For about a week I’ve become convinced that the ongoing Israeli attack on Gaza, which started on July 8th, is not just a war crime.  It’s not just apartheid.  It’s not just collective punishment.  It’s not just mass murder.  It’s not just ethnic cleansing.  It’s not just terrorism, although it is all of those things.  Instead, I believe it amounts to the grave international crime of genocide.

It is important to advance this conclusion, because it underscores the incredible gravity, and evil, of what Israel is doing.  It’s also important, because if the idea were to take hold internationally, it might be the only way to put pressure on the supine U.S. government, which is doing absolutely nothing to acknowledge the plight of the Palestinians in Gaza, much less actually help them.  Of course, as a practical matter, things would have to get fantastically more horrible (hard as that is to imagine) before any U.S. elected official will have the courage to even THINK about criticizing Israel.

By the way, spare me the boring comments about how it’s supposedly never appropriate to use the label “evil.”  There are times for that.

This is an attempt to develop my views on that a little, although I don’t have time for the extensive research I’d like to do.  I’m not an expert.  It has been more than 30 years since I took a law school class on international law, and I rarely need to use international law in my work as a U.S. immigration lawyer (although I sometimes make treaty arguments in federal litigation).

I haven’t done extensive research.  Indeed, this mainly relies on some excellent posts made by other Kossacks.  But I hope it will open some minds, at least a bit.

Many Kossacks, while deploring the massacre, reflexively and viscerally reject that label.  I had a diary today entitled White House Condemns Attack on UN Shelter in Gaza. A few people said they’d decline to rec the diary, or had removed a rec, because I’m calling it genocide.  The label was said to be hyperbolic, distracting from opposition to the massacre.

Somebody even said something that someone else thought seemed to imply that using the label is tantamount to calling the Israelis Nazis (although the poster who said that later said she certainly didn’t mean that)!

A note about the Nazis:  I am NOT comparing Israel to the Nazis.  I’m very careful about
never doing that, for many reasons, and I don’t think the comparison is useful.  Saying that they are genocidal war criminals is NOT the same thing as calling them Nazis.

Israel supporters will claim that this is a Nazi comparison.  They will claim it is anti-Semitic.  We’ve seen such wild charges regularly in I/P diaries the last few weeks.  I hope anybody who comments on this diary will avoid such calumnies.

My history: As I’ve said a few times, almost all of my long-time friends are Jewish.  (That’s true!)  I’m not anti-Semitic in the least.  To the contrary, I have great admiration for Jewish people in general.  And I was solidly on the side of Israel for decades.  Even during the Cast Lead atrocities in 2008-09, I generally supported the Israeli government.  But I’m radicalized now.  I want to see U.S. support withdrawn from Israel and given to the Palestinians.

Maybe a miracle will happen!  (As a religious Catholic, I have lots of religion-based views on this, but that sentence is the most I will say on that.  I don’t want to distract from the main point with a lot of foolish bickering about religion.)

A note about HRs:  I respectfully request no HRs in this diary.  That’s not a way to win arguments.