“Genocide” is an emotive term, and one few people wish to use in relation to Israel, given the extermination of many millions of European Jews at the hands of the Nazis. But it is a term that exists outside of, and apart from, the Holocaust. It has a meaning clearly defined in international law, and one that is key to analysing and evaluating political situations and their likely future trajectories. The term was coined precisely to offer tools for early detection so that genocides could be prevented from taking place, not simply labeled once the atrocity was over. To preclude genocide as a possible explanation for Israel’s behavior in Gaza is to prioritize the historic sensitivities of some Jews over the current, urgent and existential threats to a substantial part of the Palestinian people.
Continue reading at http://www.ameu.org/PDF-Archives/vol52_issue3_2019.aspx
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.
Continue reading at http://www.arabnews.com/node/1039976/columns
Lemkin and the UN convention’s drafters understood that genocide did not require death camps; it could also be achieved gradually through intentional and systematic abuse and neglect. Their definition raises troubling questions about Israel’s treatment of Gaza, aside from military attacks. Does, for example, forcing the enclave’s two million inhabitants to depend on aquifers polluted with sea water constitute genocide?..
And what to make of a plan just disclosed by the Israeli media indicating that Netanyahu and his allies have been secretly plotting to force many Palestinians into Sinai, with the US arm-twisting the Egyptians into agreement? If true, the bombing campaigns of the past six years may be better understood as softening-up operations before a mass expulsion from Gaza. Such a policy would certainly satisfy Lemkin’s definition of genocide.
Continue reading at http://www.redressonline.com/2014/10/israel-and-the-genocide-word/
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