This week, Tánaiste Micheál Martin released a public statement clarifying the government’s position on South Africa’s International Court of Justice case against Israel on grounds of genocide.
This comes five days after South Africa presented its case to the ICJ, at the same time as a mass demonstration took place in Dublin, which saw thousands of people attend to support Palestine and South Africa.
The Irish people demonstrated their full support for an end to the occupation, to such an extent where not even the government can ignore it. The government’s stratagem, to outmanoeuvre public opinion, has been to deliberately mislead the Dáil and the public, through a mixture of lying and gaslighting, with both tactics being featured in the statement.
The Tanaiste took the opportunity to very generously explain to the public the inner-workings of the ICJ and proceeded to diminish the significance of South Africa’s submission of ‘provisional measures’.
He spoke of them as separate to what he calls “the substantive case” and continued on to say that it is only at “the substantive case (ie: the genocide memorial whereby Israel is tried)” where countries decide whether they’ll support the case or not.
This is false, as numerous countries have already joined South Africa in supporting the provisional measures laid out on the 11th of January.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs went on to make the astonishing remark that “No country in the world has joined South Africa”, which we already know is a lie.
The provisional measures proposed by South Africa are absolutely essential to safeguarding the lives of Palestinians and ensure the legitimacy of international law. Martin is using a classic technique that bourgeois politicians have employed for centuries – relying on the public’s ignorance when explaining their position on a given thing or topic. In this case, he is relying on the public not knowing what are in these provisions and their purpose, hoping people will just view it as gibberish legalese.
The provisions call for Israel to “immediately suspend its military operations in and against Gaza”, so aid can enter Gaza. They also seek to prevent the destruction of evidence so that the genocide memorial may convene. They are short-term measures necessary to halt the genocide so its perpetrators may be punished.
Note that the government has stated their support for a ceasefire to allow aid into Gaza, but now all of a sudden, what they have been advocating for since October is no longer their priority.
Turkey, Jordan, Pakistan, Bolivia, Brazil, and Malaysia have already backed and supported South Africa’s case for provisional measures in the short term and the government is not ignorant of this. They are simply choosing to lie and mislead the public.
This is not the first time the government has attempted to lie their way out of addressing the ICJ case.
Prior to the hearing on 11 January, the governments ‘professional’ team of stenographer’s initially said that Ireland could not involve itself in the case unless it was a directly involved party. This was a lie, considering not long after that Germany joined Israel in regards to this case.
The government’s inaction in regards to the now over 24,000 murdered in Gaza and millions more displaced are easily explainable: the 26 counties care more about keeping on good terms with the EU and protecting Irish europhilia, than they do in actually abiding by international law and prosecuting genocide when they see it.
The evidence we need to prove without a doubt that Israel is commiting genocide already exists and has been presented to the ICJ, with more evidence to come in the future. Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin have shown a cold and inhuman indifference to this fact.
Indifference and inaction to genocide is criminal. Their continued indifference will inevitably put the south’s precious europhilia at stake as the masses become more aware of who the enablers are.