Disturbing ‘Palestinization’ threatens entire landscape of international law


The ongoing ridiculous case of genocide brought against Israel in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) by South Africa has shed light on a broader phenomenon affecting the entire landscape of international law. This particular move by the South African authorities clearly exposes how any nation can attempt of demonizing Israel and blindly extend support to mega-terror outfit Hamas, which has slaughtered over 1,200 innocent Israelis during its October 7 pogrom in Israel and took a large number of men, women and children as hostages. South Africa’s rogue step also goes in favor of Hamas and other terrorists in Gaza Strip who raped a very large number of Israeli girls and women, including infants.

While we can term South Africa’s notorious actions as “Palestinization” of international law, this process is not confined to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but has permeated the core principles and concepts that form the foundation of global legal frameworks.

International law, particularly concerning the Laws of Armed Conflict, has long been intertwined with politics. Nations often resist external constraints on their use of power, and historically, significant legal developments have followed catastrophic events, such as World War II. The 1945 Geneva Conventions and the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide stand as notable examples of legal leaps that emerged from the ashes of global conflict.

However, the “Palestinization” of international law suggests a troubling trend where political agendas, anti-Semitism and Jew-hatred take precedence over the pursuit of justice and humanitarian values. Israel, due to its complex international standing and the complexities of the Israeli-Arab conflict, has become a convenient target, receiving an overwhelming number of resolutions and disproportionate attention in international forums.

A striking example of this disproportionate focus is evident in the resolutions adopted by the United Nations (UN). From 2015 to 2022, the UN General Assembly passed 140 resolutions on Israel compared to 68 on all other countries combined. Similarly, the UN Human Rights Council adopted 99 resolutions against Israel between 2006 and 2022, while countries with significant human rights issues, such as Syria, Iran, Russia, and Venezuela, received significantly fewer resolutions. This skewed attention distorts the perception of global priorities, making the Israeli-Palestinian conflict appear as the world’s paramount issue.

Beyond the dominion of politics, the influence of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has seeped into the fundamental concepts of international law, reshaping them to align with Palestinian interests. One such concept is the notion of “occupation”. Despite Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005, the international community persists in labeling it as an occupier. This perception conveniently disregards the control exercised by Hamas and ignores the Egyptian border’s role in the region’s dynamics.

Similarly, the accusation of “apartheid” against Israel diverts attention from the country’s democratic values and its recognition as the only democracy in the Middle East. This portrayal contradicts the freedoms enjoyed by Arab citizens in Israel, who possess voting rights, participate in public office, and even serve as government ministers.

International Humanitarian Law, particularly the Laws of Armed Conflict, has not escaped the “Palestinization” trend. Principles such as distinction, necessary precautions in attacks, proportionality, and means and methods of war are applied disproportionately when it comes to Israel. The standards for judging Israel’s actions are raised to an extreme degree, contributing to the portrayal of the country as a war criminal.

Even fundamental principles like the definition of a “state” have been redefined to fit into the “Palestinized” paradigm, demonstrating the far-reaching impact of this phenomenon on the very core of international legal frameworks.

The most egregious manifestation of the “Palestinization” of international law is the accusation of genocide against Israel. This charge, leveled despite Israel’s claim to be a victim of genocidal acts, represents a disturbing metamorphosis of international law. The erosion of the primacy of genocide threatens the integrity, internal hierarchy, and relevance of an entire framework of laws and crimes established in response to the horrors of World War II.

While the ICJ case against Israel may be perceived as an isolated incident, its implications extend far beyond the immediate parties involved. Even if the ICJ rules in Israel’s favor, the politicization of international law compromises its sanctity. Several countries have already expressed support for South Africa’s argument, demonstrating the growing influence of political considerations over legal principles.


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