Palestine Demands: Immediate Sanctions and Boycott of Apartheid Israel!
Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign
***image1***The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague, despite intense pressure from Israel, the US and EU Governments, confirms what Palestinians and the world have known since the beginning of its planning and construction – THE WALL IS ILLEGAL!
Citing the Right to Self Determination, the Fourth Geneva Convention, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, relevant human rights and humanitarian law, as well as the Rights to Freedom of Movement, Work, Education, Health, Food and Water, Religion and the Right of the Child, the ICJ voted 14-1 that "construction of the wall and its associated regime are contrary to international law" 14-1 that Israel must immediately cease construction of the Wall in all areas, dismantle parts already build and repeal any legislation or regulation relating to the Wall and 14-1 that Israel must make reparations for damages caused by construction of the Wall.
The ICJ reiterates the illegality of Israeli settlements and their relationship to the Wall’s path, referring to the Wall’s unilateral demarcation of a new border in the West Bank, seizure and destruction of property, the effective annexation of occupied lands and settlements and the demographic changes within Palestine as a result of the Wall’s construction. In an important assertion, the Court fully disregards the relevance of the Israeli position that the Wall is for "security" or "self defense."
In response to the ruling, the illegality of the Wall and the ongoing destruction to Palestinian communities on the ground:
- Mass Demonstration will be held today in Ar Ram, at the Protest tent (approximately 100 meters from the Dahiat checkpoint), after the Friday noon prayer. The demonstration will include massive mobilization of Palestinians from the Northern West Bank communities affected by the Wall and the rest of the West Bank.
- Internationally, central mobilization has been taking place in The Hague with solidarity Demonstrations being held in many countries around the world.
Of course, we cannot trust that the Court decision alone will make the Wall fall – the international community must take action and demand that the decision have an impact on the ground. Israel has a clear history of violating UN resolutions, as was recognized in the ICJ opinion, and has explicitly stated that it will not accept any ruling of the ICJ. Further it has secured guarantees from the United States that they will veto any action by the UN Security Council to enforce the ICJ opinion.
Should Israel, the US, the European Union or any other country attempt to avoid their legal obligation to stop construction of the Illegal Wall, they would be in clear contempt of the ICJ’s opinion in which a 13-2 vote stated that "all States are under an obligation not to recognize the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and not to render aid or assistance in maintaining the situation created by such construction." The court reinforced this point with a 14-1 vote that the "United Nations and especially the General Assembly and the Security Council should consider what further action is required to bring an end to the illegal situation resulting from the wall and the associated regime." In statement number (145), the ICJ also makes the argument that Israel has a responsibility to search for and bring to justice the crimes of any person involved in the "planning, construction and "use of the wall."
"This opinion will only mark an important event in the struggle against the Apartheid Wall and for Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law, if the UN, world governments and the international community demand the implementation of the opinion and act to sanction Israeli Apartheid for its crimes against the Palestinian people, ensuring that the US does not use its veto power to undermine the international judicial process," says the coordinator of the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign.
In response to the ICJ opinion, the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign is calling for immediate action: Construction on the Wall must be stopped immediately, all existing sections must be dismantled and compensation must be offered to those who have suffered from its devastation.
The demands of the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign are that:
- the UN to immediately call for a General Assembly Meeting imposing, without further delay, international sanctions and an arms embargo on Israel, as demanded already in November 2003;
- the EU to immediately suspend its economic, cultural and scientific association agreements with Israel;
- Governments worldwide break off diplomatic relations.
In addition, we are calling upon the People of the World to:
- strengthen their support for the Palestinian struggle against the Apartheid Wall and the Israeli Occupation;
- pressure their governments to take responsible action and enforce the opinion with continued mobilization;
- call for popular boycott of all Israeli goods and institutions until the Wall falls and Israel complies with International Law and all UN resolutions.
An ICJ Advisory Opinion is not merely an opinion, is an official jurisprudence of the highest judicial body in the United Nations Systems and to diminish the weight of the Advisory Opinion is to contradict the principles established in the Charter of the United Nations, as well as the role of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). In reference to the value of their own opinion, the ICJ highlighted the value of their 1971 ruling against South Africa's occupation of Namibia, after which the international community imposed sanctions on the Apartheid State. Popular boycott, International isolation, economic sanctions and diplomatic pressure have supported the South African Anti-Apartheid Movement in its struggle against a racist and colonialist regime and have brought South Africa Apartheid to an end.