Genocide Watch is issuing a Genocide Warning for both Israel and Palestine.
Photo Credit: Sebastian Scheiner, AP and the Indy Star
Under the leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli government has systematically discriminated against its Palestinian population, including Palestinians who are legal citizens of Israel. Israel’s 2018 “Basic Law” removed Arabic as an official state language and defined self-determination in the State of Israel as uniquely for the Jewish people. These are denials of Palestinian culture and nationality.
Palestinians have been forcibly transferred to settlements in the West Bank, and movement of goods and people out of the Gaza Strip is restricted. These actions are violations of the rights of residence and travel under Article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The U.N. has identified 46 Palestinian communities at “high risk of forcible transfer,” which could make their residents into internally displaced persons. Thousands of Palestinians have fled to refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria.
According to Amnesty International, 38 Palestinians, including 11 children, were killed by the Israeli Defense Forces in 2019. The Israeli government is responsible for arbitrary detention, torture, and killings of political dissidents. As of November 2019, 182 Palestinian children were in prison. Under cover of night, Israeli military and police have raided hundreds of homes in the West Bank.
Hamas, a militant Palestinian organization based in the Gaza Strip, has sent thousands of rockets into Israel, killing over 30 civilians and wounding over 2000 more. Israel, the United States, and the European Union recognize Hamas as a terrorist organization. The founding charter of Hamas calls for the destruction of Israel, an incitement to genocide. The Israeli government desires increased national security against attacks from Hamas, the Palestine Liberation Organization in the West Bank, and from Palestinian terrorists based in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt.
European and U.S Jews have faced a rise in anti-Semitic attacks. To demonstrate his support for Israel, U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, angering Palestinian groups.
Genocide Watch recognizes the complexity of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Both Jewish and Palestinian groups claim religious and political rights over their territories. Criticism of the Israeli government is not an attack on the Jewish right to a national homeland. Israel was created legitimately by the United Nations and has a right to defend itself. Genocide Watch has no sympathy with groups advocating destruction of Israel, as Arab states have repeatedly waged war to do since Israel’s creation, and as Hamas still advocates.
Genocide Watch opposes Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights as Persecution, Stage 8 in the genocidal process. Genocide Watch condemns the goals of Hamas, many Arab states, Iran, and other groups that reject Israel’s existence as incitements to genocide.
Past peace agreements between Israel and Palestine have been unsuccessful. On Jan. 28, President Trump proposed a two-state solution that recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of both Israel and Palestine and demilitarizes Palestine. However, key Palestinian leaders rejected this proposal, saying Palestinian human rights would not be protected.
Genocide Watch urges Israel, the U.S. and other nations, and Palestinian leaders to work toward a peace treaty that secures both Palestinian human rights and Israel’s security.