Gush Shalom, The UN’s referral of the Occupation to the World Court

The funeral procession in Ramallah for Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot and killed by an Israeli soldier while reporting in Jenin. The Israeli government kept changing its story about her death. There has been no accountability. Israeli police attacked her funeral, beating pallbearers before they withdrew in the face of this huge crowd of mourners. Palestine Information Center photo.

The UN decision is a necessary message to Israel’s extreme right-wing government

by Gush Shalom

Gush Shalom, the Israeli Peace Bloc wrote tonight to the United Nations Secretary-General, welcoming the General Assembly’s decision to refer to the review of the International Court the issue of Israel’s occupation rule over millions of Palestinians. This conveys a correct and message to the extreme right-wing government that has emerged in Israel. Let this government know that the International Community is not indifferent to wrongdoings committed by the State of Israel.

Since 1967, and for 55 years already, the State of Israel maintains a brutal military rule over millions of Palestinian residents and imposes its rule on them against their will. For fifty-five years, successive Israeli governments asserted that this is a “temporary” situation, pending negotiations at some misty future date. But this argument sounds more and more hollow and empty – especially when the government that has now been installed in Israel intends to act with all its might to perpetuate Israeli rule in these territories and increase and expand the construction of settlements.

As Israeli citizens anxious for the future of our country, we in Gush Shalom wholeheartedly welcome the decision of the Assembly General and the comprehensive judicial review that will take place at the International Court of Justice in The Hague. One can wish and hope that this process will force the State of Israel to take at last the decision it has been trying to avoid for so many years.

If these territories are “our country” as Prime Minister Netanyahu claims, and if the State of Israel is a democratic country, then Israel should grant its citizenship to all residents living in “our country” and allow them to participate in the elections which determine the government that rules over them – and then there will be a completely different government in Israel. If the State of Israel does not want this, it must withdraw its army from these territories and allow the Palestinians to establish their independent state there.

And should the State of Israel refuse to grant citizenship to the Palestinians and also insist on maintaining military rule over them and shooting to death young Palestinians who oppose this rule, Israel will no longer be able to claim that it is “the only democracy in the Middle East”. Rather, Israel will become heir to the former Apartheid regime in South Africa, where the right to vote was limited to whites and denied to blacks.

We strongly uphold the judges of the International Court of Justice, who will now deal in depth with the issues that the judges of the Supreme Court in Jerusalem avoid.


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