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  • Gaza on the precipice
    • US taxpayers: I predict U will soon B borrowing $ billions more from China 2 pay 4 yet more military freebies 2 Israel. US IS ISRAEL’S ATM. . . . More Iron Dome for Israel, more food stamps for Americans

      Well yeah, Defense Secretary Panetta had already promised 650 million dollars more for additional Iron Dome launchers and missiles.

  • Day after Israel rejects ceasefire, bus explodes in Tel Aviv outside IDF Spokesperson office
    • Americans are never going to appear at the Hague. The Great Powers may throw Israel to the lions at some stage but no UN SC member is ever going to have its soldiers jailed for war crimes.

      The Serbs gave up Slobodan Milošević to avoid US sanctions. What makes you think the US wouldn't give up Bush Jr. to avoid similar measures? I'm amazed that our creditors haven't already conditioned their bailouts on curtailment of our foreign wars and surrender of former officials, like Bush.

    • Looks like many of you are going to have to increase the outpouring of morally outraged sadness if for some crazy reason this bus bomb doesn’t lead to peace.

      I am outraged whenever civilians on either side of the conflict become the targets of violence. If you think it presents an opportunity to score debating points, then you're thinking like a sociopath.

  • Gazans are 'ho-hum' about the deaths of relatives -- NYT's Rudoren
    • I remember reading about three or four years ago that an Israeli bought AJE.
      Haim Saban, the Executive Chairman of Univision, and Saban Entertainment brands, like the Power Rangers considered trying to buy a stake in Al Jazeera, but I think that's as far as it went.

      Egypt-born Jew looks to buy 50% of Al-Jazeera

      Haim Saban first showed a reported interest in the Doha -based network after a visit in 2004.

    • DALLAS (AP) — A freight train slammed into a parade float carrying wounded veterans on Thursday, killing four people and injuring 17 others as the float drove through a West Texas railroad crossing on its way to an honorary banquet, authorities said.

      Why are we parading around wounded or disabled vets, except to pander to our own "culture of martyrdom" right here in the US? For the past decade, every time some member of Congress would suggest putting an end to one of our wars of aggression, the majority would put an end to the debate by advancing the ludicrous proposition that we needed "to stay the course" in order to "support the troops" (who ended up being killed, maimed, or traumatized in the subsequent fighting).

      That mentality is on display whenever the US uses its veto in the Security Council or Congress adopts resolutions or military assistance bills to give Israel a free hand to carry-out sustained attacks on neighboring civilian populations. The problem originates right at our own doorstep. There's no need to blame the poor victims in Gaza.

  • In Photos: Aftermath of an Israeli airstrike on Gaza City
    • “Imagine if the Palestinians loved their children”.

      They obviously do, because the PA Security Services refused to provide security coordination to Israeli forces when they attempted to enter the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem on Tuesday. Around 200 officers deployed around the city in front of Israeli military patrols, which eventually retreated.

      The PA liaison said they turned down the request because the troops wanted to enter at the time children were going to school in the morning;-)

  • Yes! The New Yorker publishes Munayyer's call for 'representative and democratic single state'
    • What made this possible was the work of grassroots activists, including the people running this website.

      It probably has just as much to do with the reality that the Palestinians are going to be able to charge Israelis with war crimes in the Hague by the end of the month.

      How will the US media spin the story of continued US financial support for a regime that is engaged in a criminal expropriation/settlement/deportation enterprise according to present and past US administrations?

  • Israel's explanation for killing two journalists in Gaza? Palestinians aren't journalists, they're 'targets'
    • P.S. Re: Even the ICJ decision was ignored.

      The ICJ findings of facts included a conclusion that Israel had established settlements in violation of its obligations under international law and Article 49(6) of the 4th Geneva Convention. That was a crime which was subject to the jurisdiction of the ICC in 2003, and it isn't subject to any other statutory limitations that would prevent the prosecution of the responsible officials today under the terms of Article 8(2)(b)(viii) of the Rome Statute.

      Netanyahu and his cabinet have invited tenders for hundreds or thousands of additional units in the illegal settlements on several occasions. The Prime Minister has gone out of his way to describe some of them as punitive measures. It shouldn't be hard to investigate the ICJ findings using sources of information in the public domain and obtain arrest warrants and convictions.

    • Hostage, That is the theory.

      No that is actually the name of a collection of essays that stand for the proposition that Israel can be held accountable in the ICC. Kearney wrote a chapter: "Why Statehood Now: A Reflection on the ICC’s Impact on Palestine’s Engagement with International Law" for Chantal Meloni, Gianni Tognoni (Eds.), Is There a Court for Gaza? A Test Bench for International Justice, 2012

    • So, exactly what I said? The Israelis attacked the same building, and in the second attack they killed an Islamic Jihad member.

      You might try to justify a single attack, since both of them would still be patently illegal under international law. The risk of killing civilians working for Britain’s Sky News, the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya network, Dubai TV al-Aqsa TV, Russia Today, Iran’s Press TV, and Lebanese, German and Italian news teams is not out-weighed by the proportional military advantage obtained by killing a single belligerent member of Islamic Jihad. The Israeli Supreme Court has even ruled that it's illegal to kill civilian members of the terror groups, except when they are actively and directly participating in hostilities.

    • There is no law for Gaza. There is no court for Gaza.

      That isn't really the view of Dr. Michael Kearney on the subject. He and I have exchanged views in online forums and swapped some emails on the subject. He authored the Al Haq position papers which stated that Palestine is a State for the purposes of the Rome Statute and provided them to the Office of the ICC Prosecutor. He and a list of other legal scholars have also called on the ICC Assembly of State Parties to place that question on their agenda and settle it once and for all, regardless of any action taken by the Prosecutor or the UN Organization. But he is also aware of the fact that Palestine is already a member of a "category of States" that can conclude treaties or other agreements in accordance with the UN's Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (which provides the rules that govern interpretations of the Rome Statute). So, the question can still be put to the Judges, one way or another.

  • Israel has already lost this war
    • Hostage: “The aims of the BDS Movement are equal rights of citizenship for all of the inhabitants. ”

      Sardelapasti: Wrong

      According to "Palestinian Civil Society Calls for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel Until it Complies with International Law and Universal Principles of Human Rights", 9 July 2005:

      These non-violent punitive measures should be maintained until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law by:

      1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall
      2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
      3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

      Resolution 194 applied to "Palestine refugees", including the Jewish inhabitants of the proposed Arab state and East Jerusalem, e.g. the Etzion Block. More than 17,000 Jewish refugees were registered with the UNRWA and their descendants would be entitled to reclaim any property shown in the UN PCC registry or claim compensation.

      Resolution 181(II) had required both states to adopt constitutional guarantees of minority human rights and required the governments of both states to supply declarations acknowledging that undertaking. So, it came as no surprise when the 1988 Declaration of the PLO stated that resolution 181(II) would continue to be the basis of the State of Palestine's international legitimacy and that they would adopt a

      "parliamentary system based on freedom of opinion and the freedom to form parties, on the heed of the majority for minority rights and the respect of minorities for majority decisions, on social justice and equality, and on non-discrimination in civil rights on grounds of race, religion or colour or as between men and women, under a Constitution ensuring the rule of law and an independent judiciary and on the basis of true fidelity to the age-old spiritual and cultural heritage of Palestine with respect to mutual tolerance, coexistence and magnanimity among religions."

      The General Assembly acknowledged that the Declaration was "in line with resolution 181(II)."

      Of course the BDS Movement has not endorsed the two state solution, but its adoption of "International Law and Universal Principles of Human Rights" dictate equal rights for everyone in the event that the parties adopt a one state solution.

    • “The aims of the BDS movement are…”
      Who the hell was talking about “the BDS movement”? One more irrelevant side issue.

      The aims of the BDS Movement are equal rights of citizenship for all of the inhabitants. That is not an irrelevant side issue when you are trying to disingenuously justify the denial of those rights to the indigenous Jews by labeling them as so-called "immigrants", i.e., in response to the question “How can an immigrant (legal or not) be locally born?” you replied Simply by adopting one of the possible interpretations of “immigrant” (see all the countries where place of birth does not automatically confer citizenship;

      You aren't really very good at dissimulation. So why don't you just drop the subject and stop embarrassing yourself?

    • “How can an immigrant (legal or not) be locally born?”
      Simply by adopting one of the possible interpretations of “immigrant” (see all the countries where place of birth does not automatically confer citizenship;

      The aims of the BDS movement are equal rights for everyone in line with:
      * The Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
      * The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
      * The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights;

  • On the Jewish Israeli street, there's no solution to Palestinian issue but more violence
    • Take it as a good sign that your point has been very well made if you’re keeping him at it. Don’t feel compelled to repeat yourself because he does so.

      No you can take it as a sign that you can't exonerate Zionists militias or Israel of a serious crime by adopting rules that aren't required by law or the facts of the case - or appealing to arguments "outside the legal sphere".

      I'm happy to point out that he's arguing in circles, while ignoring the many examples of States and international organs with jurisdiction to define and codify the law and to prevent and prosecute genocide that have not adopted Pappe's view that ethnic cleansing is not genocide. At one and the same time, Raphael Lemkin, did not confine his definition of the crime of genocide to the "legal sphere" either - and he definitely said that genocide included situations, like the one in Palestine, where a part of the population was either removed or massacred before the techniques of genocide were employed on the population that remained or on the territory that had been occupied and colonized by the oppressor.

      I take it as a good sign that you've been unable to offer any arguments, beside ad hominems.

    • There is no about impunity or going light on these crimes.

      Of course there is. That's why the ICC was established. Crimes against humanity and war crimes almost always go unpunished. God forbid that we should accuse Israel of a crime with a sufficient stigma attached, like genocide, apartheid, or torture and that it would "register on everyone's Radar". Those acts are simply erased from the historical record and anyone who brings them up is attacked by the apparatchiks at CAMERA, Campus Watch, and StandWithUs.

      The US Courts have ruled that piracy, slavery, genocide, apartheid, and torture are part of the customary "Law of Nations" for which individuals, including foreign officials, can be held civilly liable. But at one and the same time, the Congress and the Courts have ruled that international conventions which establish criminal penalties for those same acts do not provide a private right of action. The Executive branch, the Congress, and the Courts routinely decline to exercise universal jurisdiction over crimes committed by foreigners against foreigners or by foreign States - and they have adopted policies to prevent the ICC from exercising jurisdiction over US leaders, citizens, or those of our "Allies". See the American Service-Members' Protection Act,

      In the Wall case, the Palestinians and several other interested State Parties charged Israel with the crime of apartheid, but the Court avoided the issue. In the Bosnian genocide case, the ICJ once again refused to even say whether mass killings were war crimes or crimes against humanity. It cited the lack of compulsory jurisdiction over those offenses under Article IX of the Genocide Convention, while ignoring the UN Convention which said those crimes are not subject to any statutory limitations. Technically it would also have been impossible on the basis cited by the ICJ to rule that a non-State Party, or non-State actor, like the Bosnian Serb militias had committed genocide. But it just so happened that the Security Council had established its own criminal tribunal to handle the task in that particular case.

      We all know that the Security Council does not ordinarily establish tribunals or refer cases of war crimes and crimes against humanity to the ICC. Even when it does, the resolutions specifically exempt foreign mercenaries (Libya) and the actions of the tribunals are overruled or their work suspended for political reasons (Lebanon).

      Lemkin viewed and described genocide as a single process that involved attacks, occupation, eviction (aka ethnic cleansing), colonialism, and what we now call apartheid: the denial of nationality and self-governing institutions, combined with exclusion from the political, cultural, social, and economic life of the country through the application of the various "techniques of genocide":

      Genocide has two phases: one, destruction of the national pattern of the oppressed group; the other, the imposition of the national pattern of the oppressor. This imposition, in turn, may be made upon the oppressed population which is allowed to remain or upon the territory alone, after removal of the population and the colonization by the oppressor's own nationals.


      It's no accident that genocide was included in the list of "war crimes and crimes against humanity" for which no statutory limitations apply or that the acts described by the General Assembly and the international community of states are all part of the two phased process of genocide that Lemkin described in the Axis Occupation of Europe: "eviction by armed attack or occupation and inhuman acts resulting from the policy of apartheid, and the crime of genocide as defined in the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, even if such acts do not constitute a violation of the domestic law of the country in which they were committed." -- Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity

    • 1) You are repeating yourself.

      2) I made that point myself–several times– which you will see if you read my post just above where I write:

      No you keep arguing in circles. What you have NOT pointed out is:

      *That neither the ECHR nor the German Court's considered themselves to be legally bound by the arbitrary rule adopted by both the ICTY and the ICJ in their cases, i.e. that a physical or biological destruction of a substantial part of the group must occur.

      *That other countries, the International Law Commission, and the General Assembly have added examples of non-lethal offenses or stipulated that their lists are not exhaustive, e.g. the addition of Rape by the ICTR; 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1091 added "causes the permanent impairment of the mental faculties of members of the group through drugs, torture, or similar techniques;" and the General Assembly declarations concerning ethnic cleansing and apartheid.

      *That many States which participated in drafting the Convention, including the UK and USSR, successfully argued that, while evidence of intent to target the group - as a group - was essential, the motives involved were not relevant or a necessary element that should be included in the Convention.

      *That, while the jurisdiction of the ICTY and ICJ are strictly limited, the ECHR agreed with the German Courts that States can exercise universal jurisdiction over crimes committed by foreigners against foreigners using their own statutes, procedures, and elements of the crime. Nothing in the Genocide Convention or the ICTY Statute can prevent States from doing that.

      *That genocide can occur in cases where there is no state responsibility or party to the genocide convention to trigger the ICJ's limited jurisdiction under Article IX. For example, crimes committed by non-state actors, like the Bosnian Serb militias in Doboj, and Srebrenica, or Zionist militias in Deir Yassin, before 14 May 1948.

      *That countries, like the United States, have established different rules for the burden of proof needed to establish the guilt or liability of persons like Slobodan Milošević and his Bosnian Serb confederates. Nothing prevents States from prosecuting those sort of cases against the responsible individuals or determining civil liability for genocide/ethnic cleansing using procedures, elements of the crime, and definitions that interpret international law "not as it was . . . but as it has evolved and exists among the nations of the world today (Filártiga v. Peña-Irala). That means the State Courts are not barred from using the definition of ethnic cleansing proposed by the UN Security Council Panel of Experts, the General Assembly, or the sense of the US Congress, e.g. Kadic v. Karadžić United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit (1995),

    • like the claim ‘their preference was always transfer’. . . . this idea israel is a less guilty because it’s aims were innocent is such bs.

      I've pointed out three sources, including the expert cited by Pappe, who explain that ethnic cleansing is a non-legal, political, or propaganda term that has been employed to avoid responsibility for preventing or prosecuting cases of genocide.

      The organizers and planners must have a discriminatory motive. But at the same time, the individual participants can also have any number of other irrelevant incentives, like peer pressure, financial gain, acquisition of territory, jealousy, political ambitions, & etc. There can be no legitimate doubt that the framers of the genocide convention intended, as a minimum, to prohibit the act of deliberately and systematically massacring or exterminating "part" of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group, as such, regardless of any other motive that might be involved. Failed attempts even count as an offense.

      At first Sibiriak argued that his remarks weren't confined to the "legal sphere", but he suddenly had legions of angels dancing on the head of pin, while complaining that the meaning of the terms "whole" or "part" required a much more precise legal definition than the common meanings supplied by Websters dictionary. It's as if to suggest that 1) there should exist some "part" of "the Arabs" of Palestine that can be deliberately and systematically exterminated, without transgressing the prohibition against genocide; and 2) it would be dangerous or violate the exercise of some fundamental right if we employ overly broad definitions in the law, like the ones found in everyone's dictionary.

    • The lengthy discussion here started when he claimed that forcible transfer rules out a charge of genocide

      I never said that. I’ve said numerous times: forcible transfer/ethnic cleansing is not *necessarily* genocide.

      Let's make this clear. The members of the General Assembly defined the crime and gave themselves the right to adopt statutes and prosecute the crime of genocide. They did not include a requirement for physical or biological destruction to take place in each of the examples of genocide contained in Article II of the Convention or grant the ICJ legislative powers to include additional requirements. The scope of the ICJ's jurisdiction does not include the national statutes mentioned in Article 1, only disputes between states about the interpretation of the Convention itself and state responsibility for genocide.

      In any event, the ICJ does NOT have the legislative authority to say that deliberate massacres are not genocial in intent if the are carried out as part of a systematic plan of transfer or ethnic cleansing. Every time that deadly force is deliberately employed to exterminate a part of a group, as such, it satisfies the definition of genocide contained in the Convention.

      I wonder why you keep arguing about Palestine as if the massacres, death marches, destruction of hundreds of entire villages and their crops, and the planting of land mines in the rubble of those villages and their fields afterward were only unintended threats to the survival of the group?

    • The ECHR quoting the ICJ:

      Is non-binding dicta.

      In any event, the ECHR specifically found that the intent to commit genocide within the meaning of Article 220a of the German Criminal Code did NOT require physical or biological destruction in direct contradiction to a specific rule that had been adopted by the ICJ and ICTY.

      It also held the German's were NOT debarred from adopting their own legislation on the subject and exercising jurisdiction over crimes committed by foreigners against foreigners using that definition.

      FYI, the ECHR has to forward its judgments to the Council of Ministers and request that they in-turn enforce them. But the criminal courts do not agree that they are necessarily bound by the decisions made in Strasbourg. See for instance: "Senior judge raises doubts over power of European court: Lord chief justice Lord Judge says UK courts not bound by rulings of Strasbourg-based court of human rights"

    • Why would I be bothered by an idea I fully agree with?

      Am I glad, though, that you are now accepting that there are open legal questions regarding what constitutes genocide, which has been precisely my position all along.

      No you and Pappe have exonerated the Israelis of the charge of genocide, but no Court has ever done that. We are talking about a crime that is not subject to any statutory limitations and you are pre-judging the question by posting bare assertions that ethic cleansing is not genocide. That is not how you describe an open question.

    • P.S. Re: I think it’s great that Sibiriak shares your knowledge of the law but has the flexibility of mind to also argue a case not based on dogmatism and an abject terror of being contradicted.

      I pointed out here that we are discussing state responsibility for genocide and that there are no statutory limitations involved. Like Annie, I wonder why you and Sibiriak are bothered by the idea that Pappe's layman's view doesn't settle the open legal questions.

      There are plenty of lawyers with earned PhD's, like Francis Boyle, who have volunteered to take on a genocide case against Israel in the ICJ. They have been waiting on the General Assembly to recognize the State of Palestine, so that sort of legal action can be pursued.

    • I think it’s great that Sibiriak shares your knowledge of the law but has the flexibility of mind to also argue a case not based on dogmatism and an abject terror of being contradicted.

      I think it's obvious that Sibiriak wasn't aware that the UN Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Rome Statute and the Assembly of State Parties, representing a sizable majority of states, included the act of systematically driving members of the group from their homes in the ICC Elements of the Crime of Genocide.

      The lengthy discussion here started when he claimed that forcible transfer rules out a charge of genocide or that ethnic cleansing is not genocide. Several of the experts cited have explained that ethnic cleansing is just a political term employed by some parties to avoid their responsibilities to prevent or prosecute genocide.

      I'd love to have your knowledge of the law but I would never argue just the legal aspect of a political (or whatever) opinion I held to the exclusion of all other facts.

      I didn't. I pointed out the absurdity of the situation when the best legal intellects of our times wasted 14 years to deliver a ruling that says it isn't evidence of genocide when Serbian officials issue written directives for the extermination of the "non-Serbian" population, because they failed to positively identify which groups they intended to target. My main objections to that are based on moral and logical grounds. The degree of caution the Judges exercised over their jurisdiction was absurd and embarrassing:

      277. . . . The killings outlined above may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, but the Court has no jurisdiction to determine whether this is so. (emphasis added)

      The President of the Court, Judge Higgins, didn't hesitate at all to call attention to illegal situations in the Wall case. She noted then, that the fact the situation just so happened to be discovered during the course of an advisory proceeding was irrelevant.

      Sibiriak said that the ICJ could hold states responsible for genocide. But it is mostly a toothless civil court that can only issue rebukes or suggest reparations in genocide cases. In this particular case, the Court wasn't interested in pursuing that course of action at all - even in the face of a mountain of evidence, including hundreds of thousands of dead victims buried in mass graves from one end of the country to the other. It held that Bosnia was required to prove the genocidal intent of the Serbians and that it wouldn't follow the rules adopted by the UN criminal courts, which allow intent to be inferred from the totality of acts committed against the targeted group.

      The customary rules of proof in civil proceedings, like those conducted by the ICJ, are normally based upon a much lower burden of proof than the ones used in corresponding criminal cases. In the Bosnia case, the ICJ set the bar higher.

      The Court added insult to injury by allowing Serbia to redact portions of the documents containing minutes of its meetings where the attacks against civilians were discussed. Serbia was allowed to withhold evidence because it asserted that they contained classified "military secrets":

      204. On the burden or onus of proof, it is well established in general that the applicant must establish its case and that a party asserting a fact must establish it ; as the Court observed in the case of Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua (Nicaragua v. United States of America), “it is the litigant seeking to establish a fact who bears the burden of proving it” (Jurisdiction and Admissibility, Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 1984, p. 437, para. 101). While the Applicant accepts that approach as a general proposition, it contends that in certain respects the onus should be reversed, especially in respect of the attributability of alleged acts of genocide to the Respondent, given the refusal of the Respondent to produce the full text of certain documents.

      205. The particular issue concerns the “redacted” sections of documents of the Supreme Defence Council of the Respondent, i.e. sections in which parts of the text had been blacked out so as to be illegible. The documents had been classified, according to the Co-Agent of the Respondent, by decision of the Council as a military secret, and by a confidential decision of the Council of Ministers of Serbia and Montenegro as a matter of national security interest. The Applicant contends that the Court should draw its own conclusions from the failure of the Respondent to produce complete copies of the documents. It refers to the power of the Court, which it had invoked earlier (paragraph 44 above), to call for documents under Article 49 of the Statute, which provides that “[f]ormal note shall be taken of any refusal”.


      The members of that particular Court panel couldn't have done a better job of representing Serbia if they'd been hired to do the job.

    • throwing a mountain of legislation and commentary on legislation underneath an already held political position is not the full story. . . . It’s a credit to you that some are seeing this point thanks to your arguments here.

      LOL! You're just jealous, because there isn't a molehill's worth of legislation for you to throw around in support of your position.

      The bottom line is that the ICJ doesn't exercise criminal jurisdiction. The international courts that do, use their own statutes to define the elements of the crime and have their own criminal procedures. The majority of states are members of the ICC and have agreed to harmonize their laws and procedures with the ones that I've cited here in this discussion.

      The definition hasn't changed in 11 years and the OTP, trial chambers, and appeals chambers have already used it in the Bashir case.

    • Oh eternal gravitas!

      I tend to agree. I just try to answer posts that raise doubts or questions. The ICJ adopted a higher standard of proof in the Bosnia case than any of the criminal courts have employed, but it's decisions are not binding on other civil or criminal courts who have gone-off in their own directions.

    • Do you really think Biblical references would suffice in court as proof of genocidal intent?

      No, but the preponderance of evidence proves that they were willing to exterminate part of the group and did so. I'll let you be Israel's lawyer, it's not my job.

      In any case, I wouldn’t hold your breath on Ben Gurion getting prosecuted for genocide.

      We are discussing State responsibility for genocide under the terms of the UN convention. It doesn't provide for any statutory limitations. Prime Minister Netanyahu has extended the time that Israel State Archives remain classified. So you can't base your conclusions on the documentary record just yet.

    • But that is exactly my position. By saying that acts of ethnic cleansing only *sometimes* constitute genocide, you are confirming Pappe’s view and mine

      Let's review:
      Sibiriak: According to Pappe:

      Ethnic cleansing is not genocide, but it does carry with it atrocious acts of mass killing and butchering.

      Ilan Pappe, “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (Kindle Locations 4099-4100).

      Sibiriak: As I mentioned above, according to Pappe:

      Ethnic cleansing is not genocide, but it does carry with it atrocious acts of mass killing and butchering.

      Clearly, the definition of genocide is contested.

    • In any case, those IJC and ICTY have *different* jurisdictions, so I don’t get your point.

      Read the ICJ judgment. The ICJ had to accept the ICTY decisions as a form of proof that genocide had occurred. Neither the Charter nor the Security Council gave the ICJ any role in reviewing the decisions of criminal tribunals. They UN ones were established under Chapter VII resolutions as subsidiary organs of the Security Council. They have their own Statutes that define genocide and establish their jurisdiction over the crime. The only references to the ICJ in the Statute of the ICTY are ones which say that the Judges will be selected using the same procedures.

    • But that quote does not say what YOU said:
      Genocide was one of the precise violations of international law that he cited as an example of so-called ethnic cleansing.

      Nowhere in that quote does he say that genocide was an *example* of ethnic cleansing.

      He says that genocide could be an *aspect* of ethnic cleansing.

      I'll try again: Sibiriak, I’ll leave you to argue against your own feeble straw men on that point. You can either argue that "genocide" can be an example or aspect of ethnic cleansing, as Petrovic did, or you can say that ethnic cleansing is never considered the same thing as genocide, like Pappe did.

    • But that quote does not say what YOU said:
      Genocide was one of the precise violations of international law that he cited as an example of so-called ethnic cleansing.

      Nowhere in that quote does he say that genocide was an *example* of ethnic cleansing.

      He says that genocide could be an *aspect* of ethnic cleansing.

      Sibiriak, I'll leave you to argue against your own feeble straw men. You can either argue that ethnic cleansing can be an example or aspect of ethnic cleansing, as Petrovic did, or you can say that ethnic cleansing is never considered the same thing as genocide, like Pappe did.

    • You make it sound as if Pappe had some reason to downplay the atrocities inflicted on Palestinians. I don’t see any basis for that insinuation.

      Pappe, Flapan and others have written that the goal of the military campaign was the conquest and destruction of both the rural and urban areas of Arab Palestine. If Ben Gurion & Company only wished to drive out the inhabitants, why did their propaganda stress that they were repeating the genocidal conquests of ancient Palestine and make extravagant claims and comparisons between the acts of the modern militias and the ancient events recorded in the books of Joshua and Samuel? Pardon me if I infer a genocidal intent from that sort of thing.

      In those accounts all of the enemy cities, men, women, children, and animals were utterly destroyed or put to the sword. Here for example, is a passage from "The Bible is our Mandate" in Nur Masalha, The Bible and Zionism, starting from the last paragraph on page 27 thru page 28:

      Ben-Gurion also, and crucially, argued that he was fighting all Zionist battles with the help of the Hebrew Bible. Already in his first published work, in Yiddish, entitled: Eretz Yisrael: Past and Present (1918), which he co-authored with Yitzhak Ben-Tzvi - later to become the second president of Israel - he argued that the Jewish ‘ return’ to Palestine is actually a ‘repeat' of Joshua’s conquest of ancient Palestine. The 1948 Palestine war drew Ben-Gurion ever nearer to the biblical narrative, as seen from his frequent references to biblical figures and biblical battles of conquest.

      Apparently the Book of Joshua was the biblical book to which Ben-Gurion
      was most drawn. On more than one occasion Ben-Gurion pointed to an
      ‘unbroken line of continuity from the days of Yehoshua bin Nun [Joshua
      son of Nun] to the IDF ’ (Israel Defence Force) in and after 1948. When
      he spoke of sweeping Jewish offensives in the 1948 war, he apparently
      did so in language evocative of the Book of Joshua. The Israeli army,
      he declared, had ‘struck the kings of Lod and Ramleh. the kings of Belt
      Naballa and Deir Tarif, the kings of Kola and Migdal Zedck’.

      If the hasbara minister in chief had merely wanted to drive out the Palestinians, he could have always employed the scriptures which emphasized the Divine plan of gradual ethnic cleansing from Deuteronomy Chapter 7 instead. That passage explained that the Gentile inhabitants were still necessary for the time being to prevent the country from being overrun by wild animals and such.

    • Yes, but it also ruled that genocidal intent is required to sustain a conviction of genocide , and that because not all transfer/expulsion involves genocidal intent, not all transfer/expulsion constitutes genocide.

      Therefore, my statement holds true.

      No it does not. You are repeating the dicta and ignoring the applicable legal standard that was applied by the ECHR, i.e. This is not to say that acts described as 'ethnic cleansing' may never constitute genocide, if they are such as to be characterized as, for example, 'deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part', contrary to Article II, paragraph (c), of the Convention, provided such action is carried out with the necessary specific intent (dolus specialis), that is to say with a view to the destruction of the group, as distinct from its removal from the region.

      In the case of the "ethnic cleansing" of Palestine the Zionists weren't trying to merely remove the targeted groups from their homes in the winter of November 1948, they had besieged and razed entire villages, imprisoned the farmers to prevent them from harvesting the fall crops, or simply plowed them under and seeded the areas with non-native trees in order to deny the group its means of sustenance. By that time they had imposed martial law and thousands of family providers were rounded up and subjected to what Pappe described as inhuman imprisonment. When the Red Cross was finally allowed into the areas they found women and children living in scenes of total desolation. The genocidal intent of these operations can be inferred by all of the other crimes that had targeted the group. It is completely disingenuous to ignore that the object of the terror campaigns, local massacres, the demolition of four hundred entire villages and the destruction of their crops, sexual crimes, death marches, summary execution of prisoners, the establishment of closed zones, martial law, and prison camps was not simply transfer.

    • According to the ICJ decision, the massacre at Srebrenica rose to the level of genocide because . . .

      they had no criminal appellate jurisdiction to overturn the ruling of the ICTY to that effect.

      All the other actions of the Serbian ethnic cleansing campaign, even though they involved 10 or 20 times more deaths, were deemed to be NOT genocide.

      Because the Court adopted a rule that was not required by either the Genocide Convention or the facts of the case that it should deal with the matter on the basis that the targeted group must in law be defined “positively”, and thus not “negatively” as the “non-Serb” population. Evidence of orders that targeted the so-called non-Serb population for destruction were deemed insufficient to establish the identity of the targeted group. I supplied a link to the Official Summary of the Judgment and the page number where that information can be found.

      So using that feeble logic, the Zionists could order the extermination of all the non-Jewish communities and it wouldn't be genocide, only a war crime or crime against humanity outside the remit of the ICJ's compulsory jurisdiction. The ICJ would consider it genocide if the plan targeted the same communities by identifying them as Gentiles, Arab Muslim, Arab Christian, Druze, & etc.

    • Genocide was one of the precise violations of international law that he cited as an example of so-called ethnic cleansing.

      Correction: you have it exactly backwards.

      No I am quoting him verbatim:

      On the basis of the tragic events of Bosnia and Herzegovina and taking into consideration the many reports and analyses of all aspects of so-called ethnic cleansing, very precise violations of international law can be recognized: from intolerance and discrimination, ethnic and religious exclusivity, dominance and the sense of superiority of one group to crimes against humanity and genocide.

      Petrovic had just spilled 13 pages of ink writing about the fact that ethnic cleansing has different forms, ranging from simple non-violent administrative and economic discrimination, to acts of terror that cause extreme mental and physical harm, and military measures which aim at extermination of a portion of the targeted group. He also noted that the policies are always part of a systematic plan.

      The examples of non-violent administrative and economic measures of ethnic cleansing that he cited are employed on the captive population, i.e. removal of lawfully elected officials, dismissal from work (especially from important public service positions), restrictions on the distribution of humanitarian aid, constant identity checking of members of minority ethnic groups, official notices to the effect that security of the members of other nations cannot be guaranteed; colonization by settlers in the region; discriminatory and repressive legislation; refusal of treatment in hospital, making the departure of one member conditional upon the departure of the entire family; disconnection of telephones; forced labor very often including work on the front-lines of armed conflict; prohibiting women of particular ethnic groups from giving birth in hospital; and 'voluntary' transfer of property by forcing people to sign documents stating that the property was permanently abandoned by the owner.
      2. Other Non-violent Measures
      These could include: local media inflaming fear and hatred; harassing phone-calls, including death threats, and publishing lists of citizens indicating their ethnic origin.

      I've noted repeatedly that all of the other systematic methods of ethnic cleansing that he cited correspond to acts in Article II of the Genocide Convention.

    • Neither the intent, as a matter of policy, to render an area “ethnically homogeneous”, nor the operations that may be carried out to implement such policy, can as such be designated as genocide

      Of course not, unless the operations fall within one of the categories of acts prohibited by Article II of the Genocide Convention. There can be no doubt in our case that thousands of Palestinian Arabs were the targets of atrocities and that they were killed, even according to Pappe's account.

    • There is no contradiction there. When Pappe –and the ICJ, other courts, and the majority of legal scholars–say that ethnic cleansing is not genocide, they mean that they are two different concepts that cannot be conflated, and that ethnic cleansing, *as such*, has a different intention than genocide.

      There are fewer than 200 states in the world community and 121 of them are ICC member states. If you include the countries, like the USA, that have also declared ethnic cleansing to be a form of genocide, then they constitute the majority view in the realm of jurisprudence. There is no difference between the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the crime of genocide. The systematic terror campaign; systematic expulsion from homes; the total destruction of 400+ villages; the summary executions and massacres; the rape and the deaths of thousands of Palestinian Arabs as a result of all those atrocities adequately satisfies the elements of the crimes of Genocide by causing serious bodily or mental harm and Genocide by deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about physical destruction.

      Rape is not murder. But if an incident of rape includes murder (act and intention), then the incident rises to the level of murder. When someone says "rape is not murder" they are not saying that acts of rape can never include or rise to the level of murder.

      ???? Acts of sexual violence, like rape, constitute the actus reus for genocide because they cause serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group and are considered to be torture and measures intended to prevent births within the group. Women were deliberately singled out for humiliation in front of their partners, children and neighbors. This connection between sexual violence, specifically rape, genocide and destruction of the group was first made in 1998 by the ICTR in the Akayesu Trial Chamber Judgment. That Court concluded that rape constitutes genocide and was conduct that could itself effect destruction of a group or a substantial portion of a group.

      Not quite. In addition to the genocidal acts, such as you mention, there must be the genocidal *intention* to destroy a group, in whole or part. Petrovic is clear on that, as is international law.

      Petrovic was writing in 1994 before the ICTY and other tribunals had ruled that rape constitutes genocide and that "the genocidal intent may be inferred, among other facts, from evidence of other culpable acts systematically directed against the same group". That Judgment was part of an ICTY landmark sexual abuse case: The Prosecutor v. Radislav Krstic. The Trail Chamber also noted that “ethnic cleansing” is not a proper legal term.

      If genocidal acts AND genocidal intentions are evident, then it is genocide under international law.

      No shit Sherlock. How many citations do you need from courts and experts who say that so-called "ethnic cleansing" is only a political term and that genocide is one of the precise offenses that it has been used to describe?

    • 2) Pappe did not "delete" references to genocide. He simply didn't quote those parts of Petrovic's text, since he was focused on the definition of ethnic cleansing, not genocide--two different concepts.

      Correction: Petrovic's article was devoted entirely to the subject of *Ethnic Cleansing*. Genocide was one of the precise violations of international law that he cited as an example of so-called ethnic cleansing.

    • Your argument that transfer/expulsion *always* means genocide, and that that international law is clear on that, is simply not true.

      Well we've already been over the Elements of the Crime of Genocide used by the ICC for Genocide by deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about physical destruction. That does represent an international consensus. It says The term “conditions of life” may include, but is not necessarily restricted to, deliberate deprivation of resources indispensable for survival, such as food or medical services, or systematic expulsion from homes.

      Despite claims by to the contrary, the ICC is an international court with 121 member states. The Statute, Rules of Evidence and Procedures, and Elements of Crimes were drafted by an international diplomatic conference of Plenipotentiaries. They have also been endorsed by the signatories and their representatives in the ICC Assembly of State Parties. The members of the EU have accepted the exercise of the Court's jurisdiction on their territories and have an obligation to harmonize their national criminal laws and rules of procedure with those used by the Court.

      The ECHR did not express the opinion that transfer/expulsion was *necessarily* genocide.

      Furthemore, the ECHR decision in that case by no means represents a consensus in international law on what constitutes genocide.

      *It ruled that no physical or biological destruction is required to sustain a conviction of Genocide.* As noted above, the EU member states are parties to the Rome Statute and neither the ICJ nor the ICTY can prevent them from exercising universal jurisdiction over the crimes in question.

    • This argument makes no sense to me. Are you saying that there would be no problem if every single crime that involves a life sentence were labelled “genocide” ?

      No I'm saying that the ICTY charges defendants, like Radovan Karadžić with counts of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes based upon the same underlying conduct so long as the crimes have different elements. All of them include murder, killing, or extermination. with multiple offenses

    • Sibiriak, I don't believe that the ICJ has ever said that what happened in Srebrenica wasn't an example of ethnic cleansing. The official summary said:

      The Court states that “ethnic cleansing” can only be a form of genocide within the meaning of the Convention, if it corresponds to or falls within one of the categories of acts prohibited by Article II of the Convention. Neither the intent, as a matter of policy, to render an area “ethnically homogeneous”, nor the operations that may be carried out to implement such policy, can as such be designated as genocide. However, this does not mean that acts described as “ethnic cleansing” may never constitute genocide, if they are such as to be characterized as, for example, “deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part”, contrary to Article II, paragraph (c), of the Convention, provided such action is carried out with the necessary specific intent (dolus specialis), that is to say with a view to the destruction of the group, as distinct from its removal from the region.

      -- ICJ Summary of the Judgment

      Note: The international consensus of state parties to the Rome Statute is that systematically depriving members of the group of things necessary to their survival, including food, health care, or forcibly driving them from their homes is sufficient evidence of genocidal intent and an example of imposing conditions calculated to bring about their destruction. Even the ICTY held that the genocidal intent can be inferred from the crimes systematically committed against the group:

      Intent to “destroy” means:
      - the genocidal intent may be inferred, among other facts, from evidence of other culpable acts systematically directed against the same group;
      - the inference that a particular atrocity was motivated by genocidal intent may be drawn, moreover, even where the individuals to whom the intent is attributable are not precisely identified.
      See Judgment in The Prosecutor v. Radislav Krstic - Case No. IT-98-33-A

      The ICJ rejected both of those premises. Although it doesn't have a Prosecutor or investigators that can gather the necessary facts. So it really isn't equipped to conduct criminal investigations in a contentious case. It also wasted 14 years fumbling around with jurisdictional issues like the claim of Serbia and Montenegro that Bosnia was not a state capable of becoming a party to the Genocide Convention, and that Serbia and Montenegro were not UN member states - and thus not parties to the ICJ Statute or subject to the Court's compulsory jurisdiction.

      The Vice President of the Court complained that through a combination of methods and assumptions, uncalled for in law and not suitable to the facts of the case, the Court achieved the extraordinary feat of absolving Serbia of its responsibility for genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina save for failure to prevent the genocide at Srebrenica, where in any case Serbian responsibility was more actively involved than the mere failure to prevent. See page 23 of the ICJ Summary at the link above.

      One of the inane and arbitrary rules the Court had adopted, which was not required by law, was the conclusion that it should deal with the matter on the basis that the targeted group must in law be defined "positively", and thus not "negatively" as the “non-Serb” population. So according to the majority opinion, any evidence of orders that targeted the so-called non-Serb population for destruction was only sufficient to establish crimes against humanity. Those crimes are not the preserve of the ICJ and are outside the scope of its compulsory jurisdiction under Article IX of the Genocide Convention. See page 8 of the ICJ Summary of the case at the link above.

      Instead, let’s look to the ICJ’s groundbreaking decision in Bosnia and Herzogovina v. Serbia and Montenegro for a clear and concrete example of the undesirability of such a vague definition. . . The numbers of people killed and the crimes committed in other areas, in their aggregate, far outweighed the killings in Srebrenica alone–yet they were not judged to be genocide. . . . How did the ICJ arrive at this rather strange–but precedent-setting– ruling?

      It really didn't establish any such precedent. It had to accept that genocide had occurred in Srebrenica, because a UN tribunal had already determined that it had. But in 1999 the German Courts also found that Joric had committed genocide in the Dojob region of Northern Bosnia (despite all of the conclusions by some observers to the contrary). Srebrenica is no where near that region. It's in Eastern Bosnia.

      The Bosnians had obtained a preliminary order from the Court which directed Serbia to turn over some additional evidence, but Serbia refused to cooperate. So, the ICJ was forced to proceed using only the evidence developed by the ICTY. But it arrived at dramatically different conclusions about the responsibility of Serbian officials. The ICTY determined that they had committed genocide and aided and abetted genocide through participation in a joint criminal enterprise in which they had exercised "overall control". The ICJ applied an arbitrary rule it had developed in the Nicaragua vs United States aggression case, which held that a State can only be held liable if it exercises "effective control". See the comments about that on page 23 of the ICJ Summary of the Judgment.

      Previously, I drew attention to the “in whole or in part” clause, which I claimed was overbroad.

      Those are everyday dictionary terms that mean it's illegal to try to destroy either a whole national, ethnical, racial or religious group - or even just a little bit of one. That rule doesn't interfere with the exercise of any fundamental right, so I don't see much danger in having an "overly broad" prohibition.

      In fact, the parties to the Convention have used that very same stipulation for 60 years in the Statutes of the various international tribunals and the ICC, without any exceptions or modifications.

      national, racial, ethnic and religious groups can be the target of genocide, but not gays, lesbians, adherents to a particular political philosophy or party etc.,

      Genocide was proposed as a special denomination of crime that targeted entire nations or communities on the basis of the group's national characteristics, including race, ethnicity, and religion.

      The Rome Statute actually does extend protection to gays, lesbians, adherents to a particular political philosophy or party, and "any other identifiable group" as an aggravated offense in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court - including genocide. Article 7(1)(h) explains that:

      Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender as defined in paragraph 3, or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph or any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court;

    • But you fail to acknowledge that, as quoted above: …in line with a MAJORITY of legal scholars the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) have ruled that, in order for actions to be deemed genocide, there must be physical or biological destruction of a protected group and a specific intent to commit such destruction.

      I fail to follow your logic. Legal scholars and the ICJ didn't write or ratify the genocide convention and they don't exercise criminal jurisdiction. State parties control the content of international treaties, criminal laws, and the scope of their own criminal jurisdiction. They retain the right to enforce their laws without regard to decisions of the ICJ or ICTY. Nothing would prevent a State from prosecuting an individual for genocide after the ICTY had convicted them of crimes against humanity for the same underlying conduct. The ICTY itself has convicted defendants of multiple offenses for the same underlying conduct, so long as the elements of the crimes are different. That's NOT double jeopardy. Radovan Karadžić is currently charged with two counts of genocide; two counts of crimes against humanity, and one war crime on the basis of essentially the same conduct - and each count includes a charge of murder, killing, or extermination. Only one of the genocide counts mentions Srebrenica.

      The fact that the ICTY refused to prosecute an offense on the basis of an arbitrary rule that it alone has established, does not debar State parties, like Germany, or the United States from treating that same underlying conduct as genocide in their own courts. Full Stop.

      The ICTY decision is NOT completely dispositive. The rule that you mention was never reflected in either Article 4 of the ICTY Statute that was adopted by the Security Council or the text of the Genocide Convention itself. The ECHR noted that fact in its Joric v Germany decision.

      The German prosecutors and Courts pointed out that nothing prevented it, or any other state, from exercising universal jurisdiction over crimes of genocide committed by foreigners against foreigners. The German and EU authorities also approved of, and cited, the views of several legal publicists who pointed out that the Genocide Convention contains no rule which says that physical and biological destruction is required. That ECHR decision has not been appealed by any of the other interested State Parties.

      The US Courts have allowed ATS cases on the Bosnian genocide. The US Congress has enacted a statute on genocide which implemented the terms of the genocide convention. So the fact that they have also adopted a sense of the Congress resolution which stated that the policy of aggression and ethnic cleansing in Bosnia satisfied all of the elements of the crime of genocide is legally relevant.

    • The argument has never been that plans and actions involving transfer/expulsion/ethnic cleansing can never be a "modality" of genocide, but that they are not * necessarily *such a modality.

      In fact you cited a comment by Pappe which claimed that ethnic cleansing is not genocide, and tried to employ his layman's view as a proof text.

      But the sources that he was citing including Drazen Petrovic , the UN etc. held that: once you exceeded the in-place "administrative measures" (which amount to apartheid or persecution), and begin using armed force to either terrorize or exterminate part of the members of the group you've cross the threshold which makes it a crime susceptible to prosecution as genocide.

      The Zionists and the Serbs were not simply persecuting their victims in hopes that they would voluntarily get up and leave the area. They were not simply deporting them either. The Zionist used terror raids to toss grenades into market places. They rolled barrel bombs down hills into Arab villages and used mortar attacks to literally drive Arabs into the sea. They massacred Arabs and destroyed their homes, villages, and crops. That satisfies the necessary elements of the crime of genocide laid down in the text of the treaty. The British High Commissioner, General Sir Alan Cunningham, noted that the Arabs of the large towns, had borne the brunt of the Jewish offensives. Menachim Begin's autobiography indicated that was not a consequence of the war, but rather its objective. Cunningham's reports by late April that Jewish attacks

      "had led to a crisis with ominous and intolerable implications for the British: Recent Jewish military successes (if indeed operations based on the mortaring of terrified women and children can be classed as such) have aroused extravagant reactions in the Jewish press. . . .Jewish broadcasts, both in content and in manner of delivery, are remarkably like those of Nazi Germany."

      See Theory and practice in the history of European expansion overseas, By Robinson,, Routledge, 1988, ISBN 0714633461, page 142

      Robert Lifton, a genocide scholar and Nobel lecturer, commented on the tactics used in Bosnia: “What’s happening there merits the use of the word genocide. “There is an effort to systematically destroy an entire group. It’s even been conceptualized by Serbian nationalists as so-called ‘ethnic cleansing.’ That term signifies mass killing, mass relocation, and that does constitute genocide.” See John Nichols, Bosnian Horrors Termed Genocide by a leading Holocaust Scholar,Toledo Blade, 28 February 1993,7117418&dq=

    • Rabbi Bergers objections to the concept of Jewish peoplehood has nothing to do with the US reason for not officially, in effect, ‘giving” Jerusalem to Israel. I am surprised you would use that.

      Berger's objections were not limited to the Jewish people issue. Rabbi Siegman was Executive Director of the American Jewish Congress. Rabbi Berger was Executive Director of the American Jewish Council and founded American Jewish Alternatives to Zionism (AJAZ) which called upon the state of Israel to abandon Zionism altogether and become a democratic State.

    • Nowhere does Pappe suggest he is employing an unusual definition of ethnic cleansing–just the opposite. . . . I find it rather ludicrous to think he was not aware of what he was doing.

      He crafted one that deleted references to genocide in the original source, presumably to harmonize it with his conclusion that ethnic cleansing is not genocide.

      In the Preface he says:

      The book opens with a definition of ethnic cleansing that I hope is transparent enough to be acceptable to all, one that has served as the basis for legal actions against perpetrators of such crimes in the past and in our own days. Quite surprisingly, the usual complex and ( for most normal human beings) impenetrable legal discourse is here replaced by clear, jargon-free language. This simplicity does not minimise the hideousness of the deed nor does it belie the crime's gravity.

      He cited an extract from an article written by Drazen Petrovic, who came to exactly the same conclusion as the UN Rapporteur for the Rights of Indigenous People. He said:

      "So far the international community has been employing precisely this term, but only as an excuse not to comply with duties laid down by international law. . . . it is hoped that the Tribunal will apply well defined tenants of international law rather than emotive phrases and terms, so far, 'ethnic cleansing' has been used merely as a political rather than as a legal term."

      Petrovic did not say that ethnic cleansing isn't genocide. In fact he spent a great deal of time and space establishing the fact that, in Bosnia, "the means and methods of ethnic cleansing policies" did in fact include "identifiable acts of genocide" and different elements which implied intent to commit genocide. He specifically included "extermination" in his definition of ethnic cleansing and "genocide" in his conclusions about the precise nature of the offenses included in the systematic and widespread attacks:

      On the basis of the tragic events of Bosnia and Herzegovina and taking into consideration the many reports and analyses of all aspects of so-called ethnic cleansing very precise violations of international law can be recognized:, from intolerance and discrimination, ethnic and religious exclusivity, dominance and the sense of superiority of one group to crimes against humanity and genocide.

      So Pappe is quoting Petrovic out of context, misrepresenting his views on genocide, and minimizing the gravity of the so-called crime of ethnic cleansing.

      When we turn to the United Nations, we find it employs similar definitions.

      No, we actually do not. The Petrovic article that Pappe cited points out that:
      1) the UN Security Council's panel of experts on ethnic cleansing included genocide in the chargeable offenses;
      2) The General Assembly said that ethnic cleansing was a form of genocide; and
      3) The UN Human Rights Committee adopted a resolution that was endorsed by the UN Economic and Social Council which "calls upon all States to consider the extent to which the acts committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Croatia constitute a genocide, according to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide;
      See Paragraph 12

      So Pappe does not actually quote the stated views of the UN HRC on the subject.

      This definition is also accepted by the US State Department.

      Except of course for the fact that the US government has claimed all along that the systematic and widespread attacks were part of a plan of genocide, e.g.:

      The United States deplores the statement made by newly elected Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic denying genocide in Srebrenica.

      Genocide in Srebrenica is not a subjective determination—it is a defined criminal act which the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has confirmed in final and binding verdicts in multiple cases. The International Court of Justice also has concluded that genocide occurred in Srebrenica. It cannot be denied.

      In 2005, the Senate and House of Representatives adopted resolutions that said:

      the policies of aggression and ethnic cleansing as implemented by Serb forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1992 to 1995 meet the terms defining the crime of genocide in Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide;
      Senate Resolution 134 2005

      The US Courts had allowed genocide charges in cases of alleged ethnic cleansing from the very beginning. In 1993 a lawsuit had been filed against Radovan Karadžic for genocide committed in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Second Circuit held that Karadžic, a non-state actor, could be held liable under the Alien Tort Statute for his complicity in the crime.

    • historically Zionism has always aimed at “transfer”

      "Genocide by deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about physical destruction" includes the act of systematically expelling persons from their homes. That is the criteria in use by the ICC today as a result of recommendations of the International Law Commission, the UN Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Rome Statute, and the Contracting States Parties to the ICC. It hasn't changed in over 11 years, so it's not really in a state of flux or transition.
      Article 6 (c)
      1. The perpetrator inflicted certain conditions of life upon one or more persons.
      2. Such person or persons belonged to a particular national, ethnical, racial or religious group.
      3. The perpetrator intended to destroy, in whole or in part, that national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such.
      4. The conditions of life* were calculated to bring about the physical destruction of that group, in whole or in part.
      * The term “conditions of life” may include, but is not necessarily restricted to, deliberate deprivation of resources indispensable for survival, such as food or medical services, or systematic expulsion from homes.
      5. The conduct took place in the context of a manifest pattern of similar conduct directed against that group or was conduct that could itself effect such destruction.
      Compare printed page numbers 2-4 of Elements of Crimes Copyright © International Criminal Court 2011 - with International Criminal Court, Elements of Crimes, U.N. Doc. PCNICC/2000/1/Add.2 (© 2000)

      We've been given ample evidence to know that thousands died as a result of deliberate acts of terror and local massacres that were part of the Zionist leadership's plan to acquire territory by expelling Palestinian Arabs from their homes and the territory of the enlarged Hebrew state.

    • Sibiriak: Pappe makes a clear, unequivocal distinction between forced expulsion/ethnic cleansing and genocide:

      Hostage: No he does not

      Pappe writes:

      Ethnic cleansing is not genocide

      How much clearer would you like Pappe to be?

      1) I would like for him to define the term genocide or cite the sources that he is using for his definition.
      2) Pappe tells us from the outset in the Introduction that he is replacing the normal definition of the crime of ethnic cleansing and using one that he selected to avoid the usual impenetrable legal jargon. He notes that it has been used to prosecute similar acts in the past.
      3) The definition of ethnic cleansing that Pappe borrowed from Drazen Petrovic's 1994 article can't really be employed to exclude genocide, since Petrovic himself warned in his Conclusion that he was not aware of any such tenant of international law at that point in time:

      ... it is hoped that the Tribunal will apply well defined tenants of international law rather than emotive phrases and terms, so far, ‘ethnic cleansing’ has been used merely as a political rather than as a legal term.”

      Pappe warns us that he is not using the normal definition of ethnic cleansing, but does not mention the source that he is relying upon to define genocide. He does a fine job of documenting the fact that thousands were deliberately killed in acts of terror, local massacres, and atrocities. He uses declassified documents and cites the work of others, like Nur Masalha, to establish that this was all part of the Zionist leadership's plan of deliberate expulsion or transfer.

      By the time that he published his book, the elements of the crime of genocide by imposition of adverse conditions of life had been reviewed and published by the UN Diplomatic Conference on the Rome Statute. The report of the Security Council's Panel of Experts had stated that ethnic cleansing was susceptible to charges under the genocide convention and the General Assembly had adopted a resolution which stated that ethnic cleansing is a form of genocide. Pappe doesn't mention any of that, or say why he would disagree with those conclusions. He only briefly mentioned the work of one UN body on the subject, the old UN Human Rights Council.

      While he states that ethnic cleansing was added to the Rome Statute, he failed to mention where it appears. Deliberately depriving one or more persons of items considered essential for survival, like food or medical care, or driving them from their homes is specific to the UN and ICC elements of the crime of "Genocide by deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about physical destruction". "Genocide by killing" only requires that the perpetrator kill one or more of persons.

      So it's baffling when he states that this instance of ethnic cleansing isn't genocide. He is obviously using his own private definition of the term "genocide", not the one used by the UN or the ICC. You pretend that he does that deliberately, but I see no evidence that he was aware of what he was doing.

    • On the issue of ethnic cleansing and genocide, I agree with Illan Pappe.

      So far, we are only talking about his personal opinions about international criminal law, i,e, the rules that the international community of states have adopted to govern their mutual relations. Only states can become parties to the genocide convention or the Rome Statute and have a say in the Elements of Crimes developed by the UN or ICC. You still haven't explained why the definitions and elements of crimes that they have adopted are undesirable or illogical. After all Pappe is talking about thousands of deaths that resulted from what he describes as atrocities and a life sentence for murder or wanton killing has the same consequences whether it is deemed to be genocide, a crime against humanity, or a war crime.

    • Seanmcbride,

      140 UN member states and 121 ICC member states have agreed upon the necessary ICC Elements of Crimes, including all of the various forms of Genocide. They have agreed that a number of non-fatal acts - such as rape, transferring babies, mental harm, and driving people from their homes - can be committed with the intent of destroying group cohesion so that the members cease to exist as a group, i.e. "destroying the group as such".

      "Genocide by killing" only requires that the perpetrator kill one or more persons. Mass killing is not required.

      The states have agreed that deliberately depriving one or more persons of the necessities of life, including food and medical care, or driving them from their homes constitutes “Genocide by deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about physical destruction”. There is more than ample evidence that the Zionist leadership deliberately planned to drive the population from their homes and expel them from the Hebrew state using acts of terror and local massacres. Terror could also constitute "Genocide by mental or physical harm". In either case it is undoubtedly a type of Genocide ipso jure (by operstion of law) according to Article 6 of the Rome Statute and:
      *Elements of Crimes Copyright © International Criminal Court 2011
      *International Criminal Court, Elements of Crimes, U.N. Doc. PCNICC/2000/1/Add.2 (2000)

      Sibirak thinks that Ilan Pappe can change or challenge the operation of law simply by writing a book that expresses the mistaken view that ethnic cleansing is not genocide.

    • I agreed with Stephen Shenfield’s statement

      Yes, but his statement failed to mention the fact that both Masalha and Kimmerling claimed that the Zionist leadership had deliberately planned to use terror and localized massacres to expel the population. The ICC elements of the offense of "genocide by killing" only requires that the perpetrator kill one or more persons. None of the other forms of genocide require that anyone be killed at all. Your flawed reading skills won't help you in the instance of the crime of "Genocide by forcibly transferring children". All that's required to destroy the group "as such" in those cases is for the perpetrator to forcibly transfer one or more persons. All that's required in cases of "Genocide by deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about physical destruction" is for the perpetrator to inflict "certain conditions of life" upon one or more persons. The term “conditions of life” may include, but is not necessarily restricted to, deliberate deprivation of resources indispensable for survival, such as food or medical services, or systematic expulsion from homes.

      So planning and imposing a low calorie diet or using terror or local massacres to expel one or more persons from the shelter of their homes is all that's required. See printed page numbers 2-4 of Elements of Crimes Copyright © International Criminal Court 2011

      And yes by God, the consensus of opinion among the international community of states is that it's supposed to be considered genocide when you plan on deliberately using terror or local massacres to drive populations from their homes. There is similar agreement that it's genocide when unlawful confinement or limitations on freedom of movement and deliberate deprivation of food and health care are employed to produce malnutrition. Full stop.

    • He could not be clearer. I agree with that position. I disagree with any attempt to conflate, by definition, genocide and ethnic cleansing. I’ve already expressed my criticism of the UN definition’s “in whole and in part” clause.

      Actually his thinking could not be more obtuse. What danger arises from conflating one crime with another, when both carry the same life sentence?

      Pappe says that thousands of Palestinians civilians were killed as a result of atrocities and cites Nur Masalah to illustrate that fact that the Zionist Leadership had plans to expel the population by any means necessary - including extermination. He says that no individuals were charged with war crimes despite overwhelming evidence. Other than feeble-mindedness, what possible logic are you employing to distinguish these thousands of deliberate deaths from a policy and plan of genocide? And why would such a distinction be useful in the first place?

      FYI, there is no difference between 1) a life sentence for the international crime of genocide; and 2) a life sentence for the international "crime against humanity" of systematic attacks directed against any civilian population that results in murder or extermination; or 3) the "war crime" of willfully killing a protected person. None of those offenses is subject to any statutory limitations. In the case cited by Pappe thousands of people are dead - and the sentences for all of the the possible offenses are the same. Compare the Rome Statute Article 8 (2)(a)(i); Article 7(1) (a) and (b); with Article 6 (a) or (c).

      In cases of attempts or where no physical destruction occurs, the sentences would also be the same for 1) the crimes against humanity of persecution or apartheid; 2) war crimes of inhuman treatment, willfully causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or health; 3) the war crime of unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement; and 4) an act of genocide caused by serious bodily or mental harm, or the imposition of conditions of life meant to destroy the group as such.

      Here are the necessary ICC elements of the genocide offenses from International Criminal Court, Elements of Crimes, U.N. Doc. PCNICC/2000/1/Add.2 (2000)

      Article 6 (b)
      Genocide by causing serious bodily or mental harm
      1. The perpetrator caused serious bodily or mental harm to one or more persons.

      2. Such person or persons belonged to a particular national, ethnical, racial or religious group.

      3. The perpetrator intended to destroy, in whole or in part, that national, ethnical, racial or religious group, "as such".
      *This conduct may include, but is not necessarily restricted to, acts of torture, rape, sexual violence or inhuman or degrading treatment.

      4. The conduct took place in the context of a manifest pattern of similar conduct directed against that group or was conduct that could itself effect such destruction.

      Article 6 (c)

      This would also include "attempts" at Genocide by deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about physical destruction


      1. The perpetrator inflicted certain conditions of life upon one or more persons.

      2. Such person or persons belonged to a particular national, ethnical, racial or religious group.

      3. The perpetrator intended to destroy, in whole or in part, that national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such.

      4. The conditions of life were calculated to bring about the physical destruction of that group, in whole or in part.
      * The term “conditions of life” may include, but is not necessarily restricted to, deliberate deprivation of resources indispensable for survival, such as food or medical services, or systematic expulsion from homes.
      5. The conduct took place in the context of a manifest pattern of similar conduct directed against that group or was conduct that could itself effect such destruction.

      Please explain why you disagree with the UN position, when none of the 142 State Parties to the Genocide Convention or the 121 State Parties to the Rome Statute have contested the definitions, elements of the offense, or expressed any reservations calling for the exclusion of so-called "ethnic cleansing"?
      *Rome Statute
      *Ratifications and Reservations

    • Again, simply false.

      As I mentioned above, according to Pappe:

      Fair enough, here is what Pappe actually said. But he doesn't provide any supporting logic or explain why it's supposedly desirable or factual:

      Ethnic cleansing is not genocide, but it does carry with it atrocious acts of mass killing and butchering. Thousands of Palestinians were killed ruthlessly and savagely by Israeli troops of all back grounds, ranks and ages. None of these Israelis was ever tried for war crimes, in spite of the overwhelming evidence

      There is no statute of limitations for the crime of genocide. Some laymen read too much into an acquittal. When a trail chamber finds the accused "not guilty" that is not the same thing as a finding of innocence. Absolutely nothing Pappe has said is exculpatory in any way. He readily admits that thousands were killed by one of the known modalities of genocide and cites Nur Mashalah as a witness that expulsion by any means - including extermination - was part of the Zionist leadership's plan. The General Assembly, and the Security Council Commission both said that leaders who participated in planning ethnic cleansing were susceptible to the charge of genocide in such cases. Pappe does not explain why he thinks leaders and the rank and file are not liable to charges of genocide - or why it would be desirable to drop the charges of genocide.

      Clearly, the definition of genocide is contested.

      It's hard to see how you can claim Pappe is "contesting" anything. He certainly doesn't have the necessary legal standing to challenge any of the decisions and definitions that I've cited.

    • These are not “my” issues, and of course, they have already been considered. There is great controversy about the definition of genocide, in and out of the legal sphere. It’s an important issue.

      If its so controversial in the legal sphere, why is it so trivially easy to cite statements by the responsible international organs to the contrary? Here is the statement on the Rome Statute from the UN Treaty Organization:

      It has been 50 years since the United Nations first recognized the need to establish an international criminal court, to prosecute crimes such as genocide. In resolution 260 of 9 December 1948, the General Assembly, "Recognizing that at all periods of history genocide has inflicted great losses on humanity; and being convinced that, in order to liberate mankind from such an odious scourge, international co-operation is required", adopted the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Article I of that convention characterizes genocide as "a crime under international law", and article VI provides that persons charged with genocide "shall be tried by a competent tribunal of the State in the territory of which the act was committed or by such international penal tribunal as may have jurisdiction . . ." In the same resolution, the General Assembly also invited the International Law Commission "to study the desirability and possibility of establishing an international judicial organ for the trial of persons charged with genocide . . ."
      Since that time, the question of the establishment of an international criminal court has been considered periodically. In December 1989, in response to a request by Trinidad and Tobago, the General Assembly asked the International Law Commission to resume work on an international criminal court with jurisdiction to include drug trafficking. Then, in 1993, the conflict in the former Yugoslavia erupted, and war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide -- in the guise of "ethnic cleansing" -- once again commanded international attention. In an effort to bring an end to this widespread human suffering, the UN Security Council established the ad hoc International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, to hold individuals accountable for those atrocities and, by so doing, deter similar crimes in the future.

      Obviously Ilan Pappe's remarks don't exclude the possibility that ethnic cleansing can be considered an example of genocide. Even if that's what Pappe mistakenly thinks, it doesn't transcend the legal determinations of the UN organs or the Courts of the State Parties to the ICC, like Germany. All that Pappe actually said was that Israel was not trying to expel the besieged population of Gaza, as they had in the situations in the West Bank and Jerusalem.

    • The U.S. position on Jerusalem has not fundamentally changed for years.

      If you disagree, please explain the major, status quo-altering position Obama has taken on this issue. I won’t hesitate to admit my error if you can do so.

      I'm saying that the US position on Jerusalem was, and still is a reflection of the influence of Jewish dissident organizations, like the American Jewish Congress, and the positions they have staked out on the issues from the very beginning.

      For example, The State Department response to inquiries from Rabbi Elmer Berger was specifically cited in the Department's Digest of International Law. The government adopted the Rabbi's position that the Jewish People concept is not a valid concept of international law. -- See Whiteman's Digest of International Law, Volume 8, U.S. Dept. of State, U.S. Govt. Print. Office, 1967, page 35

      That is another example of an important position that does not reflect the views of the government of Israel, AIPAC, & the ADL et al. You and Sean are suffering from denial.

    • To repeat, if the definitions of genocide in international law are under question, as they are in this discussion, merely pointing to those definitions in response is circular reasoning.

      The question is: are those definitions logical and desirable?

      Lemkin was not being irrational, illogical, or equivocal when he defined the term genocide and observed: "As Von Rundstedt has suggested the term does not necessarily signify mass killings although it may mean that. "

      So how can a nation be killed off without mass killings?

      It is eminently logical to conclude that acquiring the territory of a nation using Lemkin's techniques includes:
      1) driving half the population of a nation into exile and declaring them stateless;
      2) completely destroying their homes, towns, or villages and refusing to let them return;
      3) persecuting any remaining population under a regime of martial law;
      4) classifying the remaining population as "present but absent";
      5) expropriating the property and lands of the oppressed nation for use by the aggressors;
      6) Assigning the remaining population a new "Israeli Arab" nationality without equal civil, political, or economic rights;

      You'll quickly succeed in killing off the nation (genes meaning tribe or race and the Latin cide meaning killing, i.e. genocide) It was perfectly logical and desirable to have a term of art that describes that modern crime. Read Genocide - A Modern Crime and try to get some clue.

    • With all due respect, you don’t seem to realize the I have not been arguing from authority, but rather from logic and facts.

      Since you enjoy Wikipedia so much, here's an entry which describes that situation: Ipse dixit ("He, himself, said it") is known as the bare assertion fallacy.

      Lemkin's categories and techniques of genocide were political, social, cultural, religious, moral, economic, biological, and physical.

      He specifically dealt with the partial destruction of a national group as such. He wrote “By genocide we mean the destruction of a nation or … ethnic group”. Lemkin went on to argue that “Genocide has two phases: one, the destruction of the national identity of the oppressed group, the other, the imposition of the national identity of the oppressor.”

      The distinctive feature of genocide then, according to Lemkin, is that it aims to destroy or annihilate a group rather than the individuals that make up the group - with the ultimate purpose of genocide being to destroy the group’s identity and impose the identity of the oppressor on the survivors. No physical destruction is required to legally convert a Palestinian national into a stateless and penniless refugee or a "present but absent" Israeli-Arab living a hand to mouth existence under a regime of martial law that physically segregates and prevents the victims from taking part in the political, social, cultural, religious, moral, and economic life of their own country. That's the non-legal definition of genocide, and nothing in the Genocide Convention excludes it. That is an example of imposing conditions of life that are calculated to destroy the group as such in whole or in part.

    • Critically, Pappe makes a clear, unequivocal distinction between forced expulsion/ethnic cleansing and genocide:

      No he does not. He is simply saying that Israel is not trying to forcefully expel the population in the case of Gaza and that the policy will not work there. His comparison does not signify that cases of conventional ethnic cleansing cannot be considered a form of genocide too. Pappe devoted a great deal of time and space in "The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine" to the efforts of others to conceptualize the crime of ethnic cleansing. He even devoted several paragraphs to the significance of anonymous Wikipedia editors, casting them in the role of some sort of voice of the people (vox populi). Unfortunately, he has never devoted any space or time to a discussion of the works of Lemkin, the International Law Commission, the Security Council Commission, or the General Assembly's efforts in conceptualizing forced population transfers and segregation/confinement under a regime of martial law as modalities of genocide.

      Kimmerling went out of his way to coin the term “politicide” because he felt the term “genocide” was NOT appropriate for the actions he was subsuming under that term.

      A citation and blockquote would be nice, because I've never seen any such passage in his book. Like Pappe, Kimmerling's field of expertise is not the law. An argument from ignorance to the effect that genocide or apartheid do include the elements of "Politicide" is hardly dispositive. That very point was recently highlighted by one of the legal experts on the Russell Tribunal.

      Kimmerling did not cite the relevant works of Lemkin, the International Law Commission, the Security Council Commission, the General Assembly's Sixth Committee, or the constituent acts of the crimes of genocide and apartheid. The latter more than adequately defines the policy of Politicide.

    • Hostage and Sibiriak, I am having trouble parsing your debate.

      Like most post WW-II sources of international law, the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide was promulgated in the contents of a General Assembly resolution, i.e. 260 A (III) of 9 December 1948, not by Wikipedia.

      The General Assembly subsequently adopted another resolution which said that the aggressive policy of acquiring territory through ethnic cleansing constitutes a form of genocide:

      Gravely concerned about the deterioration of the situation in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina owing to intensified aggressive acts by the Serbian and Montenegrin forces to acquire more territories by force, characterized by a consistent pattern of gross and systematic violations of human rights, a burgeoning refugee population resulting from mass expulsions of defenceless civilians from their homes and the existence in Serbian and Montenegrin controlled areas of concentration camps and detention centres, in pursuit of the abhorrent policy of "ethnic cleansing", which is a form of genocide;
      Yes: 102, No: 0, Abstentions: 57, Non-Voting: 20, Total voting membership: 179

      As you can see, that was not a minority position. The Assembly did not mention extermination, murder, or physical destruction of the members of a group, but it did mention the same policies and techniques employed by the State of Israel in 1948 to acquire additional territory.

      I'm having trouble with your parsing of the definition of the crime of genocide. Article III of the convention says that the mere "attempt" to commit any of the lethal or non-lethal acts mentioned in Article II of the convention on the crime of genocide are punishable offenses. Are you claiming that denying a group adequate supplies of food and water and access to adequate health care or international food assistance for prolonged periods of time is not a deliberate attempt to impose conditions of life that threaten the survival of the members?

      Even the New York Times admits that

      "A recent report published in the Lancet medical journal showed that “the trend for stunting among Palestinian children is increasing, and that there is a concern about the long-term effects.” The report shows that there are pockets in northern Gaza where the level of stunted growth among children reaches thirty percent. Stunting, which is caused by chronic malnutrition and affecting cognitive development and physical health, poses a serious threat to normal childhood development and may cause severe health problems for children in the future." . . . Regardless of partisan persuasions, the percentage of Palestinian children who now suffer from stunted growth remains ten percent. Dismissing the report as one-sided does not change the medical facts on the ground, which clearly indicate that the Palestinian population in Gaza is facing a dangerous and worsening health situation

      They omitted the fact that the Lancet series observed that the conditions had also led to premature deaths, but hey, it's the NY Times. Now despite that revelation in 2009, the Israeli authorities refused to relax the closure of Gaza or permit unrestricted flow of humanitarian aid as required by UN Security Council resolution 1860. A recently released Israeli report titled "Food Consumption in the Gaza Strip - The Red Lines" concluded that Israel needed to allow 106 lorryloads of supplies into Gaza every day to avoid malnutrition. But during that time an average of only 67 lorryloads a day were allowed into Gaza.

      Since it only requires a plan, intent, and an attempt, why do you insist that the crime of genocide hasn't happened yet?

    • That statement is particular valid in relation to issues, such as the one I’ve been discussing here, that transcend questions of legality, international law etc.

      Stating that "ethnic cleansing has occurred, but not genocide" is not a discussion that transcends questions of legality. Both of those are considered examples of crimes.

      I’ve read Pappe’s book. I don’t recall him referring to these actions as genocide. Please, correct me if I am wrong.

      In the first chapter Pappe says that a search for comparable cases only turned-up the Armenian genocide, the Nazi Holocaust against the Roma or Sinti people, and the expulsion of non-Hungarians (Roma) at the end of the 19th century. All of those cases of ethnic cleansing, including Palestine, have been the subject articles in the Journal of Genocide Studies. Pappe wrote his book long after the General Assembly had declared that ethnic cleansing was a form of genocide. Full stop. There is a rich history of failed attempts to overturn General Assembly definitions of crimes. During the USA's efforts at desegregation, the General Assembly prohibited apartheid and policies of racial segregation and declared them to be crimes against humanity in the conventions on the elimination of all forms of racism and suppression of the crime of apartheid. Even after the prohibition was declared jus cogens by the ILC and incorporated in the Rome Statute, the US government objected that apartheid wasn't really a customary part of international law. Finally the US Supreme Court allowed it to be treated as customary law as part of an Alien Tort Statute claim, when it couldn't bench a quorum to overturn the decision of a lower court.

      The same sort of thing happened with the General Assembly's Definition of the Crime of Aggression. Even after the ICJ declared that it reflected customary law in the Nicaragua versus United States case, the USA and it's supporters kept it from being included in the final drafts of the Rome Statute. Eventually, the Assembly of State Parties adopted the verbatim definition of the General Assembly (30 years after the fact) during a 2010 review conference. Even then the Court acted over the strenuous objections of non-member observer states, including the USA and Israel.

      Pappe is a historian, not a lawyer. He admits in the Introduction of Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine that he starts with a definition of the crime of ethnic cleansing that "replaces the usual complex and impenetrable legal discourse on the subject". But he readily admits that he is only discussing a crime and various sources which attempt to conceptualize it. He does not claim that his definition "transcends legality". On the contrary he claims that the definition has served as the basis for legal actions in the past against perpetrators of similar crimes. He uses a quote as an intro to Chapter 1 which is extracted from "Ethnic Cleansing - An Attempt at Methodology written by Drazen Petrovic from Sarajevo University Law School for the European Journal of International Law in 1994:

      It is the present writer’s view that ethnic cleansing is a well-defined policy of a particular group of persons to systematically eliminate another group from a given territory on the basis of religious, ethnic or national origin. Such a policy involves violence and is very often connected with military operations. It is to be achieved by all possible means, from discrimination to extermination, and entails violations of human rights and international humanitarian law . . . Most ethnic cleansing methods are grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and 1977 Additional Protocols.

      pp. 342-60.

      That extract is culled from 18 pages of dense argumentation that isn't nearly as concise or clear as the General Assembly's simple statement that the policy of ethnic cleansing constitutes a form of genocide. It also fails to note the original author's conclusions:

      ... very precise violations of international law can be recognized: from intolerance and discrimination, ethnic and religious exclusivity, dominance and the sense of superiority of one group to crimes against humanity and genocide. Further, the motivating factors behind ethnic cleansing policies in the former Yugoslavia are not historical, but stem from strategic political interests. ... it is hoped that the Tribunal will apply well defined tenants of international law rather than emotive phrases and terms, so far, 'ethnic cleansing' has been used merely as a political rather than as a legal term."

      Pappe's statement that the crime of ethnic cleansing as such was incorporated in the Rome Statute is also a mistaken view, since it is susceptible to application under the heading of a number of separate offenses, including genocide, but is not explicitly defined or mentioned anywhere in the text itself.

      I've already provided citations which illustrate that Pappe does not eschew the use of either the term "genocide" or "apartheid" to describe Israel's conduct. He certainly says nothing in any of his books that would exonerate Israel of either charge in connection with the Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine in 1948.

      If we accept his claims that Zionist had plans to use whatever mean necessary, including extermination, to achieve their ends, then their attempts constitute genocide and have the necessary intent.

    • The truth is, the worldwide Jewish establishment (including the Jewish religious establishment) aggressively supports not only Zionism, but the current Israeli government, which is controlled by the most extreme right-wing regime in Israel's history.

      This fact of life was underlined when "liberal Zionists" in the Democratic Party failed to come to the aid of Barack Obama and Joe Biden in their conflict with Benjamin Netanyahu over Israeli settlements.

      You asked for an example of Jewish dissenters influencing the Democrats and I gave you one. The Jewish Establishment formally opposed the Obama administration on the issue of Jerusalem, settlements and all, but Peace Now and the Jewish voters did not. I can't understand why you won't just acknowledge that and move on. I happen to think that Jewish dissidents have helped keep the US from accepting and adopting Israeli policies lock, stock, and barrel.

    • I was, among other things, questioning the reasonableness and desirability of the definition of genocide given in Article II.

      Well while you are consulting your inner muse, that definition is still the legally binding one - and the ICJ has declared that it reflects customary law that is binding on non-signatories.

      Try again. Try making an argument that doesn't simply consist of referencing a legal decision, international law, a UN document etc.

      What would be the point in that? We would still be obliged to observe the legally binding consensus definitions contained in the apartheid and genocide conventions.

    • Inclusion of any of those elements does NOT mean that any one of those elements in and of themselves constitute genocide.

      Nice try at dissembling, but the inclusion of all of those elements does make it genocide. Ethnic cleansing is a form of genocide whenever it corresponds to or falls within the category of acts prohibited by Article II of the Convention under the rubic of "deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part" . "An attempt" is all that's necessary to secure a conviction according to Article III of the convention and no physical destruction is even entailed in several of the constituent acts.

      When General Assembly resolution 47/121 referred in its Preamble to "the abhorrent policy of 'ethnic cleansing', which is a form of genocide" that was not merely an opinion. That was an authoritative legal statement expressed by the UN body which has the responsibility for the progressive codification of international law and which authored the International Convention on the Crime of Genocide in the first place.

      The fact that Israel practiced all of the techniques of genocide mentioned by Lemkin is another indication of genocide. Israel did commit all of the barbaric acts that Lemkin described. Nur Mashalah established that the Zionists had a plan to radically alter the etho-religious-demographic balance of the entire country. They used all of Lemkin's modalities including physical, political, cultural, religious, and economic measures. In 1948 that included local massacres; acts of terror; mass flight and exile in other countries without adequate provisions; towns, villages, and crops were plowed under to prevent return and to deny Palestinians their source of sustenance. There were "death marches" like the forced exodus from Lydda and Ramle in which hundreds died. In the refugees camps the victims were exposed to exhaustion, disease, hunger, and the elements. Many simply perished as a result according to the ICRC, the PCC, and the predecessor of the UNRWA.

      His writings do not support your position that *any* form of transfer/forced expulsion is *synonymous* with genocide.

      In fact his writings include forced expulsion as one of the specific modalities of genocide.

      Lemkin expressed his opinion. That’s not the final say on the matter. He is just one person. For your position to be accepted as valid, it must be shown to be so via logic and facts.

      That's illogical since Lemkin coined and defined the non-legal term "genocide" that you are employing when you claimed that ethnic cleansing occurred, but not genocide.

      Quoting another person’s opinion may be enlightening, but from a logical standpoint it is simply an *appeal to authority* which carries no logical weight whatsoever.. . . . “Having a role in genocide” is clearly NOT the same as being synonymous with genocide.

      Once again, the consensus of the Security Council's legal experts and the General assembly was that leaders who engage in planning and carrying out "ethnic cleansing" are susceptible to charges of "genocide" and that ethnic cleansing is a form of genocide. The Security Council appealed to those same authorities when it drafted the Statute of the ICTY. It mentioned concern over the practice of ethnic cleaning, but did not define it as a separate criminal offense:

    • Wrong. My initial points were not confined to the legal sphere. My complaint was that YOURS were. I only touched on legal matters in response to YOUR arguments, which consist of little more than references to legal cases, and international law.

      You made a comment that ethnic cleansing had occurred but not genocide. That of course is contradicted by the non-legal definition of the term genocide by Lemkin himself. That of course ignores the hundreds of people who perished in the death march from Lydda and Ramle which Rabin himself confirmed in his own autobiography and the deliberate massacres that caused the mass flight of the refugees. Add to that the fact that Israel would not allow the starving refugees to return to their homes, sources of livelihood, or sustenance and the genocidal intent becomes unmistakable.

    • 70+ percent of Jewish voters just voted for a President whose views and actions on the Israeli/Palestine conflict are in fundamental accord with the views of the “Jewish Establishment”.

      Once again the amicus briefs filed by the Lawfare Project, the Zionist Organization of America, the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, the Anti-Defamation League, Association Of Proud American Citizens Born In Jerusalem, Israel, American Israel Public Affairs Committee, B’nai B’rith International, Hadassah, Jewish Council For Public Affairs, National Council Of Jewish Women, National Council Of Young Israel, Rabbinical Assembly, Union For Reform Judaism, Union Of Orthodox Jewish Congregations Of America, And The Women’s League For Conservative Judaism in support of the Petitioner - and against the Secretary of State - put the lie to your claim. I think you're engaging in sophistry by downplaying the influence of actual Jewish voters versus the Jewish Establishment on the policy pursued by the Democrat Party and its Administration.

    • The notion that ethnic cleansing is synonymous with genocide is an opinion, not a fact (and it happens to be a distinctly minority opinion).

      No, it's a fact that ethnic cleansing can be one of the acts for which an individual can be prosecuted under the terms of the genocide convention. That was the consensus of opinion reported by an international panel of experts that was specifically commissioned by the UN Security Council and mandated to study the practice of ethnic cleansing:


      A. Mandate
      Furthermore, in its resolution 787 (1992) of 16 November 1992, the Security Council requested the Commission, inter alia, to pursue actively its investigations on this matter, in particular the practice of ``ethnic cleansing''.


      B. ``Ethnic cleansing''

      In its first interim report (S/25274), the Commission stated:

      ``55. The expression `ethnic cleansing' is relatively new. Considered in the context of the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, `ethnic cleansing' means rendering an area ethnically homogenous by using force or intimidation to remove persons of given groups from the area. `Ethnic cleansing' is contrary to international law.

      ``56. Based on the many reports describing the policy and practices conducted in the former Yugoslavia, `ethnic cleansing' has been carried out by means of murder, torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, extra-judicial executions, rape and sexual assaults, confinement of civilian population in ghetto areas, forcible removal, displacement and deportation of civilian population, deliberate military attacks or threats of attacks on civilians and civilian areas, and wanton destruction of property. Those practices constitute crimes against humanity and can be assimilated to specific war crimes. Furthermore, such acts could also fall within the meaning of the Genocide Convention.
      The Commission emphasizes that in addition to the individual criminal responsibility of perpetrators who commit violations, military and political leaders who participate in the making, execution and carrying out of this policy are also susceptible to charges of genocide and crimes against humanity, in addition to grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and other violations of international humanitarian law.

      See United Nations Security Council document S/1994/674 - 27 May 1994, "Final Report of the Commission of Experts Established Pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 (1992), Part III. GENERAL STUDIES

    • seanmcbride says:


      The careful logical distinctions you are making regarding genocide make perfect sense to me.

      What's your so-called logic? If you don't think that intentionally depriving racial enclaves of their sources of food and water - resulting in shortened life expectancy (i.e. increased death rates) - is genocide, then go argue with Raphel Lemkin.

      I've provided ample material from Lemkin's writing to illustrate that he specifically included reduced caloric rations, starvation, and brutal acts that resulted in mass flights and emigration to neighboring states in his definition of genocide. Neither of you have cited a single authority who contradicts that. In short you're both being very illogical.

    • Do you have any evidence that Nur Masalha, Illan Pappe, and [sic] Bruce Kimmerling consider apartheid to be *synonymous* with genocide?

      According to Ilan Pappe, "Genocide in Gaza", The Electronic Intifada, 2 September 2006:

      A genocide is taking place in Gaza.

      He has also written about the fact that Israeli apartheid includes "atrocities" such as barring people from using water sources, from cultivating their fields, obtaining health care, building more houses, from getting to work, schools or universities and it bans them from commemorating their history and in particular the 1948 Nakbah.
      See Ilan Pappe, Introducing ASOI, Israel’s Latest Apartheid Law, 22 March 2011, Counterpunch

      Baruch Kimmerling concluded in Politicide that Israel had become a Herrenvolk democracy and noted that it was a term coined to describe South Africa under Apartheid. The term he coined, politicide, corresponded to Lemkin's definition of genocide as a plan with the objective of permanently crippling a nation or ethnic group which included massacres, starvation, and ethnic cleansing that threatened the very survival of all the peoples of the region:

      By politicide I mean a process that has, as its ultimate goal, the dissolution of the Palestinian people’s existence as a legitimate social, political, and economic, entity. This process may also but not necessarily include their partial or complete ethnic cleansing from the territory known as the Land of Israel. This policy will inevitably rot the internal fabric of Israeli society and undermine the moral foundation of the Jewish state in the Middle East. From this perspective, the result will be a double politicide— that of the Palestinian entity and, in the long run, that of the Jewish entity as well. Therefore, the current Israeli Government poses a considerable danger to the stability and the very survival of all the peoples of the entire region.

      Politicide is a process that covers a wide range of social, political, and military activities whose goal is to destroy the political and national existence of a whole community of people and thus deny it the possibility of self-determination. Murders, localized massacres, the elimination of leadership and elite groups, the physical destruction of public institutions and infrastructure, land colonization, starvation, social and political isolation, re-education, and partial ethnic cleansing are the major tools used to achieve this goal.

      See Politicide: Ariel Sharon's War Against the Palestinians, Versio, 2003, pages 3 and 4

      Similarly Nur Masalah illustrates that Zionists developed plans for the compulsory transfer and exile of the Palestinians with the objective of bringing about a "radical ethno-religious-demographic transformation of the country" through the various modalities outlined by Lemkin, including terror, massacres, and deportations.

    • Hostage: human beings were suffering from the obvious symptoms of malnutrition, i.e. shortened life expectancy, stunted growth, and permanent mental and learning disabilities

      Sibiriak: Terrible, of course. Not genocide though, by any logical definition of the term.


      The most direct and drastic of the techniques of genocide is simply murder. It may be the slow and scientific murder by mass starvation or the swift but no less scientific murder by mass extermination in gas chambers, wholesale executions or exposure to disease and exhaustion. Food rations of all territory under German domination were established on racial principles, ranging in 1943 from 93 per cent of its pre-war diet for the German inhabitants to 20 per cent of its pre-war diet for the Jewish population. A carefully graduated scale allowed protein rations of 97 per cent to Germans, 95 per cent to the Dutch, 71 per cent to the French, 38 per cent to the Greeks and 20 per cent to the Jews. For fats, where there was the greatest shortage, the rations were 77 per cent to the Germans, 65 per cent to the Dutch, 40 per cent to the French and 0.32 per cent to the Jews. Specific vitamin deficiencies were created on a scientific basis.

      The rise in the death rate among the various groups reflects this feeding program.


      Apartheid is not synonymous with genocide.

      Yes it is.
      Article II

      For the purpose of the present Convention, the term "the crime of apartheid", which shall include similar policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination as practised in southern Africa, shall apply to the following inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them:
      (b) Deliberate imposition on a racial group or groups of living conditions calculated to cause its or their physical destruction in whole or in part;

      Article II: In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
      (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

      From the preamble of the Apartheid Convention:
      Observing that, in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, certain acts which may also be qualified as acts of apartheid constitute a crime under international law

      If you don't know what you're talking about just STFU.

      (emphasis added).

      Yes but he made it clear that did not require the physical destruction of the individual members and that the offense included terrorism, vandalism, provocation of catastrophes and any action that would permanently "cripple a human group". It specifically included actions taken to obtain a "demographic advantage", including deportations or mass flights and the concomitant exposure to the elements and disease without blankets, provisions, currency - not just extermination of entire populations. He said:

      The crime of genocide involves a wide range of actions, including not only deprivation of life but also the prevention of life (abortions, sterilizations) and also devices considerably endangering life and health (artificial death in special camps, deliberate separation of families for depopulation purposes and so forth). All these actions are subordinated to the criminal intent to destroy or to cripple permanently a human group.

      He observed that:

      acts of barbarity carried out in an organized and systematic fashion, often cause the emigration or the disorganized flight of the population of one State to another which can cause damaging repercussions in the economic situation in the State of immigration, given the difficulties of finding work and the lack of means of existence among immigrants.


      He eventually described all of those methods as "techniques of genocide" and cited the German plan to annex "and destroy demographically and culturally " the French element in Alsace-Lorraine as genocide. He noted "Expulsions of law-abiding residents from Germany before this war created frictions with the neighboring countries to which these peoples were expelled. Mass persecutions forced mass flight. Thus, the normal migration between countries assumes pathological dimensions."


      You obviously are not familiar with the writings of Lemkin on the subject of population transfer and its role in genocide.

    • With all due respect, you just can’t get it through your head that I am not confining my remarks to the legal sphere. The conviction of someone the European Court of Human Rights hardly addresses my point. . . . Obviously, the number of people killed by that particular defendant is not the issue; he was part of a much wider Serbian ethnic cleansing campaign, and it is that wider campaign which would have to be taken into consideration regarding the “in whole or in part clause.”

      You are constantly arguing about the law, then complaining that you aren't.

      1) The ECHR is an international court. Its decisions are final and are not subject to any appeal.
      2) No person may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed.
      3) The ICJ doesn't exercise jurisdiction over individual criminal cases. It's role is limited to determinations of state responsibility for the crime of genocide and settling disputes between contracting state parties in accordance with Article 9 of the Convention. Article V permits the Contracting Parties to enact their own enabling legislation to give effect to the convention in accordance with their respective Constitutions. So each state is free to define the necessary elements of the offense(s) in its own legislation.
      4) Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales has always advised that Wikipedia articles are not a reliable source of information.

      So the case that I cited does settle the matter (res judicata) for the purposes of the State of Germany, and the EU. It held that the defendant had acted with the intent to commit genocide and that no physical destruction was required at all:

      The court also found that the applicant had acted with intent to commit genocide within the meaning of Article 220a of the Criminal Code. Referring to the views expressed by several legal writers, it stated that the "destruction of a group" within the meaning of Article 220a of the Criminal Code meant destruction of the group as a social unit in its distinctiveness and particularity and its feeling of belonging together; a biological-physical destruction was not necessary. It concluded that the applicant had therefore acted with intent to destroy the group of Muslims in the North of Bosnia, or at least in the Doboj region.

      Ultimately, following further proceedings before the domestic courts, the judgment of Düsseldorf Court of Appeal of 26 September 1997 remained final regarding the applicant's conviction for genocide and on eight counts of murder, including the court's finding that his guilt was of a particular gravity.

    • They are in fundamental accord; minor exceptions prove the rule.

      As I stated before, if that is the most compelling example you can come up with, then your case is feeble, to but it mildly.

      The status of Jerusalem in any final settlement is a deal breaker for the Israelis. To call it a minor exception only demonstrates your failure to grasp political realities of the divisive nature of the problem for Jewish communities.

      The centrality of the Holy City of Jerusalem (i.e. East Jerusalem) to many Jews is reflected by the fact that they go through the ritual of reciting "Next year in Jerusalem" as part of their religious observances. The Israel Lobby has expended tremendous amounts of effort and political capital to get the United States government to pre-judge the outcome by moving its Embassy to Jerusalem and recognizing the undivided city as Israel's capital.

      Seanmcbride: The issue is not whether there are a quite a few dissidents “speaking out” within the Jewish world, but whether their words are having any meaningful influence on the Israeli government, the Israel lobby, the Jewish establishment, the Republican and Democratic Parties and the mainstream media. And the truth is, they are having none.

      Look dummy the Democratic party that Sean mentioned publicy booed the platform plank and made it necessary to repeat the voice vote on Jerusalem three times. Despite that open hostility to the idea, 70+ percent of the Jewish voters supported the Administration, which refused to alter its position on MBZ v Clinton during the hearings on remand in the lower court. That's not a few dissidents or a minor issue. That's the utter failure of the government of Israel and the Lobby to get one of its major policy items supported by the US Jewish community.

    • But in this case, I made NO statements about the law and misstated no facts

      Correction, you were writing about specific instances of genocide and ethnic cleansing, which as a matter of fact, happen to be subjects of on-going Palestinian-Israeli legal disputes. I pointed out that experts, like the UN Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, have noted that the term ethnic cleansing can be considered synonymous with the crime of genocide. The XVIIth ICRC Diplomatic Conference, which authored and adopted the drafts of all four Geneva Conventions in August of 1948, also struggled with the very real problem of the survival of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians living outdoors and foraging for supplies and food. See the statement of the representative of Lebanon in the report of the 17th Red Cross Conference, Stockholm, August 1948,

    • P.S. It is generally agreed that a state is comprised of a government, a permanent population, and a defined territory. If you forcibly deport the population, the refugees can become "stateless". That process is exactly the sort of thing Raphael Lemkin described as genocide.

    • Do you have evidence that historically Zionism had aimed at genocide, via “death marches” or any other method, as opposed to transfer, forced expulsion, or “ethnic cleansing”?

      Of course. The Secretary General's 1,000 page dossier in the Wall case explained that Israel had created enclaves that were walled-off from their own sources of sustenance and that human beings were suffering from the obvious symptoms of malnutrition, i.e. shortened life expectancy, stunted growth, and permanent mental and learning disabilities - all while their unharvested crops were withering in the fields. The current UN Rapportuer for human rights in the Occupied Territories is an Emeritus Professor of International Law from Princeton who described the conditions in Gaza many years ago as "a prelude to genocide". Francis Boyle has earned PhDs from Harvard in International Law and Political Science. He says

      "What we're seeing in Gaza now, is pretty much slow-motion genocide against the 1.5 million Palestinians who live in Gaza.... If you read the 1948 Genocide Convention, it clearly says that one instance of genocide is the deliberate infliction of conditions of life calculated to bring about the physical destruction of a people in whole or in part,"

      Why should I not follow the example of scholars like Nur Masalha, Illan Pappe, Bruce Kimmerling et al. who eschew the use of the term “genocide”?

      Because the UN's International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid observed that the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide contained certain acts which may also be qualified as acts of apartheid and crimes under international law. Do you have any evidence that Nur Masalha, Illan Pappe, and Bruce Kimmerling eschew the use of the synonymous term apartheid?

      In their written statements to the ICJ in the 2003 Wall case Palestine, Lebanon, and several other states accused Israel of committing constituent acts of apartheid including the denial of adequate sources of sustenance. Lebanon observed:

      “The construction of the wall and the resulting situation correspond to a number of the constituent acts of the crime of apartheid, as enumerated in Article 2 of the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, adopted by the General Assembly on 30 November 1973: that is to say, the denial of the liberty and dignity of a group, the deliberate imposition on a group of living conditions calculated to cause its physical destruction in whole or in part, measures calculated to deprive a group of the right to work, the right to education and the right to freedom of movement and residence, the creation of ghettos, the expropriation of property, etc. Such actions constitute measures of collective punishment.”

      The Court's findings of fact in the Wall case included the fact that Israel had deliberately cut-off populations from their sources of sustenance and denied them the right to adequate supplies of food and water (paragraphs 132-134). In my opinion, that's pretty dispositive evidence of a genocidal intent.

    • Are YOU saying that every single plan, policy or actual case of transfer or forced expulsion should be referred to with the term genocide? (And I’m not asking about the law).

      Of course I am. Raphael Lemkin coined the non-legal term "genocide" to describe the effects of actions that broke down group cohesion with the intention of deliberately destroying a society, culture, or nation, as such. The legal term of art has a number of varying definitions in national laws that can be much more limited in scope. In any event, no physical destruction of the individual members was ever required, only the destruction of the shared feeling of unity, togetherness, or belonging to the group. For example discouraging births or taking children from the group doesn't result in anyone being physically killed. But according to international convention those acts have always constituted genocide.

      Lemkin noted that genocide did not require the physical destruction of a nation, but rather that it was intended to signify a coordinated plan of different actions with the long term objective of:

      the disintegration of the political and social institutions, of culture, language, national feelings, religion, and the economic existence of national groups, and the destruction of the personal security, liberty, health, dignity, and even the lives of the individuals belonging to such groups."

      Nothing could be more destructive for a territorial entity, like a "nation" or a "state" than the act of subjugating the political independence of its government and evicting its permanent population by forcibly transferring them into an exile of penniless destitution beyond their country's established frontiers. That's why the territorial integrity norm is absolute, i.e. the moral and legal prohibition against threats or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.

    • P.S. re: When the Palestinian fairy waved her wand over the discriminatory minority monarchy that made peace with Israel?

      It never ceases to amaze me how much the Jewish Agency spokesmen and Zionist propagandists have struggled to reframe the realities of Arabian politics to make the Hashemites seem "more foreign" than Jews from Lithuania or Poland, like Ben Gurion.

      The patriarch "Hashem" is buried in Gaza City, not Mecca. The "Husseinis", including Yasser Arafat and his uncle Haj Amin al-Husseini are also technically considered Hashmites. The implication that an indigenous Arab and descendant of the Prophet, living anywhere in Arabia, might be construed to be a member of an illegitimate minority group is pretty fanciful. Donald Trump uses the same logic when he attempts to cast doubt upon the validity of Obama's birth certificate. FYI, Transjordan was part of Palestine, and Abdullah I's political ambitions to be the governor of all of Palestine were perfectly legitimate.

    • "...but I’m not going to check my brain at the door and listen to Zionist propaganda and Palestinian fairly tales"

      You seem to listen to Jordanian fairy tales easily enough.

      No it's just that in a few instances, involving the Palestinian narrative, the actions of the many members of the notable families who served as Jordanian government officials speaks much more loudly than their words. The revisionist camp Israelis who weep crocodile tears over the mistreatment or betrayal of the Palestinians always cover-up the pertinent facts in order to facilitate their own colonial ambitions. Abdullah may have wanted to govern Greater Syria or his fellow Arabs, but he certainly didn't want to colonize them.

    • Your entitled to your opinion, but in my view, conflating transfer/expulsion, ethnic cleansing, politicide and genocide results in conceptual, moral and legal confusion.

      Well then, are you saying that the Armenian genocide should only be viewed as a case of transfer/expulsion? The majority of victims perished as a result of the lack of food and water, either while being taken on death marches heading south toward the Syrian Desert, or once they arrived at that destination.

    • The “in whole or in part” clause in the UN definition, for example, is notoriously overbroad and unworkable.

      The European Court of Human Rights decision in Jorgic v. Germany upheld a conviction for genocide, while exonerating the defendant of all but 8 murder convictions. So there is no evidence that the Courts construe "in part" in an overly broad or unworkable fashion. The only thing that is difficult to ascertain is the defendant's mental state, i.e. genocidal "intent" has to be established beyond a reasonable doubt.

    • Btw, when someone makes a statement on a issue, I respectfully suggest you stop making the assumption that that person is only referring to the *legal* dimension of the issue.

      I don't. I've only taken exception when you've misstated the facts and the law on a particular subject.

    • The issue is not whether there are a quite a few dissidents “speaking out” within the Jewish world, but whether their words are having any meaningful influence on the Israeli government, the Israel lobby, the Jewish establishment, the Republican and Democratic Parties and the mainstream media. And the truth is, they are having none.

      Please explain how Jewish dissidents speaking out relate to the Solicitor General’s arguments and how those arguments prove “meaningful influence.”

      Nice attempt at reframing, but I've provided the links to the legal briefs. I think its obvious that the head of the Democratic Political Party refuses to recognize Jerusalem as a city in Israel in line with the position contained in an amicus brief from the Peace Now organization. A number of so-called "Jewish establishment organizations" filed amicus briefs opposing the position taken by Secretary Clinton and Peace Now on the status of Jerusalem.

      Nonetheless 70+ percent of Jewish voters supported Obama, despite the fact that Romney called Jerusalem the "capital of Israel" and promised that he would move the US Embassy there. He also publicly criticized Obama for refusing to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

    • A "LOL" and a "dummy", that's good.

      No, a half dozen international and national court decisions on the subject of the statehood of Palestine and documentary evidence regarding official recognition of the union combined with a laugh out loud dummy that's still living in denial.

      You shouldn't deny Palestinian mistreatment by Jordan because it suits your political argument.

      Any number of states mistreat their citizens. That doesn't effect their legal status or jurisdiction. I don't disagree that the union was dissolved after a violent falling out, but I'm not going to check my brain at the door and listen to Zionist propaganda and Palestinian fairly tales. Jordan had Palestinian Prime Ministers, Ambassadors, and half of it's Parliament was composed of elected lawmakers from the West Bank. The Palestinians are so mistreated there that Ali Abunimah's father has chosen to remain a high government official and Jordan still hosts the largest Palestinian refugee population in the world.

      In fact, Abdullah II has turned aside Israeli and PLO suggestions that he re-annex the territory on a number of occasions because the inhabitants of Palestine and Jordan are simply not in favor of the idea:

      In a blunt interview last year, Jordan's King Abdullah stated he would not support any sort of union between his country and the West Bank. “Jordan will never be a substitute land for anyone,” he said. “It makes no sense.... We have an army and we are ready to fight for our homeland and the future of Jordan. We should speak loudly and not allow such an idea to remain in the minds of some of us. Jordan is Jordan, and Palestine is Palestine.”

      -- See 'PLO leader backs Jordan annexation of W. Bank'

      It wasn’t provisional, it was expansionism in agreement with Israel.

      The April 1950 Act of Union between the Two Banks which ratified the annexation was adopted by the elected lawmakers from both the East and West Banks. It explicitly stated that the union was without prejudice to the final settlement or status of Palestine. Jordan remained a member of the League of Arab States and had a treaty obligation under it's Charter to recognize the de jure existence of the State of Palestine - which was also fully represented in the Secretariat and all of the Councils of Ministers.

      The Security Council directed Israel to sign cease fire and armistice agreements with the government of "Jordan" (not Transjordan) under the terms of a series of UN Security Council resolutions. Those resolutions were adopted as "provisional measures" in accordance with Article 40 of the UN Charter. See for example:
      *Footnote 24 of Yehuda Z. Blum, "The Missing Reversioner: Reflections on the Status of Judea and Samaria"
      *The text of UN Security Council resolution 73;
      *Article 40 of the UN Charter: "In order to prevent an aggravation of the situation, the Security Council may, before making the recommendations or deciding upon the measures provided for in Article 39, call upon the parties concerned to comply with such provisional measures as it deems necessary or desirable."

      I've already cited Jordan's written statement to the Court which noted that the Security Council considered the West Bank Jordanian territory, but that recognition was provisional too. the Security Council has long since adopted the Quartet Road Map which requires it to recognize the State of Palestine within interim borders as a Phase II obligation.

    • And that’s it? That confirms my point.

      By "difficult" I mean that it would be hard to find officials who would volunteer to do those things, since they would be wanted war criminals who would be pursued for the rest of their days in connection with offenses which are not subject to any normal statutory limitations. That would already apply to any offenses committed since July of 2002, when the Rome Statute entered into effect. So your opinion about the status quo is beside the point.

      Of course the Palestinians have already accused Israeli officials with much more serious war crimes and crimes against humanity. I was simply citing the immediate impact on the settlement enterprise and Judaization pograms.

    • 70+ percent of Jewish voters just voted for a President whose views and actions on the Israeli/Palestine conflict are in complete accord with the views of the "Jewish Establishment."

      So if Obama's refusal to recognize Jerusalem as a city in Israel, much less its capital, is in complete accord with the Jewish establishment, why did they file an amicus brief with the Supreme Court opposing the President's policy position?

      Amicus Briefs in Support of the Petitioner

      Brief for the Anti-Defamation League et al.
      Brief for the Lawfare Project
      Brief for the Members of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives
      Brief for the Zionist Organization of America
      Brief for the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists 

      Merits Briefs for the Respondent

      Brief for Respondent Hillary Rodham Clinton

      Amicus Briefs in Support of the Respondent

      Brief for Americans for Peace Now

    • I don’t think that the members of the group you named are going to attack the officials of other civilized countries . . . You are entitled to your opinion, of course, but it seems rather far-fetched given the realities of U.S. politics.

      First of all, the ICC has never asked for permission from any country to issue arrest warrants. When I was talking about attacking the officials of other civilized countries, I had the Hague invasion act in mind, aka the American Service-Members' Protection Act. It authorizes the use of necessary force to liberate any of our Israeli allies, civilian or military, who happen to be in custody awaiting trial in the Hague. I seriously doubt that any of the members of the group in question are willing to actually go to war with the EU.

    • No doubt, but the point stands that transfer/expulsion was on the agenda, not genocide.

      Sigh. Facilitating the mass transfer of penniless and landless subsistence farmers to a new district or province through the payment of bribes would have been the functional equivalent of genocide. In any event the international criminal courts have long-since ruled that rape and other acts that destroy group cohesion, may constitute genocide - even in cases where they don't result in the physical destruction of the targeted group members. See The ICTR Prosecutor v. Jean‑Paul Akayesu starting on pdf page 8

      Past experience has shown that mass deportations or forced transfers normally result in many deaths during transit. The UN is leaning in the direction of calling the destruction of social units genocide. A report on international criminal law and the defense of the rights of indigenous peoples issued by the UN Special Rapporteur discusses "cultural genocide" (aka politicide & etc.) consisting of non-violent acts that are included in the definition of the crime of genocide in the international convention. He discusses the fact that the use of the term "ethnic cleansing" has been a tactic to avoid responsibility for genocide in some past cases:

      The recent tendency to define as “ethnic cleansing” policies that could prove to be genocidal under the definition of “genocide” established in international law has been a way of escaping responsibility, and even of fostering impunity. “Ethnic cleansing” may be the ideal term for journalistic and even scientific purposes because of its emotional content, but its ineffectiveness makes it a poor choice in the field of law. The same may be said of “ethnocide” and “cultural genocide” as fully separate terms distinct from “genocide” as defined in criminal law. Use of one or both of these expressions is frequently a way of circumventing the legal effects of use of the word “genocide” even in the face of the evidence.

      So the point that forced transfer/expulsion was on the agenda, means that ethnic cleansing and genocide were too.

    • How has this dissident faction within the Democratic Party managed to exert any influence on the policies of the Obama administration or the Democratic Party?


      I take it that neither of you experts have read the Solicitor General's arguments in M.B.Z. v. Clinton.

    • I can only think you cling to your version to maintain the notion of a continuous tangible Palestinian state throughout this period or to maintain the simple clear and unequivocal singular bad guys, Israel. Denying the machinations of Jordan against the facts doesn’t help the cause of Palestinian nationalism.

      No dummy, I cling to my version because it is based upon the authentic and official historical documentary sources; the applicable international law; and most importantly the decisions of the various courts including: the PCIJ, a League of Nations Arbital Court, the D.C. District Court, the Supreme Court of Palestine, and the ICJ on the issue of Palestinian statehood. Jordan's position was recognized and affirmed by the ICJ's legal analysis on the status of the territory in the Wall case. There was no rule in international law that prohibited Abdullah from acting on any political ambitions he might have had to become the King of Arab Palestine. After all, he had already served for more than twenty years as the legal head of the government of one of the two states that comprised the mandated territory of Palestine. The people were completely disillusioned with the exiled Mufti, because he had promised that the Jewish militias would be quickly defeated. The only other option open to the Jericho Congress was to declare Ben Gurion their next head of state. The Jordanian union was always provisional and "without prejudice to the final status and settlement of the Question of Palestine". We all know why hypocrites, like Yehuda Blum and Meir Shamgar, have tried to portray the Palestinians living in Western Jordan before 1988 as a foreign power occupying themselves, but no government has ever accepted the bogus "Missing Reversioner" theory or the idea that Palestine was terra nullus. Israel is facing a legal disaster in the international criminal court as a result.

    • You can read about Jordanian expansionism at electronic intifada

      link to

      LOL! Ali Abunimah's father served on the Jordanian negotiating team that normalized relations with Israel in 1994, and as the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Jordan to the UN afterward. He still is serving as the director of the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies. So, do you think he's being held hostage?

    • But it WAS adopted. (And in any case, party platforms are not particularly meaningful when it comes to actual party policy.)

      Yes, the party platform is irrelevant, because the Obama administration gave Zionists a raspberry and refused to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as a matter of official policy and as the respondent in ZIVOTOFSKY v. CLINTON

      And 70+ percent of Jewish voters supported Obama, Secretary Clinton, and all of those delegates who booed the amendment of Jerusalem in spite of all that.

      That assertion is essentially meaningless unless you put a time frame on it. Can the status quo not last another 10 years, 20 years, fifty years?

      No, the Palestinians will not tolerate the status quo, once they can prosecute Israel in the ICC. I don't believe that the state parties to the Rome Statute will allow non-members, like the US or Israel, to "call the shots" on what investigations or cases their Court pursues either. All of them have too much invested in an organization whose raison d'etre is ending impunity. Israel has been given fair warning about its illegal acts for many decades and it hasn't earned any favors.

      And suppose a few Israelis were eventually convicted of violations of international law—then what? Why would you think that would effect some fundamental change in Israeli policy and “facts on the ground”?

      We're talking about indictments for the members of the regional councils, the cabinet ministers, and the Jerusalem city officials. So yes, it would make soliciting tenders or deporting Palestinians much more difficult.

    • And they would surely try to tie it to the US’s own risk of war crimes if Israelis were allowed to be tried for war crimes for support…and they would find support for that rationale. . . . US politicians have been protecting Israel and Israeli from being charged with war crimes for a long long time, I don’t see that changing.

      I don't think that liberal Democrats can count on support from our European allies, while running around shreying like their criminal justice system is operated by vengeful barbarians.

      Even the Bush administration quietly dropped its provisions for immunity from prosecution in the ICC from the Security Council resolutions on its Iraq mandate after the Abu Grahib prison scandal went public. There was no chance at all that those assurances would have escaped a veto from the other members. When former President Bush had to cancel his European book tour in order to avoid being arrested on war crimes charges stemming from its revelations about authorization of torture, there was no ground swell of support or complaints from our Congress.

      I don't think that the members of the group you named are going to attack the officials of other civilized countries for simply bringing responsible Israeli officials to court to explain their acts, e.g. tenders for bids on construction of illegal settlements.

    • Which leaders of the Jewish establishment — especially the Jewish religious establishment — have stood with those who booed this amendment?

      That's irrelevant, since 70+ percent of the Jewish voters obviously don't care whether the so-called "Jewish Establishment" stands by their decisions in the polling booths or not.

    • To what degree do you think mainstream Christian churches in Germany during the 1930s and 1940s — both Protestant and Roman Catholic — the German Christian establishment — bore responsibility for the policies and crimes of Nazism?

      It's a fundamental principle of western law that no person may be held criminally responsible or punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed. The war crimes and crimes against humanity in question only give rise to individual criminal responsibility for the persons concerned. The German people, as a whole, have elected to pay reparations for tort claims on several occasions. Payments have gone to individual survivors or the government of Israel - and that is the limit of any Protestant or Catholic group liability. That's still fairly unprecedented. The US government has paid modest reparations to its own Japanese-American citizens for wrongfully interning them during WWII, but it refuses to do anything much more than publicly acknowledge it's wrongful acts in connection with the illegal overthrow and annexation of the Kingdom of Hawaii; the ethnic cleansing and massacres of Native American tribes; and the US role in the African slave trade. It implicitly denies that it committed genocide or any other crime against humanity during the conflicts in the Philippines, Indochina, or Iraq. At one and the same time it condemns others, like the modern-day government of Turkey for its possible connection to the Armenian genocide.

      The former colonial powers have used criticism of "Zionism" as an excuse to avoid attending the Durbin Review Conferences, where reparations for past wrongdoing against other peoples was an item on the agenda.

      In my view it would be much more productive for us Americans to do a little more personal soul searching before we go off on tangents about the possible responsibilities of German church groups for the wrongdoing of the Nazis. The German people "already gave at the office" - we haven't.

    • Those Jews who would have been refused entrance into Palestine due to Buber’s more balanced point of view would probably have died in Europe.

      Well we know for a fact that the President of the WZO considered most of them "little more than dust" with no future, that was unfit for use in his Zionist nation building exercise.

      You can't move millions of persecuted people around the globe, like so many chairs on the deck of the Titanic, while ignoring the fact that the crime of persecution and impunity, not emigration, are the only real problems.

    • You're welcome Phil.

    • The issue is not whether there are a quite a few dissidents “speaking out” within the Jewish world, but whether their words are having any meaningful influence on the Israeli government, the Israel lobby, the Jewish establishment, the Republican and Democratic Parties and the mainstream media. And the truth is, they are having none.

      No, the party that booed the amendment to its platform on Jerusalem and failed to adopt it during several embarrassing voice votes prevailed. Their candidate for President garnered 70+ percent of the Jewish vote, despite all the money and effort that was poured into right wing/Likud political campaign advertisements & etc. The waning power of the Jewish Establishment, the Lobby, or the Government of Israel has never been more evident from my perspective.

      One would have expected leading Jewish liberals and progressives like Al Franken, Eliot Spitzer, Anthony Weiner and Alan Grayson to have joined forces with visionary dissidents like Henry Siegman. It hasn’t happened.

      The status quo is unsustainable. Those figures are not going to waste their precious political capital on efforts to shield corrupt Israeli officials from western courts that provide the accused an opportunity to defend their actions, while affording them all of the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.

    • In the same way the same indigenous people can have a state within a state like the PLO had in Jordan.

      There was a federal union between Arab Palestine and Transjordan. So there's no theoretical legal objection to recognizing either as a "state within the state". The US has 50 of them. But the PLO was only recognized as the representative of the Palestinian people after the Rabat Conference. The Kingdom of Jordan also formally recognized some of the Palestinian militias, but Israel has always refused to treat them as Prisoners of War in accordance with the 3rd Geneva Convention. See Prof L.C. Green's comment on that fact in light of the 1988 UDI in the Israel Yearbook of International Law,

      There were those who ‘agreed’ to the occupation but no government did so and no genuine will of the people can be said to have concurred.

      Nice try, but as I've repeatedly noted, the Security Council and the ICJ rejected that loosing Zionist argument. Neither Jordan nor Israel were ever treated as "belligerent occupying powers" under the terms of the 1949 UN Armistice Agreements. Full Stop. Both countries extended the jurisdictions of their municipal laws and courts right up to the Green Line. The UN agreed to grant them "exclusive jurisdiction" to formulate any plans for the future government of Jerusalem and ordered its own Truce organization to implement them.

      Zionists had no legal standing to challenge the resolutions of the Arab Palestine Congress at Jericho or the subsequent Jordanian national plebiscites. But even if they had, its a matter of public record that Eliyahu Sasson, a representative from the Jewish Agency Arab Section and the Provisional Government of Israel's Foreign Office, met with the Jordanian negotiator, Aballah al-Tal, on December 13th and told him to "speed up and implement the Jericho resolution." In his own words Sasson reported that "My purpose was to encourage him in case of conflict with the Arab League and to convince him that he could rely on our friendship." See Documents on the Foreign Policy of Israel, Volume 3, Document #181, pages 331-32, December 14, 1948. So the government of Israel actually urged the King to hurry up and ratify the union and annex the territory as early as 1948.

      FYI, the US government's official documentary record of major foreign policy decisions records the fact that this country did officially recognize the union between the two peoples as an expression of their free will and that we also recognized Jordanian sovereignty over the annexed territory:

      In response to Mr. Rifai's question as to when the US was going to recognize the union of Arab Palestine and Jordan, I explained the Department's position, stating that it was not the custom of this country to issue formal statements of recognition every time a foreign country changed its territorial area. The union of Arab Palestine and Jordan had been brought about as a result of the will of the people and the US accepted the fact that Jordanian sovereignty had been extended to the new area. Mr. Rifai said he had not realized this and that he was very pleased to learn that the US did in fact recognize the union.

      -- See "Memorandum of Conversation, between Mr. Stuart W. Rockwell of the Office of African and Near Eastern Affairs, US State Department and Mr. Abdel Monem Rifai, Counselor, Jordan Legation in Washington, June 5, 1950" in Foreign relations of the United States, 1950. The Near East, South Asia, and Africa, Volume V (1950), Page 921

      The UK and France followed suit, and all three countries issued their Tripartite Declaration on the Armistice Borders. After the attacks in the Hebron area in 1966 and the Six Day War, all of the governments of the Permanent members of the Security Council made statements recognizing the West Bank as Jordanian territory.

    • I know the writings of these few dissidents (especially Siegman’s), but they remain a minuscule minority within the Jewish religious establishment — truly an anomaly and outlier. They exert absolutely no influence on the Israeli government, the Israel lobby and the Jewish establishment as a whole.

      You're welcome to your opinion, but Siegman and Berger headed up a major Jewish establishment organization during its heyday, the American Jewish Congress. AJC was a member of The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

      Siegman was a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He served as President of its U.S./Middle East Project from the time it was launched in 1994, and after it became an independent policy institute in 2006 under the chairmanship of General Brent Scowcroft. He is also a visiting professor at the University of London. Believe you me, the government of Israel and the Lobby do not ignore the CFR or the LSE. CAMERA has conducted a very nasty hasbasra campaign against Siegman. So he must be doing something right.

      But the truth is that I haven’t indulged in overly-broad generalizations and appeals to stereotypes

      I think that you have, but just don't realize it. There always have been plenty of outspoken Rabbis and Jewish laymen who are critical of Israel and its policies. Many of them are on the blog rolls in the sidebar here and at other progressive sites. Most non-Orthodox streams of Judaism can't get the time of day from the government of Israel. There are also Jewish groups like B'tselem, JVP, Peace Now, Yesh Din, et al whose significance you dismiss a bit too easily. You sound a little like our neocon opponents who complain that Muslim clerics need to speak out against terrorists, despite the fact that many of them have always done just exactly that.

      The fact is that the overwhelming majority of Jews didn't vote the way that Benjamin Netanyahu or Bill Kristol's "Emergency Committee for Israel" hoped that they would and that Jewish civilization is a lot more diverse and civilized than some might imagine.

    • You mean by union the Jordanian occupation before annexation?

      Please explain how the indigenous population of the region can "occupy" or annex themselves? "Jordan" always consisted of the inhabitants of the two banks. They were composed entirely of the Arab territories of the former mandate of Palestine. Half of the seats in the Parliament were reserved for representatives from the West Bank who ratified the union. Palestinians also headed-up the government of Jordan. Husayn al-Khalidi, served as Mayor of Jerusalem under the British mandatory regime, as a member of the Arab Higher Committee and the Egyptian-backed All-Palestine Government of Gaza, and as the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

      You can read all about the formation of the union in the written statement the Kingdom of Jordan submitted to the ICJ in 2003. I'll include extracts from Israel's loosing arguments on that subject too:

      2.18 In 1948, during the Arab-Israeli hostilities, the only effective authority in relation to the West Bank was that of Jordan: in December 1949 the West Bank was placed under Jordanian rule, and it was formally incorporated into Jordan on 24 April 1950 . This was the result of the signing by King Abdallah of a resolution passed to him for signature by Jordan’s National Assembly (including representatives of both East and West Banks), which supported the unity of the two Banks as one nation State called the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, “without prejudicing the final settlement of Palestine’s just case within the sphere of national aspiration, inter-Arab cooperation and international justice”.

      2.19 The signing of this resolution was the culmination of a series of earlier requests made by the Palestinian Arabs through conferences attended by the elected Mayors of major West Bank towns and villages (Hebron, Ramallah, Al-Beereh, Jenin, Nablus, Tulkarm, Qalqilya and Anabta), as well as leading religious clerics (Muslims and Christians alike), and a multiplicity of notables, tribal leaders, activists, college presidents, the Chief Shariaa Judge, and the Mufti of Jerusalem Saed-Ideen Al-Alami. Following these conferences, King Abdallah consented to a proposed constitutional amendment to expand the membership of the Jordanian Parliament to include elected representatives from all the West Bank constituencies. Elections for the expanded Parliament were held on 11 April 1950 and a new Parliament was elected with half of its members elected from the West Bank.

      2.20 This provoked something of a crisis in relations between Jordan and other Arab States, but any risk of serious problems was averted when the
      Government of Jordan formally declared in 1950 that unity with the Palestinian territory was “without prejudice to the final settlement” of the
      Palestinian problem: this declaration was accepted by the Arab League.

      2.21 The boundaries of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan as it resulted from these events are illustrated in Sketch Map No. 4 following page 7. It was with those publicly known boundaries that Jordan became a Member of the United Nations in 1955, without any objection about Jordan’s territorial extent being made by any State (including Israel, which was already at that time a Member State). Furthermore, after the unification of the West Bank within Jordan’s territory, Jordan concluded with a considerable number of States bilateral and multilateral treaties whose application extended to the entirety of Jordan including all of the West Bank: none of the other parties to those treaties made any reservation to the effect that their applicability to the West Bank was excluded. The Security Council evidently shared that view when it adopted Resolution 228 (1966): the Council observed that, “the grave Israeli Military action which took place in the southern Hebron area [of the West Bank] on 13 November 1966… constituted a large scale and carefully planned military action on the territory of Jordan by the armed forces of Israel” (emphasis added).

      Here is an extract from Israel’s losing position from the Secretary General’s report to the International Court of Justice:
      Annex I
      Summary legal position of the Government of Israel . . .
      3. Despite having ratified the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel has not incorporated it into its domestic legislation. Nor does it agree that the Convention is applicable to the occupied Palestinian territory, citing the lack of recognition of the territory as sovereign prior to its annexation by Jordan and Egypt and, therefore, not a territory of a High Contracting Party as required by the Convention.

      In the course of hearings held from 23 to 25 February 2004, the Court
      heard oral statements from Mr. James Crawford, S.C., Whewell Professor of
      International Law, University of Cambridge, Member of the Institute of International Law, Counsel and Advocate for Palestine. Here is an extract from his “Conclusions” chapter in “The Creation of States in International Law”:
      “In the first place, the concept of “sovereignty” as a criterion for plenary competence has been rejected. Although that view gained a certain degree of acceptance among nineteenth-century writers and was accepted in the twentieth century in Soviet and in some western doctrine, the notion of “sovereignty” has been seen to be both unhelpful and misleading as a criterion. It is unhelpful since both the legal and the effective capacities, rights, immunities and so on of States may vary widely, within the limits established by the criteria for separate independence. It is misleading since it implies a necessary and overriding omnipotence which States do not possess in law or in fact. Rejection of “sovereignty” as a criterion involves rejection of the old notion of the “semi-sovereign” State. Those dependent, devolving or sui generis entities that qualify as States under the general criteria do so despite specific limitations as to capacity and the like;"

    • One sees Jewish religious leaders, all across the Jewish religious spectrum, defending the Israeli government all the time and attacking critics of outrageous Israeli government policies.

      Fair enough, but there have always been leaders from the various streams who are critics of Israel, like Elmer Berger and Henry Siegman. The latter was ordained as an Orthodox Rabbi.

      The co-chairs of JVP's Rabbinical Council are both congregational Rabbis, and Brant Rosen was named one of America’s top 25 pulpit rabbis by Newsweek in 2008. There's a list of JVP Rabbinical Council members available here and they run blog that serves as "a repository of their opinions, ideas, articles, prayers, commentaries, poems, and teachings."

      Judaism certainly isn't immune to criticism, but you need to avoid overly-broad generalizations and appeals to stereotypes.

    • And this is why seamlessly blending Judaism with the nation and government of Israel and with the regimes of political leaders like Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Shamir, Ariel Sharon and Benjamin Netanyahu is probably going to turn out to be a disaster for Judaism.

      Judaism never has been seamlessly blended with the government of Israel. The non-Orthodox streams have no official say in matters of religion and are only dealt with through the new arrangement with the Ministry of Sports and Culture.

      The Episcopal Church here survived the split with the Anglican Church of England after the American Revolutionary War. I don't think Israel will cause too many problems for individuals here, even if it does become a pariah state. After all, Israel refuses to acknowledge the Reform or Conservative movements as valid expressions of "Judaism".

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