Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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Zarathud
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Zarathud »

Without proof of intent — deliberate policy to kill or cause widespread death — there is no crime of genocide. Exodor hasn’t bothered to even read that, and that’s what the UN investigation said “could” exist with the situation. If you read about those convicted before your rush to respond, you’d see what shows actual intent.

Israel’s entire defense could be based on “war is hell” or “this happens to refugees” and they’d be acquitted by an unbiased jury. That’s why many Jews see anti-Semitism behind the charge, because to them (reasonably) genocide is the Holocaust.

/Socratic method off
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Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Zarathud »

More personal attacks, VR? The UN lawyer made preliminary conclusions, not definite ones and didn’t face a legal defense. And one person isn’t The Hague.

Again, if you read more before rushing to attack me personally, you might have realized many of those trials took years.

Frankly, I don’t need to know more than someone at the UN. I know more than you, VR. So stop taking cheap personal potshots or I may respond with more than calling you uniformed.

And, lastly, consider that I’m not stupid and know exactly what was in the links I posted.
"If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts." - Albert Einstein
"I don't stand by anything." - Trump
“Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” - John Stuart Mill, Inaugural Address Delivered to the University of St Andrews, 2/1/1867
“It is the impractical things in this tumultuous hell-scape of a world that matter most. A book, a name, chicken soup. They help us remember that, even in our darkest hour, life is still to be savored.” - Poe, Altered Carbon
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Dogstar »

I might offer that you’re not going to convince Zarathrud on this matter barring a legally provable case, for which likely none of us have the time, expertise, or resources to research and provide. He approaches the matter vastly different from many of us; it’s not unusual in the legal profession. (I noted earlier that it can be a source of frustration when people interact with the legal community on a variety of matters, let alone something this serious.)

I think we all agree that something fundamentally bad is occurring on a large scale through various acts or even indifference. And as Blackhawk noted, we don’t need legal terms to specifically define our discussion. We’re a gaming forum. Moving away from that might be beneficial for everyone.


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Victoria Raverna
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Victoria Raverna »

Of course one person isn't the Haque. But one person's report became "UN confirmed rapes on October 7th". So why one person's report about "reasonable to conclude that it is a genocide or a prelude to a genocide" can't became "UN concluded that there is likely to be a genocide"?

As for trials took years. I don't need trials to have opinion about something. People can have opinion that there is a genocide without having to wait for trials.
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Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Zarathud »

Dogstar wrote:Moving away from that term genocidemight be beneficial for everyone.
Fixed that for you — as that term and the drive-by YouTube videos are my problem.

If there is good evidence of IDF or Israeli intent, I’ll listen to it. That’s another part of being a lawyer.

But i don’t consider the following as evidence: (1) crazy politicians shouting off stupid shit to their base isn’t policy (the U.S. has its own fools), (2) YouTube commentators who don’t have real expertise, or (3) speculative assumptions often appear more anti-Semitic (like claims the Jews control US politicians).

Added: (4) opinions. Opinions are like assholes, everyone has them. If your opinion doesn’t have any understanding behind it, it may be stupid.
"If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts." - Albert Einstein
"I don't stand by anything." - Trump
“Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” - John Stuart Mill, Inaugural Address Delivered to the University of St Andrews, 2/1/1867
“It is the impractical things in this tumultuous hell-scape of a world that matter most. A book, a name, chicken soup. They help us remember that, even in our darkest hour, life is still to be savored.” - Poe, Altered Carbon
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Blackhawk »

Zarathud wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2024 10:08 am Without proof of intent — deliberate policy to kill or cause widespread death — there is no crime of genocide. Exodor hasn’t bothered to even read that, and that’s what the UN investigation said “could” exist with the situation. If you read about those convicted before your rush to respond, you’d see what shows actual intent.

Israel’s entire defense could be based on “war is hell” or “this happens to refugees” and they’d be acquitted by an unbiased jury. That’s why many Jews see anti-Semitism behind the charge, because to them (reasonably) genocide is the Holocaust.

/Socratic method off
For the sake of discussion, at what point does the proof of intent have to exist before we, the public (ie, not legal commentators, not an international court) are able to say, "genocide?"

To toss in an example of why I think people are getting frustrated, people frequently use the term 'murder' in a discussion of a death and a suspect without having proof of anything resembling murder. It appears to be murder, so we use the term. It is not, technically, correct. It's up to the prosecutor and the judge to determine whether intent existed, whether the acts fit the definition in that particular jurisdiction, and what that all means. Until then, it isn't murder. But anyone who isn't a member of The System™ is probably going to use murder - it's the best term we have, and isn't an attempt to formally accuse or prosecute.

At what point can the public use a term that also has a legal definition? Everything from burglary to robbery to murder to jaywalking has a list of criteria, and most people don't know them. And yet we use the terms to describe what's happened. Are we correct? Rarely. I don't have a law degree, but I did have quite a bit of training in the course of my sadly short-lived career, mostly focused around liability as applied to private businesses open to the public, plus criminal law surrounding non-fatal violence, theft, vandalism, and so on, including reading tons and tons of case law. Even that, and even limited to a single jurisdiction, is enough for me to know that about 95% of the time when any such term is trotted out, people are using it wrong (like when people use theft, burglary, and robbery interchangeably.)

But we need language to discuss these things, and it works out that the language we have available for discussing crimes (or supposed crimes) is the same as the precisely defined legal language that we are unlikely to use correctly.

So, again, at what point can the public use a term that also happens to have a legal definition? If never, how do we discuss an event without applying terminology to it?
Last edited by Blackhawk on Fri Mar 29, 2024 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Blackhawk »

Argue argue, but I would like to point out a couple of things.
Zarathud wrote: Thu Mar 28, 2024 11:43 pm - the Holocaust, which lasted for years (why many find applying the term in a non-legal sense against Israel is offensive or even anti-Semitic)
This is an excellent point, and one I hadn't considered. I'd still use the term if I thought it warranted, but there absolutely is reason for extra caution in this case for this specific reason. As I said, I don't think I've called Gaza 'genocide' myself (I'm picky about when I throw out terms, likely a leftover from my own background - and despite me arguing against holding people to that same standard), but I haven't been able to put my finger on exactly why it feels off here. This may be part of that.
Zarathud wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2024 10:52 am Fixed that for you — as that term and the drive-by YouTube videos are my problem.

If there is good evidence of IDF or Israeli intent, I’ll listen to it. That’s another part of being a lawyer.

But i don’t consider the following as evidence: (1) crazy politicians shouting off stupid shit to their base isn’t policy (the U.S. has its own fools), (2) YouTube commentators who don’t have real expertise, or (3) speculative assumptions often appear more anti-Semitic (like claims the Jews control US politicians).

Added: (4) opinions. Opinions are like assholes, everyone has them. If your opinion doesn’t have any understanding behind it, it may be stupid.
On this, I agree wholeheartedly. The drive-by posts (whether YouTube, Xitter, or just new stories) are a problem, and not just on OO. I don't know every source by heart, and anyone who isn't highly skeptical when they see big proclamations by unknown people is an idiot, especially in this day and age. If you want me to take your post seriously, you need to tell me a) why I should invest my time to begin with, and b) why I should pay attention to the person speaking.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Unagi »

Dogstar wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2024 10:39 am I might offer that you’re not going to convince Zarathrud on this matter barring a legally provable case, for which likely none of us have the time, expertise, or resources to research and provide. He approaches the matter vastly different from many of us; it’s not unusual in the legal profession. (I noted earlier that it can be a source of frustration when people interact with the legal community on a variety of matters, let alone something this serious.)

I think we all agree that something fundamentally bad is occurring on a large scale through various acts or even indifference. And as Blackhawk noted, we don’t need legal terms to specifically define our discussion. We’re a gaming forum. Moving away from that might be beneficial for everyone.
I agree with this.

I really don't care if the legal definition of genocide is or is not actually something anyone could prove is happening or isn't.

Continuing (here, on this forum) to use the term, will only invite the same (legally and technically valid) critique.

What I don't think is debatable is that there are far far too many innocent lives being destroyed and I'm getting the sense that their lives are not valued or weighed at all by the IDF.

I sincerely get the impression that the IDF would cut off the oxygen supply to Gaza if they could... and they would claim their absolute imperative to stop Hamas justifies it, as Hamas is making use of the oxygen.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Zarathud »

Language can be hard. Murder has degrees too, but it’s more common and can be understood in a non-technical sense — like a woman knows when she’s raped. The use is common enough the imprecise use is understandable.

Genocide is a specific legal term created by international treaty after the Holocaust. We’ve charged The Hague as the place to determine such crimes, in a deliberate way the world doesn’t for murder. That why I think it’s fundamentally different. Its incorrect use demeans those real genocides that have happened.

Supporters of Palestinians don’t have to use the term “genocide” to make many of their arguments. But it’s used deliberately as a call to action to force Israel to unilaterally stop its military action. That’s what follows a claim of “genocide” — therefore you must oppose Israel and Israel must stop even though Hamas hasn’t agreed to peace. Or you’re a wicked, immoral and uncaring person.

I disagree with not just the use but the tactic. The only way to get real, lasting peace in the region is for Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas (or a more legitimate Gazan government) to ALL face pressure to come to an agreement so they don’t all lose. That’s even harder if one side thinks it’s winning with propaganda.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Blackhawk »

Intent really is a (necessary) pain in the ass.

For the sake of the genocide discussion (not accusation), I have to wonder if the acts themselves are enough to show intent. There have been things that Israel has done that have almost entirely affected the civilian population, that were avoidable, and which Israel has wholeheartedly embraced. Even if we set aside targeting civilian camps and designated evacuation routes, they've still prevented food, water, and medical supplies from being delivered, causing massive numbers of deaths that they're fully aware are going to consist almost entirely of non-Hamas Palestinians. Could choosing to take those actions, along with context of of the rest (apparently targeting civilians, crazy Israeli politicians shouting off stupid shit from positions of authority, etc) be enough to show "intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group"?

Sure, Israel can claim that it was to deny support to Hamas, but it would be just that - a claim. And Israel's claims have been pretty suspect lately.

Looking over the UN definition Zarathud provided earlier, I think the only thing that there isn't a good argument for may be this:
In addition, case law has associated intent with the existence of a State or organizational plan or policy, even if the definition of genocide in international law does not include that element.
I don't know how the case law has defined 'plan or policy', including whether it has to be something that can be held up and pointed to in court, but that seems like the only thing that is keeping this from going further.

Obviously it isn't up to us to give an absolute yes or no. We don't get to convict, or even formally accuse them. But we can still discuss the possibility.

/edit - without wanting to spend hours digging through international case law I likely would be only partially able to follow, I did find suggestions that the criteria for a "a State or organizational plan or policy" includes statements by officials. I'd bet that one State or organizational plan or policy in Israel right now is, "Shut the fuck up."
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Zarathud »

There are those in the IDF who truly believe eliminating Hamas is preventing an intended genocide of Israelis. Kill them before they kill you, which is what militaries are trained to do.

This is one reason using the term “genocide” is so perilous. Hamas has the intent part of genocide — it’s in their charter and chants of driving Israel into the sea. They’ve specifically targeted Israelis for killing — and have tried for decades. Hamas is just not as effective as they’d like.

Again, that’s not my personal viewpoint. Or Israeli policy (from what I’ve read). Militaries often devalue the lives of their enemies, especially after decades of low level conflict. It was even a struggle even in the U.S. to respect civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Israel will have consequences for what it has done — those refugees aren’t going to be allowed to go anywhere else, and Israel is going to have to cooperate or bad intent will become clear. We’re still in the early stages, and don’t have to wait to take actions.
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“Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” - John Stuart Mill, Inaugural Address Delivered to the University of St Andrews, 2/1/1867
“It is the impractical things in this tumultuous hell-scape of a world that matter most. A book, a name, chicken soup. They help us remember that, even in our darkest hour, life is still to be savored.” - Poe, Altered Carbon
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Zarathud »

I could agree with you Blackhawk about intent if things continue over more than one year. Or Israel starts a resettlement program (since Jared Kushner is suggesting it, President Trump would support it).

But fighting an insurgency/terrorist group that hides behind civilians makes it hard for the civilians. I think Hamas intended to level genocide charges against Israel all along, and that it’s central to their strategy of prolonging conflict. The Palestinian loss of life and suffering is as much their intent as anyone’s.

And starvation and deprivation is pretty common for war refugees. They’re running away from bomb zones, not towards resources like food, water and housing.
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“Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” - John Stuart Mill, Inaugural Address Delivered to the University of St Andrews, 2/1/1867
“It is the impractical things in this tumultuous hell-scape of a world that matter most. A book, a name, chicken soup. They help us remember that, even in our darkest hour, life is still to be savored.” - Poe, Altered Carbon
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Blackhawk »

Zarathud wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2024 12:30 pm I could agree with you Blackhawk about intent if things continue over more than one year. Or Israel starts a resettlement program (since Jared Kushner is suggesting it, President Trump would support it).

But fighting an insurgency/terrorist group that hides behind civilians makes it hard for the civilians. I think Hamas intended to level genocide charges against Israel all along, and that it’s central to their strategy of prolonging conflict. The Palestinian loss of life and suffering is as much their intent as anyone’s.

And starvation and deprivation is pretty common for war refugees. They’re running away from bomb zones, not towards resources like food, water and housing.
I agree with everything you said, but usually refugees don't get locked in, and available food and water locked out.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Victoria Raverna »

While using starvation as a weapon doesn't mean it is genocide, it is a war crime. I think it is obvious that Israel is doing that but maybe like genocide, it has to be proven in trials and that might be hard and take a long time.

Now if it has to wait for trials to know if it is or not a crime, by then it is too late. A lot people are going to die of starvation before the court can legally declare it is a war crime. It is the same with genocide, by the time the court decide it is a genocide, it is too late to save the victims.

I think that is why we need genocide or war crime accusation even if it can't meet the legal requirement. We need them as pressure to stop the bad acts before they become legal genocide or war crimes.

Apparently Biden gave a speech to stop genocide early back when he was VP as quoted by AOC. Too bad he is just all talk.
Last edited by Victoria Raverna on Fri Mar 29, 2024 12:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by El Guapo »

Blackhawk wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2024 12:07 pm Intent really is a (necessary) pain in the ass.

For the sake of the genocide discussion (not accusation), I have to wonder if the acts themselves are enough to show intent. There have been things that Israel has done that have almost entirely affected the civilian population, that were avoidable, and which Israel has wholeheartedly embraced. Even if we set aside targeting civilian camps and designated evacuation routes, they've still prevented food, water, and medical supplies from being delivered, causing massive numbers of deaths that they're fully aware are going to consist almost entirely of non-Hamas Palestinians. Could choosing to take those actions, along with context of of the rest (apparently targeting civilians, crazy Israeli politicians shouting off stupid shit from positions of authority, etc) be enough to show "intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group"?

Sure, Israel can claim that it was to deny support to Hamas, but it would be just that - a claim. And Israel's claims have been pretty suspect lately.

Looking over the UN definition Zarathud provided earlier, I think the only thing that there isn't a good argument for may be this:
In addition, case law has associated intent with the existence of a State or organizational plan or policy, even if the definition of genocide in international law does not include that element.
I don't know how the case law has defined 'plan or policy', including whether it has to be something that can be held up and pointed to in court, but that seems like the only thing that is keeping this from going further.

Obviously it isn't up to us to give an absolute yes or no. We don't get to convict, or even formally accuse them. But we can still discuss the possibility.

/edit - without wanting to spend hours digging through international case law I likely would be only partially able to follow, I did find suggestions that the criteria for a "a State or organizational plan or policy" includes statements by officials. I'd bet that one State or organizational plan or policy in Israel right now is, "Shut the fuck up."
Just in brief, for it to be genocide the intent has to be not just to kill people in large numbers, but to do so in order to wipe out the group as a group. E.g., not just to kill Palestinians, but to wipe out Palestinians, such that (if the plan succeeds) there would essentially be no more Palestinians. So the Holocaust was a genocide because the very explicit goal was at the end for there to be no more Jews. Similarly the Armenian genocide was obviously a genocide because the goal of the Ottoman government was for there to be no more Armenians. It doesn't necessarily need to be every single one, but substantially all.

Israel is certainly killing large numbers of Palestinians. Obviously there are people in Netanyahu's governing coalition who are at least indifferent to Palestinian lives. But there is little evidence that anyone in Israel's government has the goal of wiping out Palestinians collectively as Palestinians. Now, I would say that there are definitely people in Netanyahu's government who very much want Israel to engage in ethnic cleansing - that is, to expel Palestinians in large numbers from Gaza (in the short term) and if possible from most or all of the West Bank in the long run. Those people aren't in charge of Israeli policy, but they are influential enough in Netanyahu's government to worry about that. But even the Israeli far right's goal is not to exterminate Palestinians, but rather for Palestinians to be elsewhere so that Israel can hold on to Gaza and the West Bank forever (and mainly the West Bank more than Gaza).

To be clear, it is not a defense to Israel's military campaign in Gaza to say that it is not genocide, so that leaves the question of why do we care. The main ways in which it matters IMO is that it arguably devalues the term "genocide" to throw it around loosely if one really means (for example) that Israel should alter its military tactics to reduce civilian casualties. I will say for myself that some countries / governments / NGOs have thrown the term "genocide" as to Israel around loosely for so long in situations where it obviously doesn't apply that I don't know entirely how seriously or literally to take accusations from them now.

Anyway, take that for what it's worth.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Blackhawk »

Victoria Raverna wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2024 12:54 pm While using starvation as a weapon doesn't mean it is genocide, it is a war crime. I think it is obvious that Israel is doing that but maybe like genocide, it has to be proven in trials and that might be hard and take a long time.

Now if it has to wait for trials to know if it is or not a crime, by then it is too late. A lot people are going to die of starvation before the court can legally declare it is a war crime. It is the same with genocide, by the time the court decide it is a genocide, it is too late to save the victims.

I think that is why we need genocide or war crime accusation even if it can't meet the legal requirement. We need them as pressure to stop the bad acts before they become legal genocide or war crimes.
Does an unprovable accusation actually apply pressure? If the entire (well, mostly) UN can't apply enough pressure to change their course, would an accusation even matter? I want it stopped as much as most, but I'm not sure that this would actually give any additional leverage. Israel doesn't care.
Last edited by Blackhawk on Fri Mar 29, 2024 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Blackhawk »

El Guapo wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2024 12:57 pm
Blackhawk wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2024 12:07 pm Intent really is a (necessary) pain in the ass.

For the sake of the genocide discussion (not accusation), I have to wonder if the acts themselves are enough to show intent. There have been things that Israel has done that have almost entirely affected the civilian population, that were avoidable, and which Israel has wholeheartedly embraced. Even if we set aside targeting civilian camps and designated evacuation routes, they've still prevented food, water, and medical supplies from being delivered, causing massive numbers of deaths that they're fully aware are going to consist almost entirely of non-Hamas Palestinians. Could choosing to take those actions, along with context of of the rest (apparently targeting civilians, crazy Israeli politicians shouting off stupid shit from positions of authority, etc) be enough to show "intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group"?

Sure, Israel can claim that it was to deny support to Hamas, but it would be just that - a claim. And Israel's claims have been pretty suspect lately.

Looking over the UN definition Zarathud provided earlier, I think the only thing that there isn't a good argument for may be this:
In addition, case law has associated intent with the existence of a State or organizational plan or policy, even if the definition of genocide in international law does not include that element.
I don't know how the case law has defined 'plan or policy', including whether it has to be something that can be held up and pointed to in court, but that seems like the only thing that is keeping this from going further.

Obviously it isn't up to us to give an absolute yes or no. We don't get to convict, or even formally accuse them. But we can still discuss the possibility.

/edit - without wanting to spend hours digging through international case law I likely would be only partially able to follow, I did find suggestions that the criteria for a "a State or organizational plan or policy" includes statements by officials. I'd bet that one State or organizational plan or policy in Israel right now is, "Shut the fuck up."
Just in brief, for it to be genocide the intent has to be not just to kill people in large numbers, but to do so in order to wipe out the group as a group. E.g., not just to kill Palestinians, but to wipe out Palestinians, such that (if the plan succeeds) there would essentially be no more Palestinians. So the Holocaust was a genocide because the very explicit goal was at the end for there to be no more Jews. Similarly the Armenian genocide was obviously a genocide because the goal of the Ottoman government was for there to be no more Armenians. It doesn't necessarily need to be every single one, but substantially all.

Israel is certainly killing large numbers of Palestinians. Obviously there are people in Netanyahu's governing coalition who are at least indifferent to Palestinian lives. But there is little evidence that anyone in Israel's government has the goal of wiping out Palestinians collectively as Palestinians.
There are some good arguments against calling it genocide, but I don't think that your conditions apply.

From the earlier posted, and oh-so-handy UN definition:
Article II of the Genocide Convention contains a narrow definition of the crime of genocide, which includes two main elements:

1. A mental element: the "intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such"; and
2. A physical element, which includes the following five acts, enumerated exhaustively:
* Killing members of the group
* Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group
* Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part
* Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group
* Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group
Genocide can also be committed against only a part of the group, as long as that part is identifiable (including within a geographically limited area) and “substantial.”
They don't need to wipe out Palestinians. Actively working to destroy a substantial portion of the Gazan Palestinians is enough. The speedbump, as championed by Zarathud, is proving that their goal is to do so, vs their likely claim that their goal is to target a military threat hiding within the civilian population.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Victoria Raverna »

Blackhawk wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2024 12:58 pm Does an unprovable accusation actually apply pressure? If the entire (well, mostly) UN can't apply enough pressure to change their course, would an accusation even matter? I want it stopped as much as most, but I'm not sure that this would actually give any additional leverage. Israel doesn't care.
I meant accusation by UN or the media or politician, etc. Or maybe even public pressure. Seem like the pressure starting to work. As you can see US was pressured to stop vetoing UN resolution that call for immediate ceasefire. But it is still not enough. Now US's State dept claimed that the resolution is non binding unlike previous resolution against others, not Israel. So maybe need more pressure to make US act more seriously to stop Israel from doing more bad acts. I don't believe US can't do anything to pressure Israel if US is serious about it. To beg Israel to stop while continue to send military aid to Israel and publicly claim unconditional support to Israel is not being serious about stopping Israel from doing bad acts.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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Victoria Raverna wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2024 1:06 pmI don't believe US can't do anything to pressure Israel if US is serious about it. To beg Israel to stop while continue to send military aid to Israel and publicly claim unconditional support to Israel is not being serious about stopping Israel from doing bad acts.
Of course we can stop them. But you still seem to think that our support of Israel is altruistic. There may be some benevolence in play, but it's mostly about our interests. There are parallels there other allies we support - South Korea, for example.

You want the US to come down hard on Israel, to cut them off. What are the consequences to the US, and to western society for us doing so? Is it possible that those consequences have the potential to be significant enough to make it a line that the US doesn't want to cross?

"Weakness" isn't the only reason that extreme steps aren't made. Sometimes they're not made because they're extreme steps. "At all costs" is an approach rarely by governments for a reason.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Dogstar »

Zarathud wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2024 10:52 am
Dogstar wrote:Moving away from that term genocidemight be beneficial for everyone.
Fixed that for you — as that term and the drive-by YouTube videos are my problem.
You fixed that for yourself. Holding the forum to legalese is not something that I think should be the goal. I get that that's the way you see the world. But for most of us, it's not, and even for some of us that are in the legal community, the last thing we want to do is drag that way of thinking into our non-work life.
Blackhawk wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2024 12:58 pm Does an unprovable accusation actually apply pressure? If the entire (well, mostly) UN can't apply enough pressure to change their course, would an accusation even matter? I want it stopped as much as most, but I'm not sure that this would actually give any additional leverage. Israel doesn't care.
This is why I support restricting the transfer of weapons to Israel as well as non-military aid until they change policy. If you're not going to play by the rules, you shouldn't get aid. I don't know that it'll be effective, but the current way of continuing things and hoping they eventually change course definitely isn't. I get that Biden can't do that. I'm simply venting some anger and frustration.

Israel can get away with all manner of evils by hiding by claiming to target a threat hiding in the civilian population. How long will the threat exist? Who knows, it's hiding. How far must we go to root it out? It's hard to say, it's hiding. Nevermind that this attitude and their methods only generate more suffering and grievances likely to be held for generations -- which will only perpetuate the threat. The only way for Israel to ever truly be secure, if this is the dominant mindset, is an empty exclusion zone around Israel outside of rocket range -- and no Palestinians within that border.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by El Guapo »

Blackhawk wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2024 1:06 pm
El Guapo wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2024 12:57 pm
Blackhawk wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2024 12:07 pm Intent really is a (necessary) pain in the ass.

For the sake of the genocide discussion (not accusation), I have to wonder if the acts themselves are enough to show intent. There have been things that Israel has done that have almost entirely affected the civilian population, that were avoidable, and which Israel has wholeheartedly embraced. Even if we set aside targeting civilian camps and designated evacuation routes, they've still prevented food, water, and medical supplies from being delivered, causing massive numbers of deaths that they're fully aware are going to consist almost entirely of non-Hamas Palestinians. Could choosing to take those actions, along with context of of the rest (apparently targeting civilians, crazy Israeli politicians shouting off stupid shit from positions of authority, etc) be enough to show "intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group"?

Sure, Israel can claim that it was to deny support to Hamas, but it would be just that - a claim. And Israel's claims have been pretty suspect lately.

Looking over the UN definition Zarathud provided earlier, I think the only thing that there isn't a good argument for may be this:
In addition, case law has associated intent with the existence of a State or organizational plan or policy, even if the definition of genocide in international law does not include that element.
I don't know how the case law has defined 'plan or policy', including whether it has to be something that can be held up and pointed to in court, but that seems like the only thing that is keeping this from going further.

Obviously it isn't up to us to give an absolute yes or no. We don't get to convict, or even formally accuse them. But we can still discuss the possibility.

/edit - without wanting to spend hours digging through international case law I likely would be only partially able to follow, I did find suggestions that the criteria for a "a State or organizational plan or policy" includes statements by officials. I'd bet that one State or organizational plan or policy in Israel right now is, "Shut the fuck up."
Just in brief, for it to be genocide the intent has to be not just to kill people in large numbers, but to do so in order to wipe out the group as a group. E.g., not just to kill Palestinians, but to wipe out Palestinians, such that (if the plan succeeds) there would essentially be no more Palestinians. So the Holocaust was a genocide because the very explicit goal was at the end for there to be no more Jews. Similarly the Armenian genocide was obviously a genocide because the goal of the Ottoman government was for there to be no more Armenians. It doesn't necessarily need to be every single one, but substantially all.

Israel is certainly killing large numbers of Palestinians. Obviously there are people in Netanyahu's governing coalition who are at least indifferent to Palestinian lives. But there is little evidence that anyone in Israel's government has the goal of wiping out Palestinians collectively as Palestinians.
There are some good arguments against calling it genocide, but I don't think that your conditions apply.

From the earlier posted, and oh-so-handy UN definition:
Article II of the Genocide Convention contains a narrow definition of the crime of genocide, which includes two main elements:

1. A mental element: the "intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such"; and
2. A physical element, which includes the following five acts, enumerated exhaustively:
* Killing members of the group
* Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group
* Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part
* Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group
* Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group
Genocide can also be committed against only a part of the group, as long as that part is identifiable (including within a geographically limited area) and “substantial.”
They don't need to wipe out Palestinians. Actively working to destroy a substantial portion of the Gazan Palestinians is enough. The speedbump, as championed by Zarathud, is proving that their goal is to do so, vs their likely claim that their goal is to target a military threat hiding within the civilian population.
This is where we are exceeding my knowledge a bit, but my understanding is that "in part" is intended to be more like substantially all. Or if you think that Israel is intending to wipe out Gazans but not all Palestinians. Not, for example, approximately 32,000 out of approximately 2.4 million.

I suppose this is getting into one's understanding of the facts, like if one thinks Israel's military campaign is about to greatly change in character.
Last edited by El Guapo on Fri Mar 29, 2024 1:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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Dogstar wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2024 1:22 pm This is why I support restricting the transfer of weapons to Israel as well as non-military aid until they change policy. If you're not going to play by the rules, you shouldn't get aid. I don't know that it'll be effective, but the current way of continuing things and hoping they eventually change course definitely isn't. I get that Biden can't do that. I'm simply venting some anger and frustration.
I wouldn't be surprised to find out that we already are, just by degrees. In fact, there were several times early on that Israel was immovable on some point or another, and Blinken (or someone else) would meet with Israel, and the next day they'd shift gears. We don't know that it was causation, but it certainly looked like we were playing those exact cards. We're probably still playing them.

The problem is that we only get to play them so many times, and then they're gone. Cut off all aid, and Israel doesn't stop, and... we're done. The optimist in me likes to think that we've got certain things that we want to happen, and we're holding our aces until that comes into play.

Of course, I don't know. The pessimist in me is pretty loud, too. It just doesn't seem to fit the events as well as the optimistic 'big picture' view.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by El Guapo »

Blackhawk wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2024 1:32 pm
Dogstar wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2024 1:22 pm This is why I support restricting the transfer of weapons to Israel as well as non-military aid until they change policy. If you're not going to play by the rules, you shouldn't get aid. I don't know that it'll be effective, but the current way of continuing things and hoping they eventually change course definitely isn't. I get that Biden can't do that. I'm simply venting some anger and frustration.
I wouldn't be surprised to find out that we already are, just by degrees. In fact, there were several times early on that Israel was immovable on some point or another, and Blinken (or someone else) would meet with Israel, and the next day they'd shift gears. We don't know that it was causation, but it certainly looked like we were playing those exact cards. We're probably still playing them.

The problem is that we only get to play them so many times, and then they're gone. Cut off all aid, and Israel doesn't stop, and... we're done. The optimist in me likes to think that we've got certain things that we want to happen, and we're holding our aces until that comes into play.

Of course, I don't know. The pessimist in me is pretty loud, too. It just doesn't seem to fit the events as well as the optimistic 'big picture' view.
What's mildly amusing / ironic is that the Israeli far right largely agrees with you about ending or pausing U.S. aid to Israel. Specifically because they view U.S. engagement in the region as inhibiting their ability to commit ethnic cleansing and the like.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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Blackhawk wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2024 1:32 pm The problem is that we only get to play them so many times, and then they're gone. Cut off all aid, and Israel doesn't stop, and... we're done. The optimist in me likes to think that we've got certain things that we want to happen, and we're holding our aces until that comes into play.

Of course, I don't know. The pessimist in me is pretty loud, too. It just doesn't seem to fit the events as well as the optimistic 'big picture' view.
I get it, and you're not wrong. Just a lot of frustration on my part at the behavior of an ally that I really would like to be on the side of the angels. And, when I say that, I recognize Israel is not alone in being responsible for the current situation. There are so many factions involved.


It's an odd dichotomy that here I'm so vocal against Israel's behavior/actions whereas elsewhere I'm the one arguing that some of my friends are being too radical when they repeatedly accuse Israel of genocide, advocate breaking off all ties and security guarantees for Israel, and state that Israel is guilty of a lifetime's worth of Oct. 7's. Opinions and passions run high all around on this one, and I apologize for letting some of my frustration and tension spill over into this discussion.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by El Guapo »

Dogstar wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2024 1:43 pm
Blackhawk wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2024 1:32 pm The problem is that we only get to play them so many times, and then they're gone. Cut off all aid, and Israel doesn't stop, and... we're done. The optimist in me likes to think that we've got certain things that we want to happen, and we're holding our aces until that comes into play.

Of course, I don't know. The pessimist in me is pretty loud, too. It just doesn't seem to fit the events as well as the optimistic 'big picture' view.
I get it, and you're not wrong. Just a lot of frustration on my part at the behavior of an ally that I really would like to be on the side of the angels. And, when I say that, I recognize Israel is not alone in being responsible for the current situation. There are so many factions involved.


It's an odd dichotomy that here I'm so vocal against Israel's behavior/actions whereas elsewhere I'm the one arguing that some of my friends are being too radical when they repeatedly accuse Israel of genocide, advocate breaking off all ties and security guarantees for Israel, and state that Israel is guilty of a lifetime's worth of Oct. 7's. Opinions and passions run high all around on this one, and I apologize for letting some of my frustration and tension spill over into this discussion.
Yeah that's one thing that's funny about this, is that I think essentially everyone here knows people who are more or less on the same 'side' of the issue but who are way crazier about it.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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Zarathud wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2024 10:08 am Without proof of intent — deliberate policy to kill or cause widespread death — there is no crime of genocide. Exodor hasn’t bothered to even read that, and that’s what the UN investigation said “could” exist with the situation.
I'm not sure how anyone can observe the IDF blocking food shipments to starving civilians and conclude their intent is anything other than widespread death.

But you've spent 74 pages justifying the bombing of hospitals and refugee camps so I'm sure starving children is no problem either.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Zarathud »

Exodor wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2024 2:44 pm
Zarathud wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2024 10:08 am Without proof of intent — deliberate policy to kill or cause widespread death — there is no crime of genocide. Exodor hasn’t bothered to even read that, and that’s what the UN investigation said “could” exist with the situation.
I'm not sure how anyone can observe the IDF blocking food shipments to starving civilians and conclude their intent is anything other than widespread death.

But you've spent 74 pages justifying the bombing of hospitals and refugee camps so I'm sure starving children is no problem either.
Untrue, given that I don't post all that often so most of those 74 pages are VR's YouTube videos. But I don't think you really intend to advance the actual discussion which has, finally, happened, Exodor.

I've posted before that Israel, and even Egypt, have investigation processes at the border due to concerns about security and Hamas agents in UNRWA. Aid agencies have also recognized attacks by Palestinians and poor road conditions, as reported by that posted BBC link.
On 20 February, the agency [World Food Programme] said it was suspending food deliveries to the area because its recent convoys had endured "complete chaos and violence due to the collapse of civil order", including violent looting.

Last Thursday, more than 100 Palestinians were killed as crowds rushed to reach an aid convoy, operated by private contractors, that was being escorted by Israeli forces west of Gaza City.
All this energy of online activists about "genocide" could be devoted to finding ways to support aid shipments which are always difficult in war-torn areas and many refugees. Rather than grandstanding at the UN, work to negotiate a deal. Hamas rejected the last proposal for a 6-week pause in the fighting and a prisoner/hostage exchange (40 Israelis held hostage for 800 Palestinians held as prisoners). Of course, you'd have to read about the details rather than the headline.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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The thing is a lot of those directly dealing with humanitarian aid claimed that mainly Israel is the one that stopped or slowed down the flow of food trucks. But you think we should ignore Israel action and only blame the other factors?

For example Israeli spokesman in UK was recently fired by Israel after "lying" and attacking British's Foreign Minister by blaming others instead of Israel blocking the shipments. I guess lying to government official publicly is not the same as lying to public on TV. To me, you sound like that spokesman in blaming others instead of admitting Israel is the one that stop or slow down the flow.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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She said public pressure is why we started to see the current administration shifting. So need more pressure?
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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More opinions, by someone who is quitting their job because they're unhappy after a "brief time" because they wanted to do thing differently. She recognizes that genocide is based on a legal definition, but refuses to engage with a broad appeal to "some experts."

And then you appeal to vague claims of "a lot of those directly dealing with humanitarian aid" saying things, VR. It's a shame, I thought were were making some progress today. :(
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Victoria Raverna »

The writer of the report answered questions from reporters:


And not surprisingly she was accused of antisemitism by US State Dept spokesman Matthew Miller after that report:

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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Victoria Raverna »

One more example of sexual violence on October 7th reported by NYT debunked by NYT:

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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Victoria Raverna »

How many of the 9000 "Hamas terrorists" killed by IDF are just civilians who're in the wrong place at the wrong time:


The IDF says 9,000 terrorists have been killed since the Gaza war began. Defense officials and soldiers, however, tell Haaretz that these are often civilians whose only crime was to cross an invisible line drawn by the IDF / @yanivkub
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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I don't know. 5? 6? 8673?
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by LordMortis »

More realistically, how many angry and/or stubborn Palestinians have labeled terrorists to justify the death toll, making them more than "just civilians who're in the wrong place at the wrong time" but still fucked up to kill them.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Victoria Raverna »

Here is a summary of the article from one of the replies:


Summary of the March 31
@haaretzcom
article: “Israel Created 'Kill Zones' in Gaza. Anyone Who Crosses Into Them Is Shot”

1.A routine Israeli army announcement claimed the elimination of a terrorist following a rocket launch at Ashkelon, but Al-Jazeera footage later revealed four men in civilian clothing being targeted, with two killed and two wounded.
2.A senior IDF officer acknowledged the individuals were unarmed and not a threat, raising doubts about their involvement in the rocket launch.
3.The incident exemplifies how Palestinians are often killed, with the death toll in Gaza now over 32,000, of which the IDF claims 9,000 were terrorists.
4.Doubts are cast by army commanders on the accuracy of labeling all killed as terrorists, suggesting a broad and possibly inaccurate application of the term by the IDF.
5.The definition of “terrorist” by the IDF seemingly extends to anyone killed in operational areas, regardless of actual involvement in hostilities.
6.The IDF’s reported pride in their casualty figures contrasts with the reality that not all those killed are combatants, as indicated by numerous army personnel.
7.Combat zones and “kill zones” are defined by the IDF without clear boundaries, leading to the shooting of anyone entering these areas, including unarmed individuals.
8.Recent incidents underscore a lack of clear rules of engagement, with soldiers on the ground making life-or-death decisions without explicit directives.
9.Civilians in Gaza struggle with the lack of safe spaces, as areas outside IDF-defined humanitarian shelters remain dangerous, with any movement potentially leading to being shot.
10.The distinction between civilians and terrorists is blurred in the heat of battle, with the IDF’s priority on protecting its forces often resulting in civilian casualties.
11.The IDF’s static presence in certain areas exacerbates tensions with civilians, leading to more crowded living conditions and increased risk of civilian casualties.
12.An investigative team from the General Staff is examining incidents, but distinguishing between terrorists and civilians posthumously is challenging.
13.The IDF claims it makes efforts to minimize civilian casualties and denies defining “kill zones,” but evidence suggests a practice of lethal engagement based on location and appearance.
14.The incident involving four unarmed Gazans in Khan Yunis is under investigation, highlighting issues around the identification of combatants and the treatment of civilians in combat zones.
15.The IDF’s response emphasizes efforts to differentiate between civilians and combatants, but the reality of combat operations and subsequent investigations into incidents like the one in Khan Yunis reveals complexities and challenges in adhering to international law and protecting civilian lives.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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So how many is it? Or are we're just supposed to keep guessing? How will we know when we guess right?

Tangentially related, maybe Netanyahu will die from complications during surgery.

Fingers crossed.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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AP News
Netanyahu said he would shut down satellite broadcaster Al Jazeera immediately. Netanyahu vowed to close the “terror channel” after parliament passed a law Monday clearing the way for the country to halt the Qatari-owned channel from broadcasting from Israel.

Netanyahu accused Al Jazeera of harming Israeli security, participating in the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks and inciting violence against Israel.
It's almost as if people are the problem.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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Black Lives Matter.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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Isgrimnur wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 3:31 pm AP News
Netanyahu said he would shut down satellite broadcaster Al Jazeera immediately. Netanyahu vowed to close the “terror channel” after parliament passed a law Monday clearing the way for the country to halt the Qatari-owned channel from broadcasting from Israel.

Netanyahu accused Al Jazeera of harming Israeli security, participating in the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks and inciting violence against Israel.
Wow, Netanyahu is going full on Putin at this point. :shock:
He won. Period.
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