In a cruel irony, the Genocide Convention and the genocide of Palestine both started in 1948. ‘Never again’ become ‘immediately and forever’ as soon as the term was coined. Genocide became utterly conventional, and hid there in plain sight.
The Genocide Convention
The short text of the 1948 Genocide Convention reads:
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:
a) Killing members of the group;
b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
This might as well be the constitution of ‘Israel’. Hell, genocide is in the American Declaration of Independence, which openly advocates eliminating ‘merciless Indian Savages.’ In a very deep sense, genocide is just how colonialism is wired.
South Africa survived colonialism and understands this as well as anybody, which is why they’ve just ‘indicted’ Israel for genocide. They filed a case with the International (and ineffective) Court of Justice, a case which is both damning and completely inadequate. The fact is that genocide isn’t something Israel does, it’s what Israel is.
In the past three months Israel has merely accelerated its genocide of the Palestinian people, they’ve been eliminating the Palestinian people by definition the whole time. Genocide has become so utterly conventional that it took the rapid death of 25,000+ people and starvation of millions for this case to even be filed.
Genocide is not just intrinsic to ‘Israel’. It’s intrinsic to ‘Great’ Britain, the ‘United’ States, Australia, Canada, and all the nations founded on mass murder, starvation, and theft. None of these colonizers ever stopped colonizing. Everyone focuses on the Nazis because they committed genocide against white people, which is the only actual crime. The imperialists that committed and continued to commit genocide against colored people got to portray themselves as good guys.
Genocide became Genocide™, something that could be weaponized to commit even more genocide, while lecturing everybody about it. The conventional understanding of genocide became literally being Hitler and literally killing Jews in gas chambers. Anything short of that could be denied or debated to literal death. The only real change was that white people stopped wearing the Hitler mustache. Beyond that, they continued his ways unabated. Hitler took all of white people’s sins upon himself when he died. It’s not like the ‘good guys’ won in World War II. That’s just movies, ie propaganda that never stopped.
‘Great’ Britain continued running concentration camps in Kenya and South Africa for decades, among other atrocities. France continued mass murdering Algerians, among other ethnicities. The ‘United’ States, Canada, and Australia never paid for their genocide and enslavement, and indeed continue the process well into this century. All of these countries exported racist violence to every corner of the Earth with bombs, forming a ‘rules-based order’ that makes the Third Reich look small-minded. Carpet bombing of civilians, setting up torture camps, persecuting communists, everything Hitler only did for a few years they made a full century of.
Post World War II history is the other white supremacists continuing the genocides that inspired Hitler in the first place. And we’re still living (or more specifically, dying) that history to this day. ‘Israel’ is just the most egregious example.
Isn’t It Ironic?
Thus we ended up with the cruelest of ironies in 1948. A Genocide Convention being drafted at the same time the Genocidal Colony of ‘Israel’ was created.
The word ‘genocide’ became weaponized for even more genocide as soon as it was coined. The Nazis actually thought about sending Jews ‘somewhere’ else as a penultimate solution, and Zionists worked with them on the Haavara Agreement. The British and then the Americans merely executed this extremely racist plan, based on the idea that Jews didn’t belong where they were and should go back ‘where they came from’.
Thus America — which inherited White Empire — inherited a garrison state. They could use Jews (who they didn’t like) as a permanent and guaranteed loyal conscript nation, an ‘unsinkable aircraft carrier’ parked near the gas station. The existence of Israel permanently destabilized the Middle East. It was a classic case of divide-and-conquer, someone else’s blood for oil. This is marketed as somehow atoning for genocide, when in fact it’s cynically exploiting the concept.
The Genocide Convention doesn’t say you get a ‘gimme’ if you’ve been genocided, yet this is the conventional understanding that justifies Israel.Somehow the logic is that because Jews were genocided in Europe, they get to commit genocide in Palestine. Getting to genocide a native population is the final white privilege. It’s eye for an eye on an international scale, and the whole world is blind. The Genocide Convention has become utterly conventional.
Israel has been genociding Palestine for 75 years — indeed, Israel is genocide — but people only file a case when it happens all at once, killing 25,000 people and trying to sicken or starve everyone else. But’s it’s not like the Genocide Convention has a speed limit, or even a number of people that need to be killed before you enact it. This is why the legal case, while welcome, is wholly inadequate.
The problem is and always was power, ie who gets to interpret or completely pervert the laws. The only reason this case is even happening is because South Africa liberated itself, and they got called terrorists for their troubles. Now Palestine is doing the same thing and being called the same thing. That’s just how liberation goes. Nobody gives it to you in a court ruling. You have to take it by overthrowing your rulers using the only language they know. Which is violence.
Thus while the case filed by South Africa is commendable, only command of the battlefield will change anything. It’s the only reason we’re even talking about this. As Tolstoy said,“Laws are rules made by people who govern by means of organised violence,” and it is only through organized violence that Palestinians are able to get their rights enforced under law. And it won’t be the International Court of Justice that does it. The ICJ is just another false name on top of real power. It will be the Axis of Resistance, writing laws and history in the language they’ve always been written in. In blood.