Cover of The Long View vol 6, Issue 1The January 2024 issue of the quarterly magazine “The Long View” is dedicated to “Palestine and the Shifting Paradigms of Peace” and includes my article How to Make a Genocide and How to Resist It.

The Long View editorial says:

“In our lead essay, Richard Haley looks not at why there is so much tacit and explicit support for a genocidal project in the west, but how this is able to operate. He contends that three issues have been key to opening the door for this next stage of annihilation being unleashed since October 2023 on the Palestinians. There are three pillars to the procedural and discursive framework that has made this genocide possible: the imputation of anti-semitism to critics of Israel, the invention of an Israeli right to self-defence that goes beyond its rights under the UN Charter, and the criminalisation of armed Palestinian resistance. Haley takes no prisoners in detailing how international law and institutions have been disregarded and undermined, and solidarity movements cowed and or socialised. His conclusion is clear: the language of the oppressors cannot be used to liberate the oppressed.”

I wrote the article in the first days of 2024. The ICJ issued its interim order on 26 January calling on Israel, in relation to Palestinians in Gaza, to take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of act falling within the scope of the Genocide Convention. But the international situation remains as set out in my article, with Israel’s allies manufacturing and sustaining an approach to the crisis that makes a solution nearly impossible and makes genocide likely.

I wrote:

“Western governments now feel able to say there can be no permanent ceasefire if it would leave Hamas in control of Gaza. “Sustainable ceasefire” has become their term for genocide. Israel’s supposed right to self-defence and Hamas’s alleged criminality have been elevated to unbreakable principles while Humanitarian Law is reduced to disposable guidance.

The response of the Palestine solidarity movement has been to insist, quite rightly, that the reverse is the case. But if that is all we do, we suppress our capacity to engage either with history or with political developments in Palestine.

For Israel’s allies, the destruction of Hamas has become the sine qua non of every road onwards. The result is that there is no road onwards. Their demand must not become embedded in the mass movement for a ceasefire. The spirit of solidarity and liberation evident on ceasefire protests may perhaps be enough to prevent that happening. But the things left unsaid are precisely the things that created the conditions for genocide. As long as they remain unsaid, the movement will be open to manipulation by state forces and political parties hostile to Palestinian liberation, as all the main parties in the UK are.”

It is as clear now as it was then that huge numbers of people in western countries reject the genocidal consequences of their government’s policies and are willing to take to streets to say so. But they continue to find great difficulty challenging the genocide-enabling policy framework that has brought our governments to this point.

Read my article How to Make a Genocide and How to Resist It.

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