Patrick Smith’s analysis of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling against the state of Israel is welcome but we question his interpretation of one key aspect of the judgment when he discusses the “plausibility of the intent claim – not yet of the fact” (If Ireland wants to join South Africa’s case against Israel, here’s what it needs to consider, Opinion, 04 January – https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/2024/02/03/if-ireland-wants-to-join-south-africas-case-against-israel-heres-what-it-needs-to-consider/).
The fact of genocidal intent by Israeli leaders could not be clearer and was accepted by the court and confirmed by US Judge Donoghue when she noted: “The court has taken note of a number of statements by senior Israeli officials …… including the Defence Minister, the Israeli President ……..” and “in the courts view, the aforementioned facts and circumstances (italics mine) are sufficient to conclude that at least some of the rights claimed by South Africa and for which it is seeking protection are plausible.” So, the statements of genocidal intent by Israeli leaders were accepted by the ICJ as facts, which thus gave plausibility to South Africa’s case.
It was a fact even accepted by the Israeli judge who voted for the ruling that called on Israel “to prevent and punish public incitement to commit genocide against Palestinians”.
Israel has responded with two fingers to the ICJ showing its disdain for international law by killing more than 373 Palestinians and injuring 643 within 48 hours since the Court’s ruling while also ramping up efforts to starve and displace Gazans – according to Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor (EURO MED REPORT) – as well as attempting to discredit the UNWRA.
Any further prevarication by governmental signatories to the Genocide Convention, including that of Ireland, implicates them legally and morally, in what is plausibly, if not undoubtedly, an ongoing genocide. The Irish government should therefore not only immediately signal its intention to support South Africa’s case, it should also severely sanction Israel’s leaders, whose clear genocidal intentions have been accepted as facts by the world’s highest court.
PRO Steering Committee, Irish Anti-War Movement,
PO Box 9260,