(LifeSiteNews) — In a widely anticipated move, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has announced it will be delivering its preliminary findings tomorrow.
In a press release issued yesterday, January 24, the ICJ said it will “deliver its Order on the request for the indication of provisional measures submitted by South Africa” in South Africa v. Israel this Friday, January 26, at 1 p.m. Central European Time.
The court’s decision will not present a verdict in the case brought by South Africa against Israel, which alleges the treatment of the Palestinians amounts to genocide. The full document, available here, shows details of the case and the possible actions of the court.
Friday will see the court announce whether it will demand “provisional measures submitted by South Africa,” which would see the court order Israel to halt military operations. The court commenced its deliberations on January 12, a rapid response to a question of global significance.
A final verdict on the allegations of genocide could take years to arrive. Yet the consequences of any preliminary finding against Israel would have a profound impact not only on the state of Israel, but on its major allies in the U.S., the U.K., and the wider Western world.
The U.S. and U.K. governments have repeatedly stressed their support for the Zionism which inspires the current Israeli government’s actions.
As the court heard Mexico and Chile also request that Israel be investigated for genocide, U.S. official John Kirby laid out the U.S. position.
Kirby, the strategic communications coordinator at the National Security Council, said there is “no evidence” of “deliberate” Israeli war crimes – a statement not supported by academics specializing in the subject of war crimes and genocide.
One of the “world’s leading experts on the subject of genocide” according to the U.S. Holocaust Museum, Professor Omer Bartov, is Samuel Pisar Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the Ivy League’s Brown University in Rhode Island.
Bartov presented evidence of Israeli war crimes in an interview with Karat’s SaltCube Analytics.
On 13th January he said the charge of genocide is evidenced both on the ground, and in the Israeli high command:
If you put it all together you can certainly say that there is good evidence to show that both commanders on the ground and higher commanders are involved in war crimes in Gaza.
According to Bartov and other commentators, much of the evidence for the case has come from the mouths of the Israeli government itself. Three weeks ago Michelle Goldberg, who grew up in Israel, wrote a New York Times op-ed titled “America Must Face Up to Israel’s Extremism.”
She cited Daniel Levy, a former Israeli negotiator with the Palestinians who now heads the U.S./Middle East Project. Levy said that in the Biden administration there is a “willful refusal to take seriously just how extreme this government is – whether before Oct. 7 or subsequently.”
It is an extremism whose international impact can no longer be ignored, regardless of the court’s decision.
Israeli isolation amidst mounting international outrage is already a reality. At last night’s U.N. Security Council, the Israeli government faced condemnation from U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who described Israel’s “clear and repeated rejection of the two-state solution” as “unacceptable.”
Referring to remarks made last week, in which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was “proud” to have prevented a Palestinian state and destroyed the peace process, Guterres went on to stress the danger presented to the world by the escalating conflict triggered by Israeli actions.
This refusal, and the denial of the right to statehood to the Palestinian people, would indefinitely prolong a conflict that has become a major threat to global peace and security.
Earlier in the session, many diplomats left the room as the Israeli ambassador rose to speak.
Impact on the U.S.
The U.S. “runs the risk of undoing our own global supremacy,” according to former U.S. State Department diplomat Chas Freeman, if it does not retreat from its position of unconditional support for Israel.
Speaking in an interview earlier this month, Freeman claimed “our own reputation is following Israel into a tailspin which could formerly never be imagined. We don’t enjoy the admiration of the world any more.”
He noted that following an order to cease military operations from the ICJ, “Israel will be a pariah.”
Freeman warns the wider effects of U.S. isolation will see the dollar system undermined – as an anti-U.S./Israel bloc allies around the competing BRICS system.
According to him, close alliance with Israel is not only morally indefensible, but is destroying U.S. national interests.
From a moral point of view our position is indefensible. From the point of view of our interests it is devastating.
So I doubt very much that anyone other than … people who are committed to Zionism will find it easy to sympathize with what we’re doing.
The United Kingdom’s unelected Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has followed the Biden administration’s line, renewing his unconditional support for Israel at a speech in London earlier this week, in which he followed the U.S. Congress in equating criticism of the extreme ideology of Zionism with the hatred of the Jews.
Powerful words from PM Rishi Sunak in his speech to the Conservative Friends of Israel.
We must acknowledge: “Anti-zionism all too often morphs into antisemitism.”
— StandWithUsUK (@StandWithUsUK) January 24, 2024
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution last December which declared that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.
U.S. and U.K. ally Australia, a partner in their Pacific military bloc AUKUS, also faces a quandary should the court order to halt a suspected genocide.
The Australian government joined President Biden in labeling the actions of Russia in Ukraine a genocide. The Australian government led calls in September 2023 for the ICJ to rule on a similar charge against Russia to that made against Israel. This would see Australia face considerable difficulty in dismissing any ruling against Israel on these grounds.
The ICJ is the high court of the United Nations and aims to settle disputes between nations. Whilst it has no power to prosecute individuals, its rulings – even at the preliminary stage – certainly have the power to also amplify a dispute so charged as that of the alleged genocide by Israel.
You can watch the court deliver its findings here on Friday, January 26, at 7:00am eastern, 1:00pm Central European Time.