Background: The war crimes in Gaza, the last stage of an incremental genocide
The Israeli government is committing war crimes in Gaza, targeting civilian homes and the families of those it deems “militants’’, using heavy weapons in densely populated areas, knowing in advance the expected number of casualties. All this comes on top of a chronic, Israeli-made humanitarian crisis, which has turned into a catastrophe.
The Palestinian people are facing a kind of conspiracy by the governments of Israel, the US and others. The incremental destruction of Gaza has nothing to do with rockets being fired on Israel. They are merely the symptoms of a desperate life-or-death struggle being waged by the Palestinians to fend off their permanent imprisonment by Israel in isolated enclaves in Jerusalem and the West Bank and in impoverished islands inside Israel and, of course, in the cage which is Gaza itself.
It is clear that the military operations in Gaza, as those in the West Bank which preceded it, had a purpose of their own. Having broken the resistance of Fatah in the West Bank during Operation Defensive Shield in 2002, having filled the Palestinian territories with some 200 settlements, more than half a million Israeli settlers and a massive system of highways and walls fragmenting Palestinian lands even as they imprison its people, having demolished more than 30,000 Palestinian homes since the beginning of the Occupation – thousands more now in Gaza and with the resulting further displacement of over 525,000 Palestinians since 8 July 2014.
All this, together with the destruction of the Palestinian economy and the systematic killing or imprisonment of Palestinian political leaders, conjures up a picture of incremental genocide –genocide being defined as the systematic destruction of all or part of a racial, ethnic, religious or national group via the killing of the group’s members, causing them serious bodily or mental harm, deliberately inflicting on them conditions of life calculated to bring about their physical destruction in whole or in part. Some would add the destruction of a people’s culture, identity, history and heritage as well. What Israel is doing to the Palestinians “incremental” only in that it has been going on since 1947.
Israel’s message to the Palestinians all these years has been the same: You can submit as inmates are required to do, in which case we will allow you to remain in your enclave-cell Bantustans . You can leave, as hundreds of thousands have done before you. Or, if you choose to resist, you will die. It is this last part of the message -- if you resist, you will die – that constitutes the final warning that is the systematic destruction of Gaza.
For that, the senior Israeli officials who are suspected of war crimes, should be arrested and bring them to a fair trial abroad.
UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) http://www.ochaopt.org/ .
Records demolitions and displacement statistics and is responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies.
Stop the Wall http://www.stopthewall.org/
A Palestinian grassroots movement uniting the struggle of the popular committees in the villages, refugee camps and cities struggling against Israel’s Separation Wall and the settlements and the efforts of Palestinian civil society.
Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) http://www.icahd.org/
A human rights and peace group that works to end the Occupation with a just and sustainable peace for both people groups. Its focus for non-violent resistance is the issue of Israel’s demolition of Palestinian homes and the ethnic displacement of the indigenous Palestinian people from their homeland. ICAHD rebuilds Palestinian homes as an act of political resistance to the Occupation.
A human rights organisation established to protect and promote human rights and the rule of law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. It documents violations of the individual and collective rights of Palestinians and seeks to end such breaches by way of advocacy before national and international mechanisms and by holding the violators accountable.
Resource Centre for Palestinian Residency & Refugee Rights takes a rights-based approach to the Palestinian refugee issue through research, advocacy and support of community participation in the search for durable solutions. It facilitates partnership based initiatives with Palestinian and international organizations to strengthen refugee identity, promote refugee unity and empower initiatives of refugee self-organization for Palestinian refugee rights.
Negotiating Affairs Department, Palestine Liberation Organisation
Excellent resources including maps and history. Special reports include ‘Gaza Under Fire’
BOOKS - Contemporary Political Situation & Historical
The Question of Palestine – Edward Said (Pantheon)
An Israeli in Palestine: Resisting Dispossession, Redeeming Israel – Jeff Halper (Pluto Press)
Obstacles to Peace – Jeff Halper (ICAHD)
Blood & Religion & Israel & the Clash of Civilizations – Jonathan Cook (Pluto Press)
Gaza in Crisis: Reflections on Israel’s War against the Palestinians – Noam Chomsky & Ilan Pappe (Hamish Hamilton)
Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide – Ben White (Pluto Press)
Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiment in Human Despair – Jonathan Cook (Zed Books)
The Iron Wall – Avi Shlaim (Penguin Books)
Israel & the Palestine: Reappraisals, Revisions, Refutations – Avi Shlaim (Verso)
The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine – Ilan Pappe (Oneworld Publications)
The Idea of Israel: A History of Power and Knowledge – Ilan Pappe (Verso)