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International Court Seeks Warrant Against Netan-Nazi for War Crimes, and Genocide Joe Rushes to Defend Him

Thousands of Palestinians wait for aid trucks to cross into central Gaza Strip, May 19, 2024.


Palestinians wait for aid trucks to cross into central Gaza Strip, May 19, 2024.    Photo: AP/Abdel Kareem Hana

News flash:

Just hours after the Israeli Knesset (the national legislative body) approved a preliminary decision calling UNRWA (the main UN aid distribution organization for Palestinian refugees) a “terrorist organization,” Israel bombed a camp for displaced people in Rafah. The camp—near the UNRWA logistics base—was a densely packed gathering of tents where tens of thousands of desperate human beings were sheltering. Human beings who were forced into what Israel said was a "safe zone"!!

As of this writing, over 35 people are confirmed dead, with many more injured and/or unaccounted for. Many were burned alive in the bombings. To look at the pictures is to weep with rage.

The irony of committing such a genocidal crime after accusing a humanitarian relief organization of terrorism is too obscene to comment on. But this is not only a horror, a truly terrible thing in its own right; it almost certainly signals, along with the designation of UNRWA as “terrorist,” a further descent into unimaginable depths of cruelty. 

This must—and can only—be stopped by massive outrage.

Current Circumstances in Rafah: 
A lethal massacre is unfolding against displaced civilians near the UNRWA logistics base in Tal Al-Sultan, located in the western part of Rafah. Israeli aircraft have shelled several tents in this area, resulting in numerous martyrs and casualties. Many have been transported to the Tal Al-Sultan clinic and the field hospitals near the sea of Rafah. At present, numerous individuals remain stuck under the flames and in the tents destroyed by the bombardment. 
It is important to note that this location was classified by the Israeli occupation as a humanitarian area, and citizens were coerced into evacuating to it. Credit: Instagram/@mohammed_qndeel1


On May 20, Karim Khan, a prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC), after months of investigation, filed an application for warrants charging Israel’s prime minister Netanyahu (Netan-Nazi) and minister of defense, Yoav Gallant, with seven counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. (The ICC also brought charges against three Hamas leaders for extermination, murder, taking of hostages, rape and sexual assault in detention.)1

These crimes include “starvation of civilians as a method of warfare” and “extermination and murder [of civilians]… in the context of deaths caused by starvation.” The ICC stated that as a result, over a million people in Gaza are facing “catastrophic hunger” that is already killing “babies, other children and women.”

In other words, the ICC is charging Israel—which is fully backed by the U.S.—with deliberately starving over a million people, along with other murderous acts.

What “Outrages” Biden?

Right away, Genocide Joe Biden fired off an angry statement defending Israel and Netan-Nazi. This initial statement did not even deny, much less attempt to refute, the ICC’s allegations! Instead, Biden treated the very idea of seeking arrest warrants against Israeli leaders as “outrageous.” He railed against what he labeled a “false equivalence” between Israel and Hamas.2  And he ended emphatically with “We will always stand with Israel.” Later in the day, Biden not only added that the ICC’s charges were not true, he claimed that Israel “wants to do all it can to ensure civilian protection.” And then he added that “what's happening [in Gaza] is not genocide.”3

We will go deeply into the truth of the matter and show without doubt that what is going on is genocide, but we first want to get into why the U.S. and Biden in particular so strenuously deny it. In the recently released social media post “Revolution 44: Israel’s continuing genocide against Palestinians—and Joe Biden’s continuing support for this genocide,” Bob Avakian went into this:

Biden has been hit with the fact that the genocide Israel is perpetrating against the Palestinian people, with massive military aid and “diplomatic cover” provided by the U.S., has exposed the actual bloodthirsty nature of not only Israel but the U.S. as well. This shines a glaring light on the hypocritical efforts of the U.S. imperialists to present themselves as a force for decency, democracy, freedom, and so on—in opposition to those terrible “autocratic” rulers in countries like Russia and China, who oppress their own people and carry out destructive violence against other countries! It is very important for the ruling class of this imperialist country (the “good ole USA”) to attempt to cover over its own monstrous crimes, throughout its history and right down to today, as sharply manifested now in U.S. support for Israel in its war against the Palestinian people, with a death toll in Gaza that already exceeds 35 thousand, including 15 thousand children, and is continuing to mount every day.

If What Israel Is Doing Is Not Genocide, WTF Do You Call It?

Yet Biden continues to insist the Israel is “trying to do all it can to ensure civilian protection." Really?!?! Dropping U.S.-supplied 2,000-pound bombs on apartment buildings, killing dozens or hundreds, with the evidence-free “justification” that some mid-level Hamas person might have been there—that’s “protecting civilians? 

Palestinian girl mourns loss of leg in Israeli attack. Credit: East Eye

At least 36,000 Palestinians have been killed in seven months, including an estimated 15,000 children. And this is not counting thousands of unrecovered dead buried in the rubble of buildings Israel leveled.  Nor does it include those who died from hunger, exposure, or diseases spreading because Israel has destroyed the water system and almost all hospitals. 

Does that sound like they are trying to “ensure civilian protection”?

There have been numerous incidents in which clearly unarmed Palestinian civilians—sometimes carrying white flags—were shot down by Israeli snipers. The Israeli military even killed three hostages who had escaped from Hamas, were shirtless, unarmed, waving a white flag. Israel says this was a “mistake,” but the mistake from their standpoint is that they obviously thought they were Palestinians, not Israelis, and so could be wantonly murdered. 

Doctors in Gaza report many cases of children being shot by Israeli military—shot while collecting water, while playing, while seeking shelter.

Does any of that sound like they were trying to “ensure civilian protection”?

Think about this: roughly 80 percent of the population of Gaza—nearly two million people—are refugees living in tents or in the ruins of buildings. 

February 27, 2024, Rafah displaced Palestinians in tents as far as you can see.


A tent camp housing Palestinians driven from their homes throughout Gaza, in Rafah, February 27, 2024.     Photo: AP

Food supplies have almost completely broken down. The 400,000 people in north Gaza are surviving on an average of 245 calories a day—less than a can of beans! This is not for a day or two, but week in and week out. Mothers are so malnourished they cannot breastfeed their infants. One mother said, “Before the war, we were in good health and had strong bodies. Now, looking at my children and myself, we have lost so much weight since we do not eat any proper food, we are trying to eat whatever we find—edible wild plants or herbs daily just to survive.”

In southern Gaza, clean water is in desperately short supply. At one shelter, 10,000 people receive a total of 4,000 liters a day or about two cups per person per day! That’s for drinking, washing and cooking. It is less than 3% of what the World Health Organization says people need for basic survival. 

Sanitation is nightmarishly bad. One shelter with 8,000 people had only 12 latrines—that’s one bathroom for every 600 people, many of whom are suffering from intestinal diseases from drinking contaminated water. And these are the people lucky enough to be living in a shelter! Aid workers report “literal lakes of human waste” next to the tents where people live. Disease is spreading and there are almost no medical facilities or supplies available to help the sick.

We could go on and on, but here is the key question: does ANY of this sound like “ensuring civilian protection”? Or does it sound like a war that is targeting civilians?

The Use of Starvation as a Weapon of War

International law is very clear: civilians must not be intentionally deprived of food.

So there is very little doubt Biden would not want the Israeli Minister of Defense, Yoav Gallant, called to the stand. He’s the one who, at the very start of the invasion, openly stated Israel’s genocidal intentions: “I have ordered a complete siege on the Gaza Strip. There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel, everything is closed. We are fighting human animals and we act accordingly.”4 The next day Israel shut down the main entry point for humanitarian aid, through which 500 trucks needed to pass every day to meet the basic needs of Gaza—this shutdown kicked off a downward spiral of hunger, starvation and disease that continues to worsen. (In fact, accompanying this article is a whole list of quotes from Israeli officials, including Netan-nazi, that unabashedly call for genocidal measures!)

Ten weeks later, under tremendous international pressure, Israel made a show of “re-opening” the crossing—but it allowed fascist protesters to block most trucks from passing through anyway. At the other crossing (the Rafah crossing from Egypt to Gaza), Israeli troops inspected every single truck, causing huge backups, and would turn away trucks for carrying things like medical scissors—which they labeled "potential weapons"! Only a trickle of aid got through each day. Aid workers told the New York Times in March that it took trucks an average of 20 days to make the short crossing.

And, when aid did get through, aid workers were murdered by Israel. The drone attack that killed seven World Food Kitchen workers in April brought this to light, but there have been at least 260 aid workers killed in Gaza, making it the most dangerous place in the world for aid workers. This “mini-slaughter” serves the larger extermination campaign by crippling aid distribution networks within Gaza. And Israel has also “gone the extra mile” by killing starving people as they line up for food distribution, such as the “flour massacre” in March that killed over 100 Palestinians.

Does any of this sound “accidental”?

As part of this policy of starvation, on May 6, Israel completely shut down the Rafah crossing from Egypt as it began its invasion of Rafah, stranding 2,000 aid trucks in Egypt, and sending the whole of Gaza into a deathly tailspin. Last week a UN official said, "We are running out of words to describe what is happening in Gaza. We have described it as a catastrophe, a nightmare, as hell on earth. It is all of these and worse.”

With the Rafah crossing closed, some Israeli Palestinian truck drivers heroically undertook to bring supplies through the crossing from Israel to Gaza. But before they could even get there, they were attacked by mobs of Israeli fascists, often “tipped off” by Israeli cops or soldiers about the trucks’ routes. The tweet below shows these reactionaries destroying food and supplies as if they were at a party, while a group that appears to be Israeli soldiers stand by and do nothing. 

Tweet URL

In another incident, Palestinian truck drivers were attacked by a mob while again, authorities stood by and did nothing. One man said, “The state of terror I experienced is indescribable. Even now I have nightmares at night. My psychological state is broken, I cannot think properly, I can’t sleep. I cannot work.”

On May 21, UNRWA—the main UN relief agency—suspended its food distribution in Rafah due to lack of food, as well as fuel for deliveries. The UN’s World Food Program (WFP) also ended distribution in Rafah because their warehouses were “inaccessible due to ongoing military operations.” A WFP spokeswoman said that “humanitarian operations in [all of] Gaza are near collapse,” and that if food and other supplies do not resume entering Gaza “in massive quantities, famine-like conditions will spread.”

Israel’s Assault on Rafah—The Last Remaining City in Gaza That They Have Not Destroyed

Palestinians inspect residential building in Rafah destroyed by Israeli airstrike, May 7, 2024.


Residential building in Rafah destroyed by Israeli airstrike, May 7, 2024.    Photo: AP

From the very beginning of the war Israel instructed civilians to flee their homes for the south, often with only a few hours’ notice or even less. People crowded the roads—and even while they were fleeing endured attacks. Then Israel began its assault on Rafah a month ago.

Residents of western Rafah told the New York Times what it was like: “The airstrikes are continuous and intense, and the smell of smoke doesn’t leave the air.… At night, they advance a few meters at a time, and the people flee immediately…. They shoot and bomb us constantly …but what scares us the most are the drones.” 

By now, much of the city is deserted as about a million people have fled. A former resident who came back to search for water said, “I was shocked… I found no one. I didn’t even find cats or dogs. There’s no market or shops.… You can’t even buy a bottle of water to drink.… Rafah used to be the best place in Gaza… but now it’s just too much suffering. There is nothing left for us. It’s ongoing suffering that doesn’t stop.”

A System Built on Ethnic Cleansing and Now Moving to Genocide

None of this is “accidental.” Israel was built on the ethnic cleansing of the majority of the Palestinian population in 1948, and at every step since has enforced brutal apartheid-style oppression on those who remained within its borders. Now they are clearly aiming at some kind of “final solution”—by utterly crushing and/or driving out the Palestinian people in Gaza.

This IS genocide, which is legally defined as “acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group," including "killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to them; and/or deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.” [Emphasis added]

It has been going for over seven months at an unspeakable cost of death, injury and horrendous human suffering, and it is not going to stop unless masses of people are determined to stop it.

To return to the Bob Avakian post quoted above:

The resistance against this U.S.-Israeli genocidal slaughter of Palestinians needs to become even broader, stronger and more determined.

In Their Own Words…:

Political and Military Leaders of Israel and the U.S. Make Clear Their Support for Genocide


Deputy Speaker of the Knesset (parliament), Nissim Vaturi
October 7, 2023 on X (formerly Twitter)

“Now we all have one common goal - erasing the Gaza Strip from the face of the earth.”


U.S. President Joe Biden
October 7, 2023, Official Remarks.

“And my administration’s support for Israel’s security is rock solid and unwavering. … And let there be no mistake: The United States stands with the State of Israel, just as we have from the moment the United States became the first nation to recognize Israel, 11 minutes after its founding, 75 years ago.”


Defense Minister Yoav Gallant
October 9, 2023, Times of Israel

“I have ordered a complete siege on the Gaza Strip. No electricity, no food, no water, no fuel. Everything is closed. We are fighting human animals and we are acting accordingly.... Gaza won’t return to what it was before.... We will eliminate everything.” 


President Isaac Herzog
October 12, 2023, in ITV News

“It’s an entire nation out there that is responsible. It’s not true this rhetoric about civilians not aware not involved. It’s absolutely not true. … and we will fight until we break their backbone.” 


Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir
October 17. 2023, on X (formerly Twitter)

The only thing that needs to enter Gaza are hundreds of tons of explosives from the Air Force, not an ounce of humanitarian aid.”


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
October 28, 2023, official statement:

“You must remember what Amalek has done to you.” (Here Netan-nazi is referencing the destruction of the Amalekites, a people that were depicted in the Bible as persecutors of the Israelites. In Samuel, Chapter 15, “God” commanded the Israelites: “Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.')


Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu 
November 5, 2023, in a radio interview

"[T]here are no non-combatants in Gaza." Asked if using nuclear weapons in Gaza was therefore an option, Eliyahu replied “That’s one way.”

He also said that providing humanitarian aid to Gaza would constitute "a failure"


Major General in the Israeli Army Giora Eiland
November 19, 2023, Cited in South Africa’s Application to International Court of Justice charging Israel with genocide, page 64.

“Who are the ‘poor’ women of Gaza? They are all the mothers, sisters or wives of Hamas murderers. … if they experience a humanitarian disaster, then it can be assumed that some of the Hamas fighters and the more junior commanders will begin to understand that the war is futile . . . The international community warns us of a humanitarian disaster in Gaza and of severe epidemics. We must not shy away from this, as difficult as that may be. After all, severe epidemics in the south of the Gaza Strip will bring victory closer . . . When senior Israeli figures say in the media ‘It's either us or them’ we should clarify the question of who is ‘them’. ‘They’ are not only Hamas fighters with weapons, but also all the ‘civilian’ officials, including hospital administrators and school administrators, and also the entire Gaza population who enthusiastically supported Hamas and cheered on its atrocities on October 7th.”


U.S. President Joe Biden
May 20, 2024: Official response to ICC charging Israel with major war crimes and crimes against humanity:

“The ICC prosecutor’s application for arrest warrants against Israeli leaders is outrageous. And let me be clear: whatever this prosecutor might imply, there is no equivalence — none — between Israel and Hamas. We will always stand with Israel against threats to its security.”



1. Read the prosecutor’s full statement here. [back]

2. Biden is right—there is no “equivalence.” Bad as Hamas is, Israel is vastly worse! See “Yes, There Can Be No ‘Equivalence’ Between Israel and the Palestinians—But the Reality Is the Reverse of What Supporters of Israel Insist,” by Bob Avakian, at [back]

3. The ICC has not actually charged Netanyahu with genocide, but what it is charging—intentional mass “starvation” and “extermination” of civilians—strongly bolsters the charge of genocide that is already being raised by thousands of students, human rights activists and others around the world. Another court—the International Court of Justice (ICJ)—has also declared that the charge of genocide is “plausible.” On May 24, the ICJ ordered Israel to halt its military offensive against the south Gaza city of Rafah, indicating that this operation smacks of genocide. Israel has refused to comply. [back]

4. This is only one of many genocidal statements made by Israeli leaders. [back]

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