Israel's worst nightmare is beginning to unfold. It has worked for years and decades to prevent a global boycott movement from ever gaining traction amid persistent accusations it violates Palestinians' human rights, but amid the current war and soaring civilian death toll in Gaza, there are signs the pro-boycott movement is gaining steam.
The government of the Netherlands has been ordered to block of all exports of F-35 fighter jet parts by a Dutch appeals court, on fears that the transfer would contribute to human rights violations.
"It is undeniable that there is a clear risk the exported F-35 parts are used in serious violations of international humanitarian law," the court said according to Reuters.
Israel has been bombing the Gaza Strip continuously since Oct.7 as part of the military operation to root out Hamas. But the war has resulted in an immense civilian death toll. Gaza health officials say the death toll has surpassed 28,000 as a result of the ground and air assault.
Defense leaders not happy, however, the government's Trade Minister Geoffrey van Leeuwen admitted that "The delivery of US F-35 parts to Israel in our view is not unjustified." He said F-35s were for Israel's protection from the many regional threats it faces, "for example from Iran, Yemen, Syria and Lebanon."
According to the court, "the state had to comply with the order within seven days and dismissed a request by government lawyers to suspend the order pending an appeal to the Supreme Court."
There's reportedly a possible workaround in progress which would involve sending the jet parts to Israel based on the government providing guarantees that the parts wouldn't go toward F-35s operating over Gaza.
Interestingly, the court order threatens to disrupt a crucial US-supply chain pipeline of defense wares to Israel:
The appeals court also said it was likely the F-35s were being used in attacks on Gaza, leading to unacceptable civilian casualties. It dismissed the Dutch state’s argument that it did not have to do a new check on the permit for the exports.
The Netherlands houses one of several regional warehouses of US-owned F-35 parts, from which the parts are distributed to countries that request them, including Israel in at least one shipment since Oct. 7.
The government said it would try to convince partners it would remain a reliable member of the F-35 program and other forms of international and European defense cooperation.
Meanwhile, humanitarian pressure continues to mount on Israel, also at a moment the International Court of Justice is weighing South Africa's 'genocide' case against Israel.
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell is the latest to urge Israel's backers to halt all military supplies to the Jewish State. He lamented Monday that "too many people" are being killed in Gaza. But his remarks more highlighted the hypocrisy of the West as it condemns the death toll from Israel's actions but still keeps pumping in the arms...
Update: EU's Borrell on US+Israel:— Rosie Birchard (@RosieBirchard) February 12, 2024
"If you believe too many people are being killed, maybe you should provide less arms"
"Everybody goes to Tel Aviv begging"
"Netanyahu doesn't listen to anyone. They're going to evacuate. Where? To the moon?"
"Stop saying please & do something!" pic.twitter.com/g8uiprUia2
Referencing Joe Biden’s remark last week that Israel’s military action was "over the top," Borrell said, "Well, if you believe that too many people are being killed, maybe you should provide less arms in order to prevent so many people having been killed."
"How many times have you heard the most prominent leaders and foreign ministers around the world saying too many people are being killed?" Borrell questioned. "If the international community believes that this is a slaughter, that too many people are being killed, maybe we have to think about the provision of arms."
Meanwhile, this testy exchange also played out Monday afternoon...
AP's Matt Lee: What leverage is US using?— Prem Thakker (@prem_thakker) February 12, 2024
State Dept spox Matt Miller: "The words of the President…matter"
Lee: "Over the top?' That's leverage?"
(2 days after Biden called Israel's behavior "over the top," it attacked the last refuge for 1.5 million Palestinians—killing 90+) pic.twitter.com/pEOKbQlCsb