Sunday, August 28, 2016

  • Sunday, August 28, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Center for Constitutional Rights has released an article that has been heavily promoted by the anti-Israel crowd who are pretending that it is a scholarly essay proving that Israel is guilty of "genocide" against the "Palestinian people."

People who retweeted it include Linda Sarsour, Mondoweiss, Huwaida Arraf and others.

Casual readers of the article, heavily footnoted, would think that there is some real scholarship behind it. However, the article as a whole was written from the perspective that Israel is guilty ab initio of "genocide" and the sources that "prove" it were found afterwards.

Its centerpiece is that a leftist scholar of genocide studies and BDS supporter, Martin Shaw, has defined the 1948 war as genocidal, using an expansive definition that renders the word almost meaningless:

Sociologist Martin Shaw, one of the most distinguished modern scholars of genocide, has written, “We can conclude that pre-war Zionism included the development of an incipiently genocidal mentality towards Arab society.”[13] “Israel entered without an overarching plan, so that its specific genocidal thrusts developed situationally and incrementally, through local as well as national decisions. On this account, this was a partly decentred, networked genocide, developing in interaction with the Palestinian and Arab enemy, in the context of war.”
Shaw is saying that Jews, fighting a war where they were vastly outnumbered by Arab enemies who were explicitly genocidal towards them in their words and actions, are the ones who were guilty of "incremental" and "decentered" genocide. By that definition, nearly every war is genocidal and anyone who shoots any member of any group can be accused of "incremental genocide".

All of this ignores that no one on the planet identified Palestinian Arabs as a "national group" in 1948. They were identified as simply Arabs. But to accuse Israel of genocide against all Arabs in 1948 is a charge too absurd even for anti-Israel "genocide scholars" to make, so they have retroactively accused Israel of targeting the destruction of a people who simply did not exist as a distinct group, a fundamental element of any definition of genocide.

Of course, the idea that the Jews who really were ethnically cleansed from Arab lands  were victims of genocide is not considered. That wasn't "incremental" but a virtually total, planned elimination of a specifically defined group from the Arab world.

The fate of Israeli Jews would have been the same had they lost the war in 1948.

The CCR uses 1948 as its main argument that Jews are guilty of genocide, but it doesn't stop there. It includes quotes from widely criticized pseudo-historian Ilan Pappe who also uses the term "incremental genocide" to describe Israeli actions. Its own late president Michael Ratner is also quoted using the meaningless phrase "incremental genocide."

The article then descends into farce, by quoting an ad by the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network claiming that 300 Holocaust survivors and descendants accused Israel of "genocide" during Operation Cast Lead [sic - the ad was about the 2014 Gaza War, not Cast Lead.]. Specifically, it quotes anti-Israel activist Naomi Wolf as saying, 'I mourn genocide in Gaza because I am the granddaughter of a family half wiped out in a holocaust and I know genocide when I see it."

If a tiny minority of Holocaust survivors and their descendants want to bizarrely accuse Israel of genocide, that is their right. But to give them more moral authority than the vast majority of survivors and descendants who find the word odious and immoral when applied to Israel proves that the CCR is not interested in a reasoned argument, but in anti-Israel propaganda disguised as research.

The CCR, incidentally, is funded by the Ford Foundation and George Soros' Open Society Foundation, among others.

This article is so one-sided and so obviously deceptive that it discredits anything else that the CCR might be doing. Indeed, this article doesn't shed light on the immorality of Israel as much as it does on the immorality of falsely accusing Israel of crimes, using a yardstick that it applies to no other nation.

(h/t Dani, Andrew)




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