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Israel is far from perfect, but it’s not genocidal

Protesters on a march in London. Mark Kerrison/In Pictures/Getty

The devastation in Gaza is “horrifying to watch”, says Andrew Sullivan on Substack, but all those crying “genocide” are full of it. Genocide is the deliberate effort to destroy a particular ethnic group. If Israel were interested in wiping out all Palestinian Arabs they could easily do it. Yet the Arab population of Israel and the occupied territories has “exploded” since 1948, and Arabs in Israel have voting rights and a key presence in parliament. Yes, there are “anti-Arab maniacs” among the West Bank settlers, and in Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet for that matter. But genocide? “Please.” The ones “actively and proudly engaged in genocide” are Hamas. As they have said repeatedly, if they had the capacity they would “gladly enact a second Holocaust”.

“Real genocide” is also happening elsewhere in the world, but receives “a fraction of the attention”. In Darfur, members of the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups are being hunted, raped, whipped and murdered by the Janjaweed militia. “Any mass demos in the West? Any open letters from literary poobahs? Nah.” And what about Nagorno-Karabakh, whose capital is a “ghost town” after 100,000 Armenians fled starvation under a genocidal blockade by Azerbaijan? Further east, the Han Chinese majority’s assault on Uighur Muslims and the Burmese junta’s genocidal expulsion of the Rohingya also “stand out”. Israel is “far from perfect”, but it is not committing genocide.