“Moshe Feiglin, the deputy speaker of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, has published a plan for the total destruction of the Palestinian people in Gaza.
His detailed plan, which calls for the use of concentration camps, amounts to direct and public incitement to genocide – a punishable crime under the Genocide Convention.
In a 1 August posting on his Facebook page, Feiglin, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party, calls for the “conquest of the entire Gaza Strip, and annihilation of all fighting forces and their supporters.”
“This is our country – our country exclusively,” he writes, “including Gaza.”
Citizens and public authorities around the world should attempt to have Feiglin arrested and prosecuted under the Genocide Convention for his statements, should he set foot in their territories.
His abominable plan comes as the death toll from Israel’s ongoing slaughter in Gaza reaches 1,752 people, including ten persons killed on Sunday morning when Israel once again bombed a United Nations-run school being used as a shelter, this time in the southern town of Rafah.
Feiglin, like his Knesset colleague Ayelet Shaked, has previously made genocidal statements, but these are perhaps his most specific and explicit.
Calling for mass extermination and ethnic cleansing, Feiglin now urges Netanyahu to “turn Gaza into Jaffa, a flourishing Israeli city with a minimum number of hostile civilians.”
Feiglin writes that the Israeli army must “designate certain open areas on the Sinai border, adjacent to the sea, in which the civilian population will be concentrated, far from the built-up areas that are used for launches and tunneling. In these areas, tent encampments will be established, until relevant emigration destinations are determined.”
“Tent encampments,” where the Palestinian civilian population would be “concentrated,” are simply concentration camps.
“The supply of electricity and water to the formerly populated areas will be disconnected,” he adds.
He then calls for the “formerly populated areas” to be “shelled with maximum fire power. The entire civilian and military infrastructure of Hamas, its means of communication and of logistics, will be destroyed entirely, down to their foundations.”
The Israeli army would then “exterminate nests of resistance, in the event that any should remain.”
Feiglin’s plan has clear genocidal intent in at least two respects: he denies that the Palestinian people exist and he defines Palestinians collectively as an enemy and target because of their religion:
“There are no two states, and there are no two peoples. There is only one state for one people.”
“The strategic enemy is extremist Arab Islam in all its varieties, from Iran to Gaza, which seeks to annihilate Israel in its entirety.””
Gaza’s Dr. Haidar Eid interview on Soundcloud
“Others who have charged that Israel is committing genocide include Bolivian President Evo Morales, who recalled that country’s ambassador from Israel, as have Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador and Peru. Said Morales: “What is happening in Palestine is genocide.”
Similarly, from the the Venezuelan government: Israel has “initiated a higher phase of its policy of genocide and extermination with the ground invasion of Palestinian territory, killing innocent men, women, girls and boys.”
Leading legal scholars have also called what Israel is doing genocide. It’s important to note that you don’t need millions of dead bodies and a Nazi industrial system of extermination to constitute genocide under the relevant convention.
But none of these governments seem to be moving to actually invoking the relevant legal remedy for the charge they make: The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
Professor Francis Boyle at the University of Illinois is proposing that they do so –and has laid out a legal strategy to do so that attempts to shortcut the predictable obstructionism from the U.S. and Israel. He recommends countries that are signatories to the Genocide Convention:
Immediately institute legal proceedings against Israel before the International Court of Justice in The Hague on the basis of the 1948 Genocide Convention, request an Emergency Hearing by the Court, and obtain an Order by the Court against Israel to cease and desist from committing all acts of genocide against the Palestinians. This Order will then be transmitted by the Court to the United Nations Security Council for enforcement as required by the United Nations Charter. In the event the United States were to exercise a veto at the Security Council against the enforcement of this World Court Cease-and-Desist Order against Israel, you can then invoke the General Assembly’s Uniting for Peace Resolution of 1950 in order to have the World Court Order turned over to the United Nations General Assembly for enforcement against Israel. Under the terms of the Uniting for Peace Resolution, the General Assembly can recommend enforcement measures against Israel to every state in the world that would be lawful for them to carry out. In addition, the U.N. General Assembly could also admit Palestine as a full-fledged U.N. Member State.
John Quigley, a leading expert on genocide at Ohio State University, who was an expert witness at the trial of Pol Pot, agrees that invoking the Genocide Convention could work. He notes that many countries that are signatories to the convention have stipulated reservations to the critical Article IX. The U.S. has a reservation to this Article. But Israel doesn’t. Venezuela and other states currently have reservations and would be hindered in moving forward until they dropped them. However, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Gambia, Iran, Lebanon, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, South Africa, Russia, Tunisia, Uganda and other countries are perfectly positioned legally to do so. (The list of signatory states is here. If there’s no footnote for a country regarding Article IX, that country can move invoke the convention against Israel.)
Notes Quigley: “A country with a reservation to Article IX could drop it and then sue. A country lacking a reservation cannot add one. A reservation can be entered only upon becoming a party.”
So, what’s stopping these countries from invoking the treaty against Israel? In part, it appears to be the Palestinian Authority. Or more exactly, the Palestine Office at the United Nations. Which is ironic, since PA head Abbas has called it genocide: “It’s genocide — the killing of entire families is genocide by Israel against our Palestinian people.”
It’s imperative that countries that may be considering action along these lines not be hindered by the PA — over the course of decades, it’s been clear that the PA does not have a legal strategy in play that will meaningfully protect the life and well being of Palestinians, especially in Gaza. The Palestinian establishment in Ramallah is either unwilling or unable to meaningfully protect the Palestinian people. Any move by a nation that has been critical of Israel to invoke the Genocide Convention against Israel will obviously be welcomed by an overwhelming majority of Palestinians, and likely their own publics.
Most assessments regarding Israel’s legal culpability center for the carnage in Gaza around the International Criminal Court. But Quigley, Boyle and others have criticized the ICC as being extremely selective about who they prosecute. Indeed, the Palestinians were initially rebuffed by the ICC and the ICC has shown that it is most interested in going after Africans who are critical of the Western powers. The ICC was glaringly silent when it came to the invasion of Iraq.
The French lawyer Gilles Devers has filed a complaint on behalf of the Palestinian justice minister at the International Criminal Court.
Whatever the cause for the PA’s not fully embracing the ICC, the clear remedy is for other states to take up the flag, to in effect launch a global legal intifada against Israel using the Genocide Convention.
Boyle however states that his strategy could win an emergency order in three weeks — and he has a record to back it up, having successfully filed genocide charges on behalf of the Bosnians: “I filed that lawsuit on March 19, 1993 and won the order April 8, 1993 and it was immediately transmitted to the Security Council.” In either case, given the recurring bombing campaigns by Israel, meaningful legal action is long overdue.
What’s plainly not needed is that various states take the carnage in Gaza to simply make pronouncements denouncing Israel and the United States for political gain without invoking the legal remedies that are available to them to potentially protect Palestinians in Gaza. Of course, such a course will likely mean serious retribution of some sort from Israel and likely the United States. But that’s the nature of meaningful solidarity. It’s not pronouncements, it’s actions that can help the oppressed and achieve justice that invariably entail risk.”
“MORALE REMAINS strong, even among those facing the toughest circumstances. Whenever I walk into al-Shifa hospital, I pass through an encampment of displaced people, mostly from Shejaiya to the east, erected on the grounds. I’m always struck by the visible strength and determination of its residents, as well as the paramedics, nurses, doctors, journalists and coffee vendors within the hospital itself.
Nearly all in Gaza are tired of endless bombardment and hope for a cease-fire, of course. But there’s a broad consensus that any cease-fire worthy of the name must include an end to Israel’s siege, allowing Palestinians to travel, trade, fish, farm and conduct their political affairs without restrictions, by definition. In fact, while I’m not a pollster, I don’t personally know of anyone here willing to settle for less.
I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that Israel has ethnically cleansed large regions of the eastern and northern Gaza Strip adjacent to its separation barrier. After ordering residents to leave their homes, it systematically destroyed them, while shooting anything that moved.
The process has seemed very reminiscent of the Nakba of 1948. Looking at the results, I think it’s clearly part of Israel’s plan to prevent these areas from becoming fully habitable again for years. And with Israeli forces having ordered evacuations from 44 percent of the Gaza Strip, it’s hard to predict how much of it will be recognizable when they finish.
This was a flaw in my analysis when we stayed at Al-Wafa hospital. I thought the Israelis saw the building as a strategic asset because of its size and location, something they would want to seize quickly during any invasion of the city from the east. I didn’t realize they actually planned to purge the whole area of Palestinian life.
GROUND OPERATIONS by Hamas’ al-Qassam Brigades and other resistance groups have done a great deal to inspire people and keep spirits high. News of these daring raids, which have killed dozens of Israeli soldiers, have shown that while Israel’s troops may be able to push buttons on billion-dollar machines, they aren’t so good when it comes to actual fighting.”
“Health officials in Gaza say 1,865 Palestinians, the vast majority of them civilians, have been killed and more than a quarter of the impoverished enclave’s 1.8 million residents displaced.
As many as 3,000 Palestinian homes have been destroyed or damaged. Many of those evacuees have taken shelter in UN-run facilities, including a Rafah school where 10 people were killed in Israeli shelling on Sunday.
Two other UN-run schools, one in Beit Hanoun and the other in Jabalia, were also shelled, leaving 28 Palestinians dead.
A seven-hour truce under which Israel would end its assault on the Gaza Strip was immediately broken Monday after occupation forces bombed a house in Gaza City, killing a child and wounding 30 others.
The strike hit a house in the beachfront Shati refugee camp, killing an eight-year-old girl, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra told AFP.
Witnesses and several AFP correspondents reported hearing the whistle of a missile fired from an F16 warplane before it crashed into a house wedged between two tall buildings inside the camp.
An AFP correspondent said the strike hit at 10:06 am (0706 GMT) — ie six minutes into the truce.
(Please note that the recording missed the first few seconds. She began it by saying that “Yesterday, the Obama administration said that the abduction of the Israeli invading soldier by the Palestinian Resistance was a “barbaric act”. It did miss a minute of the end – when she spoke more about organizing.)
“…these killings are part of a broader set of inhuman acts by Israel constituting international crimes, carried out by Israel over many years, going back to at least 1947 and 1948. They include crimes that aren’t talked about that much in the media or the press, the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and apartheid. These crimes can be prosecuted in the International Criminal Court and are defined there.
They include what the well-known Israeli writer Ilan Pappé called incremental genocide. Pappé says he wants to place the barbarity of what Israel is doing in its proper context. I’m a lawyer. I’ve looked at genocide. Genocide has two elements. One element is the mental element, the intent to destroy the whole or in part a national or ethnical or racial or religious group. Palestinians are clearly a national and ethnic group. And you don’t need to kill them all. You just need to have the mental intent to kill part of them. For example, it would be enough to have the mental intent to kill the leadership of the Palestinians or to kill people in one region. No doubt about that.
Genocide also requires that there be acts of genocide–killing members of the group, causing serious bodily or mental harm, or inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about the physical destruction, in whole or part, of the people you’re trying to destroy. There’s no doubt again here this is “incremental genocide”, as Ilan Pappé says. iIt’s been going on for a long time, the killings, the incredibly awful conditions of life, the expulsions that have gone on for from Lydda in 1947 and ’48, when 700 or more villages in Palestine were destroyed, and in the expulsions that continued from that time until today. It’s correct and important to label it for what it is.
A second important international crime is the crime against humanity. No doubt here at all. A crime against humanity is, quote,part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population”. It’s carried out by means of murder, forcible transfers, torture, rape, and the crime of apartheid. Again, the evidence here, from 1947 on, in what is now Israel, the occupied territories, the West Bank, today Gaza, is clear that crimes against humanity have been and are currently being committed by Israel.
Which brings me to the third international crime, the crime of apartheid. No doubt about apartheid. It’s defined as “inhumane acts” committed to maintain” the domination by one racial group over any other”. The inhuman acts include murder, bodily injury, mental injury, infringement of freedom or dignity–and this, importantly: measures preventing participation in the political or social or economic life of the country. Again, for any of us who know even the rudiments of the history of the Israeli oppression of the Palestinians, they are, have been, and are currently committing the crime of apartheid.
I stress these international crimes because it is important to put what Israel does with the support of the U.S. in its proper context. It’s not just about this current assault on Gaza, but an assault that has continued for almost 70 years. Yes, we must stop this assault, but it will not be sufficient. Yes, we must hold Israel and its leaders accountable and courts throughout this world. But that will still not be sufficient. The end, we must end the occupation and Palestine must be free.”
* 10,080 houses have been targeted, of which 1,556 have been fully destroyed while 8,424 have been partially damaged.
* 24 health centers, including hospitals and medical clinics, have been partially damaged.
* 167 schools have been targeted, bringing the number of affected school students to 9100.
* 6 universities have been destroyed due to Israeli bombardment, bringing the number of affected students to 100,000.
* The total number of displaced Palestinians due to the Israeli aggression on Gaza now stands at 450,000.
* Eight water pumping and sewage stations have been bombed and destroyed in Gaza, affecting 700,000 Palestinians.
* 118 mosques have been shelled, of which 81 were partially damaged while 37 were fully destroyed.