“It depends on what you mean by Zionism. I was a Zionist activist in my youth. For me, Zionism meant opposition to a Jewish state. The Zionist movement did not come out officially in favor of a Jewish state until 1942. Before this it was merely the intent of the Zionist leadership. The Zionist movement for a long time stood against the establishment of a Jewish state because such a state would be discriminatory and racist.”
~ Noam Chomsky
‘If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.’
Israel’s massacre of up to 19 supporters of an aid convoy to Gaza has provoked angry protests internationally. But the Obama administration signalled tacit US endorsement of the bloodbath, with a statement merely deploring the loss of life without criticising the Israeli action.
Commandos stormed the flotilla of ships carrying activists and essential aid to Gaza before dawn, rappelling onto the deck from helicopters. Reports put the death toll variously at between 10 and 20. Organisers said at least 30 and possibly 50 people were wounded. Among the wounded are the leader of the radical Islamic movement in Israel, sheikh Raed Salah, and the head of the Lebanese humanitarian mission, Dr. Hani Suleiman.
Al-Jazeera TV reported from the ship that Israeli navy forces had opened fire and boarded the vessel, wounding the captain. Its broadcast ended with a voice shouting in Hebrew, saying: “Everybody shut up!” Turkish TV pictures taken on board the Turkish ship leading the flotilla, the Mavi Marmara, showed people injured and lying on the ground. A woman in a hijab was seen holding a blood-stained stretcher.
Israel claimed that its soldiers were attacked and that guns were fired. “Live fire was used against our forces. They initiated the violence, that’s 100 percent clear,” Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev told the BBC. He did not address the fact that, since the ship was in international waters, the Israeli attack was an act of piracy and those on board had every right to resist.
In any case, Audrey Bomse, a spokesperson for the Free Gaza Movement, which organised the convoy, told the BBC there was “absolutely no evidence of live fire.”
“I don’t know anything about the knives and axes or anything,” said Bomse. “You see this live streaming on the Turkish ship, you see the Israeli helicopters shooting. There’s no evidence of fire passing them.”
Greta Berlin, a Free Gaza movement spokeswoman, said, “It’s disgusting that they have come on board and attacked civilians. We are civilians. How could the Israeli military attack civilians like this? Do they think that because they can attack Palestinians indiscriminately they can attack anyone?”
Cyprus Member of the European Parliament, Kyriacos Triantafyllides, who was involved with the mission, said activists had “expected a strong reaction from Israel,” but not “something akin to an invading army.”
Three of the ships were Turkish-flagged, including the main passenger ship, and the convoy was led by a Turkish aid group. Most of the passengers on the main ship, the Mavi Marmara, were Turks. A Turkish official called Israel’s actions “piracy” and denied Israeli claims that some on the ships headed for the Gaza Strip were armed and had attacked the Israeli soldiers.
In Turkey, protesters tried to storm Israel’s Consulate in Istanbul, then marched toward the city’s main square. In London, more than a thousand took to the streets. Thousands of Palestinian refugees and activists demonstrated across Lebanon, shouting slogans such as “Give us weapons, give us weapons and send us on to Gaza.”
There were also large protests in Syria and Jordan and here in The UK 31st May Protests: London: 1 | 2 | 3 Cambridge: 1 | 2 | 3 Bristol: 1 Birmingham: 1 Sheffield: 1 Galway: 1 | Manchester protesters try to storm BBC
Condemnations came from many official sources. Turkey, a close ally of Israel, withdrew its ambassador and cancelled three joint military drills. Israel’s ambassador, Gabby Levy, was summoned to the Turkish foreign ministry. The ministry issued a statement saying, “By targeting civilians, Israel has once again shown its disregard for human life and peaceful initiatives.… This deplorable incident, which took place in open seas and constitutes a flagrant breach of international law, may lead to irreparable consequences in our bilateral relations.”
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri issued a joint statement, warning that Israel’s actions could provoke a war in the Middle East. Syria and Lebanon condemned “the heinous crime committed by Israel through the brutal attacks on unarmed civilians on board the Freedom Flotilla.”
The head of the Hamas government in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, called on United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “to shoulder his responsibilities to protect the safety of the solidarity groups who were on board these ships and to secure their way to Gaza.” Hamas has urged Muslims and Arabs to “rise up” in response to the attack.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas described the incident as a “massacre”. Saeb Erakat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, called the attack “a war crime.”
The secretary general of the League of Arab States, Amr Musa, called for an extraordinary meeting to be convened today, calling the attack “an act of terror.”
European nations with passengers aboard the ships summoned the Israeli ambassadors and called for an investigation. The Irish government expressed “grave concern” over the fate of eight of its citizens travelling on the aid convoy, with Foreign Affairs Minister Micheal Martin stating, “The reports of up to 15 people killed and 50 injured, if confirmed, would constitute a totally unacceptable response by the Israeli military to what was a humanitarian mission attempting to deliver much needed supplies to the people of Gaza.”
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was “shocked by reports of killings and injuries of people on boats carrying supplies for Gaza.” The European Union issued a token call for an inquiry to establish what happened. The United States declared that it “deeply regrets the loss of life and injuries sustained and is currently working to understand the circumstances surrounding this tragedy.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was forced to cut short an official trip to Canada and cancel a meeting today with President Barack Obama, probably under orders from a politically embarrassed White House.
Israeli spokesmen responded by issuing bellicose statements, with Defence Minister Ehud Barak blaming the deaths on the organisers of the Gaza aid flotilla and asserting, “There is no hunger in Gaza and there is no humanitarian crisis.” Deputy Speaker of the Israeli parliament Danny Danon said that the convoy consisted of “criminal terrorists.”
Israel has been placed on high alert, including closing checkpoints along the border with Gaza. Writing in Haaretz, Amos Harel warned, “Under certain circumstances, and if both sides fail to take steps to calm the situation, this could even end in a third intifada, or Palestinian uprising.”
The assault took place in international waters. Turkey’s Maritime Undersecretary Hasan Naiboglu said, “The captain of the ship called us at around 4:30 a.m. and told us that Israeli navy intercepted them. We learnt that there were a number of injured people. Then, we lost contact with the ships.…
“Israel intercepted the ships about 70 nautical miles from the mainland. Under the international law, they do not have the right to do such a thing,” he added.
Two of the other boats in the flotilla were American-flagged. The six-ship flotilla, carrying 10,000 tonnes of aid, left Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus on Sunday. The boats were led by the Mavi Marmara, which carried 600 activists. Most of those on board the boats were Turkish, but the passengers also included European and US citizens such as Mairead Corrigan Maguire, the Nobel-prize-winning Northern Ireland peace activist.
The attack on the aid convoy is only the latest in a stepped-up campaign to enforce the blockade of Gaza, in which Israel and Egypt have collaborated since the Islamist movement Hamas won power in 2007. In the early hours of Wednesday morning last week, Israel launched an air strike on Beit Hanoun, east of Gaza City, and bombed tunnels in Rafah, near Gaza’s southern border with Egypt, injuring 22 people, one of whom was a youth of 15. The attacks followed the firing of mortars by militants from northern Gaza into Israel and a dynamite explosion on the border, delivered by donkey cart.
In the 16 months since Israel’s assault on Gaza in 2008-2009 that left 1,400 people dead, 50,000 homeless, and much of the enclave’s infrastructure in ruins, there have been very few rocket or mortar attacks from Gaza into Israel. Gaza has for nearly three years been subject to a crippling blockade by Israel and Egypt that has wrecked its precarious economy, prevented reconstruction and rendered its people destitute.
Israel claims that it allows about 15,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid into Gaza every week.
But this is less than a quarter of what is needed, according to the UN. Israel has forced Gazans to abandon productive rural land, much of it situated just inside the fence that surrounds the Strip, which Israel has designated as a buffer zone. The 2008-2009 assault destroyed valuable agricultural land and a cocktail of toxic metals from Israeli munitions contaminated other areas. Israel’s Central Bank has stopped dealing with banks operating in Gaza, causing a severe financial crisis. It has stymied commercial life and made it impossible for the Hamas government to pay more than a fraction of the salaries due its employees, including those funded by the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah.
Egypt, for its part, is sealing Gaza’s southern border with an underground steel wall to prevent vital products being smuggled via tunnels. Israel is building a wall along its border with Egypt, “to turn the screws on Hamas” by blocking the only way into Israel for terror attacks, according to the Jerusalem Post.
Since Operation Cast Lead, Hamas has implemented a de facto ceasefire and cracked down on other militant groups in Gaza. But this is not enough for Israel, which views Hamas as one of Iran’s proxies in the region that must be eradicated.
Israel added to its war crimes by attacking a Gaza humanitarian aid ship in international waters.
At leat Twenty people was reported dead, and the remaining 700 passengers abducted., on Memorial Day, many of us pause to remember those who died in the cause of social justice, rather than imperial aims. One of those fallen heroes is Rachel Corrie (1979-2003), who has become an international icon for the horrific and ongoing genocide being perpetrated on Palestine by Israel.
Corrie died in Gaza on March 16, 2003 while trying to prevent the genocidal tactic of bulldozing civilian homes.
Just weeks before her murder on March 16th, she wrote to her father:
Coming here is one of the better things I’ve ever done. So when I sound crazy, or if the Israeli military should break with their racist tendency not to injure white people, please pin the reason squarely on the fact that I am in the midst of a genocide which I am also indirectly supporting, and for which my government is largely responsible.
Two days before her murder, she gave this interview to the Middle East Broadcasting Company where she details more genocidal tactics, like bombing the civilian water supply:
In 1996, Gregory H. Stanton (now of Genocide Watch) created a working definition of genocide for the US State Department. That resulted in his 7 Stages of Genocide. He explains that the “first stages precede later stages, but continue to operate throughout the genocidal process.”
- Classification (us vs. them);
- Symbolization (e.g. black fist);
- Dehumanization (use of hate speech, nonhuman name-calling);
- Organization (the target is always a collective group that is treated as a criminal class, nowadays often labeled “terrorist” organizations);
- Polarization (use of extreme, inflammatory language to isolate moderates);
- Identification (segregate the targeted population physically or by use of identifying features on national identity cards); and
- Extermination (build camps, stockpile weapons, give the order).
In an April 2010 speech, Stanton added an eighth stage, “which is always a part of the genocidal process: Denial.”
Pathocracy in Action
Indeed, after the Israeli attack yesterday on the flotilla which carried 700 passengers from 50 nations and 10,000 tons of food, medicine, water and other essentials:
“Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon blamed the victim … saying the activists themselves were responsible for the massacre and branding them allies of international terrorist organizations,” reported Tehran Times.
Psychopaths are “extremely skilled at rationalizing their behavior, often seeing themselves as the victims (and blaming their real victims),” writes Andrew M. Lobaczewski, author of Political Ponerology.
It is to our benefit to understand the actions of Israel in terms of ‘ponerology’ or, the study of evil. Lobaczewski explains:
Ponerology describes the genesis, existence, and spread of the macrosocial disease called evil. Its causes are traceable and can be repeatedly observed and analyzed. When humanity manages to incorporate this knowledge into its natural worldview, it will have defensive potential as yet unrealized.
He explains that:
Evil can manifest on any societal level. The greater the scope of the psychopath’s influence, the greater harm done. Thus any group of humans can be infected or ‘ponerized’ by their influence. From families, clubs, churches, businesses, and corporations, to entire nations. The most extreme form of such macrosocial evil is called ‘pathocracy.’
In describing some of the ways that a psychopath or a pathocracy can infect a population, he writes of the Israeli occupation of Gaza:
When determining the morality of the occupation of Palestine, many reject that the Palestinians were ethnically cleansed in the Nabka of 1948. Accepting this datum would lead to a correct, albeit disturbing, conclusion regarding the morality of Israeli military occupation…. In the case of Palestine, some groups have convinced themselves that there is no such thing as a Palestinian: Palestine was empty when the Jews found it, they say.
It must be noted that Stanton rejects the use of the term ‘ethnic cleansing.’ He considers it part of the dehumanization stage of genocide. It is as euphemistic as the term ‘kiddie porn’ when discussing child rape and torture.
As each stage of genocide manifests, preventive techniques can be employed. Stanton suggests, for example, that race, religion and ethnicity labels be removed from identity papers. More obviously, when an authoritative body like the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict issues a finding of genocide, “PROSECUTE IT!” Stanton bellowed.
The sane and compassionate bulk of humanity mourns the loss of Rachel Corrie, along with the tens of thousands of lives, including the twenty new people, whom Israel has murdered.
Rachel Corrie in her 5th Grade Speech: I’m here because I care:
The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation has created an action page where you can contact the U.S. Mission to the United Nations to demand that U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice vote to support a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s action and initiating an investigation.
The reason for the slaughter of the Free Gaza activists
The Israeli government and media has been vilifying the Free Gaza movement in a rabid build-up for weeks, but who would have anticipated this bloody culmination? Who would have expected this act of high seas piracy? Israeli claims that they were fired at, or even attacked with “knives” and “other cold weapons” when they illegally boarded the flotilla, before going on to stalk the sleeping and the innocent can surely be dismissed as vulgar propaganda. From the people who gave us the fastest re-definition of the term ‘civilian’ of any belligerent state in recent history, such talk is emetic. The idea that there was a “fight”, any kind of meaningful combat, between unarmed peace activists and trained killers is just absurd. But let’s note a few things. For a start, it is Israel’s official contention that there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza, that their murderous blockade has no severe consequences for the people of Gaza, even at the same time as their official spokespersons speak of Gaza explicitly in the language of genocide. This after the Goldstone report and a mountain of evidence compiled by relief agencies and NGOs documenting the effects of Israel’s blockade. It is, of course, absurd and despicable, but it should remind us what kind of state we’re dealing with, what kind of logical somersaults it is capable of performing while maintaing perfect equanimity.
Now recall that for weeks the Israeli state has been declaring that the aid flotilla constitutes a violent attack on Israeli sovereignty, though Israel has no sovereign right to police the borders of Gaza. They claimed that the convoy was bringing assistance to terrorists, and warned that it was being funded by the Turkish Muslim Brotherhood. They claim that such aid vessels help keep Hamas in power and Gilad Shalit (who he?) locked up. They claim that the convoy, rather than the blockade itself, constitutes a violation of international law. Israel’s ability to exhale falsehoods and absurdities seamlessly, poker-faced, and then to suddenly and without missing a beat alter its story when it becomes clear that not even its loyalist drones are gullible enough to believe it, is not unique but it has a unique pedigree. For the Israeli state is singular in its self-righteousness. This is built in to official doctrine and practise, entrenched in its forms of governmentality. It is always the victim, no matter what it’s doing today – whether slaughtering refugees in Sabra and Shatilla, or murdering sleeping families in Dahiya, from Nakba to Cast Lead – it is always on the precipice of being exterminated by a new wave of Arab Nazis. Given this, any effort to undermine its ‘defensive’ actions is an attack not only on its expansive notions of sovereignty, but on the ‘Jewish state’.
By the logic of Israel, any abridgment of its right to murder Palestinians constitutes an act of antisemitism, an existential attack on the Jewish people, whom they represent by proxy. Its job, then, is to do whatever it deems fit in discouraging and punishing said ‘antisemites’ while aggressively retailing whatever they do to an increasingly hostile world which, at any rate, they insist is driven by exterminationist antisemitism anyway. If the two ends – the violent preservation of Israeli supremacy in the Middle East, and the global PR – increasingly come into conflict, this is only because of a ‘new antisemitism’, not because of anything Israel actually does.
In other words, by the twisted logic of Zionism: Israel can impose a blockade on Gaza that systematically starves civilians, leaves them to die without medicine, destroys their sewage and power systems, leaves them utterly dependent on international aid delivery which it imposes the most grotesque restrictions on; then it can demonise and assault an aid flotilla intended to break the blockade, fire on the residents, murder people in their sleep, the better to deter anyone from attempting to violate its supremacy in Palestine again; then it can manufacture whatever story it requires to force a hostile world to accept its actions, muddy the waters, juggle narratives, befuddle and confuse people, following up one bit of legerdemain with yet another and another, etc; and it can do all this while remaining the perpetual victim (remember Sderot!), while doing nothing more than defending itself, defending its famed “right to exist”, and by proxy the right of the Jewish people to exist. That, the logic of Zionism upon which the Israeli state is founded, alone explains the insane combination of thuggishness, deceit, secrecy and sanctimony that has always characterised Israel’s conduct.
Meanwhile, the British government is rapidly moving to fulfil its promise to make it possible for Israeli war criminals to visit the UK without being disturbed by Inspector Knacker.
At what point does it become genocide?
Here is an excellent, detailed post on ‘those “Hamas targets”‘ that keep turning out to be ambulances, hospitals, schools, etc., with detail from Physicians for Human Rights, UN OCHA, B’TSelem, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights and a number of organisations and news agencies empirically refuting Israel’s claim that it targets only combatants. The list of examples, though by no means comprehensive, is nonetheless quite staggering. Norwegian volunteer doctor Mads Gilbert describes Israel’s attack as “an all-out war against the civilian population in Gaza”. This, perhaps, is why the definition of ‘civilian’ and ‘combatant’ must be as elastic as possible. Israel is literally saying, if you follow that link, that anything is fair game in Gaza if there is the slightest connection with Hamas. Combatants are not only those doing the fighting, not only Hamas military cadre, not only members of the Hamas political organisation, but anyone working in an institution that Hamas runs as the government of Gaza. As Phillipe Sands points out, the effect of this is to obliterate the category of ‘civilian’. Martin Shaw has written of this tendency of ‘degenerate war’, a process that is intimately connected with the transition from war to genocide (see his very useful War and Genocide, Polity Press, 2003, pp 23-26). In this phase of war, it has been deemed a military necessity to classify the whole population of the enemy state as an enemy.
We are not as inclined to use ‘holocaust’ metaphors as Israeli spokespersons, and there is a very sensible desire to avoid emotionally-laden words like ‘genocide’, particularly given that the justification for atrocitiy is often based on the invocation of such terms. Nonetheless, when the Israeli historian Ilan Pappe describes a process of genocide in Gaza, as he did last year, it is clear that there is something more to it than an emotional reaction to oppression. True, ‘only’ 550 have been directly killed in Gaza in this particular 11 day old operation, but that in itself wouldn’t be the basis for denying that a genocidal process is under way. The number is proportionally equivalent to killing 22,000 in the UK – or, if you prefer, about 3,000 in Darfur. In Darfur, the total number killed over the worst ten months of violence when it really was a ‘killing fields’ situation was 30,000. If the argument was really just about the numbers of people directly slain, the fate of Gaza is now proportionally worse than it was in Darfur during its worst period. I doubt many people will assent to that judgment.
Still, Israel is ‘only’ doing exactly what it has done in previous operations, and what it has been doing slowly in Gaza for some time: it is destroying the civilian infrastructure while preventing medical and humanitarian responses so as to make life as unbearable as possible for inhabitants. 1 million people are without electricity, a quarter of a million without water, and food shortages are sending prices through the roof. In itself, that does not constitute genocide in the conventionally understood sense – namely, a deliberate attempt to physically destroy a people or community in whole or part. Still, as Martin Shaw has pointed out elsewhere (What is Genocide?, Polity Press, 2007, pp 63-77), the proliferation of -cides to account for all the phenomena that involve attacks on civilian life (democide, urbicide, ruricide, classicide, gendercide, politicide) are a reflection of the fact that these are different aspects of genocide, rather than just lesser degrees of criminal political killing. Genocide is not the ‘ultimate’ form of such killing – rather, it is a framework within which such killing is comprehended. If, in discussing Jenin or Gaza you have to revert to concepts such as urbicide or democide, as scholarly accounts have tended to do, that should set alarm bells ringing. If, in describing the attempt to destroy the Palestinians as a nation and a potential polity you come to use a term like ‘politicide’ (the name of a book on the topic by Baruch Kimmerling), then again the signs are that you may be talking about a dimension of genocide.
There is also an aspect of territorial expansionism in this war, which will squeeze the population of Gaza into an even tighter, more overpopulated and less viable space. The threatening phone calls and leaflets being dropped on Gaza, it is now confirmed, comprise part of an ethnic cleansing operation starting in the north of Gaza similar to that attempted in southern Lebanon in 2006. The Guardian reports that 15,000 people have responded to the threats by fleeing major urban centres such as Beit Hanoun. The next step is surely the annexing of a sizeable portion of Gaza (or ‘the Land of Israel’ as Israeli politicians call it and any other territory they think belongs to them by right) under the rubric of creating a ‘security zone’. (It was reported as early as March last year that the Israeli government was considering an operation to secure such ends.) Israel now claims that its aim is to drive Hamas out of Gaza. Taken literally, and on Israel’s own terms, this would mean the expulsion of the greater part of the population of Gaza.
The ‘tihur’ (often translated as ‘transfer’, but closer to ‘purification’) element of Zionist thought is, as Benny Morris has written, in-built. Even if he were right to claim that there was no actual plan to expel the Palestinian Arab population, the process was ineluctable once the war for control of Palestine got under way. ‘Tihur’ has involved, since 1967, a slow-burning process of colonisation, displacement, occupation, the destruction of communities, massacres and expulsion. Both settler-colonists and their backers in the Israeli army engage in routine violence to destroy Palestinian property and enclose it for the ever-expanding colonies. Often they beat and kill the Palestinians who try to resist. Sometimes, as Chris Hedges has documented, they like to bait Palestinian kids with racist insults and then gun them down. These massacres have taken place not only in territory directly annexed by Israel, but also in occupied Lebanon during the Israeli occupation when it engaged in a vicious war against PLO guerillas. The strategy there was to take control of territory by creating a broad belt, driving civilian residents out of it, then moving the belt forward, thus driving the citizens into an increasingly small space with more and more casualties as a result. Refugee camps were frequently a target. The Rashidiyeh refugee camp which housed 9,000 people was attacked and destroyed with shelling and aerial bombardment. Those who survived, fled, and were herded on a beach to watch the final destruction. Subsequently, every teenaged and adult male was placed in blindfolds and binds, then led away to camps: little was heard of them after that. On another, more notorious occasion, 150 Lebanese Phalangists were sent in to the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps under the control of the IDF and surrounded by IDF soldiers who prevented anyone from leaving, and slaughtered up to 3,500 Palestinians. That massacre was described as genocide at the time by the United Nations – much to the dismay of Israel’s supporters (even those supporters who denied that Israel was in any sense responsible). Between such outstanding atrocities is the regular, dull, daily grind of oppression and killing. The regular targeting of civilians for violence and killing by the IDF is extensively documented by human rights organisations (some of the material is discussed here and here). Not only that, but the occupation has been puncuated by campaigns against Palestinian culture, including attacks on journalists and academics and their respective institutions. The Israeli journalist Danny Rubinstein has described this as an attempt to expurgate the traces of an Arab national character (cited in Noam Chomsky, The Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel & The Palestinians, Pluto Press, 1999).
Although the public justification for such violence involves an obnoxiously self-righteous language about resisting ‘terrorism’.
The ongoing concern with the ‘demographic timebomb’ and the repeated proposals for ‘transfer’ (always peaceful, always benevolent, as it was in early Zionist ideology) somewhat give the game away. The very existence of the Palestinians as a people is being treated as an existential threat to Israel. Since Israel has never shown any sign of being willing to accept a Palestinian state and live within even the 1967 boundaries, the logic of such a position is to find a way to dispose of the Palestinian residents of the occupied territories. This is not new, nor is it an artefact of the rise of Israel’s far right. Israeli leaders, both Labour and Likud, have tried to find ways to drive hundreds of thousands of Palestinians out of the occupied territories. Meir Cohen once regretted Israel’s “grave mistake” in not expelling between two and three hundred thousand Palestinians from the West Bank in 1967. Yitzhak Rabin thought that the demographic problem was best solved by creating conditions that would produce “natural and voluntary” migration from the territories to Jordan, and believed that King Hussein and Arafat had to be engaged to this purpose. Obviously, the creation of terror, immiseration, starvation and increasing confinement is one way to help bring this about. Additionally, Avigdor Lieberman’s proposals for the ‘transfer’ of Israeli Arabs is but one aspect of a generally perceived need to manage down the Arab population of Israel, including efforts to settle territories in Israel with high Arab populations such as the Negev and Galilee (there has been, since 2005, a minister charged solely with the development of these territories). As Shaw has written elsewhere, Israel is of necessity a society based on genocide, as the destruction of the Arab communities that made Israel possible “clearly fits the definition of genocide enshrined in the Genocide Convention of the same year”. Much “of its history to the present day represents the slow-motion extension and consolidation of that violent beginning.”
It isn’t that any single attack or massacre by Israel constitutes genocide. It is that the ongoing war against the entire Palestinian population, its infrastructure, its political expressions, its culture, and its life-support, contains a genocidal dynamic. The fact that this is reflected in current Israeli tactics is the reason why many are ready to take the Israeli minister fully at his word.