April 20, 2024

Under UN Charter, Iran’s Attack Was a Legal Response to Israel’s Illegal Attack

Iran’s attack on Israel was lawful self-defense carried out in compliance with international humanitarian law.

On April 1, Israel mounted an unprovoked military attack on a building that was part of the Iranian Embassy complex in Damascus, Syria, killing seven of Iran’s senior military advisers and five additional people. The victims included Gen. Mohamad Reza Zahedi, head of Iran’s covert military operations in Lebanon and Syria, and two other senior generals.

Although Israel’s attack violated the United Nations Charter, the UN Security Council refused to condemn it because the United States, the U.K. and France exercised their vetoes on April 4.

Iran considered this attack on its consulate “an act of war,” Trita Parsi wrote at Foreign Policy.

On April 11, the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations stated: “Had the UN Security Council condemned the Zionist regime’s reprehensible act of aggression on our diplomatic premises in Damascus and subsequently brought to justice its perpetrators, the imperative for Iran to punish this rogue regime might have been obviated.”

Read more
April 14, 2024

Nicaragua Takes Germany to the World Court for Facilitating Israel’s Genocide

Germany is second only to the US as the largest supplier of weapons to Israel.

As Israel’s genocidal campaign against the Palestinians in Gaza — which has killed more than 33,000 Gazans — enters its seventh month, Nicaragua sued Germany in the International Court of Justice (ICJ, or World Court) for facilitating genocide.

Nicaragua charged that, “Germany has provided political, financial and military support to Israel fully aware at the time of authorization that the military equipment would be used in the commission of great breaches of international law,” adding, “The military equipment provided by Germany enabling Israel to perpetrate genocidal acts and other atrocities, included supplies to the front line and warehouses, and assurances of future supplies such as ammunition, technology and diverse components necessary for the Israeli military.” Nicaragua also cited Germany’s defunding of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which “provides essential support to the civilian population.”

Read more
April 3, 2024

World Court Ordered Israel to Allow Aid Into Gaza But Failed to Order Ceasefire

Seven of the 16 judges thought the ICJ should order that Israel immediately suspend its military operations in Gaza.

On March 25, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2728, which “demands” an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. That same day, Francesca Albanese, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, filed a 25-page report in the UN Human Rights Council, titled “Anatomy of a Genocide.” Albanese found “reasonable grounds” to believe that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza.

Three days later, on March 28, the International Court of Justice (ICJ, or World Court) ordered Israel to ensure the “unhindered provision” of humanitarian aid to enter Gaza, including by opening more land crossings, and to ensure that its military doesn’t commit genocidal acts, including by obstructing urgently needed humanitarian assistance.

Read more
March 31, 2024

UK Court Gives Biden Chance to Dodge Assange Appeal by “Assuring” His Rights

The WikiLeaks publisher could be extradited if the US gives “satisfactory assurances” of rights and no death penalty.

WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange is closer than ever to being extradited to the United States for trial on 17 counts under the Espionage Act and one count of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion over WikiLeaks’s 2010-2011 revelation of evidence of U.S. war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay. He faces 175 years in prison.

“This is a signal to all of you that if you expose the interests that are driving war they will come after you, they will put you in prison and they will try to kill you,” said Stella Assange, Julian’s wife, of his prosecution.

Read more
March 27, 2024

Israel Remains Intent on Genocide Despite World Court Orders

After the ICJ told Israel not to commit genocide, it killed, wounded and denied aid to tens of thousands of Gazans.

Israel is continuing its genocidal campaign against the Palestinians in Gaza and hindering humanitarian relief efforts despite specific orders from the International Court of Justice (ICJ), or the World Court, to refrain from these very actions.

On January 26, in South Africa’s genocide case against Israel, the ICJ ordered the following provisional measures be taken:

  1. Israel shall prevent the commission of all genocidal acts, especially (a) killing Palestinians in Gaza; (b) causing serious bodily or mental harm to Palestinians in Gaza; (c) deliberately inflicting on Palestinians in Gaza conditions of life calculated to bring about their physical destruction in whole or in part; and (d) imposing measures intended to prevent Palestinian births in Gaza;
  2. Israel shall immediately ensure that its military does not commit any of the acts listed above;
  3. Israel shall punish the direct and public incitement to commit genocide;
  4. Israel shall immediately enable urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance to Palestinians in Gaza;
  5. Israel shall prevent the destruction and ensure the preservation of evidence; and
  6. Israel shall submit a report to the ICJ on all measures taken to carry out this order within one month.
Read more
March 7, 2024

Israel Didn’t Even Try to Defend the Legality of Its Occupation to World Court

Israel’s system is “an even more extreme form of the apartheid” than South Africa’s was, the South African ambassador said.

For six days, more than 50 countries, the League of Arab States, the African Union and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation presented testimony to the International Court of Justice (ICJ, or World Court) about the legality of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory. The overwhelming majority of them, largely from the Global South, told the court that the occupation was illegal.

Read more
February 29, 2024

US Refuses to Assure UK Judges That Assange Won’t Be Executed If He’s Extradited

UK law prohibits extradition to a country that may impose capital punishment.

On February 20 and 21, as nearly 1,000 supporters of Julian Assange gathered outside the London courthouse, a two-judge panel of the High Court of Justice presided over a “permission hearing.” Assange’s lawyers asked the judges to allow them to appeal the home secretary’s extradition order and raise issues that the district court judge had rejected without full consideration.

The High Court panel, Dame Victoria Sharp and Justice Jeremy Johnson, were concerned that the U.S. government could execute Assange if he is extradited to the United States, a penalty outlawed in the U.K. Although Assange faces 175 years in prison for the charges alleged in the indictment, there is nothing to prevent the U.S. from adding additional offenses which would carry the death penalty.

Read more
February 13, 2024

Supreme Court All But Ignores January 6 During Trump Disqualification Argument

Only Sonia Sotomayor appears willing to obey the command of the Disqualification Clause of the 14th Amendment.

Nearly 24 years ago, five right-wing members of the Supreme Court handed the presidency to George W. Bush in Bush v. Gore. Despite the conservatives’ hypocritical deference to the states on gun control, tobacco “rights,” disability rights and violence against women, the court overruled Florida’s interpretation of its election statutes to install Bush as president.

Now, the high court is poised to insinuate itself once again into a presidential election by allowing Trump-the-insurrectionist to remain on the ballot in Colorado in violation of the Disqualification Clause in Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. But this time the six right-wingers on the court will likely be joined by at least two of their liberal colleagues.

Read more
February 1, 2024

US Judge Admits Horror of Gaza Genocide, But Will He Dismiss Case Against Biden?

The judge noted that the US government doesn’t dispute the uncontradicted evidence of a “genocide in progress.”

Mere hours after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) found a plausible case that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza, a historic hearing took place in a federal courtroom in Oakland, California. Several Palestinians who are suing President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin for failure to prevent genocide and complicity in genocide testified before district court Judge Jeffrey White in a live-streamed session.

“I have lost everything in this war,” plaintiff Dr. Omar Al-Najjar testified from a hospital in Gaza. “I have nothing but my grief. This is what Israel and its supporters have done to us.” Al-Najjar reported that conditions are so bad there is “widespread childbirth in the street.”

Read more
January 30, 2024

What Happens Now That the ICJ Has Ordered Israel Not to Engage in Genocide?

The ICJ ruling was a victory for Palestinians and for international law. Here are possible avenues for enforcement.

What comes next, now that the International Court of Justice (ICJ), also known as the World Court, has handed down its near unanimous ruling that South Africa presented a “plausible” case that Israel was violating the Genocide Convention?

The January 26 provisional ruling – which was a landmark victory for the Palestinian people, and indeed, for international law itself — now goes to the United Nations Security Council for enforcement. It would be within the Security Council’s purview to order economic or trade sanctions, arms embargoes, travel bans or even military force.

But in the likely event that the United States vetoes enforcement measures from the Security Council, the UN General Assembly can still act independently in materially significant ways.

Read more