March 7, 2003

Murder Under the Cover of Rigtheousness
There Is No Fixed Method for Genocide


Dr. Ya'akov Lazovik writes ("Academic Genocide", "Ha'Aretz", 4 March) that
in the State of Israel it is impossible that the regime and the nation will
plan and commit a genocide. It is difficult to determine if this is naivety
or self-righteousness. As we know, there is no single fixed method for
murder and not even for genocide. The author Y. L. Peretz wrote about "the
righteous cat" who does not spill blood, but only suffocates.

The government of Israel, using the military and its instruments of
destruction, is not only spilling blood, but it is also suffocating. What
other name can be given to the dropping of a one-ton bomb over a dense urban
area, when the justification uttered is that we wanted to murder a dangerous
terrorist and his wife? The rest of the citizens who were killed and
injured, among whom are children and women, do not count, of course.

How is it possible to explain the expulsion of citizens from their homes at
three o'clock in the morning on a rainy night, then depositing bombs in the
house and then departing without warning? When those expelled returned to
their home, the bombs were exploded and a brutal murder and destruction of
property was thus committed. And what is the justification for what happened
in Jenin? We did not destroy the whole neighbourhood, just 85 houses; it was
not slaughter, we killed only 50-some citizens. How many does one need to
murder and destroy for it to be a crime?--A crime against humanity, as
determined by the Laws of the State of Israel, not only the laws of Belgium.

And more: A curfew and closure of an entire city so that a few celebrants
from the racist bunch in Hebron could walk to the Cave of the Fathers, and
tanks destroying fruit and vegetable stands, and bulldozers that destroy
houses, and Generals who, in their arrogant hubris, are willing to destroy a
whole neighbourhood for the convenience of a group of settler hooligans. Cur
few, closure, brutality, murder, destruction of homes of suspects, while we
keep parroting the incantation that a person is innocent until proven
otherwise (as in the case of our Prime Minister and his sons).

The order that Ariel Sharon gave to the soldiers who went to wreak revenge
in Qibiah: "Maximize losses in life and property", has not been forgotten.
Today Sharon, Mofaz and Yaalon, the three Generals who manage the policy of
this government, behave like that self-righteous cat--suffocating all the
time. Curfew and another curfew, arrests and more arrests, destruction of
roads, brutality to the residents at road stops. Benny Alon, (a minister in
the present government), already said: "make their life so bitter that they
will transfer themselves willingly".

This is done on a daily basis, in addition to the destruction. The Chief of
Staff, Yaalon, already announced that he is "destroying for re-building".
One can understand from his moves that the "building" is building of more
and more settlements. So that they will not be obliged, as military rulers,
to take care of the residents' well-being, the army uses sorties, followed
by retreats. They enter a village, they kill, they destroy and they arrest,
and then they retreat. Those who remain on the ashes and the ruins will take
care of themselves.

Many of our children are being indoctrinated, in religious schools, that the
Arabs are Amalek, and the bible teaches us that Amalek must be destroyed.
There was already a rabbi (Israel Hess) who wrote in the newspaper of Bar
Ilan University that we all must commit genocide, and that is because his
research showed that the Palestinians are Amalek.

The nation is not planning to commit genocide; the nation really does not
want to know what's happening in the territories. The nation is following
orders given by the legitimate representatives of the regime. After the
legitimate Prime Minister who wanted to bring peace was murdered, the hand
is loose on the trigger, greed is paramount, and there is always some reason
to brutalise all of the residents of a city that number tens, if not
hundreds of thousands, because there are always people there who are on the
"wanted" list. It is sufficient that one person is wanted to bomb and kill,
by mistake, of course, also women, children, workers and other humans--if
indeed we still count them as humans.

Of course with our self-righteousness, with our self-adoration in our
"Jewish ethics" we make sure to advertise how beautifully the doctors take
care of Palestinian victims in the hospitals. We do not advertise how many
of those are executed in cold blood in their own homes.

So it's not yet genocide of the terrible and unique style of which we were
past victims. And as one of the smart Generals told me, we do not have
crematoria and gas chambers. Is anything less than that consistent with
Jewish ethics? Did he ever hear how an entire people said that it did not
know what was done in its name?

Shulamit Aloni was an Member of the Kenneset. From 1992 to 1996 she served a
Minister of Communications and the Arts, Science and Technology.