Sunday 28 January 2024

Nerd Church - Genocide Is Bad, Actually

Warning: this post talks about sensitive topics, including the current conflict in the Middle East, genocide, and the Holocaust


It was Holocaust Memorial Day yesterday (27th January) and one thing needs to be said to honour that: genocide is bad.

No matter who the intended victims are, no matter who the perpetrators are, genocide is bad.

Dehumanising people, saying they should be eradicated, killing civilians indiscriminately, and systematically making it impossible for a group of people to simply live their lives.

All of these things are bad.

All of these things are what the state of Israel is currently doing in Gaza, and, to some extent, the West Bank.

The International Court of Justice has found that they have a case to answer for genocide  - they don't rule on guilt at this stage, just whether there is enough evidence for a case to be heard - and implemented interim orders to tell Israel to cease potentially genocidal actions.

NOTHING justifies the horrific October 7th attacks on Israel by Hamas.

But NOTHING justifies what is being done right now by the state of Israel.

Using the crimes of others as justification for your own is a coward's defence.

And while, yes, the state of Israel has a right to defend itself, this stopped being self-defence a long time ago. In my opinion, this stopped being a proportionate response before October had even ended.

And it is the state of Israel NOT the Jewish people as a whole.

Anti-semitism is a brutal and ugly thing, which needs to be guarded against. And never is there more danger of it than where the state of Israel and the Jewish people are conflated.

You can be Jewish and not Israeli. Granted, due to the ethno-religious focus of Israeli citizenship, it's very rare to be Israeli and not Jewish.

But, regardless, you can be Jewish and/or Israeli and have a multitude of feelings about the state of Israel.

Holding any and all Jewish people, or any and all Israeli people, accountable for the actions of the state of Israel IS Anti-Semitic.

But criticising that state is not. 

Holding those in power responsible for their acts of violence and brutality is not, and never will be, Anti-Semitic.

Speaking out against potential acts of genocide is something that we all must do, no matter who the perpetrators are.

What was done to the Jewish people - as well as other targetted groups - under the Nazi regime is a stain on humanity.

I can't think of a worse way to treat the memory of the Holocaust than to use it to try and wipe away the blood of Gaza's children. Anyone who tries to do so should be ashamed of themselves.

Have a good day, and never stop calling for peace, and the relief of suffering.

You can donate to UNICEF's Gaza appeal here.

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