Day 96 roundtable: Can the ICJ stop Israel’s genocide?

On Thursday, the International Court of Justice began its hearings of South Africa’s application under the Genocide Convention accusing Israel of committing genocide in Gaza.
“What South Africa has done in filing its application with the International Court of Justice … is saying that we, South Africa, have a responsibility, a universal responsibility to try to prevent genocide wherever and whenever it is occurring,” international law expert Michael Lynk told us on Wednesday’s livestream.

“And we think it’s occurring now in Israel’s operations and military operations in Gaza over the last three months.”

The 84-page application submitted by South Africa last month asserts that the ICJ should take rapid measures in order to “protect against further, severe and irreparable harm to the rights of the Palestinian people under the Genocide Convention.”

The measures – such as ordering a ceasefire – are described as “provisional” as they would be introduced before a more thorough examination of the case against Israel takes place.

A dozen pages in the application specifically document instances of genocidal intent by Israeli leaders, a key component of proving the case of genocide at the ICJ.

“This is the best single document available about what Israel has been doing over the last three months,” Lynk, who served as the United Nations’ special rapporteur for the occupied Palestinian territory, explained to us.

“And it’s accessible to non-lawyers. It is an extraordinary document. And the court has to take this seriously.”

Afterwards, Ahmed Masoud, an award-winning Palestinian novelist, joined us from London. He talked about his family trying to find shelter, food, water and medical care in impossible circumstances.

Masoud commented on what has happened in Gaza after a brief truce – also known as a “humanitarian pause” – toward the end of November.

“It got worse, actually, since the ‘humanitarian pause’ … because my mom left the north and went to the south, along with three of my siblings,” he said.

“And I actually heard today … that she’s now in a tent, somewhere in open land, in the al-Mawasi area, which is by the beach, [in] a tent made out of plastic, incredibly cold, doesn’t have enough blankets. And my sister messaged and said that she was crying a lot. And it just broke my heart, really.”

He explained that his family members had been forced to move several times in the last two months.

He showed us videos his relatives recorded of them picking through the rubble of their homes in Jabaliya refugee camp, destroyed by Israeli bombs.
“I’m just kind of trying to stay afloat,” he said, when asked how he was doing personally with managing the trauma of his family members.

“I feel like almost a piece of tissue thrown on a fire, and it just kind of dances in the smoke a little bit, and at some point, it’s going to land on that fire and burn. And I think that is still the feeling. I haven’t haven’t fallen on the flames and burned yet, but I feel it’s getting closer and closer every day, to be honest with you. It’s really tough; it’s now tougher than before. Now, hope is disappearing,” he said.

Later in the program, Ali Abunimah and Asa Winstanley remarked on a recent query by a Washington Post writer to The Electronic Intifada.

The reporter, Elizabeth Dwoskin, has ostensibly been tasked to write a hit piece on this publication as well as The Grayzone over our factual reporting debunking Israel’s lies about 7 October.

Jon Elmer analyzed the latest videos of actions by Palestinian resistance groups against Israeli soldiers in Gaza, as well as Hizballah’s attack against a secret Israeli surveillance base.
And I provided a brief report on Israel’s genocidal attacks on Palestinians in Gaza and the occupied West Bank.
Watch the entire broadcast above or listen via Soundcloud below.




Thank you so much Jon and Asa for your comments at 1h 39m of the Day 96 roundtable about what happened on Oct 7th militarily. I've been thinking for some time it would be great to see a detailed analysis of the events on the day, i.e. the co-ordinated attack by the resistance on the IDF. This is always deliberately obscured and downplayed by the Israelis and their backers; so whenever people say Oct 7th its always all about the music festival and the kibbutzes.

The rage of the Israelis, and the US, is driven much more by the massive military defeat of the IDF on the day, and the profound implications of that. We know they care nothing for life, even of their own people.

Thanks so much for all that you are doing on Electronic Intifida, and the high standards of reporting you apply to everything you do.

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Nora Barrows-Friedman

Nora Barrows-Friedman's picture

Nora Barrows-Friedman is a staff writer and associate editor at The Electronic Intifada, and is the author of In Our Power: US Students Organize for Justice in Palestine (Just World Books, 2014).