Spain Applies to Join ICJ Genocide Case Against Israel

“We Want Peace” — The country’s foreign minister said Madrid is joining the case to save civilians, support the United Nations and international law.

Spain’s Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares Bueno briefing reporters at U.N. headquarters on Feb. 2. (UN Photo/Loey Felipe)

By Edward Carver
Common Dreams

Spain’s foreign minister announced Thursday that the country had applied to join the genocide case against Israel at the International Court of Justice, just over a week after formally recognizing a Palestinian state alongside other European countries.

South Africa brought the case and has led it through its early stages, which culminated on May 24 with the ICJ, the United Nations’ highest court, ordering Israel to halt its military offensive on Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip — an order that Israel ignored.

Mexico, Colombia, Nicaragua, Libya and the Palestinians have already applied to join the case, while Chile and Ireland have also announced plans to intervene in support of the case.

“We do it out of commitment to the United Nations and to international law,” José Manuel Albares, Spain’s foreign minister, said Thursday in a social media post that included a video of his announcement speech. “To support the work of the court. To avoid more civilian deaths. For the peace.”

“We take the decision because of the ongoing military operation in Gaza,” Albares said, according to The Associated Press. “We want peace to return to Gaza and the Middle East, and for that to happen we must all support the court.”

Albares is a member of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE), a center-left party that leads a coalition government. Sumar, a new left-wing party that is the junior partner in the coalition, has been strongly pro-Palestine; the party’s ministers have called Israel’s war in Gaza a genocide.

Podemos, a left-wing party that was part of previous coalitions but now holds only five seats in Parliament and has been largely replaced by Sumar, has taken a similarly strong position; its leader had previously called for Spain to back the ICJ genocide case.

The ICJ is one of several international institutions that pro-Palestine governments are using to try to isolate Israel and hold it to account for its ongoing assault on Gaza, which has killed more than 36,000 people, mostly women and children, in the last eight months.

Israel’s military killed dozens early Thursday by bombing a school where refugees were sheltering. Most of the dead were women and children, the AP reported

Spain is one of several European countries that have recognized a Palestinian state in recent weeks; indeed, Madrid has been central to organizing the European effort. Israel responded by threatening “severe consequences” to nations that recognize Palestine, and it held out a special level of ire for Spanish leaders. 

“Hamas thanks you for your service,” Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz wrote in a message to Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez on social media, along with a video that, in Al Jazeera‘s description, “flipped between images of flamenco dancers and apparent scenes of the Palestinian group’s incursion into southern Israel on October 7.”

The move for recognition has widespread support among the Spanish public — 78 percent based on a Madrid think tank’s survey, according to Al Jazeera.

Sumar has also pushed for Spain to support the arrest warrant applications for the leaders of Israel and Hamas submitted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), which like the ICJ is based in The Hague, Netherlands. 

U.S. President Joe Biden has been criticized by humanitarian groups for condemning the ICC’s proposed warrants rather than supporting them. Neither the U.S. nor Israel recognizes the ICC’s jurisdiction.

Edward Carver is a staff writer for Common Dreams.

This article is from  Common Dreams.

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3 comments for “Spain Applies to Join ICJ Genocide Case Against Israel

  1. Ed
    June 7, 2024 at 12:21

    Thank you Spain

  2. Vera Gottlieb
    June 7, 2024 at 10:05

    If israeli Jews demand the right to live in peace and security…SO TOO Palestinians who have been persecuted since 1948.

  3. June 6, 2024 at 22:02

    FM Katz and the boys were high on sweaty wild violence, hatred and racism = militant Judaic messianism as they ran thru the Damascus Gate.
    “The boys greeted him (IBG) with shouts of “Here comes Israel’s next prime minister.”

    Nir Hassan for Haaretz “..?I’ve Seen Every Jerusalem Flag March in Last 16 Years. This One Was the Ugliest?For the first time since I have been covering the march, I was attacked by a group of youths.They pushed me to the ground and kicked me for a period of time I find hard to gauge – until I saw the Border Police pushing them away. One of the Border Police officers helped me to my feet. Another found my glasses. I emerged with scratches and light bruises, while two photographers suffered blows from objects thrown at their heads. The story is the depth of the cesspool to which the religious Zionist society has sunk. This is a society whose main annual event is a sickening demonstration of racism and violence. The youths – boys and girls alike?It measures the levels of hatred, racism and violence in the religious Zionist society and the tolerance of the police and the rest of society to these traits. This year’s diagnosis is terminal. Wednesday’s march was one of the most violent and ugliest I have seen – and I have witnessed every single one over the past 16 years…”

    “…The louder the cries for revenge and the wilder the violence, the stronger the sense that this whole effort covers a hollow sovereignty and a failed policy.the Israeli leadership that passed through Damascus Gate on Wednesday has no relevant answer for the future and for the people of Jerusalem and Israel. They have no plan, no solution and no hope to offer. Instead, they hope we will make do with revenge…”

    Thank you Jose Manuel Albares + SPAIN! We need to visit Museo del Prado, Madrid to see: Francisco Goya’s ‘Saturn Devouring His Son’ It is traditionally considered a depiction of the Greek myth of the Titan Cronus, whom the Romans called Saturn, eating one of his children out of fear of a prophecy by Gaea that one of his children would overthrow him. Genocide Joe needs to devour Butcher Bibi June 24th. it’s a fantasy; but make the movie anyway!

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