Rebuttal of the Scholars’ Declaration Supporting the Abetting Genocide Lawsuit

Rebuttal of the Scholars’ Declaration Supporting the Abetting Genocide Lawsuit

On November 14, 2023, three Holocaust and Genocide academics, Dr. John Cox of the University of North Carolina, Dr. Victoria Sanford of the City University of New York, and Dr. Barry Trachtenberg of wake Forest University, submitted an opinion, solicited by the Center for Constitutional Review (CCR), in support of the CCR’s lawsuit against the president, secretary of state, and secretary of defense of the United States. This suit claims that the named officials are either assisting Israel in committing genocide or neglecting their duty to prevent/stop genocide from happening to the Palestinian Arabs in Gaza. While the three Ph.Ds. are certainly qualified to have such an opinion, the facts they rely on are not applicable in the least to the situation in Gaza. Rather they distort those facts to make their case as those facts prove what is happening in Gaza is not even close to being genocidal.

The first “fact” they distort deals with dehumanizing the Palestinian Arabs by referring to them as “Human Animals.” However, this was not a statement about Palestinian Arabs in general but one specifically used to describe the members of Hamas who invaded Israel, who raped women they then murdered, who murdered babies in front of the parents, and took who hostages, some already dead. How else would one describe members of such a group?

The second “fact” deals with the “levels of destruction and killings through carpet bombings… when combined with explicit intent, are ‘deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part’.” After four months of this, with 50% of Gaza destroyed, while every death of innocent life is a tragedy, the civilian survival rate is over 99%. There has been no attempt made by the Israelis to “bring about the physical destruction” of the Palestinian Arabs of Gaza.

The third “fact” deals with calling Israel’s president’s statement, “it’s an entire nation out there [in Gaza] that is responsible. It’s not true this rhetoric about civilians not being aware, not involved. It’s absolutely not true,” incitement to genocide. It’s absolutely not true as genocidal rhetoric. With the videos of the Palestinian Arabs celebrating in the streets after 10/7, what statement would one expect out of the symbolic head of state? The scenes broadcasted by Hamas, both during the 10/7 invasion and the return into Gaza, “shocked the conscience of mankind” as the UN’s definition of genocide declares.

Fourth, as “proof” of genocidal action, the three claim Israel dropped 1.5 times the explosives as the atomic weapon that destroyed Hiroshima. However, that bomb dropped on Hiroshima killed about 140,000 Japanese while the Gazan death toll, including many members of Hamas, was 11,000 at the time the declaration was written, proof of the care Israel is taking to minimize civilian casualties and further proof of the lack of genocidal intent.

Fifth, the trio seek to compare recent genocides to what is happening in Gaza as “proof” of genocide. However, their examples are anything but proof. Their first comparison deals with the Mayans. While the basis of the genocide accusation was a clear intent to commit genocide, the action taken by the Guatemalan government, the murder of 200,000 Mayans, 80% of the Mayan people, was so overwhelmingly genocidal for there to be no question of identification of the crime. The next episode, the Rwandan Genocide, saw the murder of 8,000 Tutsis a day for one hundred days. The civilian Hutu population rose up and slaughtered the Tutsis with machetes. The death toll and the sexual violence was so pervasive that it shocked the conscience of mankind. The third comparison was to the genocide in Srebrenica, wherein the Bosnian Serb forces executed 8,000 Bosniak men and youths over a three-day period of time, raped thousands of women, and eventually bused the survivors outside of the city. This was ruled to be genocide because of the small locale, a decision that is debated by genocide scholars. The fourth example dealt with Darfur, which the UN declared was not a genocide based on the fact that Darfurians were unmolested in the rest of Sudan and held positions of power and respect, the same as Arab citizens of Israel.

The good Drs. continue with “facts” of Israel’s supposed long standing desire to ride itself of the Arab population. They claim that the “Nakba” was “the massacres and mass deportations of more than 750,000 Palestinians and the destruction of hundreds of villages and towns by Israeli forces in the 1948 war.” Actually, the original definition of the Nakba was the deep humiliation of losing the Palestinian Civil War started by the Arabs with genocidal intent. 30,000 Arab elites fled before a shot was fired, depriving the Arabs of much needed leadership, and there were less than 7,000 civilian fatalities out of the 1.3 million Arabs civilians. About 350,000 Arab civilians fled or were expulsed towards the end of the civil war to keep them from aiding the expected invasion by the Arab armies and the other 350,000 Arabs fled or were expulsed for the same reason during the 1948 Arab Israeli war. That the Arab villager would assist the invading Arab Armies, willingly or not, was predicted by Rashid Khalidi (100 Years War).

The comparison of the warfare in Gaza to the expulsions of the Herero, Armenians, and Polish Jews “escalating” to systematic mass murder and genocide is nonsense as these events were genocidal at the beginning.

Rather than the ordered evacuation of Palestinian Arabs from northern Gaza to the south being ethnic cleansing, it was done to save their lives. That Egypt refuses to open its borders and allow the setup of refugee camps is akin to saying they would rather the Palestinian Arabs die than have them step foot into Egypt.

Finally, the likening of an Israeli politician threatening another Nakba, which was never a genocidal episode, is a clear warning that Hamas will suffer the same humiliating defeat as the Arabs endured in 1948, not that genocide is on the horizon.

About Jack Sigman

Jack Frank Sigman is a Ph.D. candidate in the Holocaust and Genocide program at Gratz College in Melrose Park, Pennsylvania.

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