NGO group calls on Caricom: ‘Suspend all ties with Israel’

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Concerned Muslims of TT gather at the Queen’s Park Savannah, opposite the US Embassy, for a demonstration to highlight the plight of Palestine citizens on February 17. – Photo by Angelo Marcelle

A group of NGOs has called on Caricom leaders to suspend all ties to Israel to protest the war conflict in Gaza and to join legal action at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Trinidad and Tobago Solidarity With Palestine wrote a letter to Caricom heads now meeting in Guyana.

The letter was signed by David Abdulah of the Movement for Social Justice, Shabaka Kambon of the Caribbean Freedom Project, Imtiaz Mohammed of Concerned Muslims of Trinidad and Tobago, Zakiya Uzoma-Wadada of the Emancipation Support Committee, Ozzie Warwick of the Joint Trade Union Movement, Carol Noel of the Women’s Network of NGOs, and Jacquie Burgess of Working Women.

The group urged Caricom leaders to endorse and support South Africa’s case at the ICJ, Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in the Gaza Strip (South Africa v. Israel).

The letter said, “South Africa has significantly won the first round of that matter, but the substantive issues are still to be determined. We need to join in solidarity with South Africa and other nations in this case.”

The letter also urged Caricom heads to support another ICJ case, “Legal consequences arising from the policies and practices of Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem” which arose out of a UN General Assembly Resolution 77/247 adopted on December 30, 2022.

The group called on Caricom heads to suspend ties with Israel.

“Suspend diplomatic relations with Israel. Israel must be seen as a pariah state since it brazenly refuses to accept international laws, acts with impunity in violating UN Security Council Resolutions and thumbs its nose at the ICJ.

“Surely, in this matter, a joint Caricom position would have a positive impact, being stronger together.”

The group urged the suspension of the credentials of Israel’s ambassador to various Caricom member States.

It urged, “Suspend all trade, economic and financial dealings with Israel. Suspend all sporting and cultural contact with Israel as we did with apartheid South Africa.

“Honourable Heads, we urge you to give very serious consideration to our proposals. They are neither frivolous nor vexatious. They are simply acts of solidarity in the name of humanity.”

The statement said 30,000 Palestinians were killed in the past four months and 70,000 injured, many women and children. Some 1.5 million people were displaced.

“Nothing can justify these actions of absolute barbarism. It is abundantly clear that Israel’s military and political leadership are carrying out genocide.”

The BBC News website said, “On the morning of October 7, waves of Hamas gunmen stormed across Gaza’s border into Israel, killing about 1,200 people. Hamas also fired thousands of rockets. Those killed included children, the elderly and 364 young people at a music festival.

“Hamas took more than 250 others to Gaza as hostages. The BBC has also seen evidence of rape and sexual violence during the Hamas attacks.”