NST Leader: Of UNSC, ICJ and ICC

DESPITE the United Nations Security Council's call for an immediate ceasefire, rogue Israel is intensifying its airstrikes in the southern city of Rafah while blocking humanitarian aid from reaching the Gazans.

UNSC resolutions, like the one passed on Monday, are legally binding and the world body must make sure that Israel abides by it. To allow Israel, which never ceases to label itself a law-abiding country, is to diminish the importance of the UNSC resolutions.

Sure, this is not the first time Israel has ignored UNSC resolutions. The Zionist regime has made it a habit to ignore them. But what is worse, the UNSC allows Israel to get away with its infractions. Israel even dares ban the UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees. The overwhelming question needs to be asked: why is the UNSC so ineffectual? We offer an answer. Because a few, if not all, want it to be so. 

Immediately after the UNSC's March 25 meeting, UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres took to X, saying failure to implement it would be unforgivable. He is right. Should the UNSC look the other way, as it is doing now, the world body must be said to have chosen to stand on the wrong side of history.

This isn't the way to make the world better for everyone, everywhere — a declared duty of the UN. Every death and loss of limb after Monday must be shouldered by the UNSC. The UNSC isn't the only one in the blame list. Two international legal institutions — the International Court of Justice, the highest legal body in the world, and the International Criminal Court  — are shamelessly there. Start with the ICJ.

When South Africa filed its genocide case against Israel, the ICJ failed to order a halt to the Zionist regime's military campaign against the Palestinians. Why the failure remains a puzzle in many legal minds despite it being the pith and marrow of South Africa's case. If this wasn't bad enough, when South Africa — after witnessing Israel's forced starvation of Gazans —  returned to the ICJ for more emergency measures against the Zionist regime, the court refused to order any.

South Africa braved threats by Israel and criticisms by allies of the rogue Zionist regime, to tell the court that it was the last opportunity for the ICJ to save Palestinians. This despite the court's first ruling found that it was "plausible" that Israel did commit genocide.

Sadly, the ICJ had chosen to repeat its mistake in Bosnia v Serbia. There, the court, acknowledging the great suffering and huge loss of Bosnian lives, refused additional measures. The law should never bow to politics thus. 

Like the ICJ, the ICC is failing to deliver justice to Palestinians under siege. The Palestinian case against Israel is as old as 2021. One chief prosecutor has come and gone and yet there is no announcement of arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his extremist cabinet members.

Chief prosecutor Karim Khan knows very well that justice delayed is justice denied. Khan last month said the ICC would be pushed to act if Israeli military activity in Rafah continued. Why wait to be "pushed"? More than 32,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have already been slaughtered. Where is the speed that ICC showed against Russia, we ask.

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