The Guardian • Issue #2094

Nicaragua calls Germany ‘pathetic’

  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2094
Germany Israel meeting in Berlin, 2012.

Germany Israel meeting in Berlin, 2012. Photo: Dovermoital (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Nicaragua has described Germany as “pathetic” for sending aid to Palestine and arms to Israel. The 43-page Nicaraguan submission to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) argues that Germany’s unconditional support for Israel is in breach of the 1948 Genocide Convention.

According to Al Jazeera, Nicaragua has demanded that judges at the ICJ impose emergency measures to prevent Germany from giving assistance including weapons to Israel.

The Nicaraguan Ambassador to the Netherlands, Carlos Jose Francisco Aguello Gomez has said that serious breaches of international humanitarian law are “being committed openly” in Palestine. Gomez described the case against Germany as involving “momentous events affecting the lives and wellbeing of hundreds of thousands of people, and even the destruction of an entire people.” He argued that in such a situation states need to avoid aiding the “perpetrator.”

Gomez accused Germany of failing to differentiate between “self-defence and genocide” when it came to the Israeli attack on Gaza, warning that if states like Germany continue to provide “indiscriminate support” to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people, “a new generation of Palestinians will rise up”.

A Nicaraguan lawyer, Daniel Mueller described German aid to Palestinians as “a pathetic excuse.”

The Nicaraguan submission puts it bluntly: “Germany is facilitating the commission of genocide.”  Nicaragua has asked the ICJ to use emergency measures to make Germany resume its funding of UNRWA, the UN Palestinian refugee agency.

Germany has responded by arguing that it has increased other forms of aid funding, despite having paused funds for UNRWA. German legal adviser Tania von Uslar-Gleichen claimed that Nicaragua’s case denied Israel’s right to exist.

When it came to arming Israel, the German defence claimed that most of the military equipment it sent was “unsuitable for use in combat” and “could not plausibly be used to commit war crimes,” avoiding the obvious inference that saving the IDF money in one area frees up resources for use in another. German defence lawyer Anne Peters argued that Germany has “continuously used all reasonable means at its disposal” to persuade Israel to improve the situation.

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