The Dangerous Perversion of "Genocide": Israel's Critics Distort a Crucial Term

(New York Daily News) Robert Morgenthau - Turkish President Erdogan has claimed that Israel engaged in "genocide" in Gaza. While I acknowledge the suffering of the Gazan people, I feel equally bound to recognize the unfairness of this charge. Genocide is a legal concept with a legal meaning, and it has no possible application here. Any claim to the contrary is, as we lawyers say, frivolous and dangerously perverts the true meaning of this truly critical term. The word "genocide" emerged near the end of World War II in response to the Nazi policy of systematic and deliberate murder of Jews as a people. It has since also referred to the mass murder by the Turks of Armenian Christians. Shortly after the Second World War, genocide was recognized as a crime under international law in the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. The crime of genocide has a narrow legal meaning. One of the requirements is the "intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such." If Israel truly were guilty of that, I would be the first to cry out publicly. But it is spurious even to theorize that Israel had or has any intent to destroy Palestinians as a national, ethnical, racial or religious group as such. Falsely portraying Israel - and yes, Jews - as perpetrators of genocide fosters anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. That perpetuates racial hatred and victimization of the group wrongfully accused. It may even be used in an effort to "justify" attempts at a second genocide against the Jews by the Iranian theocracy and their henchmen (Hamas and Hizbullah) who do deliberately target Israelis and Jews as such. The writer is a former Manhattan district attorney.

2018-06-04 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive