.N. facilities. In short, he went too far and I believe he lost his audience at that point.

Next up was Professor Malcolm Shaw KC. Shaw is regarded as an authority on the procedure of international law and is editor of the standard tome on the subject. This is an interesting facet of the legal profession, where standard reference books on particular topics are regularly updated to include key extracts from recent judges, and passages added or amended to explain the impact of these judgments. Being an editor in this field provides a route to prominence for the plodding and pedantic.

I had come across Shaw in his capacity as a co-founder of the Centre for Human Rights at Essex University. I had given a couple of talks there some twenty years ago on the attacks on human rights of the “War on Terror” and my own whistleblower experience over torture and extraordinary rendition. For an alleged human rights expert, Shaw seemed extraordinarily prone to support the national security interests of the state over individual liberty.

I do not pretend I gave it a great deal of thought. I did not know at that time of Shaw’s commitment as an extreme Zionist and in particular his long term interest in suppressing the rights of the Palestinian people.

After 139 states have recognised Palestine as a state, Shaw led for Israel the legal opposition to Palestine’s membership of international institutions, including the International Criminal Court. Shaw’s rather uninspired reliance on the Montevideo Convention of 1933 is hardly a legal tour de force, and it didn’t work.

Every criminal deserves a defence, and nobody should hold it against a barrister that they defend a murderer or rapist, as it is important that guilt or innocence is tested by a court. But I think it is fair to state that defence lawyers do not in general defend those accused of murder because they agree with murder and want a murderer to go on murdering.

That however is the case here: Malcolm Shaw speaks for Israel because he actually wants Israel to be able to continue killing Palestinian women and children to improve the security of Israel, in his view.

That is the difference between this and other cases, including at the ICJ. Generally the lead lawyers would happily swap sides, if the other side had hired them first. But this is entirely different.

Here the lawyers (with the possible exception of Christopher Straker KC, an other attorney who represented Israel on Friday) believe profoundly in the case they are supporting and would never appear for the other side. That is just one more way that this is such an extraordinary case, with so much drama and such vital consequences, not least for the future of international law.

For the reason I have just explained, Shaw’s role here is not that of a simple barrister plying his trade. His attempt to extend the killing should see him viewed as a pariah by decent people everywhere, for the rest of his doubtless highly-paid existence.

Shaw at the court. (UN TV Screenshot)

Shaw opened up by saying that the South African case continually spoke of context. They talked of the 75 years of the existence of the state of Israel. Why stop there? Why not go back to the Balfour Declaration or the British Mandate over Palestine?

No, the context of these events was the massacre of Oct. 7, and Israel’s subsequent right of self-defence. He produced and read a long quote from mid-October by European Commission President Ursula von Der Leyen, stating that Israel had suffered a terrorist atrocity and had the right of self-defence.

The truth is that this is not genocide but armed conflict, which state has existed since Oct. 7, he said. That was brutal, and urban warfare always involved terrible civilian casualties, but it was not genocide.

He then turned to the question of genocide. He argued that South Africa could not bring this case and the ICJ had no jurisdiction, because there was no dispute between Israel and South Africa on which the ICJ could rule, at the time the case was filed.

South Africa had communicated its views to Israel, but Israel had given no substantial reply. Therefore a dispute did not yet exist at time of filing. A dispute must involve interaction between parties and the argument had been on one side only.

This very much interested the judges. As I noted on day one, this got them more active than anything else when Professor John Dugard addressed the same point for South Africa. As I reported:

“The judges particularly enjoyed Dugard’s points, enthusiastically rustling through documents and underlining things. Dealing with thousands of dead children was a bit difficult for them, but give them a nice jurisdictional point and they were in their element.”

They were even more excited when Shaw tackled the same point. This gave them a way out! The case could be technically invalid, and then they would neither have to upset the major Western powers nor make fools of themselves by pretending that a genocide the whole world had seen was not happening. For a while, they looked visibly relieved.

Shaw should have given up while he was ahead, but he ploughed on for an hour, with some relief when he continually muddled his notes. A senior KC with zero ability to extemporise and recover was an interesting sight, as he kept stopping and shuffling paper.

Shaw argued that the bar for judging whether South Africa had a prima facie case must be significantly higher because of the high military and political cost to Israel if the court adopted provisional measures.

It was also necessary to show genocidal intent even at this stage. Otherwise the genocide was a “car without an engine”. If any illegal actions had taken place within Israel’s carefully targeted military action, Israel’s own military courts would investigate and act on them.

Random Israeli ministers and officials making emotional statements was not important. Official policy to protect civilians would be found in the minutes of the Israeli war cabinet and national security council. Israel’s strenuous attempts to move civilians out of harm’s way was an accepted measure in international human law and should not be viewed as mass displacement.

It was South Africa which was guilty of complicity in genocide in cooperation with Hamas. South Africa’s allegations against Israel “verge on the outrageous”.

Israel’s next lawyer was a lady called Galit Raguan from the Israeli Ministry of Justice. She said the reality on the ground was that Israel had done everything possible to minimise civilian deaths and to aid humanitarian relief. Urban warfare always resulted in civilian deaths. It was Hamas who were responsible for destruction of buildings and infrastructure.

There was overwhelming evidence of Hamas’ military use of hospitals. In every single hospital in Gaza the IDF had evidence of military use by Hamas. Mass evacuation of civilians was a humanitarian and legal measure. Israel had supplied food, water and medicine into Gaza but supplies had come under Hamas fire. Hamas steals the aid for its fighters.

Next up was lawyer Omri Sender. He stated that more food trucks per day now entered Gaza than before Oct. 7. The number had increased from 70 food trucks to 109 food trucks per day. Fuel, gas and electricity were all being supplied and Israel had repaired the sewage systems.

At this stage Israel had again lost the judges. One or two were looking at this man in a highly quizzical manner. A couple had definitely fallen asleep – there are only so many lies you can absorb, I suppose. Nobody was making notes about this guff.

The judges may find a way not to condemn Israel, but could not be expected to go along with this extraordinary nonsense. Sender continued that the scope and intensity of the fighting was now decreasing as the operation entered a new phase.

Perhaps noting that nobody believed him, Sender stated that the court could not institute provisional measures but rather was obliged to accept the word of Israel on its good intentions because of the Law of the Unilateral Declarations of States.

Now I have to confess that was a bit of international law I did not know existed. But it does, specifically in relation to ICJ proceedings. On first reading, it makes a unilateral declaration of intent to the ICJ binding on the state that makes it.

I cannot see that it forces the ICJ to accept it as sufficient or to believe in its sincerity. It seems rather a reach, and I wondered if Israel was running out of things to say.

Palestinians in the aftermath of an Israeli airstrike on the El-Remal aera in Gaza City on Oct. 9, 2023. (Naaman Omar, Palestinian News & Information Agency, or Wafa, for APAimages, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0)

That appeared to be true, because the next speaker, Christopher Straker, now took the floor and just ran through all the same Hamas stuff yet again, only with added theatrical indignation. Straker is the lawyer I suspect would happily have appeared for either side, because he was plainly just acting anyway. And not very well.

Straker said that it was astounding this case could be brought. It was intended to stop Israel from defending itself while Israel would still be subject to Hamas attacks. Hamas has said it will continue attacks.

If you look at the operation as a whole including relief efforts, it was plain there was no genocidal intent. Israel was in incredible danger. The proposed provisional measures were out of proportion to their effect.

Can you imagine if in the Second World War, a court had ordered the Allies to stop fighting because of civilian deaths, and allowed the Axis powers to keep on killing?

The final speaker was Gilad Noam, Israel’s deputy attorney-general. He said that the bulk of the proposed provisional measures should be refused because they exposed Israel to further Hamas attack. Three more should be refused because they referred to Palestine outside Gaza.

There was no genocidal intent in Israel. Ministerial and official statements made in the heat of the moment were rather examples of the tradition of democracy and freedom of speech. Prosecutions for incitement to genocide were under consideration.

The court must not conflate genocide and self-defence. The South African case devalues genocide and encourages terrorism. The Holocaust illustrated why Israel was always under existential threat. It was Hamas who were committing genocide.

And that was it. Israel had in the end not been allowed to show its contentious atrocity video, and it felt like their presentation had become repetitive and was padded to fill the time.

It is important to realise this. Israel is hoping to win on their procedural points about existence of dispute, unilateral assurances and jurisdiction. The obvious nonsense they spoke about the damage to homes and infrastructure being caused by Hamas, trucks entering Gaza and casualty figures, was not serious. They did not expect the judges to believe any of this. The procedural points were for the court. The rest was mass propaganda for the media.

In the U.K., the BBC and Sky both ran almost all the Israeli case live, having not run any of the South African case live. I believe something similar was true in the USA, Australia and Germany too.

While the court was in session, Germany has announced it will intervene in the substantial case to support Israel. They argue explicitly that, as the world’s greatest perpetrator of genocide, they are uniquely placed to judge. It is in effect a copyright claim. They are protecting Germany’s intellectual property in the art of genocide. Perhaps they might in future license genocide, or allow Israel to continue genocide on a franchise basis.

I am sure the judges want to get out of this and they may go for the procedural points. But there is a real problem with Israel’s “no dispute” argument. If accepted, it would mean that a country committing genocide can simply not reply to a challenge, and then legal action will not be possible because no reply means “no dispute”. I hope that absurdity is obvious to the judges. But they may of course wish not to notice it…

What do I think will happen? Some sort of “compromise”. The judges will issue provisional measures different to South Africa’s request, asking Israel to continue to take measures to protect the civilian population, or some such guff. Doubtless the State Department have drafted something like this for the president of the court, the American Joan Donoghue already.

I hope I am wrong. I would hate to give up on international law. One thing I do know for certain. These two days in The Hague were absolutely crucial for deciding if there is any meaning left in notions of international law and human rights.

I still believe action by the court could cause the U.S. and U.K. to back off and provide some measure of relief. For now, let us all pray or wish, each in our way, for the children of Gaza.

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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The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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32 comments for “Craig Murray: Your Man in The Hague — Day 2

  1. robert e williamson jr
    January 17, 2024 at 14:20

    I was in a hurry earlier today, I’m back. BTW LeoSun is one of my favorite commenters here. A very fertile mind, to quote the incredibly dull “Wolf” the mouth piece, Indeed!

    Talk about something especially depraved when one watches on the videos, carpet bombing of residential neighborhoods, from which there is no avenue of escape, 24-7.

    And to think other humans cheer this activity!

    Kinda says it all doesn’t it!

    I’m gonna go puke now!

    Keep up the great work here Cn & thanks again!

    • LeoSun
      January 18, 2024 at 00:39

      Robert, I love that! Thank you!!! Likewise!

      Ya know, “round here,” a tree blossoms w/rain! Consortium News, is solid ground. Robert Parry’s legacy, ROCKS!

      Awh, “Imagine,” all hell breaking loose, in the Peace Palace, when the ICJ holds Blinken’s “team,” Biden-Harris, accountable for carpet-bombing Palestinians, in Gaza, w/weapons, “Made in the USA,” to kill as many as possible; and the “ask” is, “What kinda diplomacy is that, Joey?!?”

      Keep It Lit! Ciao

  2. robert e williamson jr
    January 17, 2024 at 11:44

    One would think the video evidence of displaying the number of bombs being dropped on Gaza would be all the proof anyone of sound mind would need to see to understand that carpet bombing a open air prison was criminal in the worse sense of the word.

    View the videos.

    Thanks CN

    January 16, 2024 at 15:54


  4. LeoSun
    January 16, 2024 at 12:55

    JANUARY 16, 2024, * “But the moon’s too bright. The chain’s too tight. The beast won’t go to sleep.” [Everybody’s been reading, watching, listening to the defense, the testimonials, the evidence, the “Pros & Cons,” ad nauseam, Israel’s defense, remains, “Israel has a right to defend Israel,” well into the future. “Whatever it takes.”

    “We have seen the future, brother. It is murder.”

    It’s now more than 100 days, it’s years & years, of war in the West Bank, in Gaza, in the Middle East, in the Divided $tates of Corporate America; AND, I$rael’s still calling the shots! Imo, I$rael’s “ace in da hole” is The WH’s Party of War; AND, “we, the people,” of planet Earth, have the right to defend ourselves against servitude, complicity, collaborators of war & war crimes against humanity!!! Imo, “We, the People,” are against being played like a f/fiddle?

    The ICJ is next door to the “final” venue, for the Diplomats/Statesmen/Leaders/Commanders-in-Chief, of the Planet, to defend the Planet against, imo, I$rael’s, the USGovt., NATO’s perpetual deception, destruction, and death, of plant, animal & human life! The hearing is over. Once again, “We, the People,” are put on hold!

    Onward & upwards, heeding, imo, Patrick Lawrence’s advice, “Be Patient w/Your Drum. The Night is Long,” 12.17.23 @ IMPEACHMENT: Biden Under Formal Investigation,” PATRICK LAWRENCE hxxps://

    That same sound advice rocks, herein! Bravissimo, Craig Murray, Joe Lauria, Consortium News, all of the Readers’ Comments, for unpack’n “the beast” with phenomenal speed, passion, clarity; and, the LOL moments, by Craig Murray, “Our Man in The Hague,” are “GOLDEN!” Imo, the flowers, blooming for the Palestinians, is everyone, taking action “on the Streets, in the Churches, in Independent Newsrooms, @ Independent Newspapers, @ the WH!!!” Generations of People, standing up against the Deception, Destruction, & Death. A “Party” for Paz En La Tierra.

    We got “The Peace Palace.” Needed is a Dept. Of Peace. I suggest, The “Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, led by Vijay Prashad, be named the Universe’s Department of Peace. Imo, Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research (ISR) “got” the Answer, “Despite Growth, Only Social Movements Will Bring Progress.” January 10, 2024, @ hxxps://

    Onward & upwards! “Save the Date:” February 21, 2024 – Til then, “may the force;” &, the energy, intensity, focus be to “Rescue the One in Most Need,” Julian Assange. Here’s to Julian Assange “Living, Free,” of the bloody, grubby, dirty, infected claws & tentacles that got a hold on him! “Never say die.”….

    …”If, you wanna partner, take my hand; or, if, ya wanna walk w/me another mile, across the burning sand. Here I stand! I’m your man.” Leonard Cohen hxxps://

    TY! “Keep It Lit!” Ciao

  5. Larry McGovern
    January 16, 2024 at 11:15

    Do we have any estimate – perhaps based on previous “provisional measures” decision by the ICJ – on when the court will rule?
    One would certainly hope that the continuing atrocities would spur the court into a decision asap!

    And, oh what I wouldn’t give to ask each of the Israeli defense speakers how they live with themselves! Or better still, wouldn’t I love to haunt their sleep every night with hellish nightmares!

  6. hetro
    January 16, 2024 at 09:58

    The “bald-faced lie,” I believe, is essential to mastery of the “art of genocide.” That is, lying in your face is essentially the act of brazen, flagrant, and obvious untruth. For example, claiming that 274 soldiers, 764 civilians, 57 Israeli police, and 38 local security guards, those killed on October 7 by Hamas, is genocide may bring thoughts on the 12,000 or more child and infant deaths as “child-soldiers of Hamas.” Etc. Politics aside in terms of whatever judgment from the ICJ emerges, this bald-faced lying will not play well on the world stage as this story continues.

  7. Carl Zaisser
    January 16, 2024 at 05:23

    While I agree with Craig Murray that it was quite a spectacle to see a professor such as Shaw lose his place during the procedure, I think Murray exaggerates. It happened exactly twice, not repeatedly. The first instance was noticeable but not quite as comic as the second time, when Shaw commented to the court that “Someone seems to have shuffled my papers” and the delay approached one minute before he had collected himself enough to continue on. But his phrase seemed to suggest that the responsibility for that lapse in preparation was someone else’s fault, not his own. I would not have been surprised if he had followed on with an accusation that Hamas operatives had gained access to his paperwork and decided to sabotage their order. I wish Murray had NOT exaggerated on this point but stuck to the facts of the two times Shaw had to interrupt his presentation because he did not have his papers in prepared sequence. Though I watched the entire procedure myself and took my own notes, I don’t wish to contend other comments in this article by Murray. But his exaggeration here makes it possible to imagine he might have done similarly elsewhere in his comments, notwithstanding that I fully agree with his overall conclusions about the Israeli case.

    • Share
      January 16, 2024 at 22:16

      I watched it live and will not go to count the times Malcolm Shaw had paper sequence problems, I will take your word. It was noteworthy enough for Norman Finkelstein to comment he had a passing thought that maybe if there’s a higher power (my paraphrasing) that it was messing with Shaw’s papers. Interesting that you write you took your own notes. Craig Murray stated in Part One that he was not allowed pen or pencil so I presume that is the case for Part Two and this article is from his memory and impressions.

  8. Vera Gottlieb
    January 16, 2024 at 05:13

    It is high time for israel to STOP hiding behind the Holocaust!!! It should never have happened but enough is enough. Using the Holocaust to distract us from the atrocities israel is committing in Palestine. I say BRAVO!!! to South Africa – a BLACK nation with the courage to bring this to the world scene. And the WHITE WESTERN world? Mostly deafening silence.

  9. Allan Millard
    January 16, 2024 at 01:37

    Israel is really clutching at straws to argue that there must be a dispute between Israel and South Africa in order for the ICJ to have jurisdiction. Prof. Marjorie Cohn dealt with that matter very definitively in the article she wrote for Truthout, reprinted with permission by Consortium News on January 9. To save readers time I will quote what she wrote:

    “The obligations in the Genocide Convention are erga omnes partes, that is, obligations owed by a state towards all the state parties to the Convention. The ICJ has stated, ‘In such a convention the contracting states do not have any interests of their own; they merely have, one and all, a common interest, namely, the accomplishment of those high purposes which are the raison d’etre of the Convention.’ ”

    My reading of the Court’s own words is that any contracting state (which encompasses most of the world) could have brought the case against Israel.

  10. Will Durant
    January 15, 2024 at 21:44

    The U.S., being the world’s biggest hypocrite, invokes international law when it suits us and ignores it when it runs counter to our despicable plans and policies. Because the still the “elephant in the room” international law cannot and will not be effective. It didn’t have to be that way. The power and influence of the U.S. could have been a force for good and supported every point of international law everywhere and in every case. That its leaders chose not to is a tragedy for not only the world but for the U.S. When the world decides that it will conduct business without reference to the petrodollar, the U.S. and its allies will become increasingly isolated and the war machine will lose its fuel. Economic sanctions on countries that we dislike will no longer be possible and we will no longer be able to fund our own bloated military, much less that of Israel. For me, that time cannot come too quickly. Eventually, perhaps nations will come to the conclusion that the costs of war and conflict are simply too great. I hope that international law survives and is sustained, but it will need its champions. There is no credible case that the U.S. is the “indispensable” champion for international law, and it follows that our comeuppance will certainly not damage the case for international law, applied equally and without bias. Hypocrisy can only be sustained when there are no consequences and superiority can be maintained. When the dollar is no longer the reserve currency that game will be over and that will be on our profoundly foolish and reckless political class that proclaims our virtues and brags of our morality and ethics which, because applied with prejudice, is neither moral nor ethical.

    • Gerald La Fleur
      January 16, 2024 at 14:52

      Bravo! but should Israel (the Jews) have to face the death penalty because the USA see its way to be a reasonable “sheriff of the world”? Equitable relief for the more than 100 million refugees of the great wars of the previous century was simply not going to be resolved by unanimous consent; the urgent needs of the refugees and the strained financial resources of the powers that be, mainly the USA, did not allow for everybody’s needs to be considered. And, in the case of the Mandate for Palestine, more than a little racism influenced the decision making; the Arabs would have to accomodate the Jewish refugees so that Europe and USA could focus on other pressing issues.
      This completely underestimated the special historical zeitgeist of Islam resulting the ongoing conflict.

  11. Billy Field
    January 15, 2024 at 19:58


    The Criminalization of International Justice, Putting an End to the Genocide against the People of Palestine. Nuremberg Principle IV

    Disobey Unlawful Orders, Abandon the Battlefield under Principle IV of the Nuremberg Charter

    By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

    • Joy
      January 16, 2024 at 12:15

      Thank you for the link to Prof Chossudovsky’s article. I have read many of his articles over the years. This one is calling for action on the part of individuals involved in the ongoing genocide to refuse to carry out unlawful orders. If only those who might do so, understood their obligations, and had access to reading his call.

  12. BettyK
    January 15, 2024 at 18:24

    Thank you for covering Israeli Zionists’ nonsensical arguments. There were so many, but the one that sticks out in my mind is the ridiculous argument that “well Israel didn’t reply so there is no dispute.” I can’t remember where that argument was recently used, but it didn’t fly their either. I hope the Court does note that “Genocide is different from self defense,” but not in the way the Zionists mean it. I couldn’t bear to watch even the part Kim Iversen showed on Rumble.

  13. bardamu
    January 15, 2024 at 17:56

    I suppose it is inevitable that this sort of process be tiresome and painful, though not thereby less valuable that it should take place.

    It seems that in many ways, through many events, Western civilization is on trial and generally failing badly, falling ever short of its purportedly foundational formulations of rights, perhaps ready to expire without ever having approached a completion of the effort.

    I think of Assange at Belmarsh. Hopefully officials at the Hague will do better.

    I suppose we shall see.

  14. jamie
    January 15, 2024 at 15:25

    I think that either outcomes will be painful for Israel and the west.
    If the genocide will be recognized, the effect will not only be circumscribed to Israel, but it will reach other countries that have support it or stood silent. Moreover, if Israel is accused, it could spark the desire for other investigations, why not US on Iraq? or Afghanistan? Libya?
    Even worse, if the genocide against Palestinian is ignored, denied, downplayed, if Israel gets away with it, the effect will be tremendous around the world; China, Iran and Russia will gather much greater support and the international system of law created by the west for the west will collapse. The west will be further isolated and weakened. The fall of the contemporary international law system should not come as a surprise, it is imperfect, biased, even vicious. But the effect will be felt within the western countries, with the people supporting peace and the end of genocide will grow more detached and frustrated with their leadership and political system. The demonstrations we see now in Germany will grow in numbers and intensity across all western nations, eventually leading to some sort of “organized revolutions”… the more the economy slow and western population takes the hit, the more the rage grows…

    Perhaps, SA and other countries actually accused Israel hoping that it gets away with it…

  15. JonnyJames
    January 15, 2024 at 13:42

    The US continues to ship weapons to Israel free of charge, but the UK is also shipping weapons. Al Jazeera cites reports of the UK shipping weapons to Israel via Cyprus.

    Not that it makes much difference but, I wonder if the UK taxpayer foots the bill, or if Israel actually pays for the weapons and assistance?

  16. JohnB
    January 15, 2024 at 13:29

    Jimmy Stewart portrayed “Anderson” in “Shanondouh” and said: “If you don’t try, you don’t do.”

    Stephen Covey wrote “7 Habits of Highly Effectve People” and concluded: “We get better at what we do,”

    Pascal concluded: “If human kind seeks dignity in thought, let us think well.”

  17. John Puma
    January 15, 2024 at 12:32

    If 07 October was genocide against Israel why didn’t Israel file its own brief to that effect with the ICJ?

  18. michael888
    January 15, 2024 at 12:22

    South Africa should have indicted the US for genocide as well. Israel could not do its ethnic cleansing with the massive support from Genocide Joe.

    There may have been backpedaling by the State Department if “American Democracy!” was attacked.

    Of course there is always the chance that Genocide Joe would double down and start another war with South Africa. What’s one more war?

    As the Intercept has reported, Biden has brought up the (non-existent) 40 decapitated Israeli babies (which he claims he personally saw) in October, November and December (January is only half done).

    • Bobok
      January 15, 2024 at 16:40

      Genocide Joe should probably keep in mind, if he’s capable, that after the national presidential election later this year, that heads will roll, and we’ll all have a fine time watching a lame old man chasing his bouncing head all the way from Pennsylvania Avenue to Rehoboth Beach.

  19. January 15, 2024 at 11:25

    Thanks for this summary. The argument that Israel has the right to self defence has already been addressed in the 2004 ICJ opinion on the Separation Wall in the West Bank. The ICJ said that an occupying power does not have the right to defend itself from a threat that emanates from an occupied territory. Also, I wish the South African lawyers had addressed the use of Artificial Intelligence to turbocharge the massacres by the IDF in Gaza. It is well known that AI removes human agency and accountability. Target lists are spit out from the infamous Gospel AI computer system so fast that the military can’t keep up with them – definitely violating humanitarian law. It’s another reason why this particular ICJ case is so important for human rights globally.

  20. January 15, 2024 at 10:46

    International law is a farce. The claim that judgements are binding is meaningless as they are not enforceable except at the whim of the United States. If the U.S. agrees with a judgment, it may act accordingly and if it doesn’t, it will ignore it completely. And that applies to any friend of the U.S. On the other hand, if a judgment is made against any enemy of the U.S. (of which there are many), the U.S. will ensure that the judgment is rigorously enforced, except when confronted with nuclear weapons.

    Given that the current case before the court involves a friend of the U.S., it’s not hard to predict the outcome of the case.

  21. Arch Stanton
    January 15, 2024 at 10:00

    The sheer volume of lies being spouted by those representing the genocidal Zionist state of Israel is nauseating. Personally, and I hope I’m wrong, I think that the status quo will continue and so any pretence that international laws exist for everyone will evaporate.
    It will be left to the Houthi’s, Iran and its allies to deal with this demonic state instead.

  22. Rebecca
    January 15, 2024 at 08:57

    I think your analysis is spot on, Craig. This is a court of law, not a political arena, although it is obviously influenced by political power, and as such it is far more amenable to even the obscurest procedural point than to questions of mass murder being genocidal or not. The resulting compromise is likely to further undermine the rule of international law and take us further into the ‘rules-based order’ that is, in reality, might making right with fascists using overwhelming force to win. It is up to us, the international working class, to unite in solidarity (and that must include elements of the Israeli and Palestinian working class, however remote that appears right now) to destroy the power of the imperialists, Zionists and capitalists. There really is no other way to avoid a catastrophic world war that seems to be starting.

    • January 15, 2024 at 11:01

      “This is a court of law, not a political arena, …’

      If only that were true. For it to be a true court of law, there must be laws that are enforceable, and the only enforcement agency in the world today is the U.S. military which will only protect U.S. interests.

    • Colin786
      January 16, 2024 at 14:05

      In reality, it should be called the “make up the rules as you go along-based order”, no?

  23. Susan
    January 15, 2024 at 08:51

    And Israel continues to commit bloody murder at will and without remorse –

    • Valerie
      January 15, 2024 at 11:17

      At the end of the day Susan, all this “theatre” and laws mean absolutely nothing to the hapless Palestinians awaiting their fate by bombs, starvation, dehydration, disease, hypothermia.

      • karl
        January 15, 2024 at 16:38

        look at what ansarallah is doing with what little they have,ANY podunk town in the u.s. is better armed,except maybe missiles,only maybe though,perhaps its time we in the belly of the beast do our part to make the world safe from these twin murderous and imperialist threats

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