Israel

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Fresh audio product: Gaza and the larger political context; why people hate inflation

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 24/05/2024 - 8:51am in

Just added to my radio archive (click on date for link):

May 23, 2024 Mouin Rabbani on the war on Gaza, and the broader context of the Israel–Palestine conflict • Stefanie Stantcheva on why people hate inflation (papers here and here)

Clarke: 100 MP strategy to hold Starmer’s feet to fire

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 24/05/2024 - 7:03am in

Left strategist targets key MP wins to resist Starmer when he takes us into war or when he privatises our NHS’

Left-wing strategist Eoin Clarke, who has been at the heart of left resistance and the victories of the Corbyn period before sabotage and smears brought down the then-Labour leader, is targeting a hundred wins in the coming general election for grassroots candidates with the integrity and vision absent from what passes for the Labour party under Keir Starmer.

Clarke has laid out the target, which he has been working on for two years in a project named ‘Wag the dog’, along with a breakdown by nation of what could be achieved ‘to hold Starmer’s feet to the fire’ and resist the Establishment automaton when he tries to take the UK to war or to privatise our National Health Service:

Working with Clarke, the Ordinary Left grassroots activist group will shortly be announcing the socialist candidates, whether independent or associated with an existing party, that it will be recommending to the movement for campaign support. With the widespread disgust with Starmer over Gaza and his breaking of every promise he made to con his way into the Labour leadership, and the recent local election results showing independents and Greens surging compared to Labour and the Tories, and suggesting a potential hung Parliament, achieving the target does not look beyond the realms of possibility.

If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.

US, Israel rant as Ireland, Spain, Norway recognise Palestinian statehood

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 23/05/2024 - 7:50am in

Netanyahu and Biden governments in meltdown again as three countries bypass US veto and declare Palestine a state

Norwegian, Irish and Spanish governments declared Palestine’s statehood

The US and Israeli governments have reacted with fury to announcements by three European governments, at the same time, that they are recognising Palestinian statehood. Ireland, Norway and Spain have all now formally declared Palestine to be a state.

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu – probably soon to be declared by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to be wanted for war crimes – raged that the three nations were giving ‘Khamas’ a ‘reward for terrorism’. A Biden government spokesman claimed that the US condemned the recognition because it had been granted ‘unilaterally’ rather than through negotiation – ironic and deeply hypocritical considering that the US vetoed a recent application by Palestine to the UN Security Council motion for full membership of the UN. Several leading pro-Israel politicians called for the ICC to be ‘punished’, with a couple admitting that if Israel is held to account for its war crimes, ‘you know they’ll come for us next’.

Well done Ireland, Norway, Spain and, especially, the people of Palestine. Shamefully, there is no prospect of the UK following suit with either the Tories or what now passes for the Labour party in power after the newly-declared general election.

If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.

Asymmetric Idiocy

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 23/05/2024 - 3:33am in

Tags 

Gaza, Israel

I miss the 1970s sometimes. Not just the music. And the sex. And the drugs. I miss the terrorists. The old-school terrorists. Or, OK, maybe not the terrorists, but the revolutionaries who cheered on the terrorists.

I miss the clarity, and the honesty, of that era.

Maybe you’re too young to remember, but, back in the day, you didn’t get all this hemming and hawing about murdering civilians. The terrorists, and the revolutionaries who supported them, were not ashamed of murdering civilians. The Revolution demanded that they murder civilians. Murdering civilians was one of the fundamental strategies of the Revolution.

The way this strategy works is simple. What you do is, you murder a bunch of civilians, in order to provoke your adversary into massively over-retaliating against you and committing all kinds of war crimes and atrocities, like the USA did in Iraq twenty years ago, like the IDF is now doing in Gaza. The goal of the strategy is to broaden the conflict, and draw your potential allies into it, or at least significantly weaken support for your enemy.

OK, sure, that means you have to murder some people … men, women, children, whole families, and then your enemy is going to go apeshit and kill tens or even hundreds of thousands of your people, but, if all goes to plan, your “allies” will join you, and attack your enemy, and drive him into the sea, or off the face of the earth, or wherever. So, in the end, all the murdering will have been totally worth it.

This is not a theory I just made up. It is one of the basics of asymmetric warfare. If you are not already familiar with that subject, this might be a good time to look into it.

I’m not a fan of murdering civilians. Not even for the Revolution. I do not think it is a very good strategy. Plus, well, the murdering. I’m against that, generally. Soldiers killing each other is one thing. They have been doing that since the dawn of history. And I have no problem with guerilla tactics. People fight wars with the means they have available. It’s just the murdering thing that I can’t get down with. Especially the murdering of the women and the kids, but it’s probably not politically correct to say that, what with the diversity, equity, and inclusion thing these days.

Anyway, as it appears I’m currently alienating a significant portion of my longstanding readers, half of whom believe I’m an “Islamofascist,” and the other half of whom believe I’m a “Zionist,” I figure I’ll go ahead and go for broke, and wax nostalgic about the 1970s, and say a few things I haven’t been saying, or, rather, I’ll say a few things I’ve been saying delicately not so delicately.

I’ve been saying those things delicately, because, as I made pretty clear in October, when this whole horror show started, my sympathies are with the Palestinian people. My sympathies are also with the loved ones of the Israeli civilians who were murdered by Hamas, but I am talking about the bigger picture now, the broader “Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

In that bigger picture, the Palestinians are fucked. They’ve been getting fucked for quite some time now. That is what happens when empires conquer the land you live on and do what they want with it. The land in question has been getting conquered for approximately 4,500 years. The Babylonians conquered it. The Persians conquered it. Alexander the Great conquered it. The Romans conquered it. And so on. That’s all ancient history.

More recently, in 1920, the Ottoman Empire lost World War One, and the British Empire took the land over. You are probably familiar with the rest of the history. The British pulled out in 1948. Zionists established The State of Israel. War broke out. Israel won. War broke out again. Israel won again. And again. And so on. And … well, here we are.

As I was saying, the Palestinians are fucked. Look at a map of the territory. Does it look like Palestine is on the verge of being “free”?

The State of Israel is not going anywhere. It is an essential component of the global-capitalist empire. It’s the empire’s headquarters in the Middle East. It has nuclear weapons. It is backed by the US military. The “Islamic world” is not going to join Hamas and attack it, regardless of how many war crimes it perpetrates in Gaza. The ICJ is not going to put it on trial. The United Nations isn’t going to make it play nice. It isn’t going to disappear into the ether. It is a fact of life. It isn’t fair. It has nothing to do with fairness and justice and rights and good and bad and whatever. It doesn’t even have much to do with Zionism. Zionism is just Israel’s ideology, like Islamism is Saudi Arabia’s ideology. What it has to do with is the global-capitalist empire, and resistance to the global-capitalist empire.

Which brings us back to asymmetric warfare, and Hamas’ October 7 “Al-Aqsa Flood” strategy, and the utter fucking pointlessness of it, and the utter fucking callousness of it.

Do you seriously believe that the leadership of Hamas did not know exactly how Israel would respond to the slaughter of hundreds of Israeli citizens, families, children, people at a rave? If you honestly believe that, I don’t know what to say.

The goal of the “Al-Aqsa Flood” attack was to provoke precisely the response it has provoked. There is nothing mysterious or complicated about this. It is Asymmetric Warfare 101, straight out of the Terrorism textbook.

For seven months I have been watching my “radical” colleagues trying to obscure this fact. It isn’t helpful. It doesn’t help anyone. It certainly doesn’t help the Palestinian people. There is more than enough about Israel to criticize. Lying, twisting the facts about Hamas, convincing people that the IDF “Hanniballed” everyone on October 7, is (a) unnecessary, (b) obfuscatory, and (c) destroys your credibility.

On top of which, it makes you look like pussies.

If you believe that murdering people to provoke your enemy into overreacting is a productive armed-resistance strategy, at least have the fucking courage to say so. Bring back the spirit of the 1970s! The old PLO! The RAF! The IRA! The SLA! Do it for the Revolution! Or the Globalized Intifada! Or whatever.

I’m just kidding, of course. It is an idiotic strategy. It hands your enemy a free “get out of war-crimes tribunal” card. Meanwhile, the people you are purporting to be fighting for are getting slaughtered by the tens of thousands. But whatever … as long as it boosts your cred among the other “legitimate armed resisters,” who cares how many families get wasted? After all, it’s not your fault! It’s the oppressors! The Zionists! The Americans! Or whoever.

Seriously, though, I am feeling a bit nostalgic for the 1970s, when at least you could have a real argument over tactics with your revolutionary comrades instead of hearing mindless gibberish like this …

Yes, you actually just read those words, “they never killed anyone with an intent to kill.” And Lena’s note is not at all an anomaly. I have been hearing this gibberish for seven months now.

So, thanks, all my radical anti-Zionist friends and colleagues who have been pumping out this narrative, and all the thought-terminating clichés, and conducting Anti-Zionist Inquisitions, and so on! Well done! I’m pretty sure all the folks like Lena who you have helped to transform into a mass of mindless Pavlovian robots will never, ever, be turned against us, like, you know, the next time the Powers That Be come up with an irresistible stimulus!

I mean, what are the odds of that ever happening?

###

CJ Hopkins
May 22, 2024

DISCLAIMER: The preceding essay is entirely the work of our in-house satirist and self-appointed political pundit, CJ Hopkins, and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Consent Factory, Inc., or its staff, or any of its agents, subsidiaries, or assigns. If, for whatever inexplicable reason, you appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to support it, please go to his Substack page, or his Patreon page, or send a contribution to his PayPal account, so that maybe he’ll stop coming around our offices trying to hit our employees up for money. Alternatively, you could purchase his satirical dystopian sci-fi novel, Zone 23, or Volumes I, II, and III of his Consent Factory Essays, or any of his subversive stage plays, which won some awards in Great Britain and Australia. If you do not appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to write him an abusive email, feel free to contact him directly.

It’s Not Unusual That We’re Being Lied To, It’s Unusual That People Are Noticing

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 22/05/2024 - 10:45pm in

Tags 

Politics, Israel, Gaza


Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Listen to a reading of this article (reading by Tim Foley):

https://medium.com/media/9487c8eecbb059911db490fa0f8e756e/href

It’s hard to get excited about Julian Assange winning the right to a limited appeal against extradition to the United States. They’re still keeping him locked up and silenced. He’s already been in Belmarsh for five years now while the empire bats him around like a cat toying with a mouse, and five years would have been an obscenely long sentence for the crime of good journalism anyway. They’re just squeezing him and squeezing him and squeezing him in every way they can for as long as possible, all without having to secure an actual conviction.

It’s important to understand that there’s nothing unusual about the western empire’s depravity in Gaza or the mass media’s constant lies and distortions about it — they do these things constantly, year after year. What’s unusual is that people are waking up to it.

I can’t stop marveling at how Israel apologists keep trying to convince young people that it’s those who are opposing a genocide who need to worry about their future employment prospects. No bitch, the future is coming for YOU.

The Wall Street Journal editorial board has penned a furiously biased screed condemning the International Criminal Court’s application for arrest warrants of Israeli officials for war crimes, claiming that “the ICC has lost sight of the crucial distinction between the death squad and the bomber pilot.” The premise of this line being that an IDF pilot who kills people with bombs is noble and righteous in comparison to Hamas.

One of the most demented things about western civilization is its completely unquestioned mass delusion that killing people with military explosives dropped from the sky is more moral and righteous than killing people with bullets or blades.

On the pro-Israel side you’ve got the entire military-industrial complex, all professional warmongers, all mainstream media and the entire DC swamp, while on the pro-Palestine side you’ve got kids who want a healthy future and Palestinians who don’t want to be killed anymore. Clearly this is a complicated and nuanced issue, with very fine people on both sides.

FYI there is nothing revolutionary or anti-establishment about supporting a Republican presidential candidate who openly backs all the same neocon war agendas as the current Democrat president.

A lot of right wingers genuinely adore Israel and think it’s wonderful to exterminate Palestinians, but you can tell many others don’t know much about the issue and are only jumping on the anti-protester bandwagon because the protesters are leftists. Many in the MAGA crowd even think of themselves as antiwar and anti-neocon, but here they are supporting an act of mass military slaughter that’s endorsed by every neocon swamp monster and professional warmonger in Washington solely because doing so puts them on the opposite side of the lefties.

This says so much about how mindless and unprincipled these people are, and how completely empty of meaning their purported values system actually is. If you can be led to support the worst thing in the world alongside all the evil swamp creatures you claim to despise just because the people opposing it are on the left, you can be led to support literally anything.

It also says so much about how stupid and shallow mainstream political discourse has become that so many mainstream partisans support or oppose things not based on how good or bad they are from their particular ideological perspective, but based solely upon what the other side supports or opposes. That binary-minded relationship with the world is such a brainless, amoeba-like, stimulus-response way of moving through life. And it’s millions upon millions of people.

Saying “Why are you talking about the US-backed incineration of Gaza and not X Y and Z bad things happening in Africa and Asia” is just saying “Stop criticizing the white people, criticize the brown people instead.”

Germany has deported seven Ukrainian soldiers who were there for training because they were wearing Nazi insignia. According to German officials, Ukrainian soldiers will now be explicitly prohibited from displaying Nazi insignia when training in Germany.

The west is pouring money and weapons into a military force who cannot stop causing scandals with their Nazi insignia and support for Nazi ideology, but we’re being told not to worry about those Nazis and that kids protesting genocide at university campuses are the real Nazis.

My neighbors have had a Ukrainian flag up since 2022 and it’s been shredded into an unrecognizable mess by the weather, which is just so symbolic in so many ways.

Everyone’s anti-war until the war propaganda starts. Anyone will tell you war is a terrible thing that should be avoided whenever possible, and that waging mass military violence for power and profit would be one of the most evil things a state can do. But then when it’s time for their own state to inflict mass military violence on a population for power and profit, a bunch of narratives come out explaining why this time war is 100 percent necessary and that this war is happening for noble and truth-based reasons.

And people buy it every damn time. Luckily, fewer people are buying it this time around.

______________

My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece here are some options where you can toss some money into my tip jar if you want to. Go here to find video versions of my articles. Go here to buy paperback editions of my writings from month to month. All my work is free to bootleg and use in any way, shape or form; republish it, translate it, use it on merchandise; whatever you want. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. All works co-authored with my husband Tim Foley.

Bitcoin donations: 1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

Featured image via Diane Krauthamer (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 DEED)

‘Israeli soldier’ from notorious unit confesses to US citizen’s killing

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 22/05/2024 - 6:33am in

In recordings obtained by The Grayzone, a self-proclaimed soldier from Israel’s infamous Netzah Yehuda battalion detailed his unit’s killing of a 78-year-old Palestinian-American, and flaunted his genocidal views. After announcing plans to sanction the battalion, the Biden administration has inexplicably pulled back. The Biden administration has balked after announcing plans to sanction five units of the Israeli military accused of wanton human rights abuses in the occupied West Bank. “Four of these units have effectively remediated these violations, which is […]

The post ‘Israeli soldier’ from notorious unit confesses to US citizen’s killing first appeared on The Grayzone.

The post ‘Israeli soldier’ from notorious unit confesses to US citizen’s killing appeared first on The Grayzone.

The Problem Isn’t Civil Disobedience, It’s Civil Obedience

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 21/05/2024 - 10:23pm in

Tags 

Israel, USA, Gaza, Protest

Listen to a reading of this article (reading by Tim Foley):

https://medium.com/media/96a75142cf45b66c16a3258c0c6a73b8/href

Our society does not have an antisemitism crisis. It doesn’t have a crisis of far left radicalism, Islamist extremism, support for terrorism, or fomenting of dissent by foreign powers.

Our society has a moral crisis. A cruelty crisis. An imperialism crisis. A militarism crisis. A propaganda crisis. An insincerity crisis. A stupidity crisis. An obedience crisis.

Empire managers and imperial spinmeisters try to pretend there’s some horrifying existential emergency involving hatred of Jews or love of Hamas or some other ridiculous nonsense in our society, because the empire too is in a state of crisis. People are waking up from its lullaby of propaganda and are rejecting its narrative manipulation like never before, which is why instead of relenting and accepting the empire’s destruction of Gaza, opposition to it is only growing stronger.

So the authorized custodians of imperial narratives flail around desperately trying to regain some control by spinning all the civil disobedience we are seeing in a way that makes it seem like some sort of problem which needs to be fixed. But as Howard Zinn said, “Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience.”

Our problem is not that more and more people are opposing Israel’s empire-backed atrocities in Gaza with more and more aggression, our problem is that people are not opposing it aggressively enough. Our problem is that too many people still have their minds jacked into the mainstream worldview and ignore the most urgent matter of our time, letting their thoughts be preoccupied with frivolous garbage and trusting that our leaders are doing what’s best for us.

Mainstream culture is so shallow, vapid and idiotic that when an artist rapped about this issue of unparalleled urgency, he included the line “I want a ceasefire, fuck a response from Drake” — and everyone knew what he meant. He meant mainstream culture is fixated on phony public spats between millionaire pop stars while the US empire funnels weapons of annihilation into Israel to be dropped on a giant concentration camp full of children. It says so much about this fraudulent dystopia we live in that such a thing would need to be said. But it did.

The problem isn’t that people are becoming too disobedient, the problem is that people remain too obedient. The problem isn’t that people are becoming too radicalized against their government, the problem is that people aren’t radicalized enough. The problem is that the freaks who rule over us are not sufficiently afraid of us. The problem is that we have not yet come to the collective realization that there are a whole lot more of us than there are of them, and that we don’t actually need to put up with them doing crazy and evil things right in front of our faces.

Instead people sit around drooling with their eyes fixed on screens full of endless diversion while children are ripped to shreds by western-supplied military explosives for no other reason than because they happen to belong to the wrong ethnic group.

That is the real crisis of our society. Not an imaginary antisemitism epidemic. Not college kids disobeying authority figures. Not leftists. Not anarchists. Not Islam. Not Hamas.

The real crisis in our society is that too many people are still blindly obedient to a murderous and tyrannical empire which should be hacked to pieces and scattered to the winds.

_____________________

My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece here are some options where you can toss some money into my tip jar if you want to. Go here to find video versions of my articles. Go here to buy paperback editions of my writings from month to month. All my work is free to bootleg and use in any way, shape or form; republish it, translate it, use it on merchandise; whatever you want. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. All works co-authored with my husband Tim Foley.

Bitcoin donations: 1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

Featured image via Joe Piette (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 DEED)

US Congress passes Act to defund Defense, State Depts and NSC unless Israel gets all arms

US political insanity regarding Israel in a nutshell as politicians move to cripple their own government unless it enables foreign regime’s genocide

The US Congress has passed a bill that will de-fund the Defense Department, State Department and National Security Council if Joe Biden does not immediately agree to send Israel any and all weapons it wants, with no strings attached.

Biden had delayed some shipments of the largest and most indiscriminate bombs, in a token effort to show that he is not enabling Israel’s genocide, after polling showed many usual Democrat voters will not back him in November’s presidential election because of his support for Israel despite its slaughter of tens and tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians, mostly women and children and its deliberate creation of famine in Gaza. But it seems even that token show of resistance is intolerable to Zionist groups.

More than a dozen Democrats colluded with Republicans to pass the new Act titled “To provide for the expeditious delivery of defense articles and defense services for Israel and other matters” by 224-187 votes. The text of the Act reveals the genocidal insanity of a majority of US politicians, most of whom will have received significant funding from pro-Israel groups, or else been threatened that the same groups will fund their opponents at the next election. It mandates the defunding of the three key government departments if Biden does not submit and send Israel :

The world has not gone insane in the fact that so many western politicians – including in the UK – are prepared not just to turn a blind eye to genocide, but to actively enable it. It has long been insane, but the madness has been exposed by apartheid Israel’s nakedly genocidal ambitions.

Biden is said to be prepared to veto the legislation if the Senate does not block it.

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ICJP director warns UK MPs ‘justice is coming’ over complicity in Israeli war crimes

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 21/05/2024 - 8:29am in

Senior lawyer says ‘ink is almost dry’ on the guilt of many MPs who have enabled and covered Israel’s atrocities

Keir Starmer, Rishi Sunak and other UK MPs may be looking uneasily over their shoulder tonight after receiving a renewed warning from the lawyer leading a pro-Palestinian justice group about their own guilt regarding Israel’s war crimes, after International Criminal Court (ICC) chief prosecutor Karim Khan announced he has requested arrest warrants for Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and defence minister Yoav Gallant.

Tayab Ali, a partner in Bindmans, one of the world’s leading human rights law firms, and a director of the International Centre for Justice for Palestinians (ICJP) published his stark warning on Twitter/X this evening, telling MPs who have supported and enabled Israel’s atrocities against the people of Gaza that it is now too late for them to do much to avoid their guilt and complicity, because ‘the ink of history on your potential complicity is almost dry and you already made your decision’ – and that ICJP will be demanding personal legal accountability for guilty MPs:

Scotland Yard has already called for evidence after the ICJP warned Tory PM Rishi Sunak and notionally-Labour leader Keir Starmer that it would prosecute them if they colluded in war crimes against the Palestinian people. Starmer has even gone as far as to tell a radio interviewer that Israel had a ‘right’ to cut off food, water and fuel from Gaza, with several of his front bench MPs publicly defending his statement until he later tried to pretend he hadn’t said it.

Israel has killed at least 40,000 civilians and potentially as many as 100,000, overwhelmingly women and children, with double that number maimed and wounded and many more set to be murdered as Israel continues its invasion of Rafah and its block on the entry of food, fuel and medicines for more than two million people.

If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.

Demands to Halt UK Trade Talks and Arms Sales with Israel As Netanyahu Faces Potential Arrest Over War Crimes Claims

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 20/05/2024 - 11:53pm in

Calls to suspend UK trade talks and arms sales to Israel have been renewed after the International Criminal Court announced that it is seeking arrest warrants for Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and its Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, as well as the leaders of Hamas, over alleged violations of international law. 

The ICC alleges that Netanyahu and Gallant bear criminal responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Gaza in its response to the 7 October Hamas terror attacks last year.

They are accused of using starvation of civilians as a method of warfare – a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which came into force in 2002. 

They are also accused of “wilfully” causing great suffering, serious injury, and cruel treatment, which are classified as war crimes.

If arrest warrants are issued, Netanyahu and Gallant, along with the three senior Hamas individuals also charged by the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP), would be active in the 124 countries that are parties to the Rome Statute – including the UK. That means that UK police would have an obligation to arrest those individuals if they travelled to the country.

The UK Government has said it does "not think the ICC has jurisdiction in this case".

The ICC charges include wilful killing and murder as war crimes, with specific reference to attacks on Gaza’s civilian population. 

The allegations also state that Netanyahu and Gallant intentionally directed attacks against civilians, violating multiple articles of the Rome Statute. 

And the court contends that Israel systematically deprived Gaza’s civilian population of essential supplies and services, including food, water, and electricity, as part of a siege strategy.

The actions are described as part of a “widespread and systematic attack” against Palestinian civilians, aiming to eliminate Hamas, secure hostage returns, and “collectively punish” Gaza's population.

“These crimes, in our assessment, continue to this day,” the prosecutors argue. 

The effects of Israel blockading Gaza and closing border crossings for aid include severe malnutrition, dehydration, and increasing deaths, with famine present in some areas and imminent in others, they allege. 

Hamas leaders are accused of attempting “extermination” as a crime against humanity, and using murder as a crime against humanity. 

Three Hamas figures are accused of leading the terrorist group’s efforts to take hostages and use rape and other acts of sexual violence, as well as torture, as crimes against humanity, among other charges. 

UK Arms Sales Continue

The UK Government has granted licences for the sale of British weapons to Israel under a wide range of categories in recent years, according to the Global Legal Action Network. Since 2015, there has been £472 million in limited value ‘standard’ licence grants, and 58 unlimited value ‘open’ licences.

This includes sales of body armour, military communications equipment, military electronic equipment, components for military radars and targeting equipment, components for military aircraft displays and unmanned air vehicles, components for military support and combat aircraft, naval vessel components, and much more.

"Given that these items are all capable of being used in Israel’s actions against Palestinians, many of which are criminal acts under international criminal law, there is plainly a ‘clear risk’... meaning the Government should not be issuing these licences" under its own rules, a spokesperson for the Global Legal Action Network said in November.

However, since then, the UK Government body responsible for decisions on arms exports has refused to change its rules on sending military gear to Israel.

The Scottish National Party's Westminster Leader Stephen Flynn MP said: "This is a deeply serious development that once again pulls into sharp focus the full extent of the horrors committed by Hamas, as well as the grotesque and deadly Israeli Government response.

“Both the UK Government and the Labour Party must stand by international law and, whilst this application for an arrest warrant is determined, confirm that they will both fully support the final determination that is made by the court.

“In the meantime, the supply of arms to Israel must be halted and an immediate ceasefire demanded. Westminster’s equivocation has left it complicit in the deaths of thousands of civilians and the collective punishment of the Palestinian people must now stop."

The SNP has previously attempted to table a motion to force the UK Government to immediately end arms sales to Israel, but the move was blocked. 

A letter signed by 134 MPs and Lords from across the political spectrum earlier this month called on the Foreign Secretary and Business Secretary to "immediately suspend export licenses for arms transfers to Israel". 

An Israeli official told The Times of Israel that ICC chief Karim Khan’s statement was a “baseless blood libel against Israel” that “crossed a red line in his lawfare efforts against the lone Jewish state and the only democracy in the Middle East”.

Foreign Office in Firing Line

But a UK-based non-profit consisting of lawyers and campaigners, the International Centre of Justice for Palestinians, welcomed the move.

Representatives had submitted evidence to the ICC, collected from “first-hand eyewitnesses including from a significant number of medical professionals who have been in Gaza since October”, according to the group.

It said its investigation team included former British police detectives, who collected the evidence to British police force standards. 

The ruling came amid reports that there were threats and attempts to undermine the independence and impartiality of the ICC – cited in the organisation's statement today. 

The International Centre of Justice for Palestinians says that the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office must now take “clear action to protect the rules-based international order by supporting the ICC’s move”.

“FCDO must ensure with all certainty that it is in no way complicit with the current Israeli Government, especially now that the war crimes of its leadership have been made more explicit than ever,” a spokesperson said.  

Tayab Ali, director of the International Centre of Justice for Palestinians, added: “Whilst many doubted the ICC would apply for arrest warrants for Israeli suspected war criminals, we did not.

"Any independent analysis of the evidence will result in an overwhelming appreciation that Israel has engaged in the most serious of war crimes. It was on this analysis that we based our view and trust in the ICC that it would live up to its mandate.

“But now, finally, the ICC has taken the first step to break impunity and hold Israeli politicians and military personnel accountable.

“We will continue to provide the ICC with credible evidence of war crimes and work with the international community to guard the ICC against unlawful interference with its proceedings. There is still a long road ahead before we can say that justice has been done.”

Emily Apple, Media Coordinator for Campaign Against the Arms Trade, added that the UK Government "cannot ignore the implications" of the ICC potentially issuing arrest warrants.

"Israel is committing horrific war crimes with the aid of UK military equipment. Time and again, Sunak and Cameron have refused to suspend arms sales. But the law is clear - the UK must suspend arms sales when there is a clear risk they could be used in violations of International Humanitarian Law," Apple told Byline Times.

Five Steps to for UK to Change Course

Last month, 1,100 lawyers, academics, and retired judges, including the former President of the Supreme Court Baroness Hale, signed an open letter and legal opinion to remind the British Government of its obligations under international law.

Today is has been reshared by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, urging the Government to take, amongst others, five key actions: 

  • To work actively and effectively to secure a permanent ceasefire in Gaza; 
  • To take all available measures to ensure safe access to and delivery of the essentials of existence and medical assistance to Palestinians in Gaza, including confirmation that UK funding to UNRWA will continue with immediate effect; 
  • To impose sanctions upon individuals and entities who have made statements inciting genocide against Palestinians; 
  • To suspend the provision of weapons and weapons systems to the Government of Israel;
  • To suspend the '2030 Road Map for UK-Israel bilateral relations' and negotiations towards an enhanced trade agreement, and to initiate a review into the suspension of the UK’s bilateral trade agreement with Israel and consider the imposition of sanctions. 
  • To work actively and effectively to secure a permanent ceasefire in Gaza; 
  • To take all available measures to ensure safe access to and delivery of the essentials of existence and medical assistance to Palestinians in Gaza, including confirmation that UK funding to UNRWA will continue with immediate effect; 
  • To impose sanctions upon individuals and entities who have made statements inciting genocide against Palestinians; 
  • To suspend the provision of weapons and weapons systems to the Government of Israel;
  • To suspend the '2030 Road Map for UK-Israel bilateral relations' and negotiations towards an enhanced trade agreement, and to initiate a review into the suspension of the UK’s bilateral trade agreement with Israel and consider the imposition of sanctions. 
  • Government Quizzed

    Conservative Ministers Andrew Mitchell MP and Alan Mak MP are set to be questioned by the cross-party Business and Trade Committee on Government policy on UK arms exports to Israel tomorrow.

    The committee is likely to ask about the scale of UK military and 'dual-use’ (civilian and military) exports to the country, and whether they remain confident that licencing decisions remain compliant with domestic and international law.

    The UK is still engaged in ongoing trade talks for a possible trade deal with Israel, Rishi Sunak's spokesman confirmed to journalists in recent weeks.

    A Government spokesperson told this outlet: "We do not believe that seeking warrants will help get hostages out, get aid in, or deliver a sustainable ceasefire. This remains the UK's priority.

    "As we have said from the outset, we do not think the ICC has jurisdiction in this case. The UK has not recognised Palestine as a state, and Israel is not a state party to the Rome Statute."

    If you have a political story or tip-off, email josiah@bylinetimes.com.

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