Netanyahu government is seeking a war with Lebanon while facing a trial in the ICJ for genocide

Yossi Schwartz ISL (the section of the RCIT in Israel/Occupied Palestine), 03.01

On Tuesday a leader of Hamas Saleh al-Arouri was assassinated by a Zionist drone strike on southern Beirut, Lebanon suburb of Dahiyeh. Al-Arouri was the deputy chief of Hamas’s political bureau and one of the founders of the Qassam Brigades. Samir Findi Abu Amer and Azzam Al-Aqraa Abu Ammar, leaders of Hamas’ armed wing – the Qassam Brigades – were also killed, Hamas’s leader Ismail Haniyeh stated that the attack was a terrorist act, a violation of Lebanon’s sovereignty, and an expansion of Israel’s war against Palestinians.

 Hezbollah announced that it will punish Israel. Hezbollah called it “a serious assault on Lebanon

We, Hezbollah, affirm that this crime will not go unanswered or unpunished,” the movement said in a statement that called it “a serious assault on Lebanon… and a dangerous development in the course of the war,” the statement added The Prime Minister of Lebanon Najib Mikati said that the attack “aims to draw Lebanon into a new phase of confrontations with Israel at a time when Hamas ally Hezbollah has been exchanging daily cross-border fire with Israeli forces in northern Israel” [1] [2]

Thus, there is a reasonable possibility that Hezbollah will expend the military front against Israel.

At the same time South Africa filed a case against Israel for Genocide in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and Israel that signed the convention against the crime of genocide will try to defend itself. Israel has reversed decades of old policy not to appear before the International Court of Justice. In 2004, Israel declined to appear before the ICJ that ruled on the legality of the West Bank barrier. The ICJ ruled that the barrier was illegal and theoretically might have moderated its ruling if it had heard the full case by Israel directly. Israel ignored the ruling, partially with the argument that it did not recognize the court’s jurisdiction. Since the decision was only in the nature of opinion it did not obligate Israel. This time it is a trial.

Israel is ignoring and denying jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the UN Human Rights Council probes.

The ruling will examine the killing of over 20000 Palestinians of Gaza 70% of them women and children. A ruling that Israel is guilty of genocide will have influence even of the white house that supports the genocide by providing Israel the ammunition to carry it out.

From 2015-2021, Israel carried on an informal dialogue with the International Criminal Court (ICC), and in 2016 the ICC visited Israel and the West Bank, and last month, the ICC visited again, though on a strictly humanitarian basis.

If it rules that Israel committed genocide, the US and a number of EU allies will likely express public disagreement with the ruling. It is also likely that the same states will apply pressure on the ICJ not to issue a verdict against Israel.

The damage to Israel will be more in the realm of the court of public opinion in the West and it could empower the economic boycott movement – the BDS and others.

Unlike a verdict of the ICJ, the ICC can demand that its member states, virtually all of Europe, arrest any Israeli who it might charge with a war crime. It is one thing for Israel to hope EU countries disagree with the ICJ regarding public statements. It is another thing to expect them to ignore a binding arrest warrant.

It seems that the ICC decides to charge Israel – and it already opened a criminal probe in early 2021 and ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan gave Israel more attention in October-November than any ICC prosecutor has over 20 years – the impact could be devastating for Israel more than any ICJ ruling.

Israeli war criminals could start to have trouble traveling the world. In a post-October 7 era, when the IDF will need a huge increase in soldiers wanting to join combat units, more soldiers may be discouraged by the threat of facing international arrest warrants for them personally.

This means that Israel will want to continue its two primary arguments against ICC intervention: 1) there is no basis for intervention because there is no Palestinian state recognized by the UN Security Council to refer the case and 2) there is no basis for intervention because of Israel’s apparatus to self-probe its own alleged violations of the laws of war. However, if Israel loses before the ICJ, the verdict of the ICC will become far more likely.

At the same time, we should be skeptical about both courts that have a long history of not issuing verdicts against the imperialist states Israel included.

Down with the Zionist state!

For Palestine red and free from the river to the sea!




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