What happens when the International Court of Justice finds Israel guilty of genocide?

Twas a nice little unexpected $700 bill at the dealership today. It was all routine service—I hadn’t expected to need to do the rear brakes quite this soon—with the only thing I hadn’t heard of before being a “throttle service.”

Apparently gunk accumulates in the throttle assembly and needs to be cleaned out from time to time. I’d never had this recommended, let alone done, before. But assuming this is a mechanical part, jamming would be bad. Very bad. We do not want throttles jamming, nosirreee!!!!!

The rest of it, which I had planned for, were air filters (both engine and cabin) and an annual state inspection (the rear brakes were actually still legal for the inspection).

The car is nearly three years old (I took delivery on July 14, 2021). I’ve had to repair two sensors—these were on the order of $1,000 each—in 181,206 miles. This was the first rear brake service. I had the first front brake service at 120,282 miles. (Most of the braking load on this car is taken up by regenerative braking.) I’m probably on my fourth set of tires. So far, it looks like Toyota is upholding its reputation.

And now that I’m no longer driving for Uber, I’m mostly on far better roads that worry me far less, with less toxic masculinity in the driving. So I’m reasonably hopeful the car will last through the six-year payment plan.




Fig. 1. The ruins of a terminal at the Gaza airport. Image by Said Khatib (Agence France-Presse) on September 9, 2018, via the Times of Israel,[1] fair use.

This growing isolation, on one hand, could strengthen an embattled [Binyamin] Netanyahu. Along with his allies, the prime minister has long derided the supposed anti-Israel bent of agencies within the United Nations and cast Israel as a victim of global antisemitism.

“This really strengthens the narrative which we have been hearing since day one of this war that in the end, we can only depend on ourselves,” Yonatan Freeman, an international relations specialist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, told Reuters. “And I think that this can even assist the Israeli government’s explanation and description of what it’s doing in this war.”

But it also reflects a certain myopia within Israel’s political establishment and perhaps its broader society, which has failed to grasp the depth of outrage over their country’s actions in Gaza. It isn’t just a “matter of squandering the international credit Israel was afforded after being cruelly attacked on October 7, with its leaders possibly finding themselves criminally indicted for war crimes,” wrote Haaretz’s Amos Harel. “The unfolding of events illustrates the global standing and diplomatic skills of Netanyahu himself. The man with pretensions of being an uber-statesman is incapable of advancing the strategic goals he set for this war, embroiling Israel in trouble that will haunt the state and its citizens for many years, beyond the direct corollaries of the massacre perpetrated by Hamas.”[2]

Ishaan Tharoor approaches an issue that has troubled me for a while now, that Zionists generally—not just the Israeli government—refuse to acknowledge that they are committing genocide, labeling any such accusation as “blood libel” or “anti-Semitism.” Any resolution to this conflict will require Israelis (and the U.S.) to face that very simple, incontrovertible fact.

But most Israelis, like white Christian nationalists, are choosing their alternative “facts” that support their preferred narrative of an anti-Semitic world bent on genocide against Jews. I look at this absolute arrogance toward Palestinians and can only wonder how much this resembles how Jews have treated their neighbors in the past and how much this narrative and these relationships have to do with the anti-Semitism that has in fact existed and the many pogroms against Jews that have in fact occurred. We now must revisit these episodes more critically: How have Jews historically gotten on with their neighbors? Why are they so often scapegoats? Were they the only people in Europe and colonized North America of a variant religion? (Of course, people kill over religion, which itself generally forbids killing. But the history of anti-Semitic pogroms far outlasts the tensions that arose, for example, in the wake of the Protestant Reformation or in, in another example, the contest between Catholics and Muslims for Spain.) I’m thinking there might be more to this story than Jews as perpetual victims.

Already the prevailing narrative generally omits that Israel’s ethnic cleansing project began with Nakba—Arabic for ‘catastrophe’—with the country’s founding, that Palestinians were uprooted even from much of the territory internationally recognized as Israel, that many continue to live in refugee camps that are decades old. Israelis and Zionists tell themselves lies about all this; we must not listen and any support we give makes us complicit.

That, of course, will be even clearer when (if, but I think increasingly likely) the International Court of Justice renders a guilty verdict in the charge of genocide. The U.S. and Israel will unavoidably be rogue states in the international order. Of course, it won’t be the first time.

Mohamad Bazzi, “Biden wants progressives to believe he’s reining in Israel. He isn’t,” Guardian, May 20, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/article/2024/may/20/biden-weapons-israel-gaza-war

Ron Kampeas, “ICC prosecutor seeks arrest warrants for Benjamin Netanyahu and Hamas leaders,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, May 20, 2024, https://www.jta.org/2024/05/20/israel/international-criminal-court-prosecutor-seeks-arrest-warrants-for-benjamin-netanyahu-and-hamas-leaders

Ivana Kottasová and Madalena Araujo, “ICC seeks arrest warrants against Sinwar and Netanyahu for war crimes over October 7 attack and Gaza war,” CNN, May 20, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/05/20/middleeast/icc-israel-hamas-arrest-warrant-war-crimes-intl/index.html

Louisa Loveluck, “ICC prosecutor seeks arrest warrants for Israel’s Netanyahu and Hamas’s Sinwar,” Washington Post, May 20, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/05/20/israel-hamas-war-news-gaza-palestine/

Ishaan Tharoor, “Israel ‘is stuck inside Gaza’ as Palestinian suffering deepens,” Washington Post, May 20, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/05/20/israel-gaza-suffering-netanyahu-palestinian/

Alexander Ward, Erin Banco, and Lara Seligman, “Biden admin openly hammering Israel’s military strategy in Gaza,” Politico, May 21, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/05/21/biden-admin-hammering-israel-military-strategy-gaza-00159262

Washington Post, “Six experts weigh in on the ICC’s warrants on Israeli and Hamas leaders,” May 21, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2024/05/21/icc-arrest-warrant-israel-hamas-debate/

Lazar Berman, “Norway, Ireland, Spain move to recognize Palestinian state, drawing Israeli fury,” Times of Israel, May 22, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/norway-ireland-spain-move-to-recognize-palestinian-state-drawing-israeli-fury/

William Booth, “Norway, Ireland and Spain recognize Palestinian state; Israel condemns move,” Washington Post, May 22, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/05/22/norway-ireland-palestine-state-recognition/

Kareem Fahim et al., “Israel’s latest offensives unleash ‘hell’ in Gaza, aid groups say,” Washington Post, May 22, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/05/22/gaza-famine-aid-israel-hamas/

Ishaan Tharoor, “The ICC’s battle with Israel is a test of the international order,” Washington Post, May 22, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/05/22/icc-international-order-criminal-court-israel-war-crimes/

Ishaan Tharoor, “Israel’s isolation deepens on the world stage,” Washington Post, May 23, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/05/23/israel-isolation-icj-ruling-gaza/

  1. [1]Times of Israel, “20 years after its opening, destroyed Gaza airport embodies grounded peace hopes,” September 12, 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/20-years-after-its-opening-destroyed-gaza-airport-embodies-grounded-peace-hopes/
  2. [2]Ishaan Tharoor, “Israel’s isolation deepens on the world stage,” Washington Post, May 23, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/05/23/israel-isolation-icj-ruling-gaza/

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