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I.C.J. – (An) International Cry for Justice

By Captain Mahmood Al Mahmood

If you travel through some modern European cities which were the target of Hitler’s most brutal attack – the Netherlands, France, Belgium and why, Germany itself – you will be enveloped in a curtain of apology to the Jews.

Decades after the terrible manslaughter of Jews by the Nazis, these countries have not overcome their institutionalised guilt about the Holocaust even though they sought to assuage it by generously handing over what was not theirs - the ancient homeland of the Palestinians - to form a Jewish country called Israel – thereby setting up a new century of feuding and injustice.

The world has come a long way since that time and despite the reports of daily desensitising brutality towards the Palestinians, the encroachment of Gazan lands by Jewish settlers and the systematics tripping of humane living conditions for the people of Gaza, we all lived in hope that a resolution would smooth over this aberration.

When the Hamas attack of October 7 took place, many were divided in their condemnation: some saw it as unjustified and others saw it as a rash hitting out from under the grip of a bully.

Whatever be the case, does the brutal decimation of 23,000 Gazans as a response to the 1,200 who died because of the Hamas attack even bear discussion? Especially when most of those killed were civilians?

Despite the loud silence of the European countries and in many cases, the active support of powerful allies of Israel, we finally have an answer: the International Court of Justice has grimly accepted South Africa’s charge that accuses Israel of violating the 1948 genocide convention which mandates all countries to ensure crimes against any group of people (like the Holocaust) are never repeated.

It is a small first step – and too early for us to rejoice in any way.

But it is a small voice of truth – and let us remember that lies shout loudly but the truth can afford to whisper and still be heard.

What we need to do is grasp at this straw that South Africa has thrown in the face of the Goliath-like Israel and make it the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.


Captain Mahmood Al Mahmood is the Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Tribune and the President of the Arab-African Unity Organisation for Relief, Human Rights and Counterterrorism