Making a Killing? State and corporate commercial ties to genocide in Gaza – and what governments and companies must do to prevent it by Lydia de Leeuw and Max Lamb

PLEASE TAKE ACTION RIGHT NOW AND SEND YOUR LETTER TO THE UN OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL ADVISER ON THE PREVENTION OF GENOCIDE AND THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT PROSECUTOR.

In its Principle 7, The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) provide some further guidance on how a home state – the country in which a company is domiciled – can fulfil this duty. Home states should engage “at the earliest possible stage possible” with companies to help in the identification and prevention of the risk of their activities or business relationships being linked to acts of genocide in Gaza. Additionally, states should deny access to public support and services to companies that are linked to acts of genocide in Gaza and refuse to cooperate in addressing the situation. Finally, home states should ensure that their “policies, legislation, regulations and enforcement measures are effective in addressing the risk of business involvement” in genocide in Gaza. This means, among other things, that states should take effective action to investigate and prosecute companies (where national laws allow) and corporate officials for their involvement in acts of genocide in Gaza. 

Continue reading at https://www.somo.nl/making-a-killing/

Leaked NYT Gaza Memo Tells Journalists to Avoid Words “Genocide,” “Ethnic Cleansing,” and “Occupied Territory” by Jeremy Scahill, Ryan Grim

PLEASE TAKE ACTION RIGHT NOW AND SEND YOUR LETTER TO THE UN OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL ADVISER ON THE PREVENTION OF GENOCIDE AND THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT PROSECUTOR.

THE NEW YORK TIMES instructed journalists covering Israel’s war on the Gaza Strip to restrict the use of the terms “genocide” and “ethnic cleansing” and to “avoid” using the phrase “occupied territory” when describing Palestinian land, according to a copy of an internal memo obtained by The Intercept.

… In a section with the headline “‘Genocide’ and Other Incendiary Language,” the guidance says, “‘Genocide’ has a specific definition in international law. In our own voice, we should generally use it only in the context of those legal parameters. We should also set a high bar for allowing others to use it as an accusation, whether in quotations or not, unless they are making a substantive argument based on the legal definition.”

Regarding “ethnic cleansing,” the document calls it “another historically charged term,” instructing reporters: “If someone is making such an accusation, we should press for specifics or supply proper context.”

Continue reading at https://theintercept.com/2024/04/15/nyt-israel-gaza-genocide-palestine-coverage/

German civil servants demand ‘immediate’ end to Israeli arms supplies by James Jackson

PLEASE TAKE ACTION RIGHT NOW AND SEND YOUR LETTER TO THE UN OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL ADVISER ON THE PREVENTION OF GENOCIDE AND THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT PROSECUTOR.

A group of German civil servants have written to Chancellor Olaf Scholz and other senior ministers calling on the government to “cease arm deliveries to the Israeli government with immediate effect”.

“Israel is committing crimes in Gaza that are in clear contradiction to international law and thus to the Constitution, which we are bound to as federal civil servants and public employees,” the statement says, citing the International Court of Justice’s ruling in January that Israel’s military actions are “plausible acts of genocide”.

… The civil servants sent the statement via email to ministries last week, with the disclaimer that “due to the sensitive content and the excessive state repression that criticism in this area is met with, we want to remain anonymous”.

… Internationally, civil servants are increasingly speaking out against Western support of Israel. In February, 800 civil servants in the US and the European Union signed a “transatlantic statement” that warned Western support for Israel could amount to “grave violations of international law”, and complained of expert advice being ignored.

Continue reading at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2024/4/7/german-civil-servants-demand-immediate-end-to-israeli-arms-supplies

Read the full statement here https://www.instagram.com/the_james_jackson/p/C5ef14qsq8Y/

The “Capacity to Influence”, State Responsibility, and the Obligation to Prevent Genocide by Jinan Bastaki

PLEASE TAKE ACTION RIGHT NOW AND SEND YOUR LETTER TO THE UN OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL ADVISER ON THE PREVENTION OF GENOCIDE AND THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT PROSECUTOR.

  • Perhaps the most clear example of failing to prevent is the provision of weapons (which, if states knew of the intent to commit genocide, and genocide is indeed found to have been committed, can make them complicit in its commission). Several European countries, including Belgium, Italy, and Spain suspended arms transfer to Israel, and a statement issued by UN experts warned that any transfer of weapons or ammunition to Israel that would be used in Gaza is likely to violate international humanitarian law. As a result of a petition by Dutch NGOs, the Court of Appeal in the Hague ordered the state to stop all export and transit of F-35 fighter jet parts to Israel. 

…The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) provides support for almost 2 million people in Gaza, and has by far the greatest capacity to aid and assist those in Gaza as well as access to different parts of the Strip. As a result of unsubstantiated allegations against it following the ICJ’s order, several major states decided to cut off funding. Within the context of famine setting in and the blocking of aid from entering Gaza and particularly in the north, the severing of UNRWA aid assists in inflicting severe bodily and mental harm (Genocide Convention, Article 1C) upon the population, as well as creating conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part (Article 1C). 

…The non-exhaustive categories cited in the Bosnia v Serbia case were “political, military and financial links,” as well as “links of any kind.” The Court specifically noted that the strength of these links gave Serbia influence unlike any other state party to the Genocide Convention (para. 434) and it encompassed “all those with whom the Respondent maintained close links and on which it could exert a certain influence,” (para. 435). The responsibility of the authorities was to make “the best efforts within their power to try and prevent the tragic events then taking shape,” (para. 438). As stated previously, states are to contribute to restraining in any degree.

Does this encompass significant trade between countries? One country cutting economic ties may or may not help to prevent genocide, but as the Court pointed out, the duty is to act, and “the combined efforts of several States, each complying with its obligation to prevent” (para. 430) may avert the commission of genocide. As an example, the Japanese company Itochu severed its relationship with Elbit systems, the Israeli defense contractor. The agreement between them was not for the transfer of weapons or the provision of Japanese technology for the Israeli military, but rather to procure material for the Japanese military. Still, as a result of the ICJ’s provisional measures order on the 26th of January and “that the Japanese government supports the role of the Court,” Itochu Aviation decided to suspend cooperation. This is significant as, while Itochu is a general trading company, the partnership with Elbit was based on a request from Japan’s defense ministry. 

… An argument can be made for the fact that several countries, each putting major economic and diplomatic pressure, by cutting off or suspending trade deals, cooperation, and the like, can have a combined effect of, at the very least, restraining Israel.

Continue reading at https://opiniojuris.org/2024/03/30/the-capacity-to-influence-state-responsibility-and-the-obligation-to-prevent-genocide/

ICJ ruling on plausible genocide obligates states to individually and collectively (UNGA) end complicity and impose targeted sanctions on Israel by Anti-Apartheid Movement

PLEASE TAKE ACTION RIGHT NOW AND SEND YOUR LETTER TO THE UN OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL ADVISER ON THE PREVENTION OF GENOCIDE AND THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT PROSECUTOR.

  • The Genocide Convention, according to international law experts, obligates states “to refrain from being complicit through aid or assistance … the moment the state becomes aware of the existence of a serious risk that genocide will be committed.” Failing to prevent genocide, let alone providing aid or assistance to Israel while plausibly perpetrating it, makes states complicit. 
  • Global South states have largely supported South Africa’s ICJ genocide case against Israel, with growing support for imposing lawful sanctions against it. The ICJ ruling as well as mass solidarity mobilizations, peaceful disruptions and other creative pressure against Israel’s live-streamed genocide have prodded states, corporations and institutions worldwide to take action.
  • … senior government officials may also be held criminally responsible for their complicity in genocide following the ICJ ruling, according to international law experts.  
  • The World Court’s finding of plausible genocide puts states, institutions, corporations and officials on urgent notice: stop complicity in Israel’s Gaza genocide or be held criminally liable. Until Israel ends its genocide and fully complies with its obligations under international law, States must unilaterally, regionally, and collectively at the UNGA within the framework of reconvening the 10th UNGA Emergency Session under the Uniting for Peace procedure.

Continue reading at https://antiapartheidmovement.net/home-slider/view/icj-ruling-on-plausible-genocide-obligates-states-to-individually-and-collectively-unga-end-complicity-and-impose-targeted-sanctions-on-israel/27

Lawsuit Filed Against Canadian Government to Stop Arms Exports to Israel by Al-Haq

PLEASE TAKE ACTION RIGHT NOW AND SEND YOUR LETTER TO THE UN OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL ADVISER ON THE PREVENTION OF GENOCIDE AND THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT PROSECUTOR.

  • TORONTO – A group of Canadian and Palestinian applicants have commenced legal proceedings in the Federal Court against the Canadian government to stop arms exports to Israel. The applicants are seeking a court order that the Government of Canada cease issuing export permits for all military goods and technology destined for Israel, and that the issuing of these permits be declared unlawful under Canadian and international law. 

… The lawsuit comes on the heels of the near unanimous January 26, 2024 ruling of the International Court of Justice which found that a “plausible” case for genocide in Gaza was made out and reiterated the obligation of States to prevent genocide. On February 23, 2024, UN experts released a statement warning that “[a]ny transfer of weapons or ammunition to Israel that would be used in Gaza is likely to violate international humanitarian law”, and urged States to immediately halt arms transfers to Israel.

… The lawsuit is part of a growing trend of similar lawsuits filed in countries like the US, the UK, and the Netherlands, where an appeals court found that “it is undeniable that there is a clear risk that the exported F-35 parts are used in serious violations of international humanitarian law”. Other countries like Spain, Italy, and Belgium have also announced that they have suspended arms sales to Israel due to the ongoing atrocities.

The lawsuit follows a letter sent by the applicants in January that notified the government that approving the export of Canadian military goods and technology destined for Israel violates both Canadian and international law. The letter demanded a response from Canada confirming that it had stopped this illegal activity within fourteen days. After receiving no response, the applicants commenced legal proceedings.

Continue reading at https://www.alhaq.org/advocacy/22770.html

In Internal Meeting, Christiane Amanpour Confronts CNN Brass About “Double Standards” On Israel Coverage by Daniel Boguslaw and Prem Thakker

PLEASE TAKE ACTION RIGHT NOW AND SEND YOUR LETTER TO THE UN OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL ADVISER ON THE PREVENTION OF GENOCIDE AND THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT PROSECUTOR.

  • “My question is about our Gaza coverage,” said the journalist who worked from Lebanon in the fall. “I think it’s no secret that there is a lot of discontent about how the newsgathering process — and how it played out.”
  • Instead of finding solace in CNN’s coverage of the war, the staffer continued, “I find that my colleagues, my family, are platforming people over and over again, that are either calling for my death, or using very dehumanizing language against me … and people that look like me. And obviously, this has a huge impact in our credibility in the region.”
  • … Another newsroom staffer chimed in to object to the network’s uncritical coverage of statements by Israeli officials, including Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. “I think a lot of us felt very strongly about the fact that there were very senior anchors not challenging people like, comments like, the defense minister using what is considered under international law, genocidal language, ‘human animals,’ all of those things that made up the first seven pages of the South African legal case at the ICJ,” referring to the International Court of Justice.

Continue reading at https://theintercept.com/2024/03/01/cnn-christiane-amanpour-israel-gaza-coverage/

Arms exports to Israel must stop immediately: UN experts on United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner

PLEASE TAKE ACTION RIGHT NOW AND SEND YOUR LETTER TO THE UN OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL ADVISER ON THE PREVENTION OF GENOCIDE AND THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT PROSECUTOR.

  • “The need for an arms embargo on Israel is heightened by the International Court of Justice’s ruling on 26 January 2024 that there is a plausible risk of genocide in Gaza and the continuing serious harm to civilians since then”, the experts said. The Genocide Convention of 1948 requires States parties to employ all means reasonably available to them to prevent genocide in another state as far as possible. “This necessitates halting arms exports in the present circumstances”, the experts said.
  • The experts welcomed the suspension of arms transfers to Israel by Belgium, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and the Japanese company Itochu Corporation. The European Union also recently discouraged arms exports to Israel.
  • The experts urged other States to immediately halt arms transfers to Israel, including export licenses and military aid. The United States and Germany are by far the largest arms exporters and shipments have increased since 7 October 2023. Other military exporters include France, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.

…“State officials involved in arms exports may be individually criminally liable for aiding and abetting any war crimes, crimes against humanity or acts of genocide,” the experts said. “All States under the principle of universal jurisdiction, and the International Criminal Court, may be able to investigate and prosecute such crimes.”

Continue reading at https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2024/02/arms-exports-israel-must-stop-immediately-un-experts

Corporate Japan deals an unwitting blow to US East Asia policy by Saul J Takahashi

PLEASE TAKE ACTION RIGHT NOW AND SEND YOUR LETTER TO THE UN OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL ADVISER ON THE PREVENTION OF GENOCIDE AND THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT PROSECUTOR.

  • Japanese trading giant Itochu’s surprise announcement on February 5 that it was terminating its agreement with the Israeli defence contractor Elbit Systems has sent shockwaves throughout corporate Japan. Itochu stated specifically that they based their decision on the International Court of Justice ruling that Israel may be committing genocide in Gaza, and on the position of the Japanese government that the ICJ decision must be implemented “in good faith”.

Continue reading at https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2024/2/19/corporate-japan-deals-an-unwitting-blow-to-us-east-asia-policy

Open Letter from the Climate Movement: We stand in solidarity with Palestinians in their struggle for liberation on Mondoweiss

PLEASE TAKE ACTION RIGHT NOW AND SEND YOUR LETTER TO THE UN OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL ADVISER ON THE PREVENTION OF GENOCIDE AND THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT PROSECUTOR.

Settler colonialism and imperialism fundamentally shape the world we live in, the struggles that connect us, and the climate emergency we face. The expansion of the fossil fuel industry, against which we fight, is facilitated through colonial extraction and military operations in the Middle East and beyond. The US military-industrial complex, a ‘tremendous fountain of CO2 pollution’, dispossesses indigenous people of their rightful land in Turtle Island and abroad.2 Amidst its ongoing genocidal assault which attempts to ethnically cleanse Palestinians from Gaza, Israel has handed out 12 gas exploration licenses to companies including BP and ENI off the coast of the strip. It is this system of planetary destruction that produces, motivates, and profits from the weapons fueling Israel’s genocide.

Continue reading at https://mondoweiss.net/2023/12/open-letter-from-the-climate-movement-we-stand-in-solidarity-with-palestinians-in-their-struggle-for-liberation/