The View From India | Stubborn, irrational, isolated

Updated - May 28, 2024 09:15 am IST

Published - May 27, 2024 02:36 pm IST

A Palestinian man walks past a destroyed building in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on May 26, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Hamas militant group continues.

A Palestinian man walks past a destroyed building in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on May 26, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Hamas militant group continues.

(This article is part of the View From India newsletter curated by The Hindu’s foreign affairs experts. To get the newsletter in your inbox every Monday, subscribe here.)

On Friday, the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to immediately halt military operations in Rafah. Over seven months into a ceaseless war, claiming some 35,000 lives, and no sight of an end, a halt would seem a necessity for Israel to recalibrate its strategy to meet its avowed aim of punishing Hamas, whose October 7 cross border attack on Israel triggered this cycle of violence. However, there is no sign of it yet.

What is the significance of the ICC’s decision? International law expert Priya Pillai explains.

The recent directive of the top UN court, its Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan’s call for the arrest of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defence Minister Yoav Gallant and Hamas leaders, for “war crimes and crimes against humanity” , come just after Ireland, Spain, and Norway decided to formally recognise Palestine. The international pressure on Israel is growing rapidly and PM Netanyahu appears isolated on the global stage.

But Mr. Netanyahu and his powerful backers, mainly the United States, are yet to show any capacity for serious reflection. Even as they stand exposed, they carry on showing no regard for the human cost of the war so far. The Israeli leader’s appalling resolve to grind on with a devastating military offensive is untenable.

“Israel has not met its military objectives; its deterrence has been broken twice, peace with Arabs stands shattered, it stands isolated in the world, there could be an arrest warrant against its leaders and there is a ruling by the ICJ against the way it is conducting the war. By seeking to punish the entire Palestinian population in Gaza for what Hamas did, Mr. Netanyahu is rendering Israel’s standing weaker and the international support for the Palestinian cause to grow stronger,” The Hindu editorial argued.

Our Foreign Editor Stanly Johny, who has been tracking the war on Gaza closely, breaks down its latest political and geopolitical ramifications, especially in the context of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s death in this analysis. Here, he looks at three books on the Palestine and notes how history and faith have bled with personal suffering, that most in the international community have conveniently ignored for the past seven decades. Also have a look at our cartoonist Vasini Varadan’s take.

Neighbourhood matters

Our Diplomatic Affairs Editor Suhasini Haidar speaks to Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay in this exclusive interview, on the Gelephu Mindfulness City project, a Special Administrative Region in southern Bhutan, that the leader calls a “once in a lifetime” opportunity for Indian investors in the 2,000 sq. km carbon-negative city project being designed. Watch here.

In Sri Lanka, we assessed the situation of Tamils 15 years after the war ended. The perspectives of the Tamils living in the island nation come as a crucial reminder of the enduring pain and suffering after a war. They reflected a poverty of hope. Long read from Mullaitivu, the site of the May 2009 carnage.

Top 5 stories this week:

1. Srinivasan Ramani writes on the African National Congress, Nelson Mandela’s party, which has been in power in South Africa for three decades after the transition from Apartheid, and its biggest electoral test yet

2. Indian naval ships complete deployment to South China Sea – Dinakar Peri reports

3. M.K. Narayanan writes on ‘The spectre of nuclear conflict, once again’

4. Rajeev Agarwal writes on the missing links in India-Middle East-Europe Corridor, as shown by the Gaza war

5. Vighnesh P. Venkitesh takes us to Festival de Cannes in this profile

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