To Ensure Peace, Mobilize to End the “Rules-Based Order”

From February 19-26, the International Court of Justice will be taking testimony in its review of the legality of Israel’s conduct in its occupation of Palestinian territories over the recent decades, pursuant to a request from the UN General Assembly submitted in December 2022. So far, 52 countries and groups are scheduled to speak, including the African Union, the League of Arab States, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and dozens of nations. Hopefully, this will be another occasion to expose the background to the horror unfolding today, in which Israel is not the main guilty party, but rather the entire Anglo-American geopolitical “rules-based order” of which Israel has been the instrument.

Indeed, the urgency of such action for Gaza could hardly be greater. Around Rafah, 1.4 million people are crowded together, after being displaced repeatedly, and intense bombing is ongoing. The Israel Defense Forces special forces did rescue two hostages, yet, in the immediate vicinity, some 100 people were killed, including women and children. Despite pleas for a ceasefire from around the world, including inside Israel, Prime Minister Netanyahu – with the full support of the Biden Administration – has adamantly refused. In addition, the U.S. and the UK in particular threaten to escalate the conflict to the entire region, by carrying out airstrikes against Yemen and in Syria and Irak.

Meanwhile, the funds available to UNRWA, the only UN agency providing relief on the ground, will be depleted by March, after the major donor countries suspended payments (cf. SAS 5,6/24). This was reported Feb.12 in Brussels, by agency head Philippe Lazzarini, who has refused to resign over accusations leveled, with no possibility for verification, by Tel Aviv. UNRWA has 30,000 workers in the greater region, caring for over six million Palestinians.

Moreover, the Netanyahu government shut down the UNRWA bank accounts with Israel’s Bank Leumi, and canceled its tax-exemption for charitable work. And it has blocked for weeks now a Turkish shipping convoy of more than 1,000 containers of relief food that could sustain a million people for one month (flour, rice, cooking oil, sugar, chickpeas).

President Biden delivered another blow to the Palestinians on Feb. 8, by signing an executive security memorandum, ordering that foreign governments which deploy U.S.-donated weapons must observe human rights, but when asked about it, the White House claimed that Israel was willing to provide such assurances!

Reflecting the opposition inside Israel, 24 Israeli organizations issued Feb. 7 a call for a full and immediate ceasefire and massive aid, as well as the immediate release of the hostages. The complete petition, has been posted by Yesh Din-Volunteers for Human Rights. They call on the international community to “uphold its legal obligation to restore respect for international humanitarian law and protect civilians”, and ensure that those responsible for violations be held accountable.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email