Let’s Talk About Genocide: Shurat HaDin and The Genocide Legalization Conference

This week, the organization Shurat HaDin is having a conference titled “Towards a New Law of War”. They don’t hide where their alliances lie, and on their online conference page (nostalgically illustrated with WWII British bombers) you can find their Western-supremacist and racist agenda stated loud and clear:

…exchange ideas regarding the development of armed conflict legal doctrine favorable to Western democracies engaged in conflict against non­traditional, non­-democratic, non-­state actors.

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Let’s Talk About Genocide: The Case of Palestine

declaration made by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution 96 (I) dated 11 December 1946 that genocide is a crime under international law

Article II: In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.  

Though still contentious in some circles even within the Palestine solidarity movement, I’d like to join Ali Abunimah, Ilan Pape and others [1,2] and put forth that Israel, typical of a colonialist entity, isn’t only guilty of war crimes, discrimination, and employing an apartheid system on the Palestinian people, but is actually committing genocide. Before the reader rules me out as another “extremist” and clicks on, I’d like to remind you that all these terms are legal terms. And though I’m by no means a legal expert, I intend to argue the legal points in this article, in hopes of not only proving that Israel is in fact committing the crime of genocide, but that legal professionals would refine these arguments and take them where they belong- International Criminal Court.

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Kashmir, of dreams and nightmares

by Burhan Qureshi

Blurred Memories.  photo credit: Huma Dar, 2006
Blurred Memories. photo credit: Huma Dar, 2006

My mother comes from a sleepy village in north Kashmir.  It is, indeed, picturesque.  At times when she sits me down and tells me the stories of her childhood, she takes me into a dreamland.  Her house there is on a hillock, a gushing clear stream runs at its foothills.  There are vast fields on either side of the road.  She tells me of the orchard where the finest apples grow, of the walnut trees in her garden that she used to climb (in fact, she taught me how to eat the raw, green colored walnuts, which if you know the trick, taste even better).  And when she tells me that she used to swim in that stream, my heart skips a beat.  I fall in love with her all over again.

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Israel’s Gaza Genocide

Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, president of the UN General Assembly, has made a name for himself speaking the truth in regard to Israel and in defence of the Palestinian people.  Now calling Israel’s actions in Gaza genocide.

Brockmann told the UN in New York: “The number of victims in Gaza is increasing by the day… The situation is untenable. It’s genocide.”

Judging by the UN definition of genocide, provided by Juan Cole, it is hard to disagree.

Contemporary international legal thinking on genocide does consider destroying the lifeways of a people to be in this category. Here is the UN definition:

‘ In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part . . . ‘

That what the Israeli government is doing is intended to destroy in part the Palestinians as an independent people seems to me incontestable.

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