News Release

Gaza: South Africa Asks for More Orders from ICJ as UN Votes on Palestine


The International Court of Justice has just reported that South Africa has asked for additional provisional measures against Israel in its genocide case. In past provisional measures, the ICJ has ordered Israel to stop all genocidal acts. The UN General Assembly has voted 143 in favor, 9 against, 25 abstentions to admit Palestine, but without voting rights. Thousands of students have been arrested in the U.S. protesting against Israel’s attack on Gaza.

Boyle is professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law. He represented Bosnia at the International Court of Justice in its Genocide Convention case against Yugoslavia.

He said today: “From 1993 to 1994 I repeatedly pleaded with the International Court of Justice to stop the genocide in Bosnia that culminated in the 1995 Srebrenica Massacre. The Court failed then by not issuing stronger orders and it has failed again by not issuing stronger orders against Israel in its genocidal campaign against the Palestinians, with more carnage now happening in Rafah.” With South Africa’s latest Application, Boyle said, the ICJ has one, possibly last, chance. (South Africa in its case against Israel under the Genocide Convention quoted from Boyle’s Application and Boyle was the first to urge that the Genocide Convention be invoked against Israel.)

South African Minister of International Relations Naledi Pandor just heavily criticized the International Criminal Court, which was rumored to be going after Netanyahu personally recently, for its total non-action regarding Israel: “it took three weeks to issue warrants on Putin, seven months and nothing on Netanyahu.” Pandor notes that she received a threatening letter from U.S. lawmakers as ICC prosecutor Karim Khan has.

Boyle said today: “One of the most glaring failures of the international system is the corrupt ICC. Its refusal to do anything regarding Israel’s war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide against the Palestinians makes the ICC an accessory to the criminality.”

Boyle, noting that even though the UN General Assembly vote today was overwhelming, it was also very weak, describing it as “near de facto non-voting membership for Palestine. … What should be happening is the UN General Assembly should be meeting under the Uniting for Peace Resolution and adopting meaningful sanctions against Israel.

“Many countries have condemned Israel genocide and its attack on Rafah.The General Assembly can admit Palestine as a full-fledged voting UN member state, suspend Israel as it did apartheid South Africa and genocidal Yugoslavia, set up a criminal tribunal to prosecute Israeli officials as the Security Council did in the cases of Rwanda and Yugoslavia, recommend economic sanctions and severing of diplomatic relations with Israel.”

UN whistleblower Craig Mokhiber has similarly recently stated: “Israel is a threat to the lives of millions and to international peace and security. The Security Council is blocked by the U.S. veto. The General Assembly should convene under Uniting for Peace (A/Res/377(V)) & the 2005 Summit (A/Res/60/1, para 139) to organize a protection force.”

Boyle is author of the books Protesting Power: War, Resistance and Law and Defending Civil Resistance under International Law. He said today: “All these young people getting arrested are not engaging in civil disobedience. They are upholding international law. Their civil resistance is consistent with the obligation set forth in Article 1 of the 1948 Genocide Convention ‘to prevent’ genocide. In the 1980s, I was able to use similar arguments to get acquittals at trials of civil resisters against the criminal apartheid regime in South Africa that is legally analogous to the criminal apartheid regime in Israel. Also, three ICJ rulings regarding the U.S. government’s illegal war against Nicaragua along the lines of the three ICJ rulings won by South Africa against Israel for the Palestinians produced similar acquittals for civil resisters against the Reagan administration.”

See “The Problem of Karim Khan” by Mouin Rabbani.