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The Great Genocide game - Part II:

Obvious double standards

Continued from the Leader Page of yesterday

Double standards are most obvious now with regard to what is going on in Gaza. Hundreds of Palestinians killed, thousands injured, economic blockades, none of them have led to the Western protectors of Israel using the word to characterise what is going on.

This may be understandable in terms of the fact that Israel is not deliberately aiming to destroy a race, in the manner which Hitler and all his associates in Europe attempted with the Jews.

But it is ironic that the word is thrown around so easily with regard to other countries now, while this mass assault on Palestinians qua Palestinians is not seen in the framework of the Convention on Genocide which defines genocide in terms of killing members of a particular group, causing serious bodily and mental harm to them and deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.

literary image

In human terms it is also tragic that the victims of so much suffering have no qualms about inflicting so much themselves now on others. The literary image of Jews as victims of prejudice is something that Israelis of course are delighted to escape from, since obviously no one wants to be a victim.

But that they should have slipped so easily into the other extreme, the triumphant perpetrator of what they had themselves suffered from, is a depressing vindication of the sort of psychological vision Shakespeare encapsulated in his depiction of Shylock as both victim and villain.

ill treatment

But it is not only that centuries of ill treatment have hardened the Jews to demanding their pound and more of flesh when they feel themselves hurt. What is worse is that they are also led astray by their certainty of impunity for whatever they do.

Mark Regev, a spokesman for the Israeli Prime Minister, was reported to have said ‘I haven’t seen too many tears shed in Paris, London or Berlin over the fact that we have hit Hamas targets’, and that about sums up the sheer callousness with which the modern Israeli knows he can treat the suffering of civilians.

The reaction of the West is all that matters and, however many civilians die, it can be argued that these somehow deserve to die because they are in some way implicated in terrorism, and this argument will be credited by those who cannot afford to criticise the monster they created.


So Gareth Evans, riding his white charger to protect, dodged in Geneva the question as to why he and his backers did not invoke R2P against Israel by claiming that R2P applied to internal problems, and those critical of Israel were proponents of two states.

That is casuistry at its worst, and Gareth obviously understood this, for he admitted that something needed to be done - unfortunately he clearly was not going to do this, even though he felt entitled to pontificate about other countries which have seen nothing like the horrors that have been going on in Gaza.

As far as Gaza is concerned indeed Gareth’s argument does not hold water. Even though it could be argued that Israel controls the West Bank by conquest alone (though that should not preclude moral obligations for areas in which it enforces its writ as it wills), Gaza after all was part of the British mandate of Palestine. If it was not taken over by Israel, to which I believe it was initially entrusted, then it should revert to the hegemony of the United Nations.

American technology

Unfortunately, in the military victories Israel had periodically achieved over the last sixty years, victories regularly fuelled by advanced American technology (whether obtained illegally as in 1948 or with full financial and other support as now), the actual status of Gaza has been forgotten.

Meanwhile, other outriders of the West produce what might be termed distractions, by drawing attention to what they claim is genocide elsewhere. Thus we had in December, whilst the Israelis were preparing their onslaught, the Great Genocide Index. It is based entirely of predilection dressed up in jargon, and thus produces a list of eight stages which are in a state of red alert as regards genocide, and another thirteen which are in a state of yellow alert.

The list is based on five indices which seem to have been selected on a fairly arbitrary basis of indicators, all of them not just occidental but Anglo-Saxon, most of them feeding into each other. To qualify to be classified as red alert, a country has to figure on all five lists. The eight countries that thus figure include Sri Lanka and Pakistan, with China on yellow alert.

Which particular genus Pakistan and China are trying to destroy is not made clear. And Israel itself, the country that has legal and official status, is not mentioned at all, the introduction of the term Palestine into the name of the area serving to obfuscate the issue of where responsibility lies.

The five indices use some strange language for those who understand what genocide means, though since the term is used simply for emotional purposes it is understandable that the compilers did not seek academic or any other form of precision.

The absurdities of the list are quite self evident, but it may be worth noting the most absurd criterion of all, in the list that in general seems less preposterous than the rest. Amongst the preconditions here for a country to seem genocidal is trade openness.


That last dead giveaway reveals the motivation behind the whole exercise, ie give a dog a bad name and hang him. To use economic predilections to assert that countries are genocidal is taking gamesmanship to the brink.

Many of the other criteria are also strange, whilst the value judgments of some of the indices suggest not just ignorance or carelessness but an unremitting hostility to particular countries.

But the idea that the perpetrators of these indices need to be transparent, that they should make clear all their sources of funding, is not widespread, and in any case they have this wonderful system of wheels within wheels which permits the initial perpetrators of prejudice to hide behind the myriad smokescreens the network produces.

To be continued



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