“Obeying the ICJ Order Is Israel’s Last Opportunity to Save Itself From Becoming a Pariah State,” Gideon Levy. | Survivability News Op-Ed.


by Gideon Levy, Haaretz | Survivability News Op-Ed.  

Israel has only one way out; it won’t choose it. The only way to avoid tumbling into the abyss whose edges we now skirt is to say yes to Friday’s ruling by the International Court of Justice.

This is how a state governed by laws must behave. This is how a state that aspires to be a legitimate member of the family of nations should behave. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should have already promised compliance on Friday evening. The gates of hell that threaten to open on Israel would remain closed, at least briefly. An Israel that obeys the Court will be a state that is ruled by laws and that must be respected.

By saying yes, he would not only have saved it from further pointless bloodshed in Rafah, he also would have stopped the international snowball that is barreling toward the state. Ending the fighting in Rafah and the entire war is Israel’s last possible chance to regain its prewar international standing. It’s not much, but it’s much more than it has today.
ICJ Judges, on Thursday. Credit: Yves Herman/Reuters

If Israel decides to ignore the order – a near certainty – it will be declaring itself a pariah state. Recovery from this situation will take years and extract an intolerable price, some of it personal, from every Israeli.

But as always, Israel is searching for ways to ignore the order and to recruit Washington into undermining international law. It is hard to imagine any greater folly. We must hope, of course, for America and for Israel, that this time the United States will draw the line on its willingness to defy the entire world, and international law, for the sake of its wayward protégé state.

One step from the abyss, there are two urgent measures that Israel must take: ending the war and replacing its government. The world’s top two courts ordered it to do exactly that. The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court requested international arrest warrants for Israel’s prime minister and defense minister, and the International Court of Justice ordered an end to the fighting in Rafah.

If arrest warrants are issued for Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, they will have to replace the government if they want to survive. Ending the fighting in Rafah will bring an end to the whole war and also the release of the hostages. Israel will not comply with either ruling. They are too logical, correct, and just for it.

Since the hasty withdrawal from Sinai in 1956, Israel has never acceded to the will of the international community, as if the world and its decisions have nothing to do with it. Invulnerable and protected by America, the Bible and a certain nuclear research center in Dimona, it has always acted as if it had license to scoff at the whole world. That ended the day it invaded Gaza in such a brutal, unchecked manner.

Judge Nawaf Salam, the president of the ICJ, barely finished reading out the verdict when Israel intensified its attacks on Rafah, a city from which almost 1 million people have fled for the beaches and in which just one, eight-bed hospital remains.

Salam was still reading the ruling when, for the first time in years, Sufyan Abu Zaydeh, a former minister of prisoners’ affairs in the Palestinian Authority, who fled from Gaza to Cairo, called me: Eight members of his family were killed Wednesday in Jabalya.

Marwa, his niece, was the only one who was not asleep when the missile tore into her family’s home. She saw it all, like in a horror movie, she toldher uncle in the Egyptian capital. The missile killed his other niece, Iman; in her arms was her 7-month-old daughter, who was also killed. Her 4-year-old son was thrown into the neighbors’ apartment and killed. She also saw how the missile tore apart the bodies of her 4-year-old twins, Isr and Asr, and severed the arm of her son Nasser, 7. Marwa’s mother and brother were also killed before her eyes by the missile. She lost her husband at the beginning of the war. He was killed during the funeral of his niece.

This is what the International Court of Justice demanded an end to Friday. This is Israel’s last chance.

The post “Obeying the ICJ Order Is Israel’s Last Opportunity to Save Itself From Becoming a Pariah State,” Gideon Levy. | Survivability News Op-Ed. appeared first on Survivability News | Powered By MLi Group.

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