Sunday 26 May 2024

Vladimir Putin makes peace overtures which so far are ignored. Did the ICJ order Israel to halt offensive in Rafah? Who governs Britain? (as Edward Heath asked in 1974, to receive a dusty answer)


Some wonderful news at last - that Vladimir Putin wants peace, freezing the line between the two armies. 

The news is not given much coverage in the Times or Daily Telegraph.

The UK and US should be delighted but the people who run those government are not.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ), which is the highest UN court and nothing to do with the International Criminal Court (ICC), has ordered Israel "to halt its military offensive, and any other action in the Rafah Governorate, which may inflict on the Palestinian group in Gaza conditions of life that could bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part”.

Israel has been ordered to stop committing genocide, but denies doing so. I am not sure what the judgment means.

The finding received reasonably respectful coverage in the Times, though the Telegraph said the experts appointed by the court (including Mrs. George Clooney) had criticised Israel before and were therefore not impartial.

When the ICJ found against Russia the Telegraph did not dig up previous condemnations of Russia by the court's experts. I wonder if there were any and I wonder if the Telegraph (my daily paper) is a disinterested seeker after the truth.

My friend Peter Oborne says this.

Forty-three years ago, the Jewish Chronicle interviewed Margaret Thatcher, then the British prime minister, in the wake of Operation Babylon, the illegal Israeli attack on an unfinished Iraqi nuclear reactor near Baghdad.

The interviewer, Monty Modlyn, accused Britain of being “the leading advocate of the Arab case against Israel” and expressed his perplexity that Thatcher had accused Israel of “a grave breach of international law.”

Thatcher stood her ground: “I uphold international law. Once we go away from that, we shall not know where we are.”

Then she delivered a moral lecture for the ages.

“If we are not going to live by a system of international law, we are going to live by international anarchy,” she said. “Then no people anywhere in the world are safe.”

Compare and contrast Thatcher’s eloquent defence of the international order with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s reaction to the International Criminal Court (ICC) announcing that it is seeking arrest warrants against both Hamas and Israeli leaders in connection with alleged crimes against humanity.

Thatcher, though a strong supporter of the state of Israel and a famous admirer of the Jewish people, threw her weight behind international law.

Sunak has trashed it, saying the court ruling was “deeply unhelpful” before parroting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s talking point that the ICC had implied a “moral equivalence” between Hamas and Israel.
As for the separate proceedings in the ICJ, Here is British barrister Karim Khan, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC): talking to the Sunday Times about his decision to apply for a warrant against Netanyahu:

“There were attempts to kill Margaret Thatcher, Airey Neave was blown up, Lord Mountbatten was blown up, there was the Enniskillen attack, we had kneecappings … But the British didn’t decide to say, ‘Well, on the Falls Road there undoubtedly may be some IRA members and Republican sympathisers, so therefore let’s drop a 2,000lb bomb on the Falls Road.’ You can’t do that."
“Much more important than me or the ICC, the world is looking at this situation. In Latin America, Africa and Asia they are seeing this as a crystallising point. Are powerful states sincere when they say there’s a body of law or is this rules-based system all a nonsense, simply a tool of Nato and a post-colonial world, with no real intention of applying law equally?” 

The British Prime Minister has called an election his cabinet does not want, when he is 20 points behind in the polls. 

One British MP, formerly Tory now an independent, thinks the reason is that the people who really rule Britain have decided on war with Russia and the Prime Minister does not want to be a war leader. 

It sounds very far fetched, but are the real decisions taken by the British and American cabinets?

By the way, I do not believe in a conspiracy ruling the world or that the World Economic Forum matters. Shirley Williams used to attend each year. 

But real power no longer lies with monarchs, noblemen and landowners. There does exist a nexus of very rich men, the media, large multinationals and the secret services and permanent officials of the Anglo-Saxon and other Western countries. 

We saw this with the way Trump was undercut and we saw it with the way 'extremist' opinion is suppressed even in the USA, the one developed country with freedom of speech.

The invasion that should most concern the US - the invasion across its Southern border - is not only ignored but the Democrat Majority Leader in the Senate wants all illegal immigrants to be made citizens. 

He is part of the bipartisan American establishment and part of the international network of people who run things in the (pseudo) West, who all seem resigned or happy about taking in illegal migrants, while frightened of Russia, Iran and China.


  1. “George [Osborne] thinks Rishi is hopeless. He’s always thought he doesn’t have a big political brain and that Rishi has made two big calls in his career — backing Brexit and backing Boris — and that those are the two most catastrophic things to happen to this country in the last decade.”

  2. "The actions of the ICC and ICJ are useful only insofar as they help disabuse people of the delusional belief that western powers care one iota about international law" - Caitlin Johnstone - but compare Mrs Thatcher quoted in my blog post to see how things used to be.

  3. "The ruling's circuitous language allows for an interpretation according to which Israel can continue its operation in Rafah for now; indeed, in recent days, the military has somewhat intensified its offensive in the southern Gaza city......While there are no immediate moves to rein in the IDF, in the longer term there are two dangers: an imposed cease-fire without a resolution of the hostage crisis and missing the Biden administration's proposal for a comprehensive U.S.-Saudi-Israeli agreement." Ha'aretz today.