Palestinian genocide accusation

In today's article we are going to talk about Palestinian genocide accusation. Palestinian genocide accusation is a topic that has aroused interest and controversy over the years, and it is important to know all its aspects in order to understand its impact on society. In the following lines, we are going to explore its origin, evolution, and its relevance today. Palestinian genocide accusation is a topic that has been studied by different disciplines, which will allow us to have a broad and complete vision of it. In addition, we will see how it has influenced various aspects of daily life, and what the future prospects are. Without a doubt, Palestinian genocide accusation is a fascinating topic worth exploring in depth.

"Stop the genocide, free Palestine" rally in Helsinki, Finland 21 October 2023.

The State of Israel has been accused of carrying out or inciting genocide against Palestinians during the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Debates are ongoing as to whether the entire process and which specific periods or events meet the definitions of genocide or not. The legitimacy of the State of Israel is an ongoing debate in the academic literature; many scholars have conceptualized Israel as an illegitimate settler colonial state built on indigenous land theft.[relevant?] Those who believe Israel's actions constitute genocide point to the phenomena of anti-Palestinianism, Islamophobia, anti-Arab racism in Israeli society, and they cite the Nakba, the Sabra and Shatila massacre, the blockade of the Gaza Strip, the 2014 Gaza War and the 2023 Israel–Hamas war. International law and genocide scholars have accused Israeli officials of using dehumanising language. During the 2023 Israel–Hamas war, Israeli Holocaust historian Omer Bartov warned that statements made by high-ranking Israeli government officials "could easily be construed as indicating a genocidal intent".

On 29 December 2023, South Africa filed a case against Israel at the International Court of Justice, alleging that Israel's conduct in Gaza during the 2023 war amounted to genocide. South Africa asked the ICJ to issue provisional measures, including ordering Israel to halt its military campaign in Gaza. The Israeli government agreed to defend itself at the ICJ proceedings, while also denouncing South Africa's actions as "disgraceful" and accusing it of abetting "the modern heirs of the Nazis". South Africa's case has been supported by a number of countries. On 26 January 2024, the ICJ issued a preliminary ruling finding that the claims in South Africa's filing were "plausible" and issued an order to Israel requiring them to take all measures within their power to prevent acts of genocide and to allow basic humanitarian services into Gaza. In March 2024, the UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian Territories issued a report stating that "reasonable grounds to believe that the threshold indicating the commission" of acts of genocide had been met.

Israel and the United States have rejected the assertion that Israel is engaging in genocide. While some scholars describe Palestinians as victims of genocide, others argue that they are not victims of genocide, but rather of ethnic cleansing, politicide, spaciocide, cultural genocide or similar. Some critics of the accusation have argued that the charge that Israel is committing genocide is an assertion commonly made by anti-Zionists with the aim of delegitimising or demonising Israel.

History

20th century

Nakba

The Nakba is the violent displacement and dispossession of the Palestinian people, along with the destruction of their society, culture, identity, political rights, and national aspirations. The Nakba began during the 1948 Palestine war, and the term has been used to describe the ongoing persecution and displacement of Palestinians by Israel throughout the Palestinian territories. Palestinians continued to be expelled, and more Palestinian towns and villages were destroyed, with new Israeli settlements established in their place.

During the foundational events of the Nakba in 1948, dozens of massacres targeting Arabs were conducted and about 400 Arab-majority towns and villages were depopulated; with many of these being either completely destroyed or repopulated by Jewish residents and given new Hebrew names. Approximately 750,000 Palestinian Arabs (about half of Palestine's Arab population) fled from their homes or were expelled by Zionist militias and later the Israeli army.

In 2010, historians Martin Shaw and Omer Bartov debated whether the 1948 Nakba should be regarded as a genocide, with Shaw arguing that it could and with Bartov disagreeing. The former Deputy Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, Daud Abdullah, has stated that "Given the declared intent of the Zionist leaders, this wholesale destruction and depopulation of Palestinian villages fit easily with the definition of genocide as cited in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide." Historian John Docker has also written several papers detailing the Nakba as a genocide. Several scholars have written that Palestinians suffered ethnic cleansing during the Nakba, but that they did not consider the event to have been genocide.

Naksa

Academic Clare Brandabur includes the 1967 Palestinian exodus (known as the Naksa) in the actions conducted by Israel that show a pattern that seeks the "destruction of the national pattern of the oppressed group". This view is supported by later academics as well. The Naksa was the expulsion of around 280,000 to 325,000 Palestinians during and in the aftermath of the Six-Day War, including the razing of numerous Palestinian villages.

Complicity in the Sabra and Shatila massacre

Memorial for the dead killed in the massacre in Sabra, South Beirut

In September 1982, between 460 and 3,500 civilians—mostly Palestinians and Lebanese Shia Muslims—were killed in Beirut's Sabra neighborhood and in the adjacent Shatila refugee camp during the Lebanese Civil War. The killings were carried out by the Lebanese Forces, one of the main Christian militias in Lebanon at the time. Between the evening of 16 September and the morning of 18 September, the Lebanese militia carried out the killings while the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) had the Palestinian camp surrounded. The IDF had ordered the militia to clear out the fighters of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) from Sabra and Shatila as part of a larger Israeli maneuver into western Beirut. As the massacre unfolded, the IDF received reports of atrocities being committed, but did not take any action to stop it.

On 16 December 1982, the United Nations General Assembly condemned the Sabra and Shatila massacre and declared it to be an act of genocide. The voting record on section D of Resolution 37/123 was: yes: 123; no: 0; abstentions: 22; non-voting: 12. The delegate for Canada stated: "The term genocide cannot, in our view, be applied to this particular inhuman act". The delegate of Singapore – voting 'yes' – added: "My delegation regrets the use of the term 'an act of genocide' ... the term 'genocide' is used to mean acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group." Canada and Singapore questioned whether the General Assembly was competent to determine whether such an event would constitute genocide. The Soviet Union, by contrast, asserted that: "The word for what Israel is doing on Lebanese soil is genocide. Its purpose is to destroy the Palestinians as a nation." The Nicaragua delegate asserted: "It is difficult to believe that a people that suffered so much from the Nazi policy of extermination in the middle of the twentieth century would use the same fascist, genocidal arguments and methods against other peoples." The United States commented that "While the criminality of the massacre was beyond question, it was a serious and reckless misuse of language to label this tragedy genocide as defined in the 1948 Convention". William Schabas, director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at the National University of Ireland, stated: "the term genocide ... had obviously been chosen to embarrass Israel rather than out of any concern with legal precision".

Martyr's Square is a site in Shatila refugee camp where one of the mass executions took place during the Sabra and Shatila massacre, as well as burial grounds for some of the victims

That same year an independent commission headed by Seán MacBride investigated reported violations of International Law by Israel and four of its six members concluded that "the deliberate destruction of the national and cultural rights and identity of the Palestinian people amount to genocide". In its conclusion, the commission recommended "that a competent international body be designed or established to clarify the conception of genocide in relation to Israeli policies and practices toward the Palestinian people". David Hirst believes that while the decision of the U.N. General Assembly could still be called biased, it was harder to say the same about the McBride Commission, as well as about individuals around the world, especially Jews, who shared the opinion of its four members.

The massacre was also investigated by the Israeli Kahan Commission. The commission concluded that although no Israelis were directly involved in the killings, a number of Israeli government ministers and military were indirectly responsible. They should have taken into account the sentiments of their Lebanese allies after their leader Bachir Gemayel had been assassinated along with 26 other Phalangists in a bomb attack 2 days earlier, and also have taken decisive action to stop the killings when the first information was received. The commission's findings were reluctantly accepted by the Israeli government, amid violent, rival, pro- and anti-government protests.

In interviews with film director Lokman Slim in 2005, some of the Lebanese Christian militia fighters reported that, prior to the massacre, the IDF took them to training camps in Israel and showed them documentaries about the Holocaust. The Israelis told the Lebanese fighters that the same would happen to them too, as a minority in Lebanon, if the fighters did not take action against the Palestinians. The film was called "Massaker", it featured six perpetrators of the Sabra and Shatila massacre, and it was awarded the Fipresci Prize at the 2005 Berlinale.

21st century

Blockade of Gaza

Cartoon by Carlos Latuff depicting the consequences of Israel's blockade on Gaza in 2010.

In 2005 and again in 2007, Israel imposed a blockade with the support of the Egyptian government on the movement of goods and people in and out of the Gaza Strip. Many protestors across the globe called the blockade an act of genocide, with the Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez recalling Venezuela's ambassador in Israel and labelling Israel's attacks as "genocide". Israeli New Historian Ilan Pappé has argued that genocide "is the only appropriate way to describe what the Israeli army is doing in the Gaza Strip". And in his 2017 book, Ten Myths About Israel, Pappé wrote "Israel's claim that its actions since 2006 have been part of a self-defensive war against terror. I will venture to call … an incremental genocide of the people of Gaza." In an article written in 2023 in the International Journal of Human Rights, Mohammed Nijim voiced his belief "that Israeli policies that were enacted after the introduction of the Blockade of the Gaza Strip amount to slow-motion genocide", following previous descriptions of Israel's treatment of Palestinians as a "slow-motion genocide". This is in line with Uğur Ümit Üngör's application of Lemkin's description of genocide as the "imposition of the national pattern" as being "genocidal as incremental forms of slow violence." Through the period of the blockade various other commentators from political and news organisations have labelled the blockade variously as genocide and sociocide.

The 2007 blockade has continued since its implementation.

2008 Gaza War

The 2008 Gaza War, also known as 'Operation Cast Lead' and the 'Gaza Massacre', was a three-week armed conflict between Gaza Strip Palestinian paramilitary groups and the Israel Defense Forces that began on 27 December 2008 and ended on 18 January 2009 with a unilateral ceasefire. The conflict resulted in 1,166–1,417 Palestinian and 13 Israeli deaths. Over 46,000 homes were destroyed in Gaza, making more than 100,000 people homeless.

American human rights lawyer Francis Boyle and historian Ilan Pappé both consider Israel's actions against Gaza in the 2008 Gaza War to be genocidal.

2014 Gaza War

Ruins of buildings in Beit Hanoun, August 2014

The 2014 Gaza War, also referred to as Operation Protective Edge, was a military operation launched by Israel on 8 July 2014 in the Gaza Strip. Al-Haq, a Palestinian Human Rights organization, concluded in a report that serious violations of international law were committed in the course of the 2014 Israeli offensive against Gaza. The organization, along with other Palestinian human rights organizations the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights and Addameer, submitted a legal file to the International Criminal Court encouraging it to begin an investigation and prosecution into the crimes against humanity and war crimes committed during the course of Israel's 2014 Gaza offensive. The crime of genocide was referenced as an Israeli crime by these groups. Additionally, dozens of Holocaust survivors, along with hundreds of descendants of Holocaust survivors and victims, accused Israel of "genocide" for the deaths of more than 2,000 Palestinians in Gaza during the 2014 Gaza War. In a September statement to the United Nations, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas stated that the war amounted to a genocidal crime.

2021 Israel–Palestine crisis

During the 2021 Israel–Palestine crisis, a video circulated on social media showing Israelis celebrating at the Western Wall, whilst a tree near the Al-Aqsa Mosque burns in the background. A large crowd of Israeli Jews gathered around a fire near the mosque on 10 May, chanting yimakh shemam, a Hebrew curse meaning "may their names be erased". IfNotNow co-founder and B'Tselem USA director Simone Zimmerman criticized them as exhibiting "genocidal animus towards Palestinians — emboldened and unfiltered". The Intercept described the video as "unsettling" and an example of "ultranationalist frenzy". Ayman Odeh, a member of the Knesset for the Joint List, said the video was "shocking".

In an opinion survey of American Jews, commissioned by the Jewish Electorate Institute following the 2021 crisis, 22 percent agreed that "Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinians," and Matt Boxer in The Forward noted that the poll may have underestimated the percentage of American Jews who have a critical view of Israel because it undercounted secular Jews who tend to be less attached to Israel. Conversely, the accusation of genocide during this period was rejected as "ridiculous" and "baseless" by several Jewish and Israeli human rights lawyers, including some who had accused Israel of apartheid.

2023 Israel–Hamas war

A protester holds a poster stating "Not in our name, Jews against genocide," at a pro-Palestine march in Bristol, United Kingdom, 4 November 2023.

Following the bombing of Gaza by Israel, in response to Hamas attacks, concerns arose among Palestinians, international legal and genocide scholars about the potential of a genocide against Palestinians by Israeli forces. According to Time, there is currently disagreement among scholars as to whether Israel's actions can be described as a genocide against the Palestinians. On 15 October, TWAILR published a statement signed by over 800 legal scholars, alarmed by this possibility, urged UN, including the UN Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect, as well as the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to intervene and protect the Palestinian population. By the end of October, both Genocide Watch and the Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention issued statements warning of the imminent risk of genocide. Subsequently in December the Lemkin Institute stated that they viewed the continuing actions by Israel as a genocide. Additionally, 100 civil society organizations and six genocide scholars petitioned Karim Khan, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, to investigate new crimes in Palestinian territories and issue arrest warrants against Israeli officials. These actions were underscored by statements from lawyers and groups like the Center for Constitutional Rights and Defence for Children International, accusing the United States of complicity in these alleged crimes.

Stances of states:
  South Africa
  Countries that have supported South Africa's case
  Countries that have opposed South Africa's case
  Israel

United Nations experts, academics, and human rights organizations have further amplified these concerns. UN rapporteurs warned of the grave risk of genocide to Palestinians, and several Palestinian rights groups filed a lawsuit with the ICC, urging the body to investigate Israel for "apartheid" as well as "genocide" and issue arrest warrants for Israeli leaders. Ernesto Verdeja, a professor at the University of Notre Dame, told Time on 14 November, that Israel's actions in Gaza were gravitating towards a "genocidal campaign", noting that "the response when you have a security crisis…can be one of ceasefire, negotiation, or it can be genocide." Victoria Sanford, professor of City University of New York, compared events in Gaza to the 1960–1996 killing and disappearance of 200,000 Mayans in Guatemala, today known as the Guatemalan genocide. David Simon, director for genocide studies at Yale University, stated that it was possible that a court could find the IDF guilty of committing an act of genocide, but added that "it's certainly not textbook in that connecting the intent to destroy ethnic group as such is difficult." Yale's Ben Kiernan opined that events did "not meet the very high threshold that is required to meet the legal definition of genocide." The Jewish Voice for Peace and FIDH have openly condemned the actions as genocidal. South Africa, supported by several countries, filed a case against Israel at the International Court of Justice, labeling Israel's conduct as genocide and requesting provisional measures to halt the military campaign in Gaza. This move was met with strong criticism from the Israeli government, but found support from some Israeli politicians, including Ofer Cassif.

As of June 2024, Susan M. Akram, director of Boston University International Human Rights Clinic, in reviewing the statements, commentary, and literature published by relevant scholars, concluded that there is a consensus among scholars that Israel is committing genocide.

Forcible population transfer
Protester holding "End Palestinian Genocide" sign in London on 9 October 2023.

Israel's evacuation order was characterized as a forcible population transfer by Jan Egeland, the Norwegian former diplomat involved with the Oslo Accord. A "forcible transfer" is the forced relocation of a civilian population as part of an organized offense against it and is considered a crime against humanity by the International Criminal Court. In an interview with the BBC, Egeland stated, "There are hundreds of thousands of people fleeing for their life — not something that should be called an evacuation. It is a forcible transfer of people from all of northern Gaza, which according to the Geneva Convention is a war crime." UN Special rapporteur Francesca Albanese warned of a mass ethnic cleansing in Gaza. Raz Segal, an Israeli historian and director of the Holocaust and Genocide Studies program at Stockton University, termed it a "textbook case of genocide." A leaked policy paper from the Israeli Ministry of Intelligence, a junior ministry that conducts research but does not set policy, suggested a permanent expulsion of the population of Gaza into Egypt, which has been described as an endorsement of ethnic cleansing; the Israeli government downplayed the report as a hypothetical "concept paper". Transfer is a topic of discussion and disagreement within Israel's government with some expressly calling for permanent expulsion of Palestinians from Gaza.

Alleged genocidal attack types

It is alleged that Israel has attacked Palestinians using collective punishment, airstrikes (including in refugee camps), famine, forced displacement (ethnic cleansing), looting, psychological warfare, rape and sexual violence, and the deliberate and systematic infliction of life-threatening conditions by military siege.

Discourse

Conceptions of genocide

Genocide is the intentional destruction of a people in whole or in part. According to Yair Auron, from 1948 to 2008, "researchers" did not analyze the Israel–Palestine conflict in terms of the concept of genocide, but discussion subsequently began. In 2017 Auron stated that he expected increasing discourse over time regarding the concept of a Palestinian genocide.

Raphael Lemkin

The term 'genocide' was coined in 1944 by a Jewish Polish legal scholar, Raphael Lemkin, who wrote that "the term does not necessarily signify mass killings".

More often refers to a coordinated plan aimed at destruction of the essential foundations of the life of national groups so that these groups wither and die like plants that have suffered a blight. The end may be accomplished by the forced disintegration of political and social institutions, of the culture of the people, of their language, their national feelings and their religion. It may be accomplished by wiping out all basis of personal security, liberty, health and dignity. When these means fail the machine gun can always be utilized as a last resort. Genocide is directed against a national group as an entity and the attack on individuals is only secondary to the annihilation of the national group to which they belong.

Genocide Convention

In 1948, the United Nations Genocide Convention defined genocide as any of five "acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group". The five acts were: killing members of the group, causing them serious bodily or mental harm, imposing living conditions intended to destroy the group, preventing births, and forcibly transferring children out of the group. Victims must be targeted because of their real or perceived membership of a group, not randomly.

Several actions pertaining to these five acts have been identified:

  • Israel have been accused of killing Palestinians. In South Africa’s suit against Israel at the International Court of Justice, prosecutors recognised the mass killing of Palestinians in Gaza.
  • Israel have been accused of causing Palestinians serious bodily and mental harm. Among the attack types utilised by Israel against the Palestinians include psychological warfare, rape and sexual violence.
  • Israel have been accused of imposing living conditions intended to destroy Palestinians as a group. Following the Sabra and Shatila massacre in 1982, an independent commission headed by Seán MacBride investigated reported violations of International Law by Israel and four of its six members concluded that "the deliberate destruction of the national and cultural rights and identity of the Palestinian people amount to genocide". The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal, a 'citizens' tribunal', in 2013 found Israel guilty of genocide for actions taken over the previous 67 years, agreeing with the prosecution that the "harsh conditions of life were deliberately inflicted to destroy" Palestinians.
  • Israel have been accused of preventing Palestinian births. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights alleges that Israeli measures have been intended to prevent births. It lists such measures as: "lack of protection from military attacks, poor health services and unsafe access to healthcare, restricted access to adequate food and dire living conditions elevating risks during pregnancy." It notes that " ll these violations have increased miscarriages among pregnant women, preterm labors and stillbirths while many of them fear maternal mortality or stillbirth due to lack of healthcare and ignoring their special needs." In South Africa’s suit against Israel at the International Court of Justice, prosecutors noted the Israeli imposition of measures preventing Palestinian births through the destruction of essential health services vital for the survival of pregnant women and their babies. The suit read that all of such actions were "intended to bring about their destruction as a group".
  • Israel have been accused of forcibly transferring children from Palestinian groups. Independent organisation Defence for Children International - Palestine (DCIP) has stated that since 2000, the Israeli military has detained some 13,000 Palestinian children, almost all boys between the ages of 12 and 17. Miranda Cleland, a DCIP advocacy officer, stated: "Everywhere a Palestinian child turns, there is the Israeli military to exert some kind of control over their life". Based on collected affidavits from 766 children detained between 2016 and 2022, DCIP found approximately 59% were abducted by soldiers at night. 75% of children were subjected to physical violence and 97% were interrogated without a family member or lawyer present. One quarter are placed in solitary confinement for two or more days even before the beginning of a trial. Palestinian human rights group Addameer has concluded that throwing stones is the most frequent charge against Palestinian minors detained in the West Bank, punishable by up to 20 years in prison under Israeli military law. The Geneva-based Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor notes that the Israeli army has abducted Palestinian children and transferred them out of Gaza. It stated: “Numerous testimonies that the rights group has received say that the Israeli army regularly detains and transfers Palestinian children without disclosing their whereabouts”.
South Africa v. Israel (Genocide Convention)

In December 2023, South Africa became the first country to file a suit against Israel at the International Court of Justice, accusing the state of committing genocide in Gaza in violation of the Genocide Convention. South Africa stated that "acts and omissions by Israel… are genocidal in character, as they are committed with the requisite specific intent… to destroy Palestinians in Gaza as a part of the broader Palestinian national, racial and ethnical group". Genocidal actions listed in the suit included the mass killing of Palestinians in Gaza, the destruction of their homes, their expulsion and displacement, as well as the Israeli blockade on food, water and medical aid to the region. Additionally, South Africa noted the Israeli imposition of measures preventing Palestinian births through the destruction of essential health services vital for the survival of pregnant women and their babies. The suit read that all of such actions were "intended to bring about their destruction as a group". South Africa also asserts that statements made by Israeli officials, such as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have displayed "genocidal intent". Several human rights organizations and other nations have supported South Africa in their suit.

Nicaragua v. Germany (Genocide Convention)

On 1 March 2024, Nicaragua instituted proceedings against Germany at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) under, inter alia, the Genocide Convention. These proceedings arose from Germany's support for Israel in the Israel–Hamas war.: ¶ 16  Imogen Saunders of the Australian National University wrote that Nicaragua's application was the "first…to allege contribution to the act of genocide rather than the commission of the act itself".

Academic discourse

As of June 2024, there is a consensus in the international human rights legal community that the State of Israel has carried out or incited genocide against Palestinians during parts of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.

Discourse on pre-2023 events

Pro-Palestinian protester in Columbus, Ohio, United States, 18 October 2023

In 2010, political science professor Martin Shaw argued that the elimination of the majority of Palestinian Arab society in Israel in 1948 constituted genocide.[page needed] Shaw opined that the scope of genocide is not restricted to human annihilation, instead he recommends an "international historical perspective" that focuses on the aims of genocide and defines "genocidal violence" as widespread destructive measures aimed at civilians. With the broadened definition of genocide, Shaw contends that the 1948 Nakba was partially genocidal with regard to Palestinian society: with "specific genocidal thrusts developed situationally and incrementally, through local as well as national decisions ... a partly decentered, networked genocide, developing in interaction with the Palestinian and Arab enemy, in the context of war". Shaw further detailed this in 2013, in the context of arguments that since a relatively low number of Palestinian Arabs were killed in the Nakba compared to those expelled it could not be considered a genocide, where Shaw draws on Lemkin's definitions of societal destruction being the definition of genocide, which does not necessitate the annihilation of individuals in the group, and points to how this is the more common form of genocide observed in the literature. In response to Shaw's 2010 article, psychologist and genocide scholar Israel Charny detailed how he believed Israel's actions in the Nakba were ethnic cleansing and involved genocidal massacres, it was overall genocide.

In 2010, in considering the case of Palestinians in Gaza, historian and sociologist Uğur Ümit Üngör pointed to the extreme asymmetrical nature of violent conflict as the core element of genocidal dynamics, which he found present in the history of Israel and Palestine.

Human rights scholars Haifa Rashed and Damien Short have voiced their belief that Lemkin's original concept of genocide can be used to analyse "the historical and continuing, cultural and physical, destructive social and political relations involved in the Israel/Palestine conflict". In a separate publication, Rashed, Short, and John Docker argued that the conflict did not receive enough attention in the field of genocide studies, as the academic "field fears Zionist intimidation and ad hominem attack". The trio raised the possible argument of the ongoing "Zionist project as a structural settler-colonial genocide against the Palestinian people". The trio stated: "Discriminatory land and planning policies" could be viewed using the lens of a government repressing "minority rights" of Palestinian Israelis, but this "does not preclude individual victims experiencing this as genocidal". This conception has also been supported by other academics. Historian Lawrence Davidson, in his book about cultural genocide, included a chapter about the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.

Some academics who support the case of genocide view the treatment of Palestinians by Israel over the past century as moving between repressive and destructive policies, with Rosemary Sayigh describing it as a continuing state of repression punctuated with "spasms of genocidal violence".

Michael Sfard, an Israeli human rights lawyer who argued on behalf of Yesh Din that Israel is committing the crime of apartheid, said in 2021 that Israel's policy against the Palestinians did not meet the genocide threshold and the accusation cheapened the concept.

Political sociologist Ronit Lentin wrote in 2010 that the 1948 Nakba was not "genocide", but ethnic cleansing or "spaciocide". Derek Penslar, a professor of Israel Studies at the University of Oxford, opined in 2013 that Palestinians suffered "ethnic cleansing" during the Nakba, but "not a genocide", as Penslar said that the latter "means that you wipe out a people"; Rashed, Short, and Docker wrote that "Penslar mistakenly interprets the concept of genocide."

Earlier, historian Ilan Pappé in 2006 and genocide scholar Mark Levene in 2007 both stated that the Nakba in 1948 was "ethnic cleansing", without stating that it was "genocide", with Levene stating that Pappé's research on the Nakba "demands the attention of readers and researchers engaged with the subject of genocide and its suboptimal variants", with the Nakba being "of ongoing relevance – just as much as the Armenian genocide". John Docker argued in 2010 that while Pappé does not label the Nakba as a genocide, when reviewing the evidence and argumentation presented in Pappé's 2006 book The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, it aligns with Lemkin's conceptualisation of genocide. Pappé would in 2006 and 2007 describe the killings of Palestinians by Israel in Gaza during 2006 as "genocide", and in 2009 he described the 2009 Gaza War as "genocide", decrying that the "genocidal operations" are being treated as "unconnected to anything that happened in the past and not associated with any ideology or system". Pappé in 2013 cited a speech by Israel's Prime Minister Shimon Peres that year as having failed to recognize the existence of Palestinians in the history of Israel, which to Pappé "is the point where ethnic cleansing becomes genocidal. When you are eliminated from the history book and the discourse of the top politicians".

Political scientist Ian Lustick in 2006 described the Nakba as "the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes and refusal to allow them to return", and stated that "It was a tragic and unjust and opportunistically accelerated unfolding of the logic of circumstances, not a genocidal campaign." Patrick Wolfe, in a 2006 article analyzing the relationship and differences between settler colonialism and genocide, discussed the example of Palestinians who "threw rocks and died for their efforts", and further described Palestinians as becoming "more and more dispensable", with Gaza and the West Bank becoming increasingly like Indian reservations or even the like the Warsaw Ghetto.

Arab men, behind barbed wire fence, before being expelled. Ramle, 10 July 1948

Nur Masalha in 2012 argued that the Nakba was both "politicide" ("dissolution of the Palestinian people's existence as a legitimate social, political and economic entity") and "cultural genocide" ("destruction and elimination of the cultural pattern of a group, including language, local traditions, ... monuments, place names, landscape, historical records ... in brief, the shrines of the soul of a nation"), with strategies for "de-Arabisation of the land" including new Hebrew names for places replacing Palestinian names, and planting forests over destroyed Palestinian villages.

Yair Auron in 2017 analyzed the 1948 Nakba using the definition of genocide from the 1948 United Nations Genocide Convention (as any other definition would result in "complete chaos" according to Auron), concluding that "Israel committed ethnic cleansing but not a genocide", thus arguing that the underlying aim of the Nakba was not to kill Palestinians, but to "get rid of them, and in doing so, commit massacres", noting the expulsion of people from over 400 villages. According to Auron, ethnic cleansing is one of the "elements of genocide", though "not an act of genocide". Auron differentiates massacres in genocides as being "part of the comprehensive plan", while massacres in ethnic cleansing are "localized and usually stem from hatred or vengeance". Auron noted that the claim that the 1948 Nakba was genocide has been increasingly advanced by Palestinians, and is also promoted by some European and North American scholars.

Auron argues that there are four main factors why he did not consider 1948 as a genocide against Palestinians: (1) the Arabs initiated the war, resulting in Israel experiencing "critical existential combat" for several weeks; (2) Israel had no "intention of annihilating" a social group; (3) generally, perpetrators of genocide have at least near-absolute force superiority, which Israel did not have; (4) despite "slurs", there was no "racist ideology" towards Palestinians, exemplified by Israeli groups like Hashomer living similarly to Bedouins.

Bashir Bashir and Amos Goldberg in 2018 described the Nakba as part of "the same modern and global history of genocide and ethnic cleansing" as the Holocaust; although the events differed in "degree of murderousness", they shared a "common global framework of violence created by strong nationalism combined with imperial and colonial ideology and policies", with the Nakba involving the attempt to "de-Arabize and ethnic-cleanse Palestine". Meanwhile, Alon Confino in 2018 contrasted the "genocide" of the Holocaust with the "ethnic cleansing" of the Nakba, describing the latter as aimed at "removing, not annihilating, an ethnic group". Jerome Slater in 2020 described the Nakba as "ethnic cleansing" due to the "forced expulsions" of Palestinians, but also said that "no genocide" occurred due to around 150,000 Palestinians remaining in Israel at the end of the war, who "were allowed to remain there".

Cary Nelson in 2019 stated that the notion of Israel having "engaged in genocide" was "unwarranted slander", and suggested that some people repeat it out of ignorance, just as those who repeated the blood libel about Jews poisoning the wells in Europe did. Nelson further described the accusation of Israel having "genocidal designs on Palestinians" as "false", and the accusation of Israel committing "incremental genocide" in Gaza as "malicious". Nelson described a phenomenon where academics "say publicly that Israel is a settler-colonialist, genocidal, racist, and apartheid state"; Nelson recommends that these allegations should be presented to higher education students "as debatable", instead of being "commonly" presented as facts.

In a 2019 interview, Benny Morris stated that in his view, what happened to Palestinians in 1948 was not a genocide. Morris had written in an earlier 2016 opinion article that the events of 1948 also did not amount to an ethnic cleansing.

Marouf Hasian Jr. in 2020 stated the Nakba exemplified a situation where "empowered decisions-makers are reluctant to call some historical incidents colonial genocides", while "many Palestinian and other Arab writers" have compared the Nakba to "colonial genocides". Hasian describes that some "Israelis worry that al-Nakba consciousness-raising threatens state legitimacy", while "many Israeli supporters" do not consider the Nakba as any form of genocide, instead arguing that there was "spontaneous Arab Palestinian fleeing that was based on calls from neighboring Arab nations". Hasian concludes that "public deliberation, and political events" caused "so many" people to attempt to separate the 1948 Nakba from "the 'real' genocides". Hasian further highlighted how restrictive "Auschwitz-centered, or Lemkin-like ways" of defining genocide was preventing consideration of the Nakba as genocide.

Stephen Sedley, writing in the London Review of Books, discussed a trip organized by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office to Hebron to observe the Israeli army's treatment of Palestinian children, and wrote about how one of the first things they saw was graffiti on the door of a deserted Palestinian shop that said "Gas the Arabs". He remarked "Nobody, evidently, has a monopoly of genocidal abuse." Academics, such as Clare Brandabur and Mohammed Nijim, argue for considering not just specific events in the determination of whether Palestinians have been subjected to genocide, but for the totality of their treatment since at least the Nakba. In Brandabur's article "Roadmap to Genocide", she argues that the sum of Israel's actions against Palestinians since the Nakba fit the definition of genocide as described by Lemkin in his book "Axis Rule in Occupied Europe".

In 2024, Mark Levene labelled the mass destruction of infrastructure under Israel's Dahiya doctrine that had been implemented against Gaza since 2006, as urbicide and a tool of genocide.

Discourse on post-2023 events

In the context of the 2023 Hamas attack on Israel, the Israeli counterattacks, and the imposed complete blockade, which included the denial of water and food to the civilian population, Israeli historian Raz Segal described it as a "textbook case of genocide" and connected it to the Nakba, the expulsion of Palestinians during the establishment of Israel in 1948. With other academics also detailing Israel's attacks on infrastructure, food, and water as being genocidal in nature, while others have described these actions as genocidal when Israel previously engaged in them prior to 2023.

Historian Omer Bartov wrote in November 2023 that he believes that "there is no proof that genocide is currently taking place in Gaza", noting the distinctions between ethnic cleansing and genocide. However he called for "stop Israel from letting its actions become a genocide" and said that " we may be watching an ethnic cleansing operation that could quickly devolve into genocide". In February 2024, Bartov told Anadolu: "There seems to be intentional destruction of housing. There is destruction of places of worship, especially of mosques. There's destruction of universities and schools, which seems to be intentional. They can certainly come under war crimes, it can come under crimes against humanity, and it can come under genocide".

In April 2024, Amos Goldberg, professor of Holocaust History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, stated in an essay that: "Yes, it is genocide". He said: “It is so difficult and painful to admit it, but despite all that, and despite all our efforts to think otherwise, after six months of brutal war we can no longer avoid this conclusion.”

Legal discourse

There has been longstanding legal discourse on whether a case can be made that Israel has violated the Genocide Convention, with American human rights lawyer Francis Boyle, the professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law, first suggesting that such a case should be brought to bear in 1998. Boyle's argument is that Israel has "ruthlessly implemented a systematic and comprehensive military, political, and economic campaign with the intent to destroy in substantial part the national, ethnic, racial and different religious (Muslim & Christian) group" of Palestinians.

The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal, a 'citizens' tribunal', in 2013 found Israel guilty of genocide for actions taken over the previous 67 years, agreeing with the prosecution that the "harsh conditions of life were deliberately inflicted to destroy" Palestinians.

The Russell Tribunal on Palestine, a 'people's tribunal', in response to the 2014 Gaza War held an extraordinary session where they determined Israel failed in its duties under the Genocide Convention to punish the direct crime of genocide and incitement to genocide.

Ambulance destroyed in the neighborhood of Shuja'iyya in Gaza City during the 2014 Gaza War.

Since 2021, there has been an ongoing investigation of war crimes in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank conducted by the International Criminal Court (ICC). On November 9, Al Haq, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, filed a lawsuit with the ICC, calling for the inclusion of Israeli crimes against humanity, namely apartheid and genocide, in their ongoing investigation and for the arrest of Benyamin Netanyahu, Isaac Herzog, Yoav Gallant and others suspected of committing these crimes.

On 9 November 2023, three Palestinian civil rights groups filed a lawsuit against Israel with the International Criminal Court. The groups charged Israel with war crimes, apartheid, and genocide, calling for the ICC to issue arrest warrants for significant Israeli officials. On November 13, Defence for Children International, Al-Haq, and Palestinians living in Gaza and the United States, represented by the Center for Constitutional Rights, filed a lawsuit against Joe Biden, Antony Blinken, and Lloyd Austin for failure to prevent genocide, citing Israel's "mass killings," targeting of schools and hospitals, collective punishment, use of chemical weapons, forced expulsion, and blockage of food, water, electricity and other basic needs. The lawsuit seeks to enact an emergency order to end diplomatic and military aid to Israel for their international crimes. On November 22, Euro-Med Monitor urged the United Nations to constitute Israel's actions in Gaza as genocide, investigate crimes against humanity, and take action to prevent any more death or destruction. On December 22, Paula Gaviria Betancur, Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons (IDPs) warned that Israel's military operation in Gaza aimed to "deport the majority of the civilian population en masse" thus "repeating a long history of mass forced displacement of Palestinians by Israel".

On 29 December 2023, South Africa filed a case with the International Court of Justice accusing Israel of genocidal acts in Gaza. On 28 January 2024, a conference on resettling Gaza was attended by 11 cabinet ministers and 15 coalition members of the Israeli Knesset which, according to the Guardian "'appears to violate the international court of justice ruling last week that Israel must "take all measures within its power" to avoid acts of genocide in its war in Gaza, including the "prevention and punishment of genocidal rhetoric.'"

Political discourse

Both Israel and Palestine frequently accuse the other of planning to commit genocide.

In late 2023, various global leaders and officials voiced their perspectives on the Israel-Gaza conflict, with many labeling Israel's actions in Gaza as "genocide." Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Pakistani Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani, the Taliban, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, and the Kurdistan Communities Union were among those who condemned Israel's actions. Palestinian-American U.S. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib accused President Biden of supporting this "genocide," leading to a resolution for censure against her by the Republican caucus, sponsored by Marjorie Taylor Greene. On 4 November, Tlaib released a video in which she directly accused President Biden of supporting "the genocide of the Palestinian people". Craig Mokhiber from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights resigned, criticizing the organization for its response to the 2023 Israel–Hamas war. A day after Colombia withdrew its ambassador from Israel, President Gustavo Petro posted on X in Spanish: "It's called genocide, they do it to remove the Palestinian people from Gaza and take it over. The head of the state who carries out this genocide is a criminal against humanity. Their allies cannot talk about democracy." Leaders from Turkey, Brazil, and Syria also condemned Israel's actions.

Pro-Palestine demonstrator at a subway station in Toronto, Canada, 12 November 2023

The international response continued with various nations expressing strong condemnation. The Honduran ministry of foreign affairs stated "Honduras energetically condemns the genocide and serious violations of international humanitarian law that the civilian Palestinian population is suffering in the Gaza Strip". South Africa recalled its diplomatic mission from Israel and criticized Israel's ambassador for disparaging those "opposing the atrocities and genocide of the Israeli government". South African President Cyril Ramaphosa accused Israel of war crimes and acts "tantamount to genocide" in Gaza. Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Al Sudani and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi labeled the conflict a "genocide." Meanwhile, journalist Ishaan Tharoor highlighted that: "In protests around the world, in the corridors of the United Nations and in the angry chambers of social media, one word is getting louder and louder: genocide." with governments, UN rapporteurs, and scholars echoing this sentiment. The same month Jeremy Corbyn, former leader of the UK Labour Party, called for an International Criminal Court investigation.

UN experts reported that "grave violations" committed by Israeli forces against the Palestinians of Gaza "point to a genocide in the making" and cited evidence including "increasing genocidal incitement, overt intent to 'destroy the Palestinian people under occupation', loud calls for a 'second Nakba' in Gaza and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory, and the use of powerful weaponry with inherently indiscriminate impacts, resulting in a colossal death toll and destruction of life-sustaining infrastructure."

Contrasting these views, Israel's Ambassador to the Philippines, Ilan Fluss, denied allegations of genocide, asserting Israel's efforts to minimize civilian casualties and target Hamas members. US national security advisor John Kirby stated that applying the term "genocide" to Israeli actions was "inappropriate," while emphasizing Hamas' stated intent "What Hamas wants, make no mistake about it, is genocide," explaining "They want to wipe Israel off the map".

In February 2024, law professor and United Nations special rapporteur on the right to food, Michael Fakhri, accused the state of Israel of being "culpable" of genocide, as according to Fakhri, firstly "Israel has announced its intention to destroy the Palestinian people, in whole or in part, simply for being Palestinian", and secondly Israel was denying food to Palestinians by halting humanitarian aid and "intentionally" destroying "small-scale fishing vessels, greenhouses and orchards in Gaza We have never seen a civilian population made to go so hungry so quickly and so completely, that is the consensus among starvation experts. Israel is not just targeting civilians, it is trying to damn the future of the Palestinian people by harming their children."

Cultural discourse

Graffiti in Hebron, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, calling for the gassing of Arabs, above a tag for the right-wing group the Jewish Defense League

Statements of genocidal intent have long been a feature of the Israeli cultural landscape, not least in the chant or slogan of "Death to Arabs" – a regular invocation at far-right Israeli protests and marches, such at the annual march marking "Jerusalem Day".

In 2023, several high-profile individuals and groups voiced strong opinions on the Israel-Gaza conflict, with some labelling Israel's actions as genocide. Writer Jazmine Hughes left The New York Times Magazine after signing an open letter condemning Israel's actions in Gaza calling them "an attempt to conduct genocide". Musician Macklemore expressed his view that the conflict is a genocide at a rally in Washington. Feminist scholars Angela Davis and Zillah Eisenstein, among nearly 150 other signatories, signed an open letter which reads "We will not be silent when the bells of genocide ring. Silence is complicity." Mexican actress Melissa Barrera was reportedly fired from "Scream VII" for social media posts supporting Palestine and labelling Israel's actions as "genocide and ethnic cleansing".

Russian-American author Masha Gessen when asked if what was happening in Gaza was a genocide said, "I think there are some fine distinctions between genocide and ethnic cleansing and I think that there are valid arguments for using both terms". When pressed further they stated, "it is at the very least ethnic cleansing". This was followed soon after controversy surrounding Gessen's reception of the Hannah Arendt Prize over remarks in a New Yorker article critical of Israeli actions in the strip in which Gessen compared them to an Eastern European ghetto "being liquidated" by the Nazis. In December 2023, Olly Alexander, set to represent the United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest 2024, signed a letter by the LGBT association Voices4London accusing Israel of genocide against Palestinians. This stance led to condemnation from the Israeli government and the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA), who asked the BBC to disallow Alexander's Eurovision participation. However, the BBC declined Israel's request, choosing not to sever ties with Alexander over his political views.

Rhetoric

From Israeli officials

Protester in Melbourne on October 15, 2023, holding sign invoking the "Shoah" in a call to end Israel's actions against Gaza.

Those who have accused Israel of genocide have cited various statements made by Israeli government and military officials as evidence of intent to commit genocide. In particular, statements made during the 2023–24 Gaza War were cited by South Africa in its allegation at the International Court of Justice that Israel has committed genocide against the Palestinian people.

During the 2008–09 Gaza War, Defense Minister Matan Vilnai stated that "The more Qassam fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, they will bring upon themselves a bigger Shoah because we will use all our might to defend ourselves." Colleagues claimed that his statement had not meant 'genocide' but a 'disaster'.

Academic scholars, such as Mark Levene, Raz Segal, Luigi Daniele, and Shmuel Lederman, alongside news outlets, such as AP News, have highlighted the increasing genocidal rhetoric from Israeli governments and in Israeli discourse, since Benjamin Netanyahu's 2015 prime ministership. They specifically highlight comments from Bezalel Smotrich, Itamar Ben-Gvir, and Ayelet Shaked.

Since 7 October 2023 a variety of official and semi-official sources and outlets have engaged in rhetoric suggestive of genocidal intent. In a televised speech on 28 October 2023, Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israelis were "committed to completely eliminating this evil from the world" and added: "You must remember what Amalek has done to you, says our Holy Bible. And we do remember." The quotation refers to Deuteronomy 25:17 in the Hebrew Bible. The phrase "Remember what Amalek did to you" is used in Holocaust memorials, including Yad Vashem and the Hague Jewish Monument. Critics have characterized Netanyahu's reference to Amalek as alluding to 1 Samuel 15:3. Noah Lanard of Mother Jones describes verses discussing Amalek as among the most violent in the Bible and that they have a long history of being used by Jews on the far-right, such as Baruch Goldstein, to justify killing Palestinians. Amalek was "the foe that God ordered the ancient Israelites to genocide", and scholars have described the verse as an instance of 'divinely mandated genocide'. However, Yair Rosenberg of The Atlantic argues that the verse from Deuteronomy which Netanyahu cites refers to the need to remember an attack against the Jewish people and that connecting Netanyahu's remarks to Samuel is inaccurate, comparing the interpretation to tying the term jihad exclusively with Islamic terrorism. NPR issued a correction to a report to indicate that Netanyahu was quoting from Deuteronomy, rather than Samuel. On 9 October 2023, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced that Israel would launch a "complete siege" of Gaza, with plans to cut off electricity, food, water and fuel supplies, saying, "We are fighting human animals and will act accordingly." Gallant's statements have been characterized as expressing genocidal intent towards Palestinians, particularly in the context of calling for collective punishment which would affect Gazan civilians. Some argue that "fighting human animals" only referred to Hamas,[who?] while others argue that the statement was used by Gallant to deny food and supplies to all the people of Gaza. On 9 April 2024, Israel minister of Finance Bezalel Smotrich stated that Israel had "returned Khan Yunis to the stone age".

Other Israeli figures whose statements on the 2023 war have been cited by accusers include Ariel Kallner, a Knesset member for Likud, who said, "Right now, one goal: Nakba. A Nakba that will overshadow the Nakba of 1948", and IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari, who said forces would turn Gaza into a "city of tents" and that Israel's "emphasis is on damage and not on accuracy" in the bombardment of Gaza. Amichay Eliyahu, a cabinet minister, and Tally Gotliv, a Likud parliament member, have both called for Israel to use nuclear weapons on Gaza, with Gotliv stating: "It's time for a doomsday weapon. Not flattening a neighborhood. Crushing and flattening Gaza." Galit Distel-Atbaryan posted on X that Israelis should focus on "Erasing all of Gaza from the face of the earth" and forcing the Gazans either into Egypt or to the death. It was such statements that led to Raz Segal's characterization of Israel's conduct in the 2023 war in Gaza as a "textbook case of genocide", stating to Vox: "If this is not special intent to destroy, I don't know what is." Anshel Pfeffer has argued that Benjamin Netanyahu has tolerated extreme rhetoric from his political allies in order to serve his own personal political interests, writing in Haaretz that "Netanyahu is too scared of losing his base to disavow apocalyptic threats and conspiracy theories spouted by his government." On 23 October 2023, Ramzy Baroud of Arab News compared the rhetoric from Israeli officials with the language used in Rwanda ahead of the Rwandan genocide. He referenced the similarity between the refrain by the Radio Television Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM) in Rwanda that Tutsis "are cockroaches. We will kill you" and a 1983 quote from former Israeli army chief of staff Rafael Eitan that Arabs are like "drugged cockroaches in a bottle". Chris McGreal of The Guardian, who won an Amnesty International Media Award for his reporting of the Rwandan genocide, also described the rhetoric against Palestinians as being "eerily familiar" to the rhetoric used against Tutsis.

On 14 November 2023, Israel's finance minister Bezalel Smotrich stated that he welcomed "the initiative of the voluntary emigration of Gaza Arabs to countries around the world," adding that "the State of Israel will no longer be able to accept the existence of an independent entity in Gaza." Critics, such as Palestinian National Initiative president Mustafa Barghouti, have likened the statement to a call for ethnic cleansing. The Palestinian Authority's Ministry of Foreign affairs accused Israel of engaging in a "genocide" supported by Smotrich. Likud Intelligence Minister Gila Gamliel wrote an op-ed in The Jerusalem Post saying that the international community should promote the "voluntary resettlement" of Palestinians in Gaza to sites around the globe. A survey by Channel 12 showed that 44 percent of the responders said they were in favor of a renewal of Jewish settlement in Gaza.

Protester in Berlin on November 4, 2023, holding a "Stop the Genocide in Gaza" sign.

In November 2023, Israel's former justice minister, Ayelet Shaked, spoke of transforming Khan Younis into a soccer field with 'the assistance of God and the IDF'. Shaked said Israel should take 'take advantage of the destruction that we will wreak upon them' in Gaza and pressure countries worldwide into accepting quotas of Gazan refugees, ranging from 20,000 to 50,000 per country. On 22 November 2023, Otzma Yehudit MK Limor Son Har-Melech, said in a conference that "there is no escape from returning and fully controlling the Gaza Strip, full control that will include extensive and flourishing settlement in the entire strip. Not like the Gush Katif settlements that were concentrated in a few isolated areas, but settlement for the entire length and width of the strip."

In December 2023, David Azoulay, the head of the local council of the town of Metula, speaking to Israel's 103FM radio said the people of Gaza should be ordered to "go to the beaches" where the Israeli army would "load them up" on ships and "place them on Lebanon's shores where there are enough refugee camps", that "the entire Gaza Strip should be emptied and levelled flat, just like in Auschwitz. Let it become a museum, showcasing the capabilities of the State of Israel and dissuading anyone from living in the Gaza Strip" and that "we should leave Gaza desolate and destroyed to serve as a museum, demonstrating the madness of the people who lived there". His statements were condemned by the Auschwitz Museum.

From American officials

In the Florida legislature, Democratic Representative Angie Nixon, supporting a ceasefire resolution, highlighted the high death toll of Palestinians questioning how many had to die before a ceasefire was called for, Republican Representative Michelle Salzman replied instantly "All of them". Salzman's remark, perceived as a call for genocide, led to calls for censure or resignation from Nixon and the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations called for her to be censured or to resign. CAIR-Florida Executive Director Imam Abdullah Jaber said in a statement: "This chilling call for genocide by an American lawmaker is the direct result of decades of dehumanization of the Palestinian people by advocates of Israeli apartheid and their eager enablers in government and the media."

In October, Republican Florida governor Ron DeSantis said "If you look at how behave, not all of them are Hamas, but they are all anti-Semitic" and called for a "swift and lethal response."

Many have argued that Palestinian plight in the face of genocide is being ignored owing to their race.

Republican US Congressman Max Miller, on Fox News, stated that Palestine is "about to get eviscerated... to turn that into a parking lot." He said there should be "no rules of engagement" during Israel's bombardment of Gaza. Miller also questioned the accuracy of the Gaza Health Ministry's claim that 10,000 people have been killed in Gaza, saying that he believes many of those killed have been "Hamas terrorists", not innocent civilians.

Former Republican Representative Michele Bachmann appearing in December on The Charlie Kirk Show claimed all Palestinians were "clever assassins" and that they should be forcefully relocated to Iran. She received a round of applause from the audience, while Kirk replied that US policies should be more like those of the current Israeli government.

Republican U.S. Representative Brian Mast compared all Palestinians to Nazis in November on the House floor. On January 31, 2024, Mast said that Palestinian babies are not innocent civilians but "terrorists" who should be killed, that more infrastructure in Gaza needs to be destroyed, and "It would be better if you kill all the terrorists and kill everyone who are supporters."

Ahmad Abuznaid, the executive director of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USPCR) said that "There is a bipartisan effort to dehumanise the Palestinian people," referring especially to President Joe Biden voicing doubt over the accuracy of the Palestinian death count and attacks on Palestinian American Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib for her criticism of Israel's military offensive.

Responses to the accusation

The accusation of genocide has been largely rejected by Israelis, and contested by some scholars. Historian Simon Sebag Montefiore remarked that "Jews are now accused of the very crimes they themselves have suffered. Hence the constant claim of a 'genocide' when no genocide has taken place or been intended" adding that the word genocide "has now been so devalued by its metaphorical abuse that it has become meaningless." Some critics[who?] argue that the charge of Israel committing genocide, whether in Gaza, the West Bank, or Lebanon, is a common assertion made by anti-Zionists, with the aim of demonizing Israel. According to sociologist David Hirsh the accusation of genocide against Israel, whether in Gaza, the West Bank, or Lebanon, is commonly made by anti-Zionists. Hirsh says that despite the lack of evidence for genocide in Gaza, critics like Pappé persist in making these allegations, which serve to demonize Israel and portray it as uniquely evil and "oversimplify the complex dynamics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict". Hirsh continues that there has never been a genocide of Palestinians, and "Israel does not have gas chambers, concentration camps, or Einsatzgruppen. The total number of casualties on both sides during the conflict is proportionate to the routine murders committed by the Nazi regime every few minutes". Zionist history professor Robert S. Wistrich wrote that the genocide accusation is "purely fictional".

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called the genocide accusation against Israel 'meritless'. US Representative Ritchie Torres of the Democratic Party has called the characterisation "blood libel." Conservative American radio talk show host Dennis Prager has said that characterising the conflict as a genocide against the Palestinians is antisemitic.

In May 2024, NYU Langone Health fired Hesen Jabr, a Muslim Palestinian-American nurse, after she called Israel's actions in Gaza "genocide" during an award acceptance speech.

Despite most Israelis rejecting the accusation of genocide, some Israelis and many in the Jewish diaspora – including several Holocaust survivors – have protested against the Israeli government, claiming that such accusations are in fact true.

Victims

A bar chart from 2008 to before October 2023. 6,407 Palestinians have been killed during this time frame, while a smaller 308 Israelis have been killed.
Israeli and Palestinian deaths preceding the Israel-Hamas war in 2023. Most were civilians.

Deaths

Ilan Pappé reported in 2008 that since the year 2000 "almost 4,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces, half of them children, and more than 20,000 wounded." According to data from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 6,735 Palestinians had been killed from January 1, 2008, to October 6, 2023.

During the ongoing 2023 Israel–Hamas war, which began on 7 October 2023, a Reliefweb report released 18 November 2023, which labels Israel's actions in Gaza as a genocide, reported that 15,271 Palestinians in Gaza had been killed, 32,310 Palestinians had been injured, and an estimated 41,500 were unaccounted for. Multiple news and academic outlets have subsequently reported on updated figures, with at least 20,000 Palestinians having been killed in Gaza, an estimated 70% of whom were women and children. Per the Gaza Health Ministry and Government Information Office by 3 January 2024, over 22,300 people had been confirmed dead. About 7,000 people are missing, likely buried under the rubble. Over 52,000 have been wounded.

Displacement

In 1948, more than 700,000 Palestinians – about half of prewar Mandatory Palestine's Arab population – fled from their homes or were expelled by Zionist militias and, later, the Israeli army during the 1948 Palestine war.

Since the beginning of the 2023 Israel–Hamas war, nearly 2 million people have been displaced within the Gaza Strip.

Alleged international complicity

Some commentators have accused Western media and governments of supporting genocide against Palestinians, especially those of the United States of America. Among other journalists and scholars, the Canada-based sociologist M. Muhannad Ayyash has accused the United States of complicity in the alleged genocide, in this case amidst the Israel–Hamas war in which the United States has provided significant aid to Israel.

Pro-Palestine rally in Austin, Texas, United States, 12 November 2023

On 13 October 2023, journalist Eric Levitz of The Intelligencer argued that governmental administrations of the United States, such as the Biden administration, have given approval to Israeli war crimes against Palestinians in the Israel–Hamas war, and that no military solution can achieve Israel's security goals short of ethnic cleansing and genocide. This sentiment was later supported by Mark Levene applying A. Dirk Moses' analysis that "absolute securitization lends itself to collective targeting of human groups, more precisely civilians, regardless of issues of ethnos or genos." On 19 October 2023, amid the war, lawyers at the Center for Constitutional Rights voiced their belief that Israel's actions were "calculated to destroy the Palestinian population in Gaza", and warned the Biden administration that "U.S. officials… be held responsible for their failure to prevent Israel's unfolding genocide, as well as for their complicity, by encouraging it and materially supporting it." On 1 November 2023, the Defence for Children International accused the United States of complicity with Israel's "crime of genocide." On 4 January 2024, the United States government acknowledged it was not conducting formal assessments of whether Israel was violating international humanitarian law.

In November 2023, president Joe Biden was nicknamed "Genocide Joe" by critics of his support for Israel. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, described by Israeli media outlet Ynet as "an exceptionally accomplished Israeli advocate", said "Israel's trying to defend itself against a genocidal terrorist threat. So if we're going to start using that word, fine, let's use it appropriately". On 13 November 2023, the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights sued Biden for allegedly failing in his duties, defined under national and international laws, to prevent Israel committing genocide in Gaza in the Israel–Hamas war. The complaint alleged that Israel's "mass killings", targeting of civilian infrastructure and forced expulsions amounted to genocide. In a declaration in the lawsuit, genocide scholar William Schabas said that in his view there was a "serious risk of genocide" and that the US was "in breach of its obligation" under the 1948 Genocide Convention and international law. In January 2024 a federal judge dismissed the case Defense for Children International-Palestine et al v. Biden et al, saying the Constitution prevents his court from determining foreign policy, which is reserved to the political branches of U.S. government, though he would have preferred to have issued the injunction and urged President Biden to rethink U.S. policy, writing "it is plausible that Israel's conduct amounts to genocide."

A vigil to Aaron Bushnell held outside of the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C., 26 February 2024

In February 2024, the Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention stated the Biden Administration was complicit in alleged genocide in Gaza. Ali Harb wrote that the US has continued to arm and fund the Israeli military while it conducts a genocide. In February 2024, following a U.S. veto of a UN ceasefire resolution, Cuban president Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez stated, "They are accomplices of this genocide of Israel against Palestine".

In February 2024 lawyers representing Palestinians in Germany filed a criminal complaint against various senior politicians including Olaf Scholz, Annalena Baerbock, Robert Habeck, and Christian Lindner for "aiding and abetting" the genocide in Gaza. On 1 March 2024, Nicaragua instituted proceedings against Germany at the ICJ under the Genocide Convention, concerning Germany's support for Israel in the Israel–Hamas war.

In March 2024, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Foreign Minister Penny Wong, Opposition Leader Peter Dutton, and others were referred to the ICC by Sydney-based firm Birchgrove Legal as accessories to genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, citing the defunding of UNRWA, the provision of military aid, and "unequivocal political support" for Israel's actions during the Israel-Hamas War.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ The designation of genocide can also be dependent on the specific event talked about, as an example while Ilan Pappé does not consider the Nakba an act of genocide, he considers Israel's actions against Gaza in the Second Intifada and the 2008–2009 Gaza War, acts of genocide.
  2. ^ Ilan Pappé (2006), Mark Levene (2007), Ronit Lentin (2010), Derek Penslar (2013), Yair Auron (2017), Alon Confino (2018), Jerome Slater (2020)
  3. ^ The six specialist genocide scholars that signed the document were Raz Segal, Barry Trachtenberg, Robert McNeil, Damien Short, Taner Akçam and Victoria Sanford.
  4. ^ Al-Haq, Al Mezan, and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
  5. ^ South Africa's case has been supported by the following states and international organizations:
    • Algeria
    • Bangladesh
    • Bolivia
    • Brazil
    • Chile
    • Colombia
    • Comoros
    • Cuba
    • Djibouti
    • Egypt
    • Indonesia
    • Iran
    • Iraq
    • Ireland
    • Jordan
    • Lebanon
    • Libya
    • Malaysia
    • Maldives
    • Namibia
    • Nicaragua
    • Pakistan
    • Palestine
    • Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
    • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
    • Slovenia
    • Syria
    • Turkey
    • Venezuela
    • Zimbabwe
    • Arab League
    • Organisation of Islamic Cooperation
    • Non-Aligned Movement
  6. ^ Usually defined as an ethnic, national, racial, or religious group.
  7. ^ Originally published as Genocide - A Modern Crime in the April 1945 issue of Free World magazine
  8. ^ There has been 1,900,000 internally displaced persons in the Gaza Strip since 7 October 2023
  9. ^ "Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way as ye came forth out of Egypt; how he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, all that were enfeebled in thy rear, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God. Therefore it shall be, when the Lord thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget." (Deuteronomy 25:17–19, Jewish Publication Society of America Version)
  10. ^ Hebrew: זכור את אשר עשה לך עמלק
  11. ^ "Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass." (1 Samuel 15:3, King James Version)
  12. ^ Around 10,000 Palestinians had been reported dead at the time of the debate.
  13. ^ Most of these occurred during the Second Intifada where, from 29 September 2000 to 1 January 2005, 3,179–3,354 Palestinians were killed.
  14. ^ 1,116–1,417 Palestinian deaths in the Gaza War (2008–2009).
    2,125–2,310 Palestinian deaths in the 2014 Gaza War.
    250+ Palestinian deaths in the 2021 Israel–Palestine crisis.


References

Footnotes

  1. ^ Rashed & Short 2012, pp. 1143, 1148–1149.
  2. ^ Docker 2012, p. 2.
  3. ^ El-Affendi 2024, p. 1; Short 2016, p. 10; Shaw 2013, p. 4; Rashed, Short & Docker 2014, pp. 13–15; Usher 2006, pp. 10–14, 28–29; Saldívar 2010, pp. 826–827, 828–829; Khoury 2018, pp. 117–118; Nijim 2020, pp. 41–47; Samudzi 2024, pp. 7–8; United Nations 2022; Adhikari et al. 2018, p. 148; Üngör 2024, pp. 3–4: "or Israeli settler colonial genocide"
  4. ^ a b Center for Constitutional Rights 2016, p. 6.
  5. ^ Eghbariah 2023; Shaw 2013, pp. 1–7; Nijim 2023, pp. 173–174, 176–177
  6. ^ Docker 2012, p. 16; Munayyer 2015; Bruneau & Kteily 2017; Schiavenza 2018; Kuttab 2023; Wintour 2023
  7. ^ "Public Statement: Scholars Warn of Potential Genocide in Gaza". Third World Approaches to International Law Review. 17 October 2023. Archived from the original on 17 November 2023. Statements of Israeli officials since 7 October 2023 suggest that beyond the killings and restriction of basic conditions for life perpetrated against Palestinians in Gaza, there are also indications that the ongoing and imminent Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip are being conducted with potentially genocidal intent. Language used by Israeli political and military figures appears to reproduce rhetoric and tropes associated with genocide and incitement to genocide. Dehumanising descriptions of Palestinians have been prevalent. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant declared on 9 October that "we are fighting human animals and we act accordingly". He subsequently announced that Israel was moving to "a full-scale response" and that he had "removed every restriction" on Israeli forces, as well as stating: "Gaza won't return to what it was before. We will eliminate everything." On 10 October, the head of the Israeli army's Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Maj. Gen. Ghassan Alian, addressed a message directly to Gaza residents: "Human animals must be treated as such. There will be no electricity and no water, there will only be destruction. You wanted hell, you will get hell". The same day, Israeli army spokesperson Daniel Hagari acknowledged the wanton and intentionally destructive nature of Israel's bombing campaign in Gaza: "The emphasis is on damage and not on accuracy."
  8. ^ "Corrections: Jan. 24, 2024". The New York Times. 24 January 2024. Archived from the original on 29 January 2024. Gaza won't return to what it was before. There will be no Hamas. We will eliminate everything.
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  175. ^ Hasian Jr. 2020, pp. 101 ("Israeli-sponsored radio messages that were used to 'wage psychological warfare'") and 103 ("Walid Khalidi, who wrote some of the first Palestinian summaries of what happened during the fall of Haifa in 1959, has recently revisited these issues and concluded that the British colluded with the Haganah in ways that made sure that the use of “psychological warfare tactics” would be used in ruthless ways so that the Plan Dalet could be carried out against unarmed civilians who needed to be moved out of these lands."); Slater 2020, p. 81; Masalha 2012, pp. 2 and 68, "From the territory occupied by the Israelis in 1948, about 90 per cent of the Palestinians were driven out — many by psychological warfare and/or military pressure and a very large number at gunpoint."; Lentin 2010, p. 109; Shlaim 2009, p. 55, "Morris describes the flight of the Palestinians wave after wave, town by town, and village by village. He gives numerous specific examples of psychological warfare, of intimidation, of expulsion by force and of atrocities committed by the armed forces of the infant Jewish state."; Morris 2008, pp. 160 ("To reinforce this "whispering," or psychological warfare, campaign, Allon's men distributed fliers, advising those who wished to avoid harm to leave "with their women and children."") and 332 ("employing 'psychological warfare by means of flyers and 'treatment' of civilian inhabitants'"); Sa'di 2007, p. 308, "Morris’s (2004a) research confirms what Palestinians have argued all along; he shows definitively that active expulsion by the Jewish forces, the flight of civilians from the battle zones following the attacks of Jewish forces, psychological warfare, and fear of atrocities and random killing by the advancing Jewish forces were the main causes for the Palestinian refugee problem."; Pappé 2006, pp. 156 ("The UN 'peace' plan had resulted in people being intimidated and terrorised by psychological warfare, heavy shelling of civilian populations, expulsions, seeing relatives being executed, and wives and daughters abused, robbed and in several cases, raped."), 197 ("... from the Chief of Staff, Yigael Yadin: 'Your preparations should include psychological warfare and "treatment" (tipul) of citizens as an integral part of the operation.'"), and 278 n. 27 ("A range of strategies that could only be described as psychological warfare was used by the Jewish forces to terrorize and demoralize the Arab population in a deliberate attempt to provoke a mass exodus. Radio broadcasts in Arabic warned of traitors in the Arabs' midst, describing the Palestinians as having been deserted by their leaders, and accusing Arab militias of committing crimes against Arab civilians. They also spread fears of disease. Another, less subtle, tactic involved the use of loudspeaker trucks. These would be used in the villages and towns to urge the Palestinians to flee before they were all killed, to warn that the Jews were using poison gas and atomic weapons, or to play recorded 'horror sounds' - shrieking and moaning, the wail of sirens, and the clang of fire-alarm bells."); Morris 2004, pp. 129, 168-169 ("Jewish tactics in the battle were designed to stun and quickly overpower opposition; demoralisation was a primary aim. It was deemed just as important to the outcome as the physical destruction of the Arab units. The mortar barrages and the psychological warfare broadcasts and announcements, and the tactics employed by the infantry companies, advancing from house to house, were all geared to this goal. The orders of Carmeli's 22nd Battalion were 'to kill every Arab encountered’ and to set alight with firebombs 'all objectives that can be set alight. I am sending you posters in Arabic; disperse on route.'"), 230, 246, 250, 252, 468 ("He also ordered the launching of 'psychological warfare operations’ and instructed the units 'to deal with the civilian '. Yadin did not elaborate but presumably the intention was to frighten civilian communities into flight."), 522 (Israel agreed that 'those of the civilian population who may wish to remain in Al Faluja and 'Iraq al Manshiya are to be permitted to do so ...' But within days Israel went back on its word. Southern Front's soldiers mounted a short, sharp, well-orchestrated campaign of low-key violence and psychological warfare designed to intimidate the inhabitants into flight. According to one villager's recollection, the Jews 'created a situation of terror, entered the houses and beat the people with rifle butts'.128 Contemporary United Nations and Quakers documents support this description. The UN Mediator, Ralph Bunche, quoting UN observers on the spot, complained that 'Arab civilians . . . at Al Faluja have been beaten and robbed by Israeli soldiers and . . . there have been some cases of attempted rape'."), and 591 ("If Jewish attack directly and indirectly triggered most of the exodus up to June 1948, a small but significant proportion was due to direct expulsion orders and to psychological warfare ploys ('whispering propaganda') designed to intimidate people into flight."); Fernández 2023
  176. ^ a b "Israel's Gaza war adds psychological operations". NBC News. Associated Press. 11 January 2009. Archived from the original on 20 November 2023. Retrieved 19 February 2009.
  177. ^ Sabbagh-Khoury 2023, pp. 185–186; Sayigh 2023, p. 282; Manna 2022, pp. 75-77 (" The Israeli army carried out killings (including massacres), pillaged, and raped in a number of border villages, including Safsaf, Saliha, Jish, Hula, and Sa'sa', on the day the villages were occupied or shortly thereafter."), 202, and 301 nn. 79-81 (" It seems likely that cases of rape during and after the 1948 war were underreported in the historical literature. With time, it becomes more difficult to investigate those events."); Hasian Jr. 2020, p. 84, "Palestinian researchers, archivists, interviewers, and others who help chronicle these events now have transcontinental allies who collect oral histories that are filled with tales of the rape of women and the killing of innocent children during the involuntary transfers of the 1940s."; Natour 2016, p. 94; Khoury 2012, p. 263, "Many stories of massacres, rape, and expulsion are known, and many other stories are still to be revealed: Tantura, Safsaf, Ein al-Zeitun, Sa’sa’, Sha’ab, Kabri, Abou Shousha, Ai'laboun, and so on."; Masalha 2012, pp. 82–84, " The use of rape and other forms of sexual violence by Jewish forces in 1948 as weapons of war and instruments of ethnic cleansing has yet to be studied. In 1948 the rape of Arab women and girls was not a rare or isolated act committed by individual forces, but rather was used deliberately as an instrument to terrorise the civilian population and push people into fleeing their homes."; Lentin 2010, p. 31; Ram 2009, p. 373; Morris 2008, pp. 406–407, "The Israelis' collective memory of fighters characterized by 'purity of arms' is also undermined by the evidence of rapes committed in conquered towns and villages. About a dozen cases—in Jaffa, Acre, and so on—are reported in the available contemporary documentation and, given Arab diffidence about reporting such incidents and the (understandable) silence of the perpetrators, and IDFA censorship of many documents, more, and perhaps many more, cases probably occurred. Arabs appear to have committed few acts of rape."; Humphries & Khalili 2007, pp. 209, 211-213 (" As Benny Morris writes, the regular and irregular military forces of the Yishuv had employed rape in 'several dozen cases' (Morris 2004a: 592) and the news of the rape, though subsequently silenced by both perpetrators and victims, spread as quickly as the news of massacres, aided by the fear and horror of the Palestinians and the 'whispering campaign' of the Yishuv military commanders ... these rapes were one of the more devastating components of Hagana assaults and perhaps the primary explanation behind the decision of many of the refugees to flee."), and 223-226; Sa'di 2007, pp. 293 ("On numerous occasions in the execution of Plan D, the Zionist forces expelled people from their towns and villages, committed rape and other acts of violence, massacred civilians, and executed prisoners of war."), 299-300 ("Morris (2004a) reports that there were 'about a dozen' cases of documented rape, often followed by murder. As he notes, 'We have to assume that the dozen cases of rape that were reported . . . are not the whole story. They are just the tip of the iceberg' (Morris, 2004b: 39)."), and 303-304; Slyomovics 2007, pp. 31 ("Morris documents statistics of a dozen cases of rapes and twenty-four instances of massacres as supporting evidence for a pattern") and 33-38 (" It has been a major achievement by historians of 1948 that the conditions and numbers of actual rape and civilian massacre of the Palestinian population are finally recognized."); Pappé 2006, pp. 90, 132, 156, 184, 196, and 208-211 (" David Ben-Gurion seems to have been informed about each case and entered them into his diary. Every few days he has a sub-section: 'Rape Cases'."); Schulz 2003, pp. 28 and 136 ("According to Warnock , honour was an ingredient in the exodus as fear and concern to save women from being raped was a reason for flight."); Urquhart 2006
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  186. ^ Hasian Jr. 2020, pp. 101 ("Israeli-sponsored radio messages that were used to 'wage psychological warfare'") and 103 ("Walid Khalidi, who wrote some of the first Palestinian summaries of what happened during the fall of Haifa in 1959, has recently revisited these issues and concluded that the British colluded with the Haganah in ways that made sure that the use of “psychological warfare tactics” would be used in ruthless ways so that the Plan Dalet could be carried out against unarmed civilians who needed to be moved out of these lands."); Slater 2020, p. 81; Masalha 2012, pp. 2 and 68, "From the territory occupied by the Israelis in 1948, about 90 per cent of the Palestinians were driven out — many by psychological warfare and/or military pressure and a very large number at gunpoint."; Lentin 2010, p. 109; Shlaim 2009, p. 55, "Morris describes the flight of the Palestinians wave after wave, town by town, and village by village. He gives numerous specific examples of psychological warfare, of intimidation, of expulsion by force and of atrocities committed by the armed forces of the infant Jewish state."; Morris 2008, pp. 160 ("To reinforce this "whispering," or psychological warfare, campaign, Allon's men distributed fliers, advising those who wished to avoid harm to leave "with their women and children."") and 332 ("employing 'psychological warfare by means of flyers and 'treatment' of civilian inhabitants'"); Sa'di 2007, p. 308, "Morris’s (2004a) research confirms what Palestinians have argued all along; he shows definitively that active expulsion by the Jewish forces, the flight of civilians from the battle zones following the attacks of Jewish forces, psychological warfare, and fear of atrocities and random killing by the advancing Jewish forces were the main causes for the Palestinian refugee problem."; Pappé 2006, pp. 156 ("The UN 'peace' plan had resulted in people being intimidated and terrorised by psychological warfare, heavy shelling of civilian populations, expulsions, seeing relatives being executed, and wives and daughters abused, robbed and in several cases, raped."), 197 ("... from the Chief of Staff, Yigael Yadin: 'Your preparations should include psychological warfare and "treatment" (tipul) of citizens as an integral part of the operation.'"), and 278 n. 27 ("A range of strategies that could only be described as psychological warfare was used by the Jewish forces to terrorize and demoralize the Arab population in a deliberate attempt to provoke a mass exodus. Radio broadcasts in Arabic warned of traitors in the Arabs' midst, describing the Palestinians as having been deserted by their leaders, and accusing Arab militias of committing crimes against Arab civilians. They also spread fears of disease. Another, less subtle, tactic involved the use of loudspeaker trucks. These would be used in the villages and towns to urge the Palestinians to flee before they were all killed, to warn that the Jews were using poison gas and atomic weapons, or to play recorded 'horror sounds' - shrieking and moaning, the wail of sirens, and the clang of fire-alarm bells."); Morris 2004, pp. 129, 168-169 ("Jewish tactics in the battle were designed to stun and quickly overpower opposition; demoralisation was a primary aim. It was deemed just as important to the outcome as the physical destruction of the Arab units. The mortar barrages and the psychological warfare broadcasts and announcements, and the tactics employed by the infantry companies, advancing from house to house, were all geared to this goal. The orders of Carmeli's 22nd Battalion were 'to kill every Arab encountered’ and to set alight with firebombs 'all objectives that can be set alight. I am sending you posters in Arabic; disperse on route.'"), 230, 246, 250, 252, 468 ("He also ordered the launching of 'psychological warfare operations’ and instructed the units 'to deal with the civilian '. Yadin did not elaborate but presumably the intention was to frighten civilian communities into flight."), 522 (Israel agreed that 'those of the civilian population who may wish to remain in Al Faluja and 'Iraq al Manshiya are to be permitted to do so ...' But within days Israel went back on its word. Southern Front's soldiers mounted a short, sharp, well-orchestrated campaign of low-key violence and psychological warfare designed to intimidate the inhabitants into flight. According to one villager's recollection, the Jews 'created a situation of terror, entered the houses and beat the people with rifle butts'.128 Contemporary United Nations and Quakers documents support this description. The UN Mediator, Ralph Bunche, quoting UN observers on the spot, complained that 'Arab civilians . . . at Al Faluja have been beaten and robbed by Israeli soldiers and . . . there have been some cases of attempted rape'."), and 591 ("If Jewish attack directly and indirectly triggered most of the exodus up to June 1948, a small but significant proportion was due to direct expulsion orders and to psychological warfare ploys ('whispering propaganda') designed to intimidate people into flight."); Fernández 2023
  187. ^ Sabbagh-Khoury 2023, pp. 185–186; Sayigh 2023, p. 282; Manna 2022, pp. 75-77 (" The Israeli army carried out killings (including massacres), pillaged, and raped in a number of border villages, including Safsaf, Saliha, Jish, Hula, and Sa'sa', on the day the villages were occupied or shortly thereafter."), 202, and 301 nn. 79-81 (" It seems likely that cases of rape during and after the 1948 war were underreported in the historical literature. With time, it becomes more difficult to investigate those events."); Hasian Jr. 2020, p. 84, "Palestinian researchers, archivists, interviewers, and others who help chronicle these events now have transcontinental allies who collect oral histories that are filled with tales of the rape of women and the killing of innocent children during the involuntary transfers of the 1940s."; Natour 2016, p. 94; Khoury 2012, p. 263, "Many stories of massacres, rape, and expulsion are known, and many other stories are still to be revealed: Tantura, Safsaf, Ein al-Zeitun, Sa’sa’, Sha’ab, Kabri, Abou Shousha, Ai'laboun, and so on."; Masalha 2012, pp. 82–84, " The use of rape and other forms of sexual violence by Jewish forces in 1948 as weapons of war and instruments of ethnic cleansing has yet to be studied. In 1948 the rape of Arab women and girls was not a rare or isolated act committed by individual forces, but rather was used deliberately as an instrument to terrorise the civilian population and push people into fleeing their homes."; Lentin 2010, p. 31; Ram 2009, p. 373; Morris 2008, pp. 406–407, "The Israelis' collective memory of fighters characterized by 'purity of arms' is also undermined by the evidence of rapes committed in conquered towns and villages. About a dozen cases—in Jaffa, Acre, and so on—are reported in the available contemporary documentation and, given Arab diffidence about reporting such incidents and the (understandable) silence of the perpetrators, and IDFA censorship of many documents, more, and perhaps many more, cases probably occurred. Arabs appear to have committed few acts of rape."; Humphries & Khalili 2007, pp. 209, 211-213 (" As Benny Morris writes, the regular and irregular military forces of the Yishuv had employed rape in 'several dozen cases' (Morris 2004a: 592) and the news of the rape, though subsequently silenced by both perpetrators and victims, spread as quickly as the news of massacres, aided by the fear and horror of the Palestinians and the 'whispering campaign' of the Yishuv military commanders ... these rapes were one of the more devastating components of Hagana assaults and perhaps the primary explanation behind the decision of many of the refugees to flee."), and 223-226; Sa'di 2007, pp. 293 ("On numerous occasions in the execution of Plan D, the Zionist forces expelled people from their towns and villages, committed rape and other acts of violence, massacred civilians, and executed prisoners of war."), 299-300 ("Morris (2004a) reports that there were 'about a dozen' cases of documented rape, often followed by murder. As he notes, 'We have to assume that the dozen cases of rape that were reported . . . are not the whole story. They are just the tip of the iceberg' (Morris, 2004b: 39)."), and 303-304; Slyomovics 2007, pp. 31 ("Morris documents statistics of a dozen cases of rapes and twenty-four instances of massacres as supporting evidence for a pattern") and 33-38 (" It has been a major achievement by historians of 1948 that the conditions and numbers of actual rape and civilian massacre of the Palestinian population are finally recognized."); Pappé 2006, pp. 90, 132, 156, 184, 196, and 208-211 (" David Ben-Gurion seems to have been informed about each case and entered them into his diary. Every few days he has a sub-section: 'Rape Cases'."); Schulz 2003, pp. 28 and 136 ("According to Warnock , honour was an ingredient in the exodus as fear and concern to save women from being raped was a reason for flight."); Urquhart 2006
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Works cited

Further reading

External links