A crucial step


Justice is served. Even if Israel had been expecting the dagger to fall for weeks and even if there is little that the warrant can do to cause trouble for the accused, the very fact that the International Criminal Court has officially issued arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant for war crimes in the same breath as Hamas leaders they’ve gone to great trouble to paint as heartless, deplorable, blood-thirsty bullies is a masterstroke.
It is not just Tel Aviv that has reacted with outrage at the announcement but its through-thick-and-thin friend, Washington, insists it would not tolerate the sight of PM Netanyahu appearing in the dock with someone his administration deems an existential threat. Their shock aside, the court’s proceedings have come as a much-needed reminder that many in the world cannot stomach the devastating war in Gaza any longer.
What would go on to be remembered as a crucial step towards ensuring accountability and justice for the atrocities committed in the occupied territories seeks to spell an end to the nauseating double standards of the West, where the entire international community was expected to buy just one side of the story and sweep scathing evidence pointing to the contrary under the rug. Of course, it remains to be seen how a deafeningly clear message sent out by the court would be interpreted by the Allies.
There appear slim chances of it being ready for an arm-twisting round. The US has had enough of a humbling experience from no significance of imposing sanctions in 2020 against an ICC prosecutor to repeat the same mistake. Nevertheless, the European sponsors might be hard at work, coming up with a platitude-laced narrative to defend their decision to stand by an apartheid state. Tricky questions abound, wondering why they still wish to cheer on an administration being criticised by an increasing range of bodies for committing war crimes.
The Israeli war machine may not stop right now, but humanity, morality and now the law all implore the rest of the world to listen to its conscience and call out an end to this irreprehensible world order.