The US-Israeli propaganda machine has not just targeted Palestinian fighters or factions, but has also done its utmost to dehumanize, and thus justify the killing of, Palestinian children too. “Children as young as eight turned into bombers, shooters, stabbers,” reported one Adam Kredo in the Washington Free Beacon, citing a “new report on child terrorists and their enablers.” This is not simply bad journalism, but part of a calculated Israeli campaign aimed at preemptively justifying the killings of children such as Nassir and Mohammed, and hundreds more like them.
It is that same ominous discourse that resulted in the call for genocide made by none other than Israel’s Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, when she also called for the slaughter of Palestinian mothers who give birth to “little snakes.”
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Yoav Litvin, for example, argues in TeleSur that the “precedent set by this case will further solidify the complete dehumanization of Palestinians and pave the way for further ethnic cleansing and genocide in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”
In an article, entitled “Like Brexit and Trump, Azaria verdict exposes a moment of transition in Israel,” Jonathan Cook eluded to a similar idea: “The soldier’s trial, far from proof of the rule of law, was the last gasp of a dying order.” Neither Litvin nor Cook are suggesting that the supposed change in Israel is substantive, but an important change nonetheless. However, if the past and the present are one and the same, where is the “transition“? …In other words there is nothing new here, since the mainstreaming of genocide in Israel took place before and during the founding of the country, and ever since. Fortunately, some Israeli leaders were quite candid about the crimes of that era.
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The danger of impunity is not merely the lack of legal accountability, but the fact that it is the very foundation of most violent crimes against humanity, including genocide. This impunity began seven decades ago and it will not end without international intervention, with concerted efforts to hold Israel accountable in order to bring the agony of Palestinians to a halt.
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Palestinians continue to face the same dilemma of every national liberation movement in modern times. Native Americans, too, haggled with the same dilemma as they faced genocide and annihilation. A well-intentioned intellectual recently advised me that Palestinians should lay down their arms, dismantle their institutions and allow Israel to take over Gaza, which would, in turn, establish that Israel abides by the rules that govern occupied territories.
But has Israel ever heeded the calls of the Fourth Geneva Convention or any other international laws concerned with the rights of an occupied nation?
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