By Marcy Winograd
The Central Coast Antiwar Coalition appreciates the World Court’s preliminary ruling in South Africa v. Israel in which the Court, while stopping short of calling for a ceasefire, ordered Israel to stop all acts leading to genocide and immediately allow humanitarian aid to address the unfolding human catastrophe.
Coalition co-chairs Omar Figueredo and Marcy Winograd now call for Carbajal’s immediate resignation, citing his recent signature on a disturbing congressional letter to President Biden that reads, “South Africa has filed a grossly unfounded case against Israel to immediately halt its military efforts in Gaza.”
Winograd pointed out Carbajal was wrong in the eyes of the World Court and lacked an understanding of international law. “We deserve a representative who upholds our treaty obligations, not one who undermines them to aid and abet genocide,“ said Winograd. “It is time for Carbajal to find another job and do no harm.”
The Court said Palestinians are a protected group under the Genocide Convention and Israel must immediately stop killing or harming them. While the Court did not use the term ceasefire, legal experts argue there is no way to implement the provisional measures without a ceasefire.
South Africa had asked the Court to give Israel one week to report on its compliance with the International Court of Justice ruling, but instead the Court shockingly granted Israel another month. “Another month of genocide that has already surpassed 112 days is untenable,” said Omar Figueredo, co-chair of the Coalition.
“The world must demand immediate compliance before another child is buried, another journalist killed, another hospital destroyed in the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestine,” Figueredo continued. “The ICJ’s ruling makes clear that all contracting parties, including including Congressman Salud Carbajal and Senator Alex Padilla, must meet their obligation under the genocide convention to prevent and punish Israel’s destruction of Gaza. They must call for an immediate ceasefire.” Figueredo, along with Palestinian American Halima Sophia Fadila of Santa Barbara, recently confronted Carbajal at his town hall in Arroyo Grande.
At the town hall, Fadila repeatedly begged Carbajal to support a ceasefire but he refused=. “Carbajal’s support for genocide which he could not accurately define made me realize how uninformed and insensitive he is locally and globally,” said Fadila who added “Carbajal demonstrates a lack of respect for his constituents who want peace.”
“Carbajal’s refusal to support a ceasefire and his lobbying for another $14 billion for Israel’s military makes him an outlaw on the international stage,“ said Helena Pasquarella, a peace candidate and coalition member from Ojai who is running against Carbajal for Congress in the Tuesday, March 5th election. “The Central Coast deserves better representation,” said Pasquarella.
The ruling–backed by an overwhelming majority of the judges–invokes Article II of the UN Genocide Convention to order Israel to end its slaughter and deprivation of water and food to 2.3 million Palestinians struggling to survive amidst Israel’s genocidal military campaign.
In the aftermath of the Court ruling, the Coalition again demands the Biden administration and Congress immediately cut military funding for Israel’s crimes of genocide, noting the Court reminded parties to the treaty of their responsibility to prevent genocide.
“For Congressman Carbajal to support a mere pause violates the World Court’s ruling,” said Winograd, adding, “A pause is a few sips of water before thousands more are annihilated in Gaza.”
The Central Coast Antiwar Coalition is a partner of the antiwar organization CODEPINK, which vows to continue its World Court Campaign with grassroots peace delegations across the country encouraging other nations to issue declarations in support of South Africa’s case. Santa Barbara’s Marcy Winograd is co-coordinator of the campaign anchored in a dozen cities, where activists are visiting UN missions, embassies and consulates to press for countries to publish denunciations of Israel’s genocide in Gaza and submit declarations in support of Israel at the ICJ.
Israel lost in Court today and must be judged as a pariah state for its ethnic cleansing of Palestine: carpet bombing Gaza, killing over 25,000 people, over 10,000 of them children, wounding over 63,000 and displacing an estimated two million people.
“The world owes a debt of gratitude and respect to South Africa for holding Israel accountable,” said Figueredo. “Similarly, this ruling validates the efforts of the Yemenis to hold Israel and the U.S. to account by blocking Israel-bound or affiliated vessels in the Red Sea. Now it is up to us in the U.S., in Santa Barbara, to hold our own representatives accountable for their complicity in Israel’s crimes and to affirm the courage of activists like the Cal Poly 8 in San Luis Obispo who were arrested for protesting university recruitment for the weapons industry. In so doing, the Cal Poly 8 placed their own liberty in jeopardy to end the genocide in Gaza and to end the U.S. government’s complicity.”
Ceasefire now and lift the siege!