– You term what Israel is doing to the Palestinians “genocide.”
“I call it ‘creeping genocide.’ Genocide is not only a matter of taking people to gas chambers. When Yeshayahu Leibowitz used the term ‘Judeo-Nazis,’ people asked him, ‘How can you say that? Are we about to build gas chambers?’ To that, he had two things to say. First, if the whole difference between us and the Nazis boils down to the fact that we’re not building gas chambers, we’re already in trouble. And second, maybe we won’t use gas chambers, but the mentality that exists today in Israel – and he said this 40 years ago – would allow it.
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The outspoken style embraced by Cassif will not prevent me from voting again for the Joint List, just as it did not affect our friendly chats in the past. However, there is one thing I cannot dismiss as just another angry Facebook outburst: His flippant statement that genocide, or a creeping genocide, is taking place here, followed by a glib reversal of that statement, when he told Hecht: “You know what, leave out the genocide – call it ethnic cleansing.” If there is a genocide taking place – creeping or not – it’s not something you dismiss, not in an interview and not in private or public life. It’s not something you say is happening, and then, due to a change in your personal circumstances – being voted in as a political representative – you drop.
… The DNA of Jewish colonialism has not included genocide, but the mass expulsion of Palestinians from their homeland and homes (I avoid the trendy term ethnic cleansing since it relies on the invader’s aggressive term – cleansing – which manipulates the positive connotations of this term). The forgotten Palestinian enclaves Israel has created on both sides of the Green Line (the 1967 border) are a compromise between the half-concealed yearning to empty the land of its Palestinian inhabitants and the recognition that this is impossible for geopolitical reasons.
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