“Depopulating” Palestine: Israel Through the Bifocal Lens of Hitler and Lemkin


Maung Zarni | FORSEA – TRANSCEND Media Service

As a human rights campaigner and a student of genocides, in my attempts to understand Israel’s physical destruction of Gaza in particular, and its foundational Zionist policies in Palestine, I find most helpful to turn to Raphael Lemkin’s grounded and multi-faceted conception of genocide and Hitler’s “blood-based” ideas of “race-state” and racialized land.

Israeli Aftermath of an Israeli airstrike on the El-Remal area of Gaza City, October 9, 2023.
Photo Wikipedia Commons

20 Jan 2024 – In fact, Lemkin, “the father of the term ‘genocide’”, drew on Hitler’s publicly available genocidal thoughts expressed in writing to hone his understanding of the destruction of human groups and, subsequently, imposing the perpetrators’ design on the surviving population, in the morning after.

That in turn took me to the ideological and technical source of modern genocides, Adolf Hitler’s blood-based view of a racially cleansed state, with the acquisition of land for the state’s – as opposed to biblically – “chosen people.” As a matter of fact, even, 20 years before Hitler, a fringe demagogue from Bavaria, began formulating his coherent if vile body of “National Socialist” vision of a racially superior Aryan nation, cleansed of inferior populations – most specifically “the Jude” which he termed “vermin” “bloodsuckers” “masters of deception” “parasites” and so on – pre-Nazi Germany under Kaisar Wilhem and Bismack were perpetrating the 1st modern genocide of the 20th century in Namibia (1904-08).

As students of genocide noted the colonizing German authorities and troops were driving hundreds of thousands of native peoples – Heroro and Nama – into African desert where they (the Germans) cut off water and any sources of essentials to sustain life for the marked populations whom the occupiers did not want, but whose land they lusted after and subsequently taken over to build German settlements. Three decades on, the Nazis, now in power, proceeded to hone the earlier successful genocidal techniques hatched in the deserts to realize their Aryan project on the local populations. So, Namibia Presidency condemned Germany when Berlin announced that it will officially support Netanyahu’s Israel as a 3rd party in S. Africa vs. Israel genocide case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the day (12 January) Israel denied any wrongdoing in Gaza.

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