Let’s not mince words. Israelis are committing genocide in Gaza. But the United Nations is loath to use the “G” word and it is using the “C” (condemn) word instead. Why? Money talks. The top financier of the United Nations is America, with a whopping 22.00% in direct funds (followed by Japan 10.83%, Germany 7.14%, France 5.59%, and GB 5.18%); if the United Nations called out the genocide in Gaza, its top financier would have to be punished for its complicity.
According to Article 3 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, persons committing genocide or being complicit in genocide shall be punished “whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.” The United States not only supports and funds the ongoing genocide in Gaza, replenishes Israel with more funds and weaponry, but it also uses its political clout to enable Israel to continue its ruthless crimes against humanity.
While many have not been shy about calling these crimes genocide, they have come under attack for using the “G” word. Is genocide an appropriate term to use? Well, it is if one has respect for international law and the rules of the genocide convention. Article 2 of the Convention clearly spells out:
“In the present Convention, genocide means any (emphasis added) of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part (emphasis added), a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
• (a) Killing members of the group;
• (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
• (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
• (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
• (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”
There is little argument and ample evidence that Israel’s actions against the people of Gaza in particular, and Palestine as whole, constitute genocide.
While the pro-Israel western media has been unable to conceal the daily, indiscriminate killing of anything that breathes and moves in Gaza (Article 2a) and the terrorization of children, the young and the old (mental harm) with the constant bombardment, bulldozers, and drones (Article 2b), the media has been apt at hiding the horrific effects of the blockade – the deliberate infliction of condition of life calculated to bring about physical destruction in whole or in part (Article 2c).
In 2010, Amnesty International’s report Suffocating Gaza – the Israeli blockade’s effects on Palestinians detailed the reality of life in Gaza including restricting the entry of basic goods, food and fuel. On January 28, 2014, the daily Haaretz ran an article entitled “In Gaza, water – and time – are running out; Experts say Gaza water shortage likely to bring about illness.” The situation has only exasperated.
Yet, in spite of the evidence, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, ignoring all other atrocities, calls an attack on a UN school which killed innocent civilians “outrageous”. Perhaps he ought to be reminded of, and heed his predecessor, Kofi Annan who acknowledged responsibility for not having done more to prevent or stop the Rwanda genocide. In his July 2004 address to the Commission on Human Rights, Mr. Annan said, “If we are serious about preventing or stopping genocide in future, we must not be held back by legalistic arguments about whether a particular atrocity meets the definition of genocide or not. By the time we are certain, it may often be too late to act. We must recognize the signs of approaching or possible genocide, so that we can act in time to avert it.”
Ban ki-Moon must have missed the speech and the memo; although in July 2012, he did appoint Adam Dieng of Senegal as his Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide – only to refrain from the “G” word it would seem.
The American government is not alone in its complicity in genocide or in inciting it. Mainstream media networks and commentators who paint a picture of an Israel “self-defense” to give room to the continued genocide are complicit and must be punished. But in the opinion of this writer, the vilest partners in this crime are the Egyptian and Saudi leaders committing fratricide.
Egypt’s military coup leader and the illegitimate president of Egypt, al-Sisi, whom the Israel ambassador called a ‘hero for all Jews,’ has trapped the Gazans so that Israel can eliminate them all. Genocide will prove to be lucrative business for the Egyptians. Piping Israeli gas (stolen from Gaza) to liquefaction plants in Egypt to be converted into LNG and exported across the world.
SIDE BAR: In 2009, David Wurmser writing for the Jewish policy Center opined, “Israel and its neighbor now sit atop roughly two years’ worth of European consumption.” He further suggests “even modest amounts of Israeli gas exports can carry significant strategic leverage.” Citing Europe’s gas vulnerability, Wurmser wrote, “Europe’s grim reality could represent a unique window of opportunity for Israel to nail down long-term agreements and align export policy with a broader effort to reset Israeli-European relations.”
The MH-17 was brought down four hours after Israel’s ground invasion of Gaza. Europeans reluctant to enforce further sanctions on Russia were no longer so reluctant.
Israel’s interest in Egypt and its opposition to the elected president of the Egyptian people, Mohammad Morsi, went beyond a gas transit and the Palestinians. On May 30, 2013, The Times of Israel reported that the construction on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (on the Blue Nile) had sparked a major diplomatic crisis with Egypt – a concern shared with Saudi Arabia and its plans to divert water from the Nile. In 2012, it was reported that Saudi Arabia had claimed a stake in the Nile.
The Saudi regime showered the coup government with aid after the overthrow of Morsi. In January, Egypt received a further $4bln, and in May, Saudi Arabia showered the Egyptians with another $3bln while Egypt trapped Gazans to be slaughtered by Israel.
Never has the world witnessed so much impunity. The United Nations refuses to acknowledge genocide and takes no part in preventing or punishing it. The silence of those guarding our rights and our laws makes them the silent partners in this crime against humanity. As Jonathan Swift said, “I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed.”
By Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich
This commentary was originally released on Information Clearing House.
Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich is a Public Diplomacy scholar, independent researcher and writer with a focus on US foreign policy and the role of lobby groups.