Boycotting Israel: the situation has changed and I have changed my mind too

Israel’s use of force in this assault, as in the Lebanon war of 2006 and the two previous major attacks on Gaza, thus involves far more than the risk-transfer war that other western countries routinely practice. This is at least classic degenerate warfare, recalling Britain’s great shame of the second world war, its targeting of German cities to break civilian “morale”. This is “war” of a kind that the Geneva conventions of 1949 outlaw. Indeed if Israel’s aim is now to destroy Gazan society, rather than just to subjugate it, the killing in Gaza raises questions of genocide. (The subjective basis of ‘genocide’ is certainly present in Israel, as indicated by the remarks of Knesset member Ayelet Shaked and the notorious Times of Israel blogpost about ‘permissible genocide’ – perhaps one of the first open calls for ‘genocide’ as such on record. On the critical side, Daniel Feierstein, President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars, has argued on Facebook that Israel’s policies are genocidal. Certainly, its campaign shows the affinities of what I call ‘degenerate war’ with genocide.)

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