Nicaragua Files Genocide Lawsuit Against Germany for Arming Israel

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Israeli Arms Sales
Israeli Arms Sales

International Court of Justice (ICJ) hears claims from the Central American state that those who provide weapons to Tel Aviv are violating the Genocide Convention

Geostrategic Review

There is another case before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), a judicial body affiliated with the United Nations, this time filed by the Republic of Nicaragua.

This administration in Managua is led by the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) which initially came to power as a result of a revolutionary war waged during the late 1970s which defeated a United States-backed dictatorship.

In December of last year, the Republic of South Africa headed by the African National Congress (ANC), a longtime ally of the FSLN, filed a legal claim at the ICJ charging the Israeli regime with violating the Genocide Convention due to its war policies in Gaza. In a hearing on January 26 when the preliminary findings were read by the ICJ, the Court ruled that the charges of genocide by South Africa were plausible.

Since late January, the ICJ has amended its decision by saying that the Israeli government must allow delivery of humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza. However, the situation has worsened in Gaza over the last several months.

Germany is one of the leading suppliers of weapons to Israel. Politically, the German government has refrained from criticizing the actions of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) since the beginning of the latest phase of the war on October 7.

These developments follow the pattern set by the U.S. which is the staunchest ally of the Zionist state. Nonetheless, over the last six months, there has been an outpouring of solidarity with the Palestinian people. Billions around the globe have expressed their sympathy with the deplorable conditions under which the Palestinians have endured.

While the imperialist states in Western Europe and North America are sending thousands of tons of weapons to the IDF and therefore facilitating the genocide in Gaza, the fighting has spread to other parts of the West Asia region. On the northern border with Lebanon, Hezbollah resistance forces have engaged in running battles with the IDF. Iraq and Syria are witnessing the launching of missiles and drones from their territories against Tel Aviv and Pentagon soldiers stationed illegally at bases in the area.

Yemeni Armed Forces (YAF) personnel are attempting to impose a blockade against Israeli-linked cargo vessels traveling through the Red Sea in solidarity with the people in Palestine. These efforts by the Axis of Resistance forces throughout the region have prompted an escalation in U.S. military presence. U.S. and British warplanes have staged a series of bombing operations against Yemen.

Progressive and revolutionary organizations within and without governments are speaking out loudly in defense of the Palestinian people. This holds true for Latin America as well. The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Republic of Cuba in conjunction with Nicaragua and others have condemned the genocide in Gaza along with those who are enabling the mass murder of Palestinians in Washington, London, Paris and other Western European capitals.

The state-run British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported in an article on the lawsuit filed against Germany by Nicaragua noting:
“Germany is accused of breaching the UN genocide convention by sending military hardware to Israel and ceasing funding of the UN’s aid agency. Berlin rejects the claims and will present a defense to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Tuesday. In 2023 some 30% of Israel’s military equipment purchases came from Germany, totaling €300m ($326m; £257m). The allegations build on a separate case taken by South Africa in January, where judges in the Hague ordered Israel to take ‘every possible measure’ to avoid genocidal acts. The court also ordered Hamas to release all hostages taken from Israel during its 7 October attacks immediately…. Nicaragua says Germany’s arms sales to Israel, which totaled $326.5m last year – a tenfold increase on 2022 – make it complicit in Israel’s alleged war crimes. Components for air defense systems and communications equipment accounted for most of the sales, according to the DPA news agency.” (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-68759146)

In addition to the outright murder of Palestinians, the number that stands now at more than 33,000, there is widespread destruction of neighborhoods, markets, hospitals, schools, universities, religious institutions and the overall infrastructure of the Gaza Strip. Estimates suggest that over 60% of buildings have been damaged or destroyed, dislocating 1.5 million people from their homes.

Food is being utilized as a weapon against the Palestinian people. Leading aid organizations and nutrition experts have assessed the current situation as a famine. The Nicaraguan case states that the ICJ must demand that Germany act now to halt all arms sales to the Israeli government.

Legal Challenges are Important in Multifaceted Struggle for Palestine Liberation

The genocide has faced opposition internationally through mass demonstrations, conferences, electoral campaigns, boycotts and other means. One powerful tool is the courts, particularly the ICJ which has international standing.

Most people do not believe that the courts alone can bring about the conditions for the end to the genocide against the Palestinians. However, when such cases are filed alongside the utilization of mass tactics and the continuing resistance of the Palestinians and other contiguous states in the West Asia region, its effectiveness can be realized through the legal exposure of the crimes committed against humanity and the Israeli dependency upon imperialism, whose interests it serves.

The Republic of Namibia, which has made strong statements in support of the Palestinian struggle, was brought into being as a modern liberated state in 1990 as a result of a diversity of tactics including a case decided by the ICJ in 1971, which called upon the white-minority apartheid regime based in the Republic of South Africa, to leave Namibia, then known as Southwest Africa. Namibia’s leading liberation movement, the South-West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO) waged political, legal, educational and armed campaigns to win their independence.

One source on the legal significance of the Namibia case against apartheid South Africa says:
“On June 21, 1971, the ICJ handed down its opinion. It held, by 13 votes to 2, that, given that the continued presence of South Africa in Namibia was deemed illegal, South Africa was under an obligation to withdraw its administration from Namibia immediately and thus put an end to its occupation of the Territory.” (https://academic.oup.com/book/27389/chapter-abstract/197186121?redirectedFrom=fulltext)

Despite this ruling by the UN Court, it would take another 19 years of protracted revolutionary struggle to win independence for Namibia. The pressure built up against the racist apartheid regime in Southern Africa domestically and internationally forced the system to change.

In the 20th century, South Africa and its neighbor Namibia, are examples of the convergence of national, regional and international forces in a battle against oppression and genocide. During this period, the plight of the Palestinians has gained wider attention sparking solidarity efforts aimed at finding a sustainable solution to the crisis.

This movement is being led by the people of Palestine themselves. The courage and persistence shown by the people of Gaza has inspired others such as the Nicaraguan government to play an important role in ending the extermination of the Palestinians.

The Nicaraguan case is demanding urgent action as pointed out by Al Jazeera:
“Nicaragua has requested five provisional measures, including that Germany ‘immediately suspend its aid to Israel, in particular its military assistance, including military equipment’.
It also calls on the court to order Germany to ‘reverse its decision to suspend the funding of UNRWA.’ Germany said in January it was halting funding pending an inquiry into Israeli accusations that several UNRWA staff members took part in the October 7 assault.” (https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2024/4/8/icj-to-hear-nicaragua-case-against-germany-for-facilitating-gaza-genocide)

These attacks on UNRWA illustrate the genocidal character of the war. The targeting of an UN humanitarian agency is symbolic of the objectives to eliminate the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

The imperialist war policy in Palestine is indicative of the designs drawn up for decades to attempt the recolonization of Asia, Africa and Latin America. To defeat the contemporary thrust of the West to reclaim its global hegemony, it will require a world movement working to build a just and democratic world system.

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