For the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, “Human Rights” Is a Tool to Manipulate the West

Currently consisting of 56 states in addition to the Palestinian Authority, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) began with an effort in 1969 to blame Israel and “Zionists”—falsely—for setting fire to al-Aqsa Mosque. The group, which touts itself as “the collective voice of the Muslim world,” has made a consistent habit of condemning the Jewish state, and to a lesser extent India, for supposed abuses. It also supports boycotts of Israel and sharply condemned Danish caricatures in 2005. One country it has not condemned is China, which is currently seeking to extirpate Islam from its northwestern territory by the most brutal of means. Georgia Gilholy writes:

This week an Organization of Islamic Cooperation delegation visited China. It offered slavish praise and deference to the state responsible for atrocities against millions of mostly Muslim Uighurs, which a British tribunal designated as genocide. . . . In a July 2019 statement, over a dozen OIC member states went so far as to cosign a letter that “commended China’s achievements in the field of human rights.”

The key factor behind the OIC’s double standards is obvious: money. The attempt to decimate and subjugate the Uighurs is an informal component of the “Belt and Road” Initiative. This program is scheduled to pour over $8 billion into a transcontinental “belt” of overland economic corridors. This “belt” and its corresponding maritime “road” will encompass a major chunk of the world’s Muslim-majority nations from Sudan to Indonesia.

Easy cash, however, is just one part of the story. Just as the dictators of Russia, Cuba, and North Korea collaborate with China on the international stage in a bid to normalize authoritarianism at large, administrations across the Muslim world likewise seek to reap the same nefarious rewards.

Cunning employment of moral relativism is at the heart of this arrangement. When engaging with democracies, OIC representatives gleefully employ the language of liberal human rights. When brown-nosing other autocracies and dispensing domestic law, however, these principles are mysteriously absent.

Read more at The Critic

More about: China, Human Rights, Islam, Uighurs

The ICJ’s Vice-President Explains What’s Wrong with Its Recent Ruling against Israel

It should be obvious to anyone with even rudimentary knowledge of the Gaza war that Israel is not committing genocide there, or anything even remotely akin to it. In response to such spurious accusations, it’s often best to focus on the mockery they make of international law itself, or on how Israel can most effectively combat them. Still, it is also worth stopping to consider the legal case on its own terms. No one has done this quite so effectively, to my knowledge, as the Ugandan jurist Julia Sebutinde, who is the vice-president of the ICJ and the only one of its judges to rule unequivocally in Israel’s favor both in this case and in the previous one where it found accusations of genocide “plausible.”

Sebutinde begins by questioning the appropriateness of the court ruling on this issue at all:

Once again, South Africa has invited the Court to micromanage the conduct of hostilities between Israel and Hamas. Such hostilities are exclusively governed by the laws of war (international humanitarian law) and international human-rights law, areas where the Court lacks jurisdiction in this case.

The Court should also avoid trying to enforce its own orders. . . . Is the Court going to reaffirm its earlier provisional measures every time a party runs to it with allegations of a breach of its provisional measures? I should think not.

Sebutinde also emphasizes the absurdity of hearing this case after Israel has taken “multiple concrete actions” to alleviate the suffering of Gazan civilians since the ICJ’s last ruling. In fact, she points out, “the evidence actually shows a gradual improvement in the humanitarian situation in Gaza since the Court’s order.” She brings much evidence in support of these points.

She concludes her dissent by highlighting the procedural irregularities of the case, including a complete failure to respect the basic rights of the accused:

I find it necessary to note my serious concerns regarding the manner in which South Africa’s request and incidental oral hearings were managed by the Court, resulting in Israel not having sufficient time to file its written observations on the request. In my view, the Court should have consented to Israel’s request to postpone the oral hearings to the following week to allow for Israel to have sufficient time to fully respond to South Africa’s request and engage counsel. Regrettably, as a result of the exceptionally abbreviated timeframe for the hearings, Israel could not be represented by its chosen counsel, who were unavailable on the dates scheduled by the Court.

It is also regrettable that Israel was required to respond to a question posed by a member of the Court over the Jewish Sabbath. The Court’s decisions in this respect bear upon the procedural equality between the parties and the good administration of justice by the Court.

Read more at International Court of Justice

More about: Gaza War 2023, ICC, International Law