The western media takes seriously a ‘fierce debate’ about a comma because it helps us avoid confronting a simple truth: The monsters are us

Israel’s claim that a single comma exempts it from having to respect the International Court of Justice’s order last week to immediately halt its murderous attack on Rafah should be ridiculed. Instead, it is being given space to breathe by complicit media like the Guardian.

The paper’s diplomatic editor offers an “analysis” that takes seriously claims by Israel and the two judges at the ICJ – one an Israeli – who dissented from the ruling approved by the other 13. They argue the following:

The world is wrong to think that the ICJ has required Israel to halt its Rafah assault and any actions elsewhere in Gaza that are genocidal. Instead, a comma in the text qualifies the ruling to mean the court wants Israel to halt its actions in Rafah and elsewhere onlyif they are genocidal. Because Israel’s actions are not genocidal, the court is not, in fact, asking Israel to halt anything.

That argument is preposterous on its face. It would be a less forceful statement than the one the court issued back in January, when Israel’s genocide was far less developed than it is now.

But there’s another glaring flaw in the argument’s logic that the Guardian somehow overlooks. If the two dissenting judges are really so sure that is what the overwhelming majority meant – that Israel is barred only from carrying out actions if they are already proven to constitute genocide – why on earth did they dissent?

Were this really the case, there could be only one possible interpretation of their decision to dissent: that they favour giving Israel the green light to commit genocide.

This isn’t rocket science.

Israel wants to muddy the waters, as it always does, so it can carry on with its genocide. The “fierce and continuing debate” about the comma, as the Guardian characterises it, is being aired so that Israel can continue murdering children in Gaza until the ICJ makes a definitive ruling on the question of genocide in a few years’ time. By then, Gaza will be even more of a smouldering ruin than it is already. By then, the Palestinian population will be either dead or have been ethnically cleansed.

Imagine if it were Vladimir Putin’s Russia arguing over a comma as a pretext to avoid implementing a clear ruling by the ICJ to halt atrocities in Ukraine. The ignominy the Guardian and the rest of the media would heap on the Russian president would be relentless – and deserved.

So why are Israel’s genocide-justifying evasions not treated the same way?

  • Because, however unwilling we are to face the facts, western establishments, including our state-corporate media, are fully onboard with this genocide. The only concession they are willing to make is to the optics.
  • Because western elites, like their more openly colonial forebears, are racist towards members of the Global South like the Palestinians.
  • Because the West’s war machine, into which Israel is so tightly integrated, endlessly enriches those elites through “defence” contracts and resource theft.
  • And because Israel is central to the narrative we imbibe daily, it is we in the so-called West who are the real victims, not the people whose lives are torn apart by our bombs and our globe-spanning financial institutions.

The western media takes seriously the debate about a comma because it helps us avoid confronting a simple truth: The monsters are us.

Jonathan Cook

KEEP US ALIVE and join us in helping to bring reality and decency back by SUBSCRIBING to our Youtube channel: AND SUPPORTING US where you can: Award Winning Independent Citizen Media Needs Your Help. PLEASE SUPPORT US FOR JUST £2 A MONTH

To report this post you need to login first.
Previous articleFemale pedestrian with serious injuries following collision in Wyke, Weymouth
Next articleBoris Johnson goes full on antisemitic in attack on Keir Starmer
Dorset Eye
Dorset Eye is an independent not for profit news website built to empower all people to have a voice. To be sustainable Dorset Eye needs your support. Please help us to deliver independent citizen news... by clicking the link below and contributing. Your support means everything for the future of Dorset Eye. Thank you.