The term does not necessarily signify mass killings . . . more often [genocide] 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 utilised 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.”
Raphael Lemkin (1900-1959), Jewish Polish legal scholar who coined the term genocide
The decapitating in Paris of a French teacher who showed his pupils a caricature of the prophet Muhammad — from the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo — during a moral and civic education class discussion about freedom of speech, deserves to be unreservedly condemned by everyone. Extrajudicial executions are barbaric acts of extreme cruelty that violate international standards on human rights irrespective of where, or by whom, such heinous atrocities are committed.
While French President Emmanuel Macron was rightly justified in denouncing that barbaric attack, his comments about “ . . . freedom of expression, the freedom to believe or not believe,” was to say the least extremely hypocritical because in France, as in most other Western nations, freedom of expression — the freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers — is selective and has been criminalised when it involves criticism of Israel’s irrefutable crimes against humanity in the brutally and illegally Occupied Palestinian Territories.
While speaking at a dinner attended by Jewish leaders in February 2019, Macron claimed the surge in anti-Semitic attacks in France was unprecedented since World War Two and promised a crackdown including a new law to tackle hate speech on the internet; confirmed that France would be adopting the definition of anti-Semitism as set by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA): and added that “anti-Zionism is one of the modern forms of anti-Semitism.” The World Jewish Congress welcomed Macron’s actions by asserting “this is just the beginning of a long road ahead. Adopting this definition of anti-Semitism must be followed by concrete steps to encode into law and ensure that this is enforced.”
Human rights activists consequently fear being unfairly branded as anti-Semitic because of their criticism of Israel for its occupation of territory internationally recognised as Palestinian; for its inhumane blockade of the Gaza Strip which has devastated the economy and caused unspeakable hardships in what is in effect the world’s largest prison; and for its perpetration of a genocide as defined by Raphael Lemkin who while managing to escape from the Nazis and save his own life, nonetheless lost 49 relatives in the Holocaust: a genocide which prompted the Jewish peoples’ commendable but sadly disregarded vow of “never again.”
Such disregard is the result of Zionism having hijacked and weaponised anti-Semitism and the Holocaust to silence any criticism of Israel’s crimes against humanity which spineless and unscrupulous Western leaders like Macron dismiss with the disingenuous soundbite of “Israel has a right to defend itself”: a right which apparently — according to the Western concept of impartial justice and equal rights for all humanity — is not applicable to the Palestinian people whom “God’s Chosen,” have frequently described as “animals” who have never actually existed as a people.
De-Arabizing the history of Palestine is another crucial element of the ethnic cleansing. 1500 years of Arab and Muslim rule and culture in Palestine are trivialised, evidence of its existence is being destroyed and all this is done to make the absurd connection between the ancient Hebrew civilisation and today’s Israel. The most glaring example of this today is in Silwan, (Wadi Hilwe) a town adjacent to the Old City of Jerusalem with some 50,000 residents. Israel is expelling families from Silwan and destroying their homes because it claims that King David built a city there some 3,000 years ago. Thousands of families will be made homeless so that Israel can build a park to commemorate a king that may or may not have lived 3,000 years ago. Not a shred of historical evidence exists that can prove King David ever lived yet Palestinian men, women, children and the elderly along with their schools and mosques, churches and ancient cemeteries and any evidence of their existence must be destroyed and then denied so that Zionist claims to exclusive rights to the land may be substantiated.
Miko Peled, Israeli peace activist and author
According to Miko Peled “Israel has been on a mission to destroy the Palestinian people for over six decades,” and he asked “why would anyone not give solidarity to the Palestinian people?” He also regarded Israel’s actions in the Six-Day War of 1967 as deliberate acts of aggression rather than a genuine response to a real threat; that “every single Israeli city is a settlement”; and that “expressing solidarity with Palestinians is the most important thing people can do.”
Expressing solidity with Palestinians, however, is a morally justifiable human right which Apartheid Israel has managed to suppress with the complicity of a US-led Western alliance of unprincipled bought and paid for political leaders like Macron aided by a mainstream media which while masquerading as the “the voice of the people,” actually consists of conglomerate-owned news outlets that have gutted newsrooms, abandoned the concept of investigative journalism, and replaced reporting of the true facts with shallow infotainment.
If President Macron and other spineless Western leaders of his ilk are genuinely concerned about the “surge in anti-Semitism,” they would do well to seriously consider the following warning by Yehoshafat Harkabi — Chief of Israeli Military Intelligence (1955-9) and subsequently a professor of International Relations and Middle East Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem — who in his 1989 book, Israel’s Fateful Hour, called for Israel’s withdrawal from the occupied territories and warned that:
We Israelis must be careful lest we become not a source of pride for Jews but a distressing burden. Israel is the criterion according to which all Jews will tend to be judged. Israel as a Jewish state is an example of the Jewish character, which finds free and concentrated expression within it. Anti-Semitism has deep and historical roots. Nevertheless, any flaw in Israeli conduct, which initially is cited as anti-Israelism, is likely to be transformed into empirical proof of the validity of anti-Semitism. It would be a tragic irony if the Jewish state, which was intended to solve the problem of anti-Semitism, was to become a factor in the rise of anti-Semitism. Israelis must be aware that the price of their misconduct is paid not only by them but also Jews throughout the world. In the struggle against anti-Semitism, the frontline begins in Israel.