Germany in court over complicity in Zionist genocide – now is time for working class to take action by calling general strikes to end arming Israel

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YESTERDAY, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) started a hearing on a case brought by Nicaragua against Germany, which puts the German government in the dock over accusations that it is facilitating genocide and breaching international law through its continuing military aid to Israel in its genocidal war on the Palestinians.

This latest ICJ hearing is different from the one brought by South Africa in February, which put Israel on trial for genocide in Gaza and crimes against the Palestinian people through its illegal occupation of Palestinian territories since 1967.

In this latest case before the United Nations’ highest court, the accused is the German government for complicity in genocide by its continuing, and indeed increased, military aid to Israel.

Germany is the second largest supplier of weapons to Israel after the United States, accounting for 30% of the Zionist state’s arms imports.

Nicaragua’s ambassador to the Netherlands, Carlos Jose Arguello Gomez, told the court Germany had violated the 1948 Genocide Convention by continuing to supply Israel with arms after the ICJ ruled in February that Israel had violated some of the rights guaranteed under the Convention during its assault on Gaza.

The lawyer representing Nicaragua, Alain Pellet, pointed to Article 3 of the UN’s Genocide Convention which outlines ‘complicity in genocide’ as a punishable act.

He emphasised that Nicaragua is not accusing Germany of committing genocide but of being guilty of aiding and abetting Israel by failing to prevent genocide and violations of international law.

Anticipating any defence put forward by the German government that it is not responsible for committing genocide or directly bombing Gaza, Pellet said this is a ‘Pontius Pilate-like’ line. That is, washing the German state’s hands of any responsibility for the death and destruction being rained down on Palestinians by German-supplied weapons and military supplies.

The significance of the Nicaraguan case against Germany is that, for the first time, the ICJ has been asked to rule on an accusation of complicity in the genocide being carried out in Gaza – a genocide that has killed over 33,000 Palestinians the majority being women and children. Equally complicit with Germany in facilitating genocide is the Tory government.

Last week, Tory MP and chair of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee Alicia Kearns revealed that government lawyers had warned that Israel was breaking every international law in the book, raising the issue that continuing arms sales to Israel made the UK complicit in genocide.

The Tories have since categorically refused to reveal this legal advice. On Sunday, Tory deputy prime minister Oliver Dowden, in an interview on BBC, tied himself in knots saying the UK would halt arms sales to Israel if lawyers say it is acting illegally but then went on to repeatedly refuse to reveal what that legal advice is.

Dowden said it was ‘not appropriate’ to release legal advice on whether international law had been broken in Gaza, while hitting out at all the millions of workers and youth calling for an end to arms sales, stating: ‘I think that Israel is conducting a legitimate campaign.’

Dowden made clear that the Tories’ legal advice – that Israel is committing war crimes and breaking the Geneva Genocide convention – will be kept secret and the UK will continue to supply weapons used to slaughter Palestinians in Gaza.

Similarly, the Western imperialist governments in the US and Europe will ignore the legal advice and rulings of the ICJ and will never implement any ban on arming the Zionist murder machine.

Only the working class has the power to end the complicity of their governments in supporting and encouraging genocide.

The burning issue today is for the working class to demand its trade union leaders act by calling general strikes to bring down their governments and bring in workers’ governments that will immediately end all support for the Zionist regime, while providing all the aid required by Palestinians to smash the occupation and go forward to the independent state of Palestine.

This is the way to end the genocidal slaughter – by bringing down capitalism and going forward to workers’ governments and socialism.