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Powerful ‘Declaration of Conscience and Concern of Global Intellectuals on Gaza Genocide’ Circulates Worldwide

Richard Falk CC/Iran ReviewRichard FalkCC/Iran Review

Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories Occupied since 1967 (2008-2014), Professor of International Law Emeritus, Princeton University, released the “Declaration of Conscience and Concern of Global Intellectuals on Gaza Genocide” on December 18 posted on In his posting on his website, Falk wrote that the Declaration was “prepared by Ahmet Davutoglu and myself, with the assistance of Abdullah Ahsan and Hilal Elver, to enlist signatories from around the world.” Ahmet Davutoğlu, the first signer, is former Foreign Minister and Prime Minister, Türkiye; Abdullah Ahsan is Professor of History, International Islamic University, Malaysia and Istanbul Şehir University, U.S.A.; and Hilal Elver is Professor of International Law, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food (2014-2020), Türkiye. The Declaration has the signatures of more than 100 prominent retired diplomats, government officials and top academics, with a very large representation from the Global Majority nations. Some familiar names on the list are Ray McGovern, Activist, Veterans for Peace, Supporter of the anti-war group Not in Our Name, USA;. Mahathir Mohamed, former Prime Minister of Malaysia; and Chandra Muzaffar, President, International Movement for a Just World (JUST), Malaysia.

Noting that the government of Israel resumed the genocidal onslaught in Gaza after a brief pause, ignoring the fervent pleas of worldwide protest, as well as moral, religious and political authority, the Declaration states: “The revival of this military campaign waged by Israel against the civilian population of Gaza amounts to a repudiation of UN authority, of law and morality in general, and of simple human decency…. The collaborative approval of Israel’s action by the leading liberal democracies in the Global West, particularly the United States and the United Kingdom, accentuates our anguish and disgust….” It continues, “We deplore the reality that these governments continue to lend overall support to Israel’s announced intention to pursue its combat goals, which entail the commission of severe war crimes that Tel Aviv does not even bother to deny….”

The Declaration goes on to note the extreme humanitarian emergency which is challenging the UN system to respond adequately, and commends those relief agencies which are extending help, and demanding the restoration of vital infrastructure. The Declaration proposes that the UN Human Rights Council should act now to establish a high-profile expert commission of inquiry, mandated to ascertain the facts and law arising from the Hamas attack and Israel’s military operations in Gaza since October 7, 2023, and that it then make appropriate recommendations. The signers continue: “We also view the desperation of the situation to engage the responsibility of governments, international institutions, and civil society to act as well as to speak, and use their diplomatic and economic capabilities to the utmost with the objective of bringing the violence in Gaza to an end now!”

They conclude: “As signatories of this Declaration, we unequivocally call for an immediate ceasefire and the initiation of diplomatic negotiations under respected and impartial auspices, aimed at terminating Israel’s long and criminally abusive occupation of Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem. This process must be fully respectful of the inalienable right to self-determination of the Palestinian people and take proper account of relevant UN resolutions.”