After the horrors of October 7, the Israeli government launched its counterattack into Gaza with two stated goals: the eradication of Hamas and the freeing of the hostages.
But it never set a clear plan as to how the IDF assault would achieve either goal and neither has succeeded.
Now is the time to mobilize creatively international political forces in the interests of rescuing the hostages, addressing the terrible crisis of the internally displaced Gazan population, and marginalizing and replacing Hamas with a local Palestinian administration that is not dedicated to destroying Israel. Within the Arab world, states are willing to work to derail Hamas, which is correctly viewed as an Iranian proxy and a destabilizing factor. Those states are ready to work with Israel as well as with broader international forces to free the hostages and to advance mutual security interests, but they will do so only in a political context that involves a credible path to Palestinian self-rule.
These possibilities remain unheeded by the current Israeli leaders, who believe their self-interest lies in extending the war, and who have for years been willing to sacrifice important concerns, including assuring the country’s security, to prevent a two-state solution.
PPI, working with our partners in Israel, will continue to present alternatives for bringing about peace, security, and the return of the hostages.
In an important development today, the International Court of Justice issued a provisional ruling in a case brought by South Africa against Israel charging Genocide in connection with Israel’s actions in Gaza. The ruling, which is not a final judgment, required the following:
- It obligated Israel to adhere to obligations under the Genocide Convention as it relates to the Palestinian population in Gaza;
- Ordered the Israeli military to prevent acts prohibited under the Convention;
- Obligated the government of Israel to prevent and punish statements inciting genocide of Palestinians in Gaza; and
- Ordered Israel to take immediate and effective measures to enable the supply of urgently required humanitarian aid and basic services for the Palestinian population of Gaza.
It is worth noting that former Israeli Supreme Court president Aharon Barak, sitting as one of the seventeen participating ICJ justices in the case, voted in favor of the last two provisions.
While the Court has no means of imposing enforcement, the decisions of the Court are binding under international law.
Partners for Progressive Israel, while rejecting the allegation that Israel is engaged in genocide against the Palestinian people, strongly supports the court’s order and urges Israel to comply forthwith. We are glad to hear there are credible reports of a ceasefire and exchange of prisoners pending, and hope that these developments will quickly come to pass.