For other articles in this series 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
In the summer of 2012, UNICEF and UNRWA asked if Gaza will be liveable by 2020. At the time- five years into Israel’s siege, and post Israel’s 2008 and 2012 carpet-bombing campaigns- one might have been led to think that if the situation only had eight more stable years to go until apocalypse, then it probably doesn’t look too good already. What one might have missed is that Gaza in 2020, as in 2017, as in 2012, is what genocide looks like.
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.
What follows is an open letter in response to the International Geographical Union’s (IGU) refusal to relocate its July 12 – 16, 2010 regional conference outside of Tel Aviv in support of the internationally supported Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign aimed at Israel. The IGU was initially confronted by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel in November 2009. This letter was printed on the US Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel’s website today.
Geographers and other academics can sign the letterhere.
As geographers, faculty, students, and people of conscience, we are profoundly dismayed by IGU’s decision to hold its July 2010 regional conference in Tel Aviv, in violation of the widely endorsed Palestinian civil society call for Boycott, Divestments, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. We are equally troubled by IGU’s response  to the open letter issued by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), which urged the Executive Committee to relocate the upcoming regional conference out of Israel .
Writer, graduate student and organizer Max Ajl was in Cairo earlier this month along with 1,300 other activists who had gathered from all over the world to protest the illegal blockade of Gaza. The following is an article written by Ajl which includes his reflections on the Gaza Freedom March (he was a principal organizer) and the concept of international solidarity and non-violence in the Palestinian context.
I’m going to discuss the utility of non-violent resistance as it applies to resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict and, specifically, the occupation and blockade of the Gaza strip. Even more specifically, I’m going to discuss the Gaza Freedom March (GFM), of which I’m one of the organizers. But before discussing Palestinian non-violence, several things must be clarified. One is that no one — least of all me, a Jewish kid from Brooklyn — has the slightest right to dictate to the Palestinians how to end the blockade or resist the occupation. Another is the need to avoid the nearly inevitable antiseptic air to talk by Westerners discussing Palestinian non-violence. Antiseptic, because it is cleansed of the complicating grit of the occupation within which non-violence must take place. There’s also usually a tacit subtext, usually a four-word question: Where Is Their Gandhi? That question could not be more in error. I hope to show why.
During Israel’s assault on Gaza in December 2008, two doctors working from the frontline attempted to bring attention to the imbalance of power that exists at the heart of this conflict — an imbalance which weighs heavily towards the Israeli side. While Israeli media spokespeople used airtime to argue that Israel was only targeting Hamas militants, Dr. Mads Gilbert and Dr. Erik Fosse of the Norwegian Aid Committee attempted to bring attention to just how many women and children were being wheeled in to be treated for shrapnel and bullet wounds, and how many families they were treating all at once. They have since written a book about the event and Gilbert will be touring North America to spread their message.
The following was written by Fatemah Meghji, the national co-ordinator of Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights and a university student who has been organizing a nation-wide tour for Gilbert. Below her piece you will find a listing of tour dates and locations — be sure to attend an event if you can, I know I will.
by Fatemah Meghji
From Dr. Mads Gilbert & Dr. Erik Fosse’s Eyes in Gaza:
The boy with the destroyed brain did not need anaesthetic; he could no longer feel anything. The other lay in an artificial coma with intravenous anaesthetic agents to soften the pain and allow the ventilator to work without resistance from the boy’s own breathing. A large bandage covered both his eyes. He could not see anyway. He was already blind.
Where could I cry out the despair and rage I felt for all this terrible fate we saw at such close quarters? Would the heavens hear? Will the world hear? They know that this is happening, after all. The numbers tick into the West every single afternoon, to the news agencies, to the intelligence services and to the diplomatic missions of the world’s most powerful nations, who do not even make an attempt to pull in the reins and control the wildness of the Israeli war machine.