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Other translations from the Turkish opposition press on Israel’s offensive against Gaza

Other sample press translations from Turkish to English

The following article appeared in Evrensel on 12 January 2024. Translated from Turkish by Tim Drayton

Original article:

Israel’s war crimes and imperialist hypocrisy
Yusuf Karadaş

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) yesterday commenced its hearing into the application made by the Republic of South Africa that Israel’s assaults on the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are “genocidal” in nature. The reaction of Western imperialists headed by the USA to the case before the ICJ, the principal judicial organ affiliated to the United Nations (UN), has once more laid bare their hypocrisy when it comes to international law. As opposed to the International Criminal Court (ICC), which is also based in The Hague and is only binding on participating countries, the UN-affiliated ICJ does not try natural persons. Unrecognized by many countries, not least the USA and Russia, the ICC came to prominence with its recent arrest warrant against Russian leader Putin on the charge of having committed a war crime by illicitly deporting Ukrainian children.

At this point, it must first be noted that, even if its rulings are binding, the ICJ lacks the power of sanction and moreover it takes years for it to issue final judgments. Nevertheless, South Africa’s application on the allegation of “genocide” comes with a motion for the ordering of a measure to halt Israel’s attacks and the issuing of such an order by the court is of importance in terms of stepping up international pressure on Israel and the imperialists that support it.

With US Secretary of State Biden, who in visiting Israel four times in the past three months during which its attacks on Gaza have continued has revealed himself to be its biggest supporter, declaring the genocide case brought against Israel to be an “injustice”, British Foreign Secretary Cameron says he does not think Israel has violated international law, while German Foreign Minister Baerbock declares that she sees no genocidal intent in Israel defending itself against Hamas.

Nearly double the number of civilians, predominantly children and women, have been slaughtered in the past three months in Gaza, the size of a small Ukrainian city, than have been killed in the 23 month-long Ukraine war, and on top of this hundreds of thousands have been forced to migrate. Hospitals, churches and schools are being bombed in Gaza; the Israeli government speaks of exiling more than two million Gazans and is making preparations to this end. However, as the above pronouncements attest, according to the Western imperialists headed by the USA, there is no legal issue with Israel’s massacres and its uprooting of thousands of people!

So, what did these imperialists do when Ukraine sued Russia for committing war crimes before the same court? No sooner had Ukraine applied than they issued a joint declaration in support of this application and calling for Russia to be punished. Let there be no misunderstanding. There is nothing we find acceptable about Russia’s attacks against and occupation of Ukraine. However, the Western imperialists, who did not stop at decreeing embargoes and sanctions on Russia for this reason and threatened those who failed to abide by these decrees, are now lining up to defend Israel in the face of Israel’s attacks and massacres of genocidal proportions.

The positions they adopt on Ukraine and Palestine provide sufficient material on their own for us to discern the hypocrisy of the Western imperialists who at every opportunity speak of protecting international law and peace in line with the aims and principles of the UN. Their positions on these two wars and acts of aggression starkly reveal that the Western imperialists only remember UN principles when and where it serves their interests. The stances of the forces led by the US on the Ukraine war do not derive from their love of the Ukrainian people, either. US Senator Blumenthal, making a support visit to Ukrainian Leader Zelensky last summer, exposed the true intent behind this support in commenting, “Americans ought to be assured, we’re getting our money’s worth. We’ve degraded the Russian Armed Forces by about 50%, cut in half Russian military strength, with an investment of less than 3% of our annual military budget”.

The US and NATO see the Ukraine war as an opportunity to undermine Russian imperialism, their competitor, and this fight over the spoils lies behind the sanctions they are imposing on Russia citing UN principles. The same imperialist forces, far from opposing the attacks and massacres by Israel which disregards UN resolutions calling for an end to the occupation and a two-state solution, act as the biggest supporters of these attacks with their military and financial assistance. This is because they see Israel as their prime fulcrum in the Middle East, home to the world’s most important energy reserves and transit routes.

This means that, even before the trial before the ICJ began, the advocacy for Israel advanced by the leaders of these countries at the same time harboured the intention of preventing their own complicity and hypocritical policies from being exposed. It is also worth noting here that the Erdoğan regime, which criticizes the Western imperialists’ stance on the Palestinian problem and Gaza, finds itself in an identical place to Israel in terms of political orientation, even if the violence and dimensions of the attacks are different, when it comes to the Kurdish problem. When one of the regime’s media mouthpieces, Erem Şentürk, posted a photograph of a Kurdish child injured in the Erdoğan regime’s bombing of Rojava in 2019 purporting to be a Palestinian child injured by Israel’s phosphorus bombs on his social media account during the first stage of Israel’s attacks and massacres against Gaza and deleted it after the truth came out, this summed up the Erdoğan regime’s position on these two problems.

In conclusion, the proceedings that have commenced following the application by South Africa, which for years struggled against the racist apartheid regime, on Israel’s attacks of a genocidal nature in Gaza, provide an important opportunity to expose Israel’s war crimes and the forces that are complicit in these crimes. However, it must not be forgotten that relationships of power hold sway in such courts and, consequently, popular struggle and solidarity come to the forefront in terms of both the outcome of these proceedings and the power of sanction.

Archive of Turkish press translations by Tim Drayton