Let’s Talk About Genocide: The State of Israel Vs. William A. Schabas

William A. Schabas
William A. Schabas

Since Israel’s latest attack on the besieged Gaza Strip, last summer, I’ve been researching the issue of Israel’s genocide [1,2,3,4]. I quickly found out that I’m not the only one, and although the subject has been addressed by scholars, politicians, UN bodies, and Palestinian civil society since 1982, this attack has prompted an unprecedented amount of criticism and study.

The sudden popular resurgence of the term, especially coming from President Mahmoud Abbas, has already prompted many independent articles, rejecting not only the terminology, but mostly the users of the term. From Liberal Zionists calling those who charge genocide “the loony left” and “antisemitic”; to hard-core right-wingers like government- funded StandWithUs with the help of fox news, with the tried-and-true “what about Syria, Iran, Iraq” and anything else that isn’t the issue of discussion and furthers Islamophobia; to AIPAC with the ironic claim that naming the crime hinders peace, and quotations from none other than Benjamin Netanyahu that “we warned them” and after we bombed the hell out of them, we gave them “tons of humanitarian aid.” That said, I’ve yet to see an organised government initiative on the subject. Until now.

Never Again Unless We Did It

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10 reasons why AIPAC is so dangerous

Media Benjamin of Code Pink lists the ten reasons why AIPAC is so dangerous.

1. AIPAC is lobbying Congress to promote a military confrontation with Iran. AIPAC – like the Israeli government – is demanding that the U.S. attack Iran militarily to prevent Iran from having the technological capacity to produce nuclear weapons, even though U.S. officials say Iran isn’t trying to build a weapon (and even though Israel has hundreds of undeclared nuclear weapons). AIPAC has successfully lobbied the U.S. government to adopt crippling economic sanctions on Iran, including trying to cut off Iran’s oil exports, despite the fact that these sanctions raise the price of gas and threaten the U.S. economy.

2. AIPAC promotes Israeli policies that are in direct opposition to international law. These include the establishment of colonies (settlements) in the Occupied West Bank and the confiscation of Palestinian land in its construction of the 26-foot high concrete “separation barrier” running through the West Bank. The support of these illegal practices makes to impossible to achieve a solution to the Israel/Palestine conflict.

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Obama must stand up to Israel on Iran

Update: We have added below excerpts from Avi Shlaim’s piece in the Independent which echoes the same line. (via War in Context)
John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt have a blistering piece in today Financial Times. Here are some excerpts:

US president Barack Obama today welcomes arguably his least favourite foreign leader to the White House. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit neatly coincides with the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac). That event offers both men a chance to appeal to some of Israel’s most ardent American supporters. We can therefore expect to hear repeated references to the “common interests”, “unshakeable bonds” and “shared values” of the two countries.

This familiar rhetoric is misleading at best and at worst simply wrong. No states have identical interests, and Israel and America are at odds on two vital issues: Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Mr Obama should continue to rebuff Israel’s efforts to push him into military confrontation with Tehran, while reminding Mr Netanyahu the true danger to Israel lies in its refusal to allow a viable Palestinian state…

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Yet another War for Israel

by William A. Cook

“Men use thought only to justify their injustices, and speech only to conceal their thoughts.” — Voltaire, Dialogue XIV, Le Chapon et la Poularde

Voltaire’s wit often illuminates truth. Consider this revealing “thought” as expressed recently in Alert, the voice of AIPAC to its membership: “Some Americans believe if the Israelis strike Iran, the U.S. will pay the political costs anyway, so it would be better for the Americans to do the job and do it properly. Their clock is a bit different from the one the Israelis hear. Because of their vastly superior firepower, the Americans could strike Iran later, more devastatingly and more sustainably.” How just is it for AIPAC’s mouthpiece to declare that America should “devastate” Iran because it has “vastly more firepower” than Israel and could “do a better job” and “do it properly,” as though this were a clean-up “job” of a waste dump and not an illegal invasion of a member country of the United Nations that has done nothing under international law to threaten the U.S. much less attack it, while the Israeli government and its IDF look on happily content that it is American boys and girls suffering the consequences of the unwarranted attacks and not Jewish boys and girls? Has it come to this, that unnamed Israeli spokespeople, voicing AIPAC’s policies, determine what nation the U.S. should invade without consultation with the representatives of the American people?

Not that this sentiment has not been expressed before. Netanyahu told Piers Morgan the same thing in an interview last year, as I have quoted in previous articles, noting Israel’s Zionist government’s desire to use America’s military as their own claiming that what is good for Israel is good for America. That protestation completes the wit contained in Voltaire’s quote: because Israel is America’s only friend in the mid-east, and the only Democracy, and the only nation in that part of the world aligned with the west, it alone deserves America’s “unquestionable” and “unbreakable” support.

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Does Your Congressperson Represent You – or Israel?

by Medea Benjamin

US lawmakers jostle for the Israeli Prime Minister's blessing.

In this time of economic austerity, when jobs are being slashed and Americans are fearful about their future, the Congressional recess is the time for our elected representatives to be home in their districts, reaching out to their constituents and servicing the people they are paid to represent. Instead, this August one out of every five representatives will be taking a junket to Israel, compliments of an affiliate of the Israel lobby AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) but still clocked in on the taxpayer’s dime.

Americans who have lost their jobs and seen their life savings evaporate because Congress can’t seem to get it together deserve an explanation of how this crisis will be solved. Following the recent debt debacle, the public is hungry for information about the mysterious 12-person “super committee” that will slash over one trillion dollars from the federal budget. But instead of opening their doors to their constituents, 81 members of Congress will be getting briefings from Israeli government officials, touring historic religious sites, and perhaps “seeking a salty dip in the Dead Sea.” Representative Steny Hoyer, who is leading the Democratic delegation, said he is pleased members of Congress have this opportunity “to gain a deeper understanding of the issues involved in increasing stability in the region.” One has to wonder whether our elected officials are more concerned about the stability of Israel or the well-being of American families.

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AIPAC and Stealth Israel Political Action Committees

Janet McMahon, Managing Editor – Washington Report on Middle East Affairs explains the history and impact of “stealth PACs.” Why has the American Israel Public Affairs Committee spawned a network of PACs across America? Why don’t any claim affiliation to their creator or use descriptive  names? Shouldn’t they be consolidated to have reduced total contribution limits like other PACs? How has the American Israel Public Affairs  Committee secretly coordinated stealth PACs, and what has been done  about it? Presentation panel from the Move Over AIPAC conference on May 21, 2011.