Aug. 19, 2014 (TSR) – There was a time in the not-too-distant past when genocide was considered a major crime against humanity. The topic was discussed only when referring to the world’s worst mass murderers: Adolph Hitler and his cohorts, members of the Khmer Rouge, the U.S. during World War II and others known for killing large numbers of people, simply because of their ethnicity. It was considered an unspeakable crime, the very worst thing any person or nation could do. Nothing was worse than genocide.
Times have certainly changed in our enlightened twenty-first century. No longer is genocide a part of history, something students look back on and wonder how the world ever allowed such atrocities. Genocide has now become an option, one that an occupying power can use against its occupied victims, with either the silent consent, or full financing, of the world. Let us look at a couple of quotations:
Retired Israeli Major General Giora Eiland wrote in an op-ed that there is no such thing as an innocent civilian in Gaza. He justifies this stand by saying that the people of Gaza elected Hamas, so they are all to blame. One must remember that the average age in the Gaza Strip is 17, so most of those dying were too young to vote. But Mr. Eiland doesn’t bother with such things as facts. Said he: “the right thing to do is to shut down the crossings, prevent the entry of any goods, including food, and definitely prevent the supply of gas and electricity.” This is genocide.
One Yochanan Gordon, a writer for The Five Towns Jewish Times, wrote an article that also appeared in The Times of Israel, entitled ‘When Genocide is Permissible’, concluding his article with this question: “If political leaders and military experts determine that the only way to achieve its goal of sustaining quiet is through genocide, is it then permissible to achieve those responsible goals?”
So in 2014, Israel is endorsing the genocide of the Palestinians. Where is the international outcry? The article in The Times of Israel was quickly removed after a Twitter storm of criticism, but the article remained on the original site, The Five Towns Jewish Times, a New York-based website. Eventually, it too was removed, with this apology:
“An article that was posted earlier today on our website dealt with the question of genocide in a most irresponsible fashion. We reject any such notion or discussion associated with even entertaining the possibility of such an unacceptable idea.
“The piece should have been rejected out of hand by editors but escaped their proper attention. We reject such a suggestion unequivocally and apologize for the error.”
One wonders how this inflammatory article ‘escaped’ the ‘proper attention’ of the editors.
Would the article have been removed if the readers of The Five Town Jewish Times had endorsed and supported it? Or was it only removed because of the outcry against it?
Mr. Gordon, too, issued a puzzling apology. It reads in part as follows:
“I wish to express deep regret and beg forgiveness for an article I authored which was posted on
5TJT.com, Times of Israel and was tweeted and shared the world over. I never intended to call to harm any people although my words may have conveyed that message.”
If Mr. Gordon ‘never intended to call to harm any people’ why did his words clearly say that he did? He could be a United States politician with that kind of verbal magicianship. There was nothing ambiguous in the article; he clearly said that, if those in charge feel genocide will bring about peace and stability, then so be it.
Close to 2,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been killed by U.S.-provided bombs; thousands more have been seriously injured. Thousands have lost their homes, and are barely surviving due to lack of food and water. They are lucky if they have electricity a few hours a day. A friend of this writer, during a brief period where he had access to the Internet, discussed the overpowering smell of rotting flesh of victims still buried beneath rubble. This is how Palestinians all over the Gaza Strip are living today.
It is difficult to understand how a country justifies defending itself from another country it occupies. Yet that is what Israel claims to do, protecting its ‘national security’ from an impoverished area over which it has complete control, in violation of international law.
One grows tired of looking repeatedly at the U.S. and its never-ending fawning over Israel.
President Barack Obama continues to say, with a straight face, that Israel has the right to defend itself against Palestine. That’s like saying that Goliath had the right to defend himself against David.
That the U.S., like Israel, is a racist society cannot be questioned. And so its support of Israel is not surprising. Neither nation cares anything for human rights as long as their financial and imperial goals are met. Neither is responsive to international criticism, or the United Nations. Both proclaim their moral superiority over their invented enemies.
For Israel, however, the day of reckoning may be approaching. The Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) movement is ever-growing, and the current bombing and invasion of the Gaza Strip has galvanized and motivated people the world over who, unlike Israel and the U.S., consider genocide to be a crime against humanity. Some nations have even reduced trade with Israel due to the genocide it is committing. And for both the U.S. and Israel, money talks. All the demonstrations in the world, including sizable events in Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities, mean nothing until people stop purchasing Israel goods, boycott entertainment venues, and stop sharing academic projects. Then, when the bottom line is impacted, there will be change.
Perhaps the David and Goliath analogy mentioned above is more accurate than it at first might seem. In the Biblical story, mighty Goliath seemed invincible, but was finally defeated by the young, inexperienced David. People around the world, seeing the bloodied corpses of innocent children, watching the unspeakable grief of their loved ones, seeing the horrific cruelty of the weapons Israel is using, are taking to the Internet to spread the news of these horrors, and encourage action against them. As Israel becomes more and more isolated, and its finances more deeply impacted, eventually even the U.S. will not have the resources to bail it out. And that will be a great day for Palestine, human rights, justice and the world.