An article in the New York Times criticized the West's selectivity in applying the standards of the international system based on laws and regulations, and its reluctance to impose them specifically on the State of Israel.
Columnist Lydia Polgreen stated in her article in the American newspaper that last year the world witnessed an “astonishing and high-stakes” international drama taking place in the Dutch city of The Hague, the headquarters of international justice Court.
There, a group of poorer and less powerful countries – the so-called Global South, led by South Africa – managed to drag the Israeli government, along with its allies, rich and powerful countries, into the “highest judicial body” of the Western rules-based system, accusing Israel of waging a brutal war in the Gaza Strip. Gaza is characterized byGenocide“.
The article described the responses of the leading countries in this global system to the lawsuit filed against Israel as being quick and clear, rejecting the accusations directed against Tel Aviv. The British Prime Minister counted it Rishi Sonak It is a “completely unjustified and wrong” step, while the spokesman for the US National Security Council, John Kirby, described it as “worthless, counterproductive, and completely baseless.” As for the German government spokesman, he said that his country opposes “political exploitation.” Genocide law.
The International Court of Justice issued a temporary ruling, on Friday, requiring Israel to take “measures to prevent acts of genocide, including preventing irreparable harm to the people of Gaza, including easing the almost complete blockade of humanitarian aid,” but the decision did not call for a complete cessation of military operations. Israeli in the Strip.
According to Bulgarin, the court's decision was characterized by sobriety and accuracy, and entailed a rebuke of countries that reject the charges against Israel.
The writer pointed out that accusing Israel is a necessary step, as it is the state that was established in the wake of the Holocaust (Holocaust) which the Jews were subjected to at the hands of Nazi Germany during World War II, after which – ironically – the term genocide was coined.
Whatever the final outcome of this case, it ignites – in the opinion of the author of the article – an epic battle over the meaning and values of the so-called rules-based global order. If these rules are not applied when powerful countries do not want them to be applied, are they in this case considered rules? Polgreen wonders.
Mavura: The kind of evasion that we see happening regarding Gaza, the downplaying of the humanitarian crisis, and the cowardice in criticizing the Israeli government for its actions, has diminished the moral authority of the United States in the eyes of many people around the world.
The writer quoted Thuli Madonsela – a jurist and lawyer well-versed in South Africa, who contributed to drafting the post-apartheid constitution in her country – saying: “As long as those who set the rules impose them on others while they believe that they and their allies are above those rules, the international governance system is in danger.” dilemma”.
The lawyer added: “We say that the laws are the laws, whether when Russia invades Ukraine, or when he is killed Rohingya (the Muslim minority) in Myanmar, but if Israel is now slaughtering the Palestinians, depriving them of food, and displacing them en masse, and then does not apply the rules to it, and whoever tries to apply them is anti-Semitic, then this exposes those rules to danger.”
While Polgreen acknowledges, in her article, that investigating the charges against Israel will take years, she describes Israel’s war in Gaza as “the most heinous crime” that a state can commit, “and it has a special resonance,” noting that the one who coined the term “genocide” is the legal researcher. Raphael Lemkin, a Polish Jew, was used during the Holocaust to give a legal definition to the massacre and ensure that it would not happen again.
Although the International Court of Justice lacks mechanisms to implement its decisions, this case – in Bulgreen’s view – is of great importance because it is directly related to the challenges facing the rules-based global order led by the United States, which has persisted since World War II, despite some obstacles that Get in his way.
According to the New York Times article, the wealthy Western countries that set the terms of that system are retreating on several fronts as China’s global ambitions rise. While threatening Russia under its president Vladimir Putin Europe, liberal democracy is declining in many parts of the world; While emerging powers of strategic importance – such as Türkiye and India – tend towards authoritarianism.
All the caveats warn that the world risks rushing “recklessly” into a new era of realpolitik whose slogan is “might makes right,” where everything is permissible, and international laws and norms are disdained.
The writer said that all warnings warn that the world risks rushing “recklessly” into a new era of realpolitik whose slogan is “might makes right,” where everything is permissible, and international laws and norms are disdained.
What does a rules-based system mean, if rules are applied selectively, and if trying to apply them to specific countries is seen as clearly prejudiced?
According to Polgreen, it is short-sighted in these times that President Biden's administration has chosen to overlook the carefully documented case prepared by South Africa.
In her assessment, one of the biggest threats to the rules-based international order is the growing consensus in the poor world that the rich world applies those rules selectively as it sees fit and when it suits the powerful states that make up the Global North, as happened when Russia invaded Ukraine.
The writer quotes the legal researcher in South Africa, Dan Mavora, saying that this kind of evasion that we see happening regarding Gaza, the underestimation of the scale of the humanitarian crisis, and the cowardice in criticizing the Israeli government for its actions, all of this has undermined the moral authority of the United States in the eyes of many. From the people of the world.
She concludes by saying that the only way out of this “tragedy” is to include the Palestinian people in the family of self-governing states that live, imperfectly, under the rules that have maintained an unstable but continuous peace for many generations, as she puts it.