UN Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide and the International Criminal Court Prosecutor: Investigate the Possibility that Israel is Committing the Crime of Genocide Against the Palestinian People
Army chief of staff, Raphael Eitan put it most honestly when he said: “When we have settled all the land, all the [Palestinian] Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around like drugged cockroaches in a bottle.”
Again, faced with the same mistake, Israel simply escalated its brutality. “We have to kill and kill and kill, all day, every day,” explained an Israeli professor; and a prominent Israeli lawmaker raised this call to genocide to include the murder of Palestinian mothers and their babies, whom she called “little snakes”…
The new escalation to eradicate Palestine now is to enlist the civilian population of Israel to arm itself and join their military thugs against our unarmed civilian population. Videos and news of recent random executions, stabbings, and the roaming bloodlust of mob vigilantes abound on the Internet.
Israel began selling arms to Guatemala in the early 1970s but took up the training and arming of Guatemalan forces in earnest when the U.S. Congress cut off aid to Guatemala in 1977 in protest of its gross human rights abuses…
Ben-Menashe emphasized that the Israelis were unaware of the genocidal nature of the Guatemalan military’s campaign against the Ixil. The Israelis did recognize, however, that they “were assisting in mass murders of dark-skinned Guatemalans; the distinction being that the Israelis did not identify the slaughters as genocide against a specific racial or ethnic group.” Ben-Menashe told Perry, “As we saw it, they [Guatemalan military authorities] were targeting all non-white villagers who were sitting on fertile lands that the white Guatemalans wanted….”
Officially, the massacres in Guatemala were not about land; they were a matter of military necessity…
The Israeli army’s aim in Gaza could have been terror, or collective punishment, rather than extermination. But when terror and collective punishment are effected by killing civilians, genocide is a persistent danger.
The Russell Tribunal on Palestine convened an emergency session in Brussels last month to examine whether Israel committed war crimes in the besieged Gaza Strip during “Operation Protective Edge,” the summertime military assault that killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, including more than 500 children, and left Gaza in ruins.
After hearing testimony from journalists, eyewitnesses, legal scholars and physicians present during the onslaught, the twelve-member jury, made up of world-renowned intellectuals and international law experts, found Israel guilty of “war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes of murder, extermination and persecution and also incitement to genocide…”
Taken together, the testimonies presented at the Russell Tribunal (all of which can be viewed here) demonstrate a clear pattern of intentional destruction of Gaza and its people by an increasingly extreme settler-colonial state “primed for genocide,” as Max Blumenthal put it.
Genocide does not happen overnight or in a vacuum. There are warning signs, many of which were raised at the Russell Tribunal.
According to the Palestinian health ministry , the Joudas were the eighty-ninth family wiped out in Gaza since the Israeli army started bombarding the besieged coastal enclave on 7 July.
A ceasefire that took effect on Tuesday evening may stop the flow of blood, but it will not heal the raw wounds of the families of more than 2,100 people killed, nor of the more than eleven thousand injured and 100,000 whose homes were destroyed.
Between 7 July and 21 August, the UN documented 140 families in Gaza partially or completely annihilated by Israeli attacks.
Many were crushed beneath the rubble of their homes. Eight members of the Wahdan family, for instance, were killed in their house in Jabaliya refugee camp after beinginstructed by Israeli forces to stay put.
The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights has recorded at least 990 people killed inside their homes in Israeli attacks, including 324 children. That’s almost half of all people killed in the Israeli assault.
Sudarsan Raghaven, William Booth, and Ruth Eglash, in their Washington Post article, “U.N. agency: Israel shelled Gaza school sheltering evacuees; 20 reported killed,” (July 30), supply further details on the school bombing: “…shelling struck a classroom where some 50 people, mostly women and children, were sleeping…. Most of the dead, however, were young men, who had woken for the traditional Muslim dawn prayer, said Moen al-Masr, a doctor at the Kamal Odwan hospital.” The Post’s reporters continue: “’We found people torn to pieces,’ said Allah al-Bes, 33, who was seeking refuge at the school with his wife and three boys. ‘It was like hell.’ Bes and his family went to the school after an earlier attack on a UN-run school in Beit Hanoun. ‘We have learned no place is safe in Gaza,’ he said.” Let those final words serve as an epitaph for, illustrating, and bearing out, the Israeli genocide of Gaza.
“The Israelis keep taking and taking and taking. Their objective is to annihilate the Palestinian people… These are international […] violations, right? It’s genocide. People [in Hollywood] are very much afraid of the possibility of it looking bad. Look at Alicia Keys. They begged Alicia Keys… “Do not go perform in Israel. Do you understand what’s happening?”… She sang! She said she’s for “love and peace…” So that’s the mentality we’re dealing with and I’m sure her manager said “honey don’t go there.”
President Nicolas Maduro has maintained the foreign policy of his firebrand predecessor Hugo Chavez, who was popular in the Arab world and broke relations with Israel after accusing it of “holocaust” for its 2009 offensive in Gaza. Israel’s latest attacks have “initiated a higher phase of its policy of genocide and extermination with the ground invasion of Palestinian territory, killing innocent men, women, girls and boys,” a Venezuelan government statement said…
Venezuela called for the United Nations‘ human rights body to meet and condemn Israel. “Venezuela also rejects the cynical campaigns trying to condemn both parties equally, when it is clear you cannot morally compare occupied and massacred Palestine with the occupying state, Israel, which also possesses military superiority and acts on the margins of international law.”