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Israel ‘undoubtedly’ committing genocide says Holocaust scholar Amos Goldberg

Israeli researcher from Hebrew University argues that what is happening in Gaza does not need to resemble the Holocaust to qualify as genocide
A baby cries in a damaged house at the site of an Israeli strike in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, 29 April 2024 (Reuters)

A professor of Holocaust history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Amos Goldberg, has said that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza.

In an opinion piece published by The Palestine Project, he argued that the scale of killing and destruction inflicted by Israel on Gaza, constitutes a “deliberate crushing of Palestinian existence in Gaza”.

“It’s so difficult and painful to admit it, but despite all that… we can no longer avoid this conclusion. Jewish history will be henceforth stained,” Goldberg said.

The professor argued that what is happening in Gaza does not need to resemble the Holocaust in order to qualify as a genocide, saying that although each genocide is different, they are all motivated by “an authentic sense of self defence”.

“Israelis mistakenly think that to be viewed as such a genocide needs to look like the Holocaust,” he wrote.

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“They imagine trains, gas chambers, crematoria, killing pits, concentration and extermination camps, and the systematic persecution to death of all members of the group of victims to the last one.”

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Equally, he said, Israelis imagine that the victims of a genocide are not involved in violent activity, as with the Holocaust. “This is also not the case in Gaza,” he wrote.

Citing a series of genocides including the Srebrenica massacre, where 8000 Bosnian Muslim men were murdered by Bosnian Serb forces, and the Tutsi genocide in Rwanda, where 800,000 people were slaughtered by the Hutus, he argued that, “in all these cases, the perpetrators of the genocide felt an existential threat, more or less justified, and the genocide came in response.”

In January, the International Court of Justice found a “plausible” risk that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza.

According to the Palestinian health ministry, Israel has killed at least 34,488 people in Gaza since 7 October, mostly women and children. Israel estimates that 129 hostages seized by Hamas-led fighters are still in Gaza, including 34 the military says are dead.

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