ICJ Orders Israel to Punish Officials Who Incite Genocide - The Friday AM Quickie 1/26/24

Peace out! Jacob's back Monday. - Corey

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Israel's Initial Defense in Genocide Case Fails

The International Court of Justice at the Hague in the Netherlands delivered its first rulings on the genocide case against Israel amid its siege on Gaza's civilians this morning. The court may take years to decide whether a genocide has been committed, but has for now affirmed that South Africa has standing to bring the case, that the ICJ has jurisdiction, that Palestinians constitute a protected group under international convention and that the nature of Israel's alleged conduct falls under the definition of genocide. But the court did not do as South Africa asked and order Israel to cease its military action in Gaza.

In her hourlong remarks, ICJ President Joan Donoghue, a former U.S. State Department official, "called attention to statements by Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant in ordering a 'complete siege' of Gaza and telling troops that they are fighting against 'human animals.'" A strong majority of the 17-judge panel ruled that Israel must take all measures to ensure that its forces do not commit genocidal acts, that it must punish those who incite genocide, that it must provision urgently needed humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza, and it must report back in one month.

The court also expressed "grave concern" for the fate of Hamas hostages. Far-right Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, meanwhile, is sabotaging multinational negotiations to free those and pause the Israeli assault, at least for a couple of months. Despite his objections, the U.S. is sending CIA director Bill Burns to Europe to meet personally with Israeli, Egyptian, and Quatari officials in the hopes of brokering a cease-fire. The New York Times reports:

"In a recording that aired on Israeli television on Tuesday, a voice that appears to be Mr. Netanyahu's calls Qatar's role as a mediator 'problematic' because of its relationship with Hamas and criticizes the United States for extending its military presence in Qatar.
"'These remarks if validated, are irresponsible and destructive to the efforts to save innocent lives, but are not surprising,' a Qatari foreign ministry spokesman, Majed Al Ansari, said in a statement on social media on Wednesday.
"He said that if the remarks were confirmed, Mr. Netanyahu would be 'obstructing and undermining the mediation process, for reasons that appear to serve his political career instead of prioritizing saving innocent lives, including Israeli hostages.'"

The White House seemed to endorse that perspective last night by reiterating its gratitude to Qatar. As former Egyptian general Samir Farag tells the Washington Post, the U.S. "is the only actor positioned to offer" a guarantee sought by Hamas in the current negotiations: namely that Israeli will not attack again after the hostages are released. And it's up to Biden to exercise leverage over Netanyahu by putting conditions on further military aid. Incidentally, Israeli military officials in Washington, D.C. just requested, per Al Jazeera, "a new 25-strong squadron of F35i stealth fighter jets, a squadron of 25 F-15IA fighter jets, and a squadron of 12 Apache helicopters" as well as more munitions for the Gaza siege. Finally, CNN reports that more than 40 former Israeli security officials – including "four former directors of Israel's foreign and domestic security services, two former heads of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and three Nobel Prize winners" – have sent a letter to the president and speaker of parliament demanding Netanyahu's removal, arguing he poses an "existential" threat to the country.

Republican Bullsh*t Roundup: Coronoation Delayed

  • Trump Orders Congressional GOP to Sink Border Deal with Biden, But McConnell Says It's Still On "I hope we don't live in a world today in which one person inside the Republican Party holds so much power that they could stop a bipartisan bill to try to give the president additional power at the border," Connecticut Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy tells CNN. "I would hope that one person isn't so powerful inside the Republican Party to hand Ukraine to Vladimir Putin." via HuffPost, Politico, and the Washington Post.
  • Trump Laywers Seek to Disqualify Georgia Prosecutor in Racketeering Case The former-crook-in-chief's argues that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis "showed 'racial animus'" toward Trump when she told congregants at a historic Black church that her critics were "playing the race card." via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  • 'This Is Not America,' Trump Whines After Briefly Testifying in Defamation Case U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan had to scold America's Very Special Defendant several times for disrupting the proceedings. via the Washington Post.
  • Republicans Cheer as QAnon Conspiracy Theorists Spreading Election Lies Rack Up Millions of Views on Elon Musk's X The Biden campaign has joined civil rights organizations and media watchdog groups in calling out the white supremacist billionaire personally for his "profoundly irresponsible" and "dangerous" stewardship of the social media platform, and for personally spreading election lies; Musk's flunkies claim they will remove posts that contain misinformation about when, where, and how to vote. via the New York Times.
  • 25 GOP Governors Rally Behind Greg Abbott in Confederate-Style Standoff with Federal Authority Gov. Abbot claims "Biden has violated his oath" and argues his actions to usurp control over the border are justified because Texas law "is the supreme law of the land and supersedes any federal statutes to the contrary." via the Texas Tribune and BBC News.
  • Florida Minorities Fear the Loser Ron DeSantis Will Take Out His Frustrations on Them Republicans in the state are already attacking "woke" sociology courses, student LGBTQ centers, trying to ban kids from using social media, and proposing the use of state funds to pay Donald Trump's legal bills. via the Guardian and HuffPost.
  • Trumpism Is 'Already Here' in Canada, Justin Trudeau's Allies Warn After Tucker Carlson Hosts Far-Right Alberta Premier "Carlson's self-described mission to 'liberate Canada' manifested Wednesday as a sold-out matinee for 4,000 in Calgary and a stadium show for 8,000 in Edmonton, confirming 'whitelash' and grievance politics resonate with a deep-pocketed audience in Alberta." via Politico and CBC News.
  • IG: Trump's White House Clinic 'Dispensed Prescription Medications, Including Controlled Substances, to Ineligible' Staff "The clinic's handwritten records from the Trump administration 'frequently contained errors in the medication counts, illegible text, or crossed out text that was not appropriately annotated,'" a new report from the Defense Department's Inspector General says. via NBC News.


  • U.S. Officials Warn North Korea's Kim Jong-Un Has Given Up on Peaceful Reunification with the South Former U.S. intel analyst Robert Carlin says "Kim felt betrayed and humiliated by Mr. Trump during the failed diplomacy of 2019" and sees no chance of normalizing relations with America. via the New York Times.
  • Lawsuit Accuses WWE Chairman Vince McMahon of Sex Trafficking, Abuse The former World Wrestling Entertainment employee who filed the lawsuit says investigators hired by the board of directors in 2022 to pore over McMahon's conduct never interviewed her, and calls that process a "sham." via the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
  • French Constitutional Council Throws Out One-Third of New Law Cracking Down on Immigrants "Trade unions and associations called for fresh protests on Thursday, after tens of thousands of people took to the streets across the country at the weekend" to protest the law, passed under pressure from the right. via Le Monde.
  • Inflation Falls as U.S. Economy Grows Faster Than Expected "The surprisingly good GDP figures prompted Biden aides to launch a more aggressive push to tout the economy's strength as the presidential campaign heats up, hoping to flip what has long been perceived as one of the president's biggest political vulnerabilities into an asset heading into the presidential campaign season." via the Washington Post.


$30 million

That's how much the city of Seattle spent fighting a lawsuit filed by 50 protesters hurt by city cops in the summer of 2020's racial justice protests, according to the Stranger. The city yesterday agreed to a $10 million settlement in the case, whose plaintiffs "included a teenager whose finger was partially blown off, a disabled veteran with a cane who was teargassed and tackled, and dozens who suffered hearing loss, broken bones, concussions, severe bruises, PTSD or other injuries."


1/26: It's Casual Friday! Expect the usual hijinks.


'Two-Thirds of My Friends Are Jewish' Elon Tells Ben Shapiro

The shameless meme stealer also cribbed a bit from George Santos.

Greta Thunberg's Radical Evolution

Take it from me, this young person is going places!


"I have been shocked to watch some public figures try to rewrite history, claiming rioters behaved 'in an orderly fashion' like ordinary tourists, or martyrizing convicted Jan. 6 defendants as 'political prisoners' or even, incredibly, 'hostages.' That is all preposterous. But the court fears that such destructive, misguided rhetoric could presage further danger to our country."

-- U.S. District Judge Judge Royce Lamberth, appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1987, denouncing "distortions and outright falsehoods" around Donald Trump's Jan. 6, 2021 coup attempt in a court filing yesterday in the case of one insurrectionist, James Little.

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