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Opinion: Piers Morgan. It IS Genocide

“Piers Morgan Uncensored” on Talk TV has become a pivotal venue for debating the Gaza conflict, drawing substantial viewership. The program’s diverse range of guests has led to heated discussions. Morgan, however, faces criticism for allegedly showing bias towards pro-Israeli guests, while being confrontational towards those supporting Palestine.

Despite numerous reports of indiscriminate bombings, extensive civilian casualties, and massive infrastructure damage, Morgan has steadfastly declined to classify the Israeli military’s actions as genocide. In a notable interview on November 15 with journalist Owen Jones, Morgan stated, “What Hamas is doing is genocide. What Israel is doing is not genocide.”[1]

The definition of genocide according to the ‘Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide’ means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.[2]

However, despite Morgan’s denials of Israeli culpability in a genocide, the rhetoric from the very beginning of the conflict can be described as genocidal in intent.

Many leading political and military figures of Israel expressing explicit, clear, and direct statements of intent such  Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s statement during an Oct. 13 press conference. In the statement, Herzog said, “It’s an entire nation that is out there that’s responsible. It’s not true, this rhetoric about civilians not aware, not involved. It’s absolutely not true,” Herzog said. [3]

His sentiments were echoed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who said that Israelis were united in their fight against Hamas, whom he described as an enemy of incomparable cruelty. “They are committed to completely eliminating this evil from the world,” Netanyahu said in Hebrew. He then added: “You must remember what Amalek has done to you, says our Holy Bible. And we do remember.”[3]

Following the Israeli cabinet’s decision, led by Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant referred to Palestinians as “human animals” and stated they would be treated “accordingly.” He announced a comprehensive blockade on the Gaza Strip, declaring, “There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel, everything is closed.” Lieutenant General Herzi Halevi, Chief-of-Staff of the Israeli Army, echoed similar sentiments, describing Hamas as “fighting like animals.”[3]

Ariel Kallner, a member of parliament from Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud, wrote on social media after the Hamas attack.“Right now, one goal: Nakba! A Nakba that will overshadow the Nakba of 48. Nakba in Gaza and Nakba to anyone who dares to join!” Referring to the forced expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians from their land by the Israeli army in 1948. [3]

Israeli minister Amihai Eliahu proposed using a nuclear bomb on Gaza, a suggestion that was only dismissed by Netanyahu due to Israel’s official stance of not publicly admitting to possessing nuclear weapons.[4]

An Israeli military spokesperson , confirming what observers in the besieged Gaza Strip had clearly seen: the objective of Israel’s current aerial offensive is to cause extensive damage in the territory, rather than solely aiming at Hamas’s military sites.

Daniel Hagari, an official with the Israel Defense Forces, stated, as reported by Haaretz, “The emphasis is on damage and not on accuracy.” [5]

As of 17 December the war in Gaza has resulted in catastrophic devastation, as reported by the health ministry in Gaza. Over 18,700 people have tragically lost their lives, and approximately 50,000 have been injured since the war’s inception. The toll on housing is equally severe, with more than 50% of dwellings in Gaza either completely destroyed, rendered uninhabitable, or damaged. The Israeli armed forces have conducted numerous airstrikes across Gaza, utilizing over 10,000 bombs and missiles. This relentless bombardment has caused extensive destruction to both buildings and crucial infrastructure [6]

Recent analysis of satellite data conducted by Corey Scher from the CUNY Graduate Center and Jamon Van Den Hoek of Oregon State University has provided a more detailed picture of the damage. Their findings indicate that over 100,000 buildings throughout the Gaza Strip have sustained damage. Particularly hard hit are North Gaza and Gaza City, where it’s estimated that about half of all buildings have been affected. Their analysis also reveals significant damage in Khan Younis, with up to 20% of its buildings impacted. This comprehensive study underscores the widespread and concentrated damage in urban areas since the conflict began, painting a grim picture of the situation in Gaza.[6]

Israeli historian Raz Segal, the director of the genocide studies program at Stockton University, firmly characterizes the situation as a “textbook case of genocide.” Segal identifies three genocidal acts being carried out by Israeli forces: “killing, causing serious bodily harm, and measures calculated to bring about the destruction of the group.” He highlights the extensive devastation and the total blockade of essential resources such as water, food, fuel, and medical supplies as evidence.

Segal points out that Israeli leaders have made “explicit, clear, and direct statements of intent,” referring to the above statement by Israeli President Isaac Herzog during an October 13 press conference. Segal suggests that such language equates all Palestinians with an “enemy population,” which could be indicative of genocidal intent.[7]

Victoria Sanford, a professor at the City University of New York, draws a parallel between the situation in Gaza and the massacre or disappearance of over 200,000 Mayans in Guatemala between 1960 and 1996, a period known as the Guatemalan genocide and the focus of her book “Buried Secrets: Truth and Human Rights in Guatemala.” She suggests a similarity between the experiences of Mayans and Palestinians in terms of genocidal acts, stating, “When we match them to the lived experience of people, there are similar circumstances…if we look at contemporary conflicts like the Israeli invasion of Palestine.” Sanford, along with Raz Segal and over a hundred other scholars and organizations, signed a letter calling for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to take action in light of what they see as the “Israeli intention to commit genocide visibly materialising on the ground.” [7]

Muhannad Ayyash, a Canadian Palestinian and sociology professor at Mount Royal University with a focus on violence and colonialism, describes the situation in Gaza as “a deliberate genocidal operation.” He criticizes Canada for its role in the conflict, asserting that by not advocating for a ceasefire, Canada is complicit. Ayyash states, “So it is partaking in the U.S. effort to not de-escalate the situation and give the Israelis a blank diplomatic cover so that they can carry out this operation without much international pressure. So [Ottawa is] part of the U.S. protective umbrella for the Israeli state to carry out the genocide.” [8]

The Transnational Foundation for Peace & Future Research an independent think tank, a global network that aims to bring about peace by peaceful means issued a statement  on 17. December saying, “Israel’s response [to the October 7 Hamas attack] can by no means be seen as practising the right to self-defence. It is an utterly out-of-proportion massacre of civilians, mainly women and children, executed by the military of the most totalitarian and racist government Israel ever had since it was established. It is an unprecedented murderous revenge. It is genocide.” [9]

The International human rights organisation ‘The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)’declared that Israel’s actions against the Palestinian people constitute an unfolding genocide. In a statement issued on 12 December “Palestinians have to endure thousands upon thousands of unimaginable tragedies, all intentional. This level of orchestrated violence by an occupying force is genocide”, declared Alice Mogwe, FIDH President. “To say it is unfolding is also to say that it can, and indeed must be stopped. To political leaders and high officials, we must stress that support and assistance to Israel is complicity in this unfolding genocide. You have been warned.” [10]

These are just some of the esteemed scholars and prominent human rights expert who have no hesitation in calling the mass murder, starvation, displacement and deliberate destruction of Gaza a genocide. It will be curious to see just how many more lives need to be lost, and how much more of Gaza needs to crumble before Piers Morgan can bring himself to admit what most of the world has been witnessing: an intentional genocide.

References

[1] https://talk.tv/piers-morgan-uncensored/36441/piers-morgan-owen-jones-genocide-debate

[2] https://www.un.org/en/genocideprevention/documents/atrocity-crimes/Doc.1_Convention%20on%20the%20Prevention%20and%20Punishment%20of%20the%20Crime%20of%20Genocide.pdf

[3] https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/oct/16/the-language-being-used-to-describe-palestinians-is-genocidal

[4] https://arabcenterdc.org/resource/the-case-for-prosecuting-israel-for-genocide-in-gaza/

[5] https://www.commondreams.org/news/israel-gaza-bombing#:~:text=%22The%20emphasis%20is%20on%20damage,Hagari%20said%2C%20according%20toHaaretz.

[6] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20415675

[7] https://time.com/6334409/is-whats-happening-gaza-genocide-experts/

[8] https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/genocide-gaza-debate-1.7042809

[9] https://countercurrents.org/2023/12/tff-statement-on-the-genocide-in-gaza/

[10] https://reliefweb.int/attachments/009ca3b7-d5d2-43f7-a776-19508e6b39f0/fidh_resolution_on_israel_s_unfolding_crime_of_genocide_and_other_crimes_in_gaza_and_against_the_palestinian_people.pdf

Tariq Kurd was born and grew up in Hertfordshire. His family is originally from Halabja, Kurdistan but due to periodic migration currently reside across the Baluchistan region.
He has a BA Hons. in History from the Open University. Besides English, Tariq can speak Baluchi and Brahvi, he is also conversant in Persian and Pashto.
His has an eclectic range of interests including military and tribal history. Tariq lives in London and is currently studying Islamic apologetics through the Sapience Institute.