Sami . سامي
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My language blog
Yeah, that was me. The only scholarly source I know about is “Ethnic cleansing’ bleaches the atrocities of genocide,” which appeared in The European Journal of Public Health in 2007. I have issues with some of the premises in the article, namely its assumptions about intervention and what motivates it. That said, it makes a good case against use of the term “ethnic cleansing.” This is the abstract:
Genocide has been the leading cause of preventable violent death in the 20th–21st century, taking even more lives than war. The term ‘ethnic cleansing’ is used as a euphemism for genocide despite it having no legal status. Like ‘Judenrein’ and ‘racial hygiene’ in Nazi medicine, it expropriates pseudo-medical terminology to justify massacre. Use of the term reifies a dehumanized view of the victims as sources of filth and disease, and propagates the reversed social ethics of the perpetrators. Timelines for recent genocides (Bosnia, 1991–1996, 200 000; Kosovo 1998–2000, 10 000–20 000; Rwanda, 1994, 800 000; Darfur 2002–2006, >400 000) show that its use bears no relationship to death tolls or the scale of atrocity. Bystanders’ use of the term ‘ethnic cleansing’ signals the lack of will to stop genocide, resulting in huge increases in deaths, and undermines international legal obligations to acknowledge genocide. The term ‘ethnic cleansing’ corrupts observation, interpretation, ethical judgment and decision-making, thereby undermining the aim of public health. Public health should lead the way in expunging the term ‘ethnic cleansing’ from official use. ‘Ethnic cleansing’ bleaches the atrocities of genocide, leading to inaction in preventing current and future genocides.
OK, the first thing that should have tipped us all off is that the term was invented by the people who were committing it in the former Yugoslavia. A criminal is never going to refer to his crimes by an accurate name but instead uses euphemisms to hide the severity. For example, the United States calls the human beings it kills even though it wasn’t targeting them “collateral damage,” which was a term originally reserved for damaged civilian property.
The same is true of the term “ethnic cleansing.” It sounds like such an innocuous term. What do you normally cleanse? You cleanse your body, your soul, the air, the water. It’s a positive act, and the fact that only in this one instance is it used to refer to a negative — a war crime in fact — masks the severity of its horror and terror.
But further, what does it mean to “cleanse”? Cleanse literally means to get rid of impurities and filth. So when you refer to “ethnic cleansing,” are you not also accepting the assumption that the ethnicity being “cleansed” is somehow impure and filthy? That’s literally what the Serb nationalists meant when they invented it.
And this is why I’m astounded. We adopted the term as if it’s a useful and accurate descriptor for this form of genocide, when actually it obscure the fact that it is a form of genocide. The result is then that people have arguments over what Palestinians suffered exactly (this is what led me to question the term in the first place). They’ll say, “No, it wasn’t genocide, it was ethnic cleansing!” As if one is a kinder, gentler, less immoral, easier to accept crime than the other. The more I think about it, the more I hate the term ethnic cleansing.
I’ve been rethinking the term “ethnic cleansing” lately anyway. It was invented by Serbian nationalists as a euphemism, and it’s so gross that it was adopted so widely without anyone batting an eyelash. Just think about what it implies.
So you can understand why my skin crawls when people shout, “What happened to Palestinians wasn’t genocide, it was ethnic cleansing!” On a very basic level, the context makes the entire argument incredibly cruel and inhumane.
give me a second to dig them up.
It’s dumb because it feeds into the notion that this is about two equal sides who hate each other rather than a system of colonization and racism implemented largely by European settlers against an indigenous population.
Also, I’m willing to bet that most if not all of the Arabs in the photos a) are not Palestinian and b) have never experienced Israeli apartheid firsthand. Also also, I didn’t click on the link this time because I hate giving buzzfeed traffic, but I seem to remember that the photos included one of an Iranian-Jewish couple, too.
It’s ignorant, liberal nonsense by a bunch of basic-ass attention whores.
Confirmation here. :)
Thank you, Maldives!
The thing about zionist propaganda is that they always recount the event midway through the story.
So they would have you believe that the latest round of violence against the people of Gaza started with the kidnap-murder of three Israeli settlers. The only way that this is at all sustainable is if you ignore that before anyone knew who these settlers were, Israel itself had murdered 6 Palestinian children in 2014:
They were killed in cold blood. In the case of Nuwarah and Abu al Thahir, there was actually CCTV footage showing their murders and an investigation found that the bullets that killed them were Israeli. But not one of their killers faced so much as a day in court, and their deaths miraculously don’t factor into the lead up to what is now happening.
In zionist propaganda, all that matters is the lives of the Israeli settlers, and I’m not saying that because it’s shocking news. Rather it’s a reminder that the Israeli version of events, which is the only version that most western media present, is not the truth.
This is not a war. This is not about justice in the name of the innocent. This is not about ~Khamas~ rockets. This is just the latest episode of the brutalization of the Palestinians in Gaza that has never stopped since 1948.
Dr. Yasser Abu Jamei, Executive Director of the Gaza Community Mental Health Program, lost 28 members of his extended family when they were killed in Israel’s ongoing military attacks on Gaza on July 21.
He shared this update of the situation on the ground just a day before:It was 9.00 pm when suddenly artillery shelling intensified. The terrifying sounds of falling bombs continued hinting that something horrible is going to happen. Earlier that day, leaflets were falling from the sky telling residents of the eastern villages of Khan Younis to evacuate. I was wondering where more than 60.000 people are supposed to go! Well, anyway most of the people stayed home hoping that things won’t get worse. The Israeli prime minister announced launching the ground operation later, which explained the heavy bombardment.By midnight, people in the targeted areas started to see a strange smoke that has a terrible smell, caused respiratory distress and vomiting. By midnight, ambulances started to evacuate families, bringing them to the center of Bani Suheila just next to the place where I live. The distance that ambulances had to carry people is less than 2 kilometers, however bombs where falling in the streets and between the houses. By midnight, my uncles and their families started to arrive in our building, a process that continued till five o’clock in the morning. Few ambulances evacuated thousands of people to a place announced earlier that it would be targeted! But where could we go, or where should we go? Years ago, during the Cast Lead offensive on Gaza , people were advised to move to UNRWA schools, of course they were targeted too by the Israeli attacks. Ironically, even UNRWA headquarters in Gaza sustained some damage!Air strikes and naval shelling continued of course to accompany the artillery bombardment and the ground invasion which started in three different areas, eastern villages of Khan Younis, Rafah and northern areas of Gaza. Over 100 people where killed in the first 48 hours of the ground invasion, most of them are civilians killed in their homes, backyards and gardens.The land invasion caused casualties among the Israeli soldiers, with no clear data. These caused an outrage in Israel reflected in further cruelty of bombardment. Overcrowded houses in Shejaya and Toffah areas in Gaza were heavily hit causing tens of casualties, exact numbers are not known yet. Till early morning 20.07, 363 Palestinians were killed and 3000 were injured not taking into account the casualties in Shejaya since the beginning of the Protective Edge operation. The ministry of health talks about a huge catastrophe in the area and more terrible news are to come. UNRWA reported that 85.000 people are displaced till now. Figures are expected to increase dramatically today.The missing news here is the news about a ceasefire, or a truce!
Ali Abunimah has had a lot to say about this. You can start with this article titled “Israeli Jews and the One-State Solution,” and he’s written a book called One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse that outlines what a one-state solution would look like.
Look, the only thing I’m sure of is that zionism and apartheid in Palestine will fall. Exactly how it will fall is still up to history. I’m not really interested in engaging in hypotheticals. It’s more important imho to focus on what is happening to Palestinians now and how these violations of their rights must end. Discussions about what may or may not happen 5, 10, 20 years has its uses, but don’t let yourself get bogged down trying to predict the exact course of events or having to defend against something that hasn’t even begun to happen.