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The True Purpose of the International Court of Justice Ruling on Israel Committing Genocide

The ICJ concluded there is a plausible case of genocide against the Israeli occupation entity, going into a great amount of detail evidencing the genocide, as shown in Para 46 of the ruling below [1]:

The Court did not claim these are South Africa’s assertions, rather these are the fact findings of the Court itself. Moreover, the court explicitly ordered the Israeli military to stop killing Palestinians [1].

Given the extent of the genocide in Gaza and its context, this verdict cannot be considered a victory, so to speak. If the ICJ had fallen shorter than this, it would lose its credibility. For this reason, it had no choice but to explicitly order the Israeli military to stop killing Palestinians.

To expect or demand a ceasefire from this case would be naïve, since the ICJ is not independent nor impartial, it is a court for the UN. The UN itself was created by the victors of WWII, Britain and America [2] and refers back to the interests and decisions of the superpowers. Therefore, an international body such as the ICJ will resort to outcomes and decisions that have many dimensions that can be cited by America when it sees fit depending on what suits their position.

The Israeli occupation entity may claim victory due to no explicit orders for a ceasefire and use it as legitimate grounds for the continuation of its genocide, whilst America and the sponsors of the Israeli occupation entity were not implicated in any way. At the same time, this ruling can be used as a pressure lever against the Israeli occupation entity, not just from justice seeking entities but even America itself, given the ICJ is seen as an “Independent body” [3]. Therefore, even if America does not support the idea of charging the Israeli occupation entity with genocide now, they agree with the Court ruling of plausible genocide, so long as it does not lead to any tangible change at the current stage.

Moreover, a central element in protecting American interests is control over public perception and it has succeeded in this regard in the past. However, when massacres become high profile and the masks of deception fall, this will negatively affect American interests and is something that will become clearer in the upcoming elections this year. Therefore, it would have backfired on American interests to not allow this case to go through, since the backlash would be even greater and would create a greater gap between the government and the public. America could use other means to pressure the Israeli occupation entity and not allow the decision in the ICJ to go forward, but to appease the public did it allow it to do so. 

The verdict can also be considered a moral victory for the Palestinian cause and has allowed the resistance to vindicate its strategy of armed resistance – the ICJ’s failure to call for a ceasefire, and its lack of enforcement demonstrates that international law can’t be relied upon.

It can be summarized that what transpires is what is in the political interest of America. In the upcoming phase when this current war comes to a halt, the American internal discussion will no doubt center on the role of the Israeli occupation entity moving forward, its destiny and “fitness for life.” The reality is that the Israeli occupation entity, since the turning point of October 7, 2023, can no longer be relied on anymore and has proven to be a complete failure in protecting itself [4], let alone protecting Western interests.

Importance of the case

The importance of this case can be highlighted by the fact that it is the first time the Israeli occupation entity has been accused in the global Courts. Ironically, the founding of the ICJ [5] was in the context of the holocaust against the Jews so that it is never repeated. However, the unfortunate reality is those who claim to be the victims are the ones perpetrating it in the worst fashion all the while invoking victimhood. 

The global international body indicting the Israeli occupation entity, despite immense pressure from Western world, was enough, in helping awaken public consciousness to the truth. 

Whilst an institution such as the ICJ was created by the Capitalist class who reign, the reality is people cannot be equated to governments, and public opinion has never been so greatly swayed against the imposed status quo. The masses are opening their eyes due to the magnitude of the atrocities – that has made it a decisive issue. 

Moreover, the fact that the case is being put forth by South Africa also makes it a special one. South Africa suffered from apartheid for a very long time and the West had also colonized their lands. Till today, the Transnational capitalist class reigns there. 

Despite all this, the apartheid of South Africa cannot compare to the magnitude of what is being witnessed in Palestine, which is a continual Nakba and conspiracy project for ethnic cleansing, spearheaded by the colonial powers of the world. The most important aspect, perhaps, is that South Africa as a third party that is impartial in exposing the reality and documenting the evidence on what is considered the most reputable world stage, is best suitable to do so in that itself has experienced colonial oppression of an apartheid nature.

To await justice for the Palestinians from the ICJs verdict is to misunderstand what these systems are designed for. The ICJ has merely illustrated to us the extent of the magnanimity and the decisiveness of the transgression against Palestinians, such that even the systems that serve as tentacles for imperialist hegemony are forced to admit these facts. 

The reality is that only real action on the ground will liberate Palestine, from the Palestinian resistance factions and the assistance it is receiving from Lebanon, Yemen and Iraq that are all supported by Iran. The ICJ ruling itself is the echo to the real action on the ground, however one cannot expect the echo to be the action itself. For this reason, the resistance in Lebanon, Gaza, and the Islamic Republic of Iran all praised South Africa’s case, with the Gazan resistance making it clear they would adhere to any ceasefire injunction by the Court. 

More broadly speaking, the ICJ has exposed the persistent colonial mentality of America and the collective West, who not only turn a blind eye to the suffering and claim it is not happening, but are further only interested in saving the Israeli occupation entity from collapse. Therefore, these laws within Western countries, constitutionally built upon the foundations of “equality” and forbid forms of outright oppression, should be the base upon which unjust actions of the governments and institutions are targeted, exposed and prosecuted. 

In the same way the American government got rid of their discriminatory laws due to the mounting public pressure, the spectrum of those refusing systemic oppression in the West is only widening. Gradual progressive change does not occur on merit of the system doing what is moral naturally. Rather, it is the need to absorb the reaction of the masses against the unjust application of the laws.



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  • Batool Subeiti

    Batool is an Energy Engineer and Political Analyst based in the United Kingdom who often writes on matters related to contemporary politics and social issues.

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