Queerspace News

Drummond Street Services calls for the observation of the International Court of Justice orders to Israel

We are a diverse organisation, and many of the communities we support have been impacted by war, displacement, terrorism, violence, and colonisation. Through our work with communities, we also understand the intergenerational nature of the trauma resulting from these experiences and are committed to supporting families in Melbourne and across Victoria who attempt to rebuild their lives.

We are resolutely against all forms of bigotry, including Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, which has increased during this time. This has been the experience for our clients and our workforce. This must be condemned and stopped, and we all have a role in supporting anyone in our community who is experiencing discrimination and targeted attacks.

As a family services organisation advocating for the well-being and safety of families and individuals from diverse communities, we are making this statement in the context of the continuing violence and bombardment of Gaza and the Palestinians – where over 26,000 Palestinians are reported to have been killed over the past 3 months.

Entire generations of families have been destroyed, and millions have been displaced due to this violence. Schools, hospitals, and refugee camps have been attacked, with Gaza’s health system in near total collapse. This includes the destructive impacts on NGOs, essential health care, education, and access to food, water, sanitation, etc. These are the essential things that sustain life and that we expect, demand, and take for granted in our own daily lives.

We are urging our combined governments to cease wars that harm and kill civilians and to adhere to international laws and conventions. This plea should not be a source of controversy or dispute. Unfortunately, we often encounter either silence or polarisation, adversarial discussions, or the normalisation of violence – both in actions and speech.

We urge the Australian government to support actions and compliance with a rules-based international order, including any violations of a signatory’s obligations – including the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (the Genocide Convention) in relation to Palestinians in Gaza.

In a recent historic ruling, the International Court of Justice declared that Israel must implement measures to avert the further loss of Palestinian civilian lives in Gaza and to forestall acts of genocide.

We urge the Australian government to support actions and compliance with rules-based international orders to support the ICJ’s six emergency orders to Israel:

  • Israel must take all possible measures to prevent acts as outlined in Article 2 of the 1948 Genocide Convention.
  • Israel must ensure its military does not carry out any of the above actions.
  • Israel must prevent and punish the “direct and public incitement to commit genocide in relation to members of the Palestinian group in the Gaza Strip”.
  • Israel must ensure the delivery of basic services and essential humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza.
  • Israel must prevent the destruction of evidence of war crimes in Gaza and allow fact-finding missions access.
  • Israel must submit a report on all steps it has taken to abide by the measures imposed by the court within one month of the judgement.

Human rights are universal, and everyone has the right to live free from violence. We know that for so many people across the globe and in this country, too, this is not the reality or their lived experience. We also must continue our own truth-telling processes and not look away at injustices or minimise the suffering of others. This is uncomfortable for many, but it does not compare to what so many have and continue to endure.