Israel, Palestine, and the Poetics of Genocide by Mark LeVine and Eric Cheyfitz on Jadaliyya

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For these reasons, we feel it is important to raise awareness about the expanding scholarly understanding of genocide precisely because such discussions can and should ultimately lead to similar discussions in the relevant international tribunals. The idea of establishing a scale of genocidal behavior (not to be confused with incitement, conspiracy, or intent to commit genocide) that would include the experiences of groups such as West Papuans and Palestinians, and in the process also reintegrate concepts like cultural and political genocide (originally termed “politicide”) into the matrix of legal meanings is worthy of study by scholars and advocates. Such an approach would seem to make room for the concepts of incipient (Shaw), incremental (Pappé), or slow motion (Anderson) genocides discussed here to become part of the legal discussion as the term evolves.

However, in the current legal environment, we believe it would be very difficult to prove that the Israeli government has intended or conspired to commit genocide during the occupation (whether incremental or concentrated). (Others have reached the opposite conclusion, including, most recently, an analysis published by the Center for Constitutional Rights titled “The Genocide of the Palestinian People: An International Law and Human Rights Perspective.”)

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