‘Classic Case of Textbook Genocide’ – Former UN Official on Gaza (VIDEO)

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By Palestine Chronicle staff

The former UN official, Craig Mokhiber, has said that it is the job of the UN leadership to call a spade a spade, since the situation in the Gaza Strip is “not complex, it’s genocide.”

Former UN official Craig Mokhiber has said it is political cowardice on the part of the UN leadership not to refer to Israel’s military operation in the Gaza Strip as a genocide. 

“There is nothing stopping senior UN political leaders from speaking truth to power, and I would argue it is their job to do so,” Mokhiber said in an Aljazeera interview on Friday.

He added that “when it is a question of the violation of the norms and standards of the organization it is their job to speak up and to call a spade a spade. In this case, to say out loud words like apartheid, words like genocide. They haven’t been willing to do that.”

The former director of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights resigned from his post, three weeks after Israel’s assault on Gaza began.

Mokhiber accused the UN of “failing” in its duty to prevent a “textbook case of genocide” against Palestinians in Gaza. He also accused the US, UK, and most of Europe of being “wholly complicit in the horrific assault.”

Apartheid South Africa

In the interview, Mokhiber emphasized that “the UN is capable and has in the past aligned its positions with its own norms and standards.”

“Think about apartheid in South Africa,” he explained. 

“The UN maintained a principled, law-based position on behalf of  equality, international human rights and international law until apartheid fell in South Africa.” 

However, in Palestine, Mokhiber continued, “30 years ago they abandoned that position in favor of an amorphous political project where somewhere down the road there is a promise of a two-state solution which became a smoke screen behind which we saw continued persecution, dispossession, massive and systematic violations of human rights and leading now to genocide.” 

He said “it is true” that only a court can determine whether it is genocide in the final instance. 

“But the convention of the UN on genocide mandates not just genocide but also mandates the prevention of genocide. And the UN is willing to speak out when it sees torture, war crimes, even crimes against humanity, without waiting for a court decision.”

However, he stressed, “when the crime of crimes is being committed, you cannot wait until the dust has settled and the blood has dried to even utter the word genocide. This is a classic case of textbook genocide.”

Responding to the question of claims that the situation is “complex”, Mokhiber said “It’s not so complex,” but rather a “rhetorical device that is used to avoid looking clearly at the situation as it is on the ground.”

He said it’s “a sin” of the UN as well.

“They’re willing to talk about humanitarian aid, even a ceasefire, but they’re not willing to talk about the root causes, they’re not willing to talk about settler colonialism, they’re not willing to talk about apartheid.”

He said “only in the case of Israel and Palestine are they afraid to even talk about the root causes and instead talk about an eventual two-state solution. That’s not going to solve the conflict.”

Genocidal Intent by Israeli Official

Mokhiber is of the view that “the only solution to the conflict” is a situation in which there are equal rights for Christians, Muslims, Jews, and others but “nobody’s willing to talk about that.”

“I think that’s a real cop out (and) explains why this has continued for 76 years. And why current efforts at ending even a genocidal assault are not going to be effective.”

He emphasized that “The other thing that’s not complex is genocide.”

As a human rights lawyer, Mokhiber said that according to the language of the Genocide Convention and international jurisprudence, “there is no question that the two main elements of genocide: genocidal intent and acts of genocide as defined in the Convention, have been manifest here.”

In particular, Mokhiber added, when you have a situation where both the political and military leadership of Israel “have openly, publicly, repeatedly declared, genocidal intent, you have to take them at their word. It’s not complex, it’s genocide.”

Increasing Death Toll

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 29,092 Palestinians have been killed, and 69,028 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

( First published on Palestine Chronicle)

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