If I were going to commit a genocide …

3 Dec

While staff at my erstwhile employer Sheffield Hallam University urge it – in vain I’m sure, for the reasons given here – to condemn the genocide unfolding before the world’s eyes exactly as promised by the Israeli state, Caitlin Johnstone has today posted a bitterly ironic manual for mass murder.

A picture being worth a thousand words, I’ve followed hers with Al Jazeera images of how that manual has been applied to the Gaza Strip.

If I were going to commit a genocide

If I were going to commit a genocide, I’d make sure to kill as many women and children as possible to eliminate the future generations of the people I was trying to wipe out. Come to think of it, I guess I’d basically do what Israel is doing in Gaza.

Finally, the New York Times reports that Israel has killed more women and children than have been killed in Ukraine. Just in two months compared to the Russian carnage over 21 months. https://t.co/9qzloawdeF

— Ralph Nader (@RalphNader) November 28, 2023

If I were going to commit a genocide, I’d deliberately target civilians and civilian infrastructure to make it harder and harder for the undesirable population to survive. Actually, one good example of this would be what Israel is reportedly doing in Gaza today.

Israeli Intelligence admits “nothing happens by accident” & “everything is intentional” with their civilian targets in Gaza https://t.co/8KlWyO89FO pic.twitter.com/bhlgl09o7k

— Abby Martin (@AbbyMartin) December 1, 2023

If I were going to commit a genocide, I’d make sure to target cultural centers to destroy the history and culture of the population I wished to remove, taking out their museums and ancient religious buildings. You know what? I suppose I’d do pretty much exactly what Israel is currently doing in Gaza.

Israel has engaged in the destruction of Palestinian cultural and heritage sites across the West Bank, Gaza and inside Israel itself. Intentionally destroying cultural heritage sites has also been considered a tactic of regimes engaging in genocide against a people. https://t.co/872pdy6J0K

— Palestine Deep Dive (@PDeepdive) November 28, 2023

Another thing I’d do if I were going to commit a genocide is make sure to kill all the best and brightest members of the population I was trying to exterminate — their doctors, lawyers, academics, journalists and thought leaders — in order to prevent any reconstruction of the civilization I was trying to stomp out. In other words I’d do what Israel is presently doing in Gaza.

MUST WATCH | Israel is Targeting Gaza’s Brightest and Best pic.twitter.com/vumMHg506s

— Palestine Deep Dive (@PDeepdive) November 21, 2023

If I were going to commit a genocide, obviously I’d have to make sure all my main underlings were on board for the operation, so you’d probably see them spouting genocidal rhetoric all the time in support of those plans. Kind of like the way Israeli officials have been talking for the last two months when discussing their operations in Gaza.

This video is a must watch, must share. It compiles various recent public statements by Israeli officials that show beyond the shadow of a doubt that the intention behind the Israeli violence against the Palestinians is GENOCIDAL.#Holocaust_in_Gaza #Genocide_of_Palestinians pic.twitter.com/74Ohbi0Rrg

— Doc Jazz  طارق (@docjazzmusic) November 12, 2023

If I were going to commit a genocide, I’d also want to have a plan to drive the undesirables who couldn’t be eliminated by mass murder off the land I wanted them removed from. You’d see people in my government frequently discussing plans for ethnic cleansing, in very much the same way you’re seeing such discussions over and over again among Israeli officials and thought leaders.

Israeli officials keep openly saying again and again that the plan for Gaza is ethnic cleansing, yet the western political/media class adamantly insists on continuing to frame Israel’s actions in Gaza solely as a war against Hamas. Hamas isn’t the target, it’s the excuse. https://t.co/6WI0b60ojf

— Caitlin Johnstone (@caitoz) December 1, 2023

If I were going to commit a genocide, I’d keep attacking the undesirable population with extreme aggression while pushing them further and further toward a foreign border, eventually forcing other nations to either take them in or keep allowing them to be slaughtered as I rain military explosives upon their continually shrinking living space.

What they did to northern Gaza they’re doing to southern Gaza where they told civilians to flee. pic.twitter.com/Dhz6bxEZfg

— FREE PALESTINE (@missfalsteenia) December 2, 2023

Either way I get rid of the population I was trying to get rid of, and I can repopulate the land I seized with a more desirable sort of people. In other words I’d do exactly what Israel is clearly doing, in plain view of the entire world.


The images below, and their captions, are taken without alteration from an Al Jazeera feature – ‘Hell on Earth’ in Gaza: Israel strikes hit Deir el-Balah – of December 2.

Injured children brought to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital after an Israeli attack in Deir el-Balah, Gaza, on December 2, 2023. [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinian rescue teams and civilians search for survivors in the rubble of buildings hit by Israeli air raids in Deir el-Balah. [Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli air strikes on Gaza have caused residential buildings to collapse. Because emergency workers have little equipment at their disposal, the bodies of the dead often have to be left under the rubble. [Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency]

People injured in Israeli strikes are brought to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital for treatment in Deir el-Balah. [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

The wounded wait to receive treatment at Al-Aqsa Hospital on December 2, 2023, as Israel’s attacks on Gaza have stretched into a second day after a seven-day truce with Hamas ended. [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

Two-year-old Palestinian Larin Hussein, who was injured in an Israeli attack, is brought to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital. She had previously lost her parents in an Israeli air strike. [Doaa Albaz/Anadolu Agency]

Few hospitals are still functioning in Gaza. Many have been targeted by Israel since the war started on October 7, and they have few supplies and little if any electricity. [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

Relatives perform funeral prayers for five members of the Sabah family who were killed in Israeli strikes in Deir el-Balah. [Doaa Albaz/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinians are buried in mass graves in Deir el-Balah after Israel restarted its bombardment of Gaza on December 1, 2023. [Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinians mourn their relatives at a cemetery in Deir el-Balah. [Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency]
* * *

3 Replies to “If I were going to commit a genocide …

  1. What is not easy to determine from the Caitlin article is whether the genocide in question refers to the actions of the Israeli Government and its armed forces between 7th October and the ceasefire; the current actions after the recent ceasefire; the future actions; or all three?

    Bernard at MoA seems to have come to a conclusion on the matter:


    Which leads to a number of observations:

    A. The only effect all the condemnation across the planet of the genocide in Northern Gaza was a temporary ceasefire which now appears to have ended.

    B. Prior to that temporary ceasefire which has now ended – with the policy outlined by Bernard at MoA continuing – the worldwide condemnation; the rhetoric from Arab leaders; the street protests; the withdrawal of ambassadors; the ‘diplomacy’ etc etc has had no effect on the genocidal policy being pursued by the Israeli Government and its backers in the Western ‘Garden’ – who continue to provide the munitions to the Israeli Government to carry out this genocide.

    C. There is little evidence that the present means of attempting to prevent this policy continuing into the next several months or even a year will have any discernible impact on changing that policy and the actions arising from it.

    In regard to an ongoing question being debated on this site it seems reasonable to conclude that a one state solution/endgame is a whole lot nearer than a two state solution as far as the Israeli government and their backers are concerned. That State being Greater Israel with no other peoples allowed.

    In the context of a ‘Garden’ which is, at least in other contexts, generally deemed to be non-agreement capable, that key question of a two state solution seems to be being accepted as wholly dependent on the rhetoric coming out of the White House as no explanation is forthcoming so far as to exactly how anyone else – the Russians, Chinese, Global South, Arab States, BRICS et al are going to have any significant say in preventing the continuation of the ongoing genocide in the absence of someone putting actual troops on the ground to enforce a permanent ceasefire as a prelude to serious grown up diplomacy towards a solution.

    There’s no realistic sign that Washington and its vassal’s would ever contemplate that – either by themselves or via the UN where they would certainly use their veto and no sign that anyone else would entertain it. Even the civilian ‘thousand boat’ blockade…..


    …..which apparently involved a significant number of Russian citizens has failed to get any traction.

    Perusing the record of Washington in regards Project Ukraine there seems to be plenty of examples of saying one thing and doing the opposite. With such a record it seems reasonable to conclude that the actions of continuing to supply the munitions to carry out the genocide rather than the rhetoric of being in favour of a two state solution are what counts.

    In regard to the ongoing question of any realistic two solution in a context in which a one state Greater Israel is being pursued via a policy of genocide and or ethnic cleansing with the only realistic and practical measures required to prevent it off the table the only answer to the Harry Callahan question has to be ‘no, I don’t feel lucky’.

    • What is not easy to determine from the Caitlin article is whether the genocide in question refers to the actions of the Israeli Government and its armed forces between 7th October and the ceasefire; the current actions after the recent ceasefire; the future actions; or all three?

      What is not easy necessary to determine from the Caitlin article – since it really makes no difference to the case she is eloquently making, to a broad audience as opposed to an echo chamber, that the Israeli state is a mass murderer – is whether the genocide in question refers to the actions of the Israeli Government and its armed forces between 7th October and the ceasefire; the current actions after the recent ceasefire; the future actions; or all three?

      (What’s more, be the question easy or not, and necessary or not, that Moon of Alabama piece simply posits more genocide; a forecast entirely consistent with yours, with mine and with Caitlin’s.)

      As to the one state solution, I’m not agin it in principle but ask the question I put to Jams O’Donnell earlier today, below my previous post: how do we get there?

      I see a potential route to two states (which may or may not evolve to one) in the rising power of China and Russia and diminishing power of the USA. I see at present no way to a one state solution. Even the Biblical Israel of your throwaway aside is not viable. Ethnic cleansing, pace Gaza, on Palestine as a whole would certainly trigger regional and hence global war.

      I’m not invested in a two state solution btw. (I’m too old for those Theological Divides the Western Left periodically goes in for from its collective armchair.)

      I’d be thrilled to be proved wrong …

      • Seems we are largely on the same page.

        Point is, viable or not, the Greater Israel one state solution appears to be the only game in town right now unless the Israeli regime is prevented from continuing down that road.

        Despite all its rhetoric about a two state solution any notion that Washington and the rest of ‘The Garden’ is going to take the necessary first step of stopping the slaughter goes outside all previous behaviour. These are non-agreement capable.

        The Israeli regime itself via internal change at the level of a Damascen conversion is just not going to happen.

        in terms of stopping that ongoing slaughter from a practical point of view the argument put by Yves Smith at naked capitalism succinctly sums up the situation:


        “The reality is that Israel will be stopped in Gaza only by force or perhaps by its campaign against Hamas becoming so costly that it has to back off….but how much civilian slaughter might happen before then?The Muslim countries nearby have the ability to defeat Israel in a conventional war, but are leery of setting off a regional conflagration, and have good reason to believe Israel would launch a nuclear attack if it were losing too badly. Admittedly, Scott Ritter argues that the war is already going badly for Isreal Hezbollah and other Resistance elements are engaging in a slow and not well covered program of escalation that is already cost the Israel economy bigly. So perhaps things are not as dire as they appear now. But even so, a lot of Gaza citizens look set to die.”

        The first step has to be to stop the slaughter via a ceasefire. Diplomacy is not doing that. Armchair condemnation is not doing that. For sure, both might? (or might not?) at some point be a contributing factor to producing that ceasefire in conjunction with other factors such as the hit to the Israeli economy and/or things going badly in military terms for the Israeli regime.

        However, as Yves Smith points out, by that time the question will be how many Palestinians are left to form any kind of state – viable or otherwise? And, again as Smith argues, the quickest and most effective way to stop that slaughter and get on track to a ceasefire leading to a grown up diplomatic solution – whether its one or two States – is going to be via an external armed force intervening and imposing a ceasefire.

        Whilst such an option poses many risks, unless a convincing argument can be made that some other method or process will achieve that necessary first step of stopping the slaughter right now and getting a ceasefire – not next month or next week but now – the matter seems to be academic. Women, children, civilians, doctors, engineers, teachers, et al will continue to be slaughtered and civilian infrastructure obliterated throughout the whole of Gaza till the point is reached where no viable population exists to form any kind of Palestinian State.

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