Sunday, November 18, 2012

Chomsky on Gaza

> From Noam Chomsky:
> "The incursion and bombardment of Gaza is not about destroying Hamas.
> It is not about stopping rocket fire into Israel, it is not about
> achieving peace. The Israeli decision to rain death and destruction on
> Gaza, to use lethal weapons of the modern battlefield on a largely
> defenseless civilian population, is the final phase in a decades-long
> campaign to ethnically-cleanse Palestinians.
> Israel uses sophisticated attack jets and naval vessels to bomb
> densely-crowded refugee camps, schools, apartment blocks, mosques, and
> slums to attack a population that has no air force, no air defense, no
> navy, no heavy weapons, no artillery units, no mechanized armor, no
> command in control, no army… and calls it a war. It is not a war, it
> is murder.
> “When Israelis in the occupied territories now claim that they have to
> defend themselves, they are defending themselves in the sense that any
> military occupier has to defend itself against the population they are
> crushing. You can't defend yourself when you're militarily occupying
> someone else's land. That's not defense. Call it what you like, it's
> not defense.”
> --

There are conflicting ideas about whether the Israelis are committing genocide or using ethnic cleansing. Here is a definition:

[An earlier draft by the Commission of Experts described ethnic cleansing as "the planned deliberate removal from a specific territory, persons of a particular ethnic group, by force or intimidation, in order to render that area ethnically homogenous." which it 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".[4]

Ethnic cleansing is not to be confused with genocide; however, academic discourse considers both as existing in a spectrum of assaults on nations or religio-ethnic groups. Ethnic cleansing is similar to forced deportation or population transfer whereas genocide is the intentional murder of part or all of a particular ethnic, religious, or national group.[5] The idea in ethnic cleansing is "to get people to move, and the means used to this end range from the legal to the semi-legal."[6] Some academics consider genocide as a subset of "murderous ethnic cleansing."[7] Thus, these concepts are different, but related, "literally and figuratively, ethnic cleansing bleeds into genocide, as mass murder is committed in order to rid the land of a people."[8] ]
But If the occupier makes it impossible for the indigenous population to move, and kills them to destroy them where they are confined, it isn't ethnic cleansing, it is genocide...

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