The whole world has keenly followed the case which South Africa filed against Israel with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on 29 December 2023. South Africa argued that Israel is breaching the UN convention on genocide by “killing Palestinians in Gaza, causing them serious bodily and mental harm, and inflicting on them conditions of life calculated to bring about their physical destruction”. The first response from ICJ came in an epic session on Friday 26 January; it was remarkable that ICJ put Israel in the dock, not succumbing to Israeli-Western pressures. ICJ ordered Israel to take action to prevent acts of genocide as it wages war against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. The court ordered Israel to refrain from any acts that could fall under the Genocide Convention and to ensure its troops commit no genocidal acts in Gaza, and to take immediate and effective measures to ensure the provision of humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza. Thereby, the ICJ has ruled that it has jurisdiction to consider the case filed by South Africa against Israel, and has rejected Israel’s request for the case to be dismissed. In this context, ICJ ordered Israel to submit within one month a report of all measures taken in line with its order.
As we await the aftermath of the ICJ ruling, I carry on following and reporting on videos or written articles—which I see as testimonies—that come my way from the Western World, expressing recognition of and solidarity with the rights of the Palestinians; especially those that come from persons living in the US or Europe. Let me point out that such testimonies are in fact acts of defiance against a vicious ban on solidarity with Palestinians, imposed by the administrations of these countries on media outlets, politicians and public figures. To say nothing of public or private threats against those who voice support for Palestinian rights, or condemn the crimes committed by Israel in Gaza. I will present here one of those testimonies: video footage that sends a cry for help launched by a young man rallying for a documentary produced by Netflix. The young man says:
“Fellow supporters of Palestine, your service and your support is urgently needed right now. Netflix just today started streaming a Palestinian movie called “Farha”. It’s set in 1948 and follows the story of a Palestinian girl before and during the “Nakba” or catastrophe, when Zionist forces began ethnically cleansing Palestine, in order to establish the State of Israel that exists today. “This is a huge deal for Palestinians, this is a very rare opportunity to have such a historically accurate depiction of what actually happened to Palestinians when the State of Israel was established. Based on a true story, it was directed by Darin Sallam, and it is Jordan’s official submission to the Oscars for 2023. And I’m gonna get straight to what is needed from you. There are two requests: number 1, go support and watch the movie on Netflix… Spare an hour and a half and give yourself an opportunity to learn what it was like for Palestinians during the “Nakba”. This is the first time the truth of what happened to Palestinians during 1948 is being broadcasted here in the West, so go watch it.
“Number 2, not surprisingly, Israelis and anti-Palestinians are protesting the film and condemning Netflix for inaccurately showing Israeli soldiers and Palestinian family. They’re literally organising online smear campaigns to give the movie really bad reviews and super low ratings all over the Internet, especially on IMDb, which is a big deal for the film industry in hopes of sabotaging the movie’s reputation. The film’s being attacked by Israeli government officials, by Israeli social media influencers, harassing and threatening the director of the movie and the team… So we need to do our part and combat all that mess. We are not letting them ruin this one opportunity that we have to share our story… So we need you to go to imdb.com.. and write a review for the movie. These reviews need to act as the ultimate hype man for this movie.. And then you need to go to Google reviews and give a thumbs up there as well… This has to be done. We cannot let them win this battle. This movie could have smoothly just been streamed and enjoyed by Palestinians and supporters of Palestine, but no, they wanted to get wild. OK, let’s get started, if they want to dance let’s shake it…
“People always ask me what can I do to support Palestine? This is what you can do right now. You can help us share the story of Palestine right now. So go do it.”
As for the current war raging in Gaza, the point of contention is, why did Hamas wage its attack on 7 October 2023? Video footage I recently received answers this question very accurately: “US media almost never report that Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are living under military occupation. Every day, Israeli soldiers invade Palestinian towns and villages, abduct men, women and children, beat them, and control their lives and movement. Nearly every week Israeli forces demolish Palestinian homes, destroy their crops, confiscate Palestinian land, shell Gaza and kill Palestinians. While Israeli deaths in the conflict are reported by US media, Palestinian deaths which occur far more often, are usually ignored. Much emphasis is placed on rocket attacks from Gaza, while reports rarely mention that these attacks are in response to Israeli violence and have killed a total of about 30 Israelis, this compared to the more than 4000 Palestinians who have been killed in Israeli air strikes. Additionally, US news organisations don’t report the history of the conflict, or the power of the Israeli lobby to procure over USD10 million per day of American tax money.
“Under international law, these are the Palestinian occupied territories. They are not part of Israel. These are foreign soldiers invading other people’s land. Those who get in the soldiers’ way are beaten daily, abducted daily, injured daily, terrorised daily. These are people on their own land, losing their homes, property and farms, being confiscated by a foreign nation. They take part in unarmed, nonviolent protests against the foreign army… “Since the Six-day-war in 1967, almost 50,000 Palestinian homes have been demolished. Israeli authorities say some homes built close to the separation fence are a security risk and have to be destroyed. And these are over and above the homes destroyed by Israeli air strikes on Gaza: 116,000 family homes destroyed or damaged, 216 schools, 67 hospitals and clinics. Gaza’s almost 2 million men, women and children trapped in what many have called the “world’s largest open-air prison”.”
2 February 2024