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The ICJ’s Genocide Ruling Against Israel Is Well-Deserved

Above photo: On Friday Dec. 15, the last day of Hanukkah, a menorah-lighting rally took place in Midtown demanding Rep. Jerry Nadler call for a ceasefire. Neil Constantine.

There is a Fascist thread that runs throughout the history of Israel to the present day.

Historically the two effective canards advanced by antisemites about the Jews were that they killed Christ and they killed Christian children for their blood to use to make matzoh, the unleavened bread that is central to the Passover celebration.

The notion that the Jews killed Christ, that they committed the crime of deicide, was spread by the Catholic Church and not rescinded until 1965. The charge of ritual killing of children to make matzoh fell on its face because of the ridiculousness of the assertion.

But this time, because Israel has succeeded in identifying Judaism with Zionism, the International Court of Justice finding that Israel’s Zionists have plausibly committed a genocide is a truth that is now known worldwide.

South Africa proved that Israel was guilty of making “direct and public incitement to genocide,” as the Court wrote, which is a violation of a provision in the genocide convention. Among the many damning comments made by top Israeli officials were those by Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, who promised a total siege of Gaza stating “no electricity, no food, no power. Everything is closed… we are fighting human animals… we will eliminate  everything… I have released all restraints.“

The Israeli response to the ICJ ruling was that it was “antisemitic.” Of course they would say that. Any critic of Israel they say is an antisemite. Even Jewish critics like me. Our only redemption is that people with groups  like Jewish Voice for Peace have succeeded in separating Jews from Zionism.

In the Beginning

Zionists were a tiny minority 130 years ago. Their position was that the Jews would only be safe in Israel, that antisemitism was a permanent feature of life, and that the Jews in partnership with a great imperial power should get the hell out of Europe to settle in Palestine. This got little acceptance.

At one of the early gatherings of the Zionist movement, so the story goes, a delegation was sent to the holy land. They were told to report back on the situation. They did. They reported back that “the bride is beautiful, but she’s married to another man.”

But 75 years ago after the fascists wiped out the Jews in Europe, the Zionists got the backing of the United States and other lesser imperial powers as well as the Soviet Union, winning the vote in the United Nations to set up the Jewish state of Israel on the backs of another people.

The Zionist knew all along that in order for this to work, the natives had to be terrorized, killed, conquered or pushed out.

They should’ve known better. There were people like socialist Albert Einstein who warned of the horrors to come. That taking state power will be the moral downfall of the Jews. That you have to separate church and state. That an exclusive Jewish state set down on another peoples’ country cannot work. It’ll turn the Jewish settlers into oppressors. That is what has happened.

One of the great ironies of history is that fascists are now in the government of Israel and leading the genocide against the Palestinians. Bezalel Smotrich, the finance minister in Netanyahu’s government, describes himself as a “fascist homophobe.”

There’s a strain of fascism that runs through Zionism like a brown thread. The Italian dictator Mussolini called Ze’ev Jabotinsky, one of the founders of Benjamin Netanyahu‘s Likud party, “a good fascist.”

The American Zionist Rabbi Meir Kahane was a fascist. His program was to either kill or drive out the Palestinians from their ancestral land. His political descendants are now in power in Israel. That is what’s happening now. Or more accurately continues to happen in a process that has lasted for 75 years.

Major catastrophe was inflicted on the Palestinians in 1947–48, when around 15,000 of them were killed and 750,000 were driven out of their country or into refugee camps — their homes, businesses, land and water stolen; 431 of their villages were destroyed.

Seventy-eight percent of historic Palestine was taken by the Zionist settlers in l948. In 1967, Israel took the other 22% during the Six Day War and have governed through military law ever since.

But in Gaza, where the resistance movement Hamas won a popular vote in 2006, the Israelis are bombing the strip out of existence. They have obliterated most of the infrastructure and have forced the population into a tiny corner, killing tens of thousands of people, mostly women and children.

The International Court of Justice was set up by the United Nations in 1948.  The same year the world signed on to the Convention Against Genocide.

Applying the facts to the law of the genocide treaty the court concluded that the Israelis are plausibly committing genocide in Gaza. The world knows this. And since Israel is a Jewish state, the crime is being laid on Jews.

The way out is to renounce the exclusive state of the Jews. The way out is to recognize that all the residents of historic Palestine are citizens of Palestine.

But even if the Jews of Israel should consider this, they will not do it. They overwhelmingly support the war. Even more violence, they say. But even if they went along with the-one state solution, they’re in the embrace of U.S. imperialism. The U.S. has Israel as its ally and won’t let it go. That is what we were up against. So a horrific crime has once again been laid on the Jews. Will it stick?

Michael Smith is a co-host of Law & Disorder Radio. He is a longtime member of the National Lawyers Guild and a former board member of the Center for Constitutional Rights.

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