Leaked NYT Gaza Memo Tells Journalists to Avoid Words “Genocide,” “Ethnic Cleansing,” and “Occupied Territory” by Jeremy Scahill, Ryan Grim

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THE NEW YORK TIMES instructed journalists covering Israel’s war on the Gaza Strip to restrict the use of the terms “genocide” and “ethnic cleansing” and to “avoid” using the phrase “occupied territory” when describing Palestinian land, according to a copy of an internal memo obtained by The Intercept.

… In a section with the headline “‘Genocide’ and Other Incendiary Language,” the guidance says, “‘Genocide’ has a specific definition in international law. In our own voice, we should generally use it only in the context of those legal parameters. We should also set a high bar for allowing others to use it as an accusation, whether in quotations or not, unless they are making a substantive argument based on the legal definition.”

Regarding “ethnic cleansing,” the document calls it “another historically charged term,” instructing reporters: “If someone is making such an accusation, we should press for specifics or supply proper context.”

Continue reading at https://theintercept.com/2024/04/15/nyt-israel-gaza-genocide-palestine-coverage/

I resigned from World Central Kitchen because it refused to tell the truth about the Israeli genocide in Gaza by Ramsey Telham

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Much of the work in a genocide is not pulling the trigger, but instead minimizing and denying that a genocide is going on. Genocide is a phenomenon of gradual boundary pushing. Each increment must be accepted by the parties with agency for the next to be reached. Under the direction of CEO Erin Gore, Linda Roth, and “Chief Feeding Officer” José Andrés, World Central Kitchen recklessly endangered its personnel, selfishly exploited the situation for its own benefit, and actively participated in the normalization of an ongoing genocide.

Continue reading at https://mondoweiss.net/2024/04/i-resigned-from-the-world-central-kitchen-because-it-refused-to-tell-the-truth-about-the-israeli-genocide-in-gaza/

The Potential and Limits of International Law in Achieving Accountability in Gaza by Noura Erakat at Georgetown University Qatar

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“So as a note, this analysis, in particular, in regard to genocide as a legal framework- in particular- as inscribed in the 1948 convention. Right? Raises some problematics for us. the primary challenge is that something that legal scholar, Rabea Eghbariah, wrote about brilliantly and published in the nation when the Harvard Law Review refused to publish it, even after its editors accepted it, when he said, namely, that the Nakba is not an internationally recognized crime in international law. The Nakba features ethnic cleansing, apartheid, and- more recently- genocide. It combines hot and cold violence as it accomplishes territorial consolidation and genocidal expansion. And failure to examine the Nakba on its own terms has created this legal and analytical challenge for us now, which is a problem of legal translation. We have to describe the Palestinian condition through analogy and through drawing on legal frameworks that come from other geographic, social, political contexts. And although genocide and apartheid are universal, they remain closely associated with the case studies that canonize them, namely the Shoa at the hands of the Nazi regime and apartheid rule in South Africa. That is why we are often distracted by comparisons to either case studies as somehow relevant, as somehow telling us that 30,000 killed is not enough to prove genocide. As somehow telling us that because 20% of the Palestinian population that wasn’t ethnically cleansed has second-class citizenship, that it’s not apartheid. But we have to examine these, as we do as legal scholars, as treaties taken to a high level of abstraction and application. And still, absent the legibility of the Nakba in criminal law and absent a racial colonial analysis of Zionism- historically enshrined in UN General Assembly resolution 3379 of 1975 that condemned Zionism as a form of racism and racial discrimination and later rescinded by the Palestinian Liberation Organization in 1991 as a precondition for entering into the Oslo sovereignty trap- we are making our arguments today in translation as genocide and apartheid.”

Continue watching at https://youtu.be/CSrCtQs1gxI?si=RLNgxu1z7ZKe7XDu&t=954

Understanding Genocide: The Case of Gaza on Palestinian Centre for Human Rights – PCHR

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“Through this liberal language of international humanitarian law, basically, Israel is searching for impunity. That’s how they immediately defended themselves from the beginning, at the ICJ… This mobilization of international humanitarian law at the service of genocide has also another function. It has- and it will have- the function of telling future generations- or trying to tell future generations- how to narrate the genocide. Israel is constantly trying, like all colonial powers, to write history while erasing the colonized. And so, that’s the function of this mobilization of international humanitarian law. To present and to shape the meaning of violence as legitimate violence, so that in the future- in the next decades- people will remember this genocide, not as a genocide but as something else. As a counter-insurgency campaign which had some excesses but, overall, abided by international humanitarian law.”

Continue watching at https://x.com/pchrgaza/status/1772545411254763757

Gaza as Twilight of Israel Exceptionalism: Holocaust and Genocide Studies from Unprecedented Crisis to Unprecedented Change by Raz Segal and Luigi Daniele

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The very different ways in which Holocaust scholars, on the one hand, and those working in Genocide Studies, on the other, have responded to the unfolding mass violence in Israel and Palestine after 7 October point to an unprecedented crisis in Holocaust and Genocide Studies. We argue that the crisis stems from the significant evidence for genocide in Israel’s attack on Gaza, which has exposed the exceptional status accorded to Israel as a foundational element in the field, that is, the idea that Israel, the state of Holocaust survivors, can never perpetrate genocide.

…It is, of course, true that many cases of mass violence – past and present, genocide or not – have been and are marginalized and disavowed within Holocaust and Genocide Studies. But this moment of reckoning with a foundational case of marginalization and disavowal – and justification – of mass violence in our field holds potential for the kind of systemic change that goes well beyond calls for balance in the way we study and teach about mass violence. 

…The voices of Palestinians in the CCR case thus point, together with the voices of dozens of Holocaust and Genocide Studies scholars such as Trachtenberg, to a new era of Holocaust and Genocide Studies in conjunction with a new era of international law, past the denial of the Nakba and the silencing of Palestinians, perhaps even to the emergence of a new global focus on the Nakba as well as on the atrocities unfolding in front of our eyes in Gaza since October. In this way, if Israel’s genocidal assault on Gaza exposed the futility of Holocaust and Genocide Studies, as political scientist Abdelwahab El-Affendi has argued in this forum, it has also prompted a process of unprecedented change in the field that may prove anything but futile.

Continue reading at https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14623528.2024.2325804

Palestinian Organizations Welcome Statement by ICC Prosecutor, and Reiterate the Need for Immediate Issuance of Arrest Warrants by Al Mezan, Al-Haq, and Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) 

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  • Al Mezan, Al-Haq, and Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) welcome the recent statement made by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Karim A. A. Khan KC, concerning the reported impending expansion of the ground offensive by Israeli forces in Rafah and the recurrent bombardments of the area. Our organizations emphasize that while this statement is significant, the catastrophic conditions faced by 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza demand concrete action… particularly the issuance of arrest warrants against individuals implicated in these crimes. Specifically, we call for the issuance of arrest warrants against the Israeli Prime Minister, who ordered the expansion of the ground invasion into Rafah, the Israeli Defense Minister, and the Chief of Staff of the Israeli military, who are responsible for grave violations of international law.
  • The issuance of arrest warrants is a necessary step towards ensuring justice and accountability for the victims of these crimes, and deterring and preventing the commission of further crimes. We urge the ICC to expedite the process of issuing these warrants and to pursue all necessary measures to hold those responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and the crime of genocide accountable for their actions.

Continue reading at https://www.alhaq.org/advocacy/22671.html

Fact or fiction? Israel’s evacuation plan for the Palestinians in Rafah by Marc Owen Jones

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  • Israel’s evacuation orders have been a performance for the international community to try to demonstrate that Israel is complying with its obligations under international law.
  • The same is true of their evacuation maps, their leaflet drops, the “precision” strikes, the “safe zones”. These all form part of the “technologies of genocide” designed to make another Nakba easier for Israel and more palatable for Israel’s allies and the international community.
  • Indeed, they are part of the window dressing that helps US President Joe Biden trivialise Israel’s genocidal campaign as “a bit over the top”.

Continue reading at https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2024/2/13/fact-or-fiction-israels-evacuation-plan-for-the-palestinians-in-rafah

On Mourning by Zubayr Alikhan

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  • The very world perpetrating genocide asks the Palestinians to prove that their children are indeed in pieces under the rubble, and not terrorists in a tunnel. It shoves fingers down Palestinian throats to see if they vomit up animal feed, blood, or bullets. It exhumes cemeteriessteals organs, and asks for a receipt of death. It cleanses Palestinian lands, plunders artifacts, levels villages, razes olive trees, and belies indigeneity. It lives inside Palestinian homes, reclines on Palestinian furniture, and asks for evidence of Palestinian presence, for evidence of their theft. In the words of Ghassan Kanafani, “They steal your loaf of bread. Then they give you a crumb. Then they demand you thank them for their generosity. O their audacity!” Amidst all the proving, there is no time to mourn.

Continue reading at https://mondoweiss.net/2024/02/on-mourning/

Palestinian Organisations Demand Inquiry into UN Genocide Prevention Office’s Inexcusable Failure to Address Israel’s Ongoing Genocide in Gaza by Al-Haq

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  • Palestinian human rights organizations, including Al-Haq, have penned a letter addressed to the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, Mr. António Guterres, expressing profound disappointment and calling for an inquiry over the failure of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Ms. Alice Wairimu Nderitu, to fulfil her mandate in addressing the ongoing atrocities perpetrated by Israel against Palestinians in Gaza. This failure includes neglecting to raise awareness about Israel’s ongoing, four-months-long genocide against Palestinians in Gaza or, at the very least, to the alarming risk of genocide; failing to acknowledge the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling that Israel is plausibly committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza, along with the provisional measures ordered for Israel; and refusing to engage meaningfully, meet, or respond to requests from Palestinian human rights organizations.

Continue reading at https://www.alhaq.org/advocacy/22613.html

Measured Yet Damning: The ICJ’s Genocide Ruling on Israel by Michael Lynk

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  • When the ICJ delivered its remarkable judgement two weeks later, in late January, its measured tones masked a damning verdict. The Court largely accepted South Africa’s narrative about Israel’s conduct of its military operations against Gaza. It dismissed Israel’s argument that there was no “dispute” between the two countries, holding that South Africa had issued a number of both bilateral and public statements since October that Israel’s actions amounted to a violation of the Genocide Convention. In its view, this gave the Court jurisdiction to hear the merits of South Africa’s claim. More importantly, the ICJ ruled that at least some of Israel’s military operations in Gaza could plausibly amount to genocide under the Convention, opening the door for the order of provisional measures against Israel.

Continue reading at https://dawnmena.org/measured-yet-damning-the-icjs-genocide-ruling-on-israel/