Accusations of Apartheid, Genocide, and Ethnic Cleansing by Israel: Do They Have Merit?

For decades Israel has been given a free pass by Western countries to do things against the Palestinian people that would be thoroughly condemned if attempted by other states. Intellectual honesty demands of us that we use the same standards to judge Israel’s actions as we do for other states no matter how controversial our conclusions may be.

By internationally recognized standards, a state that segregates an entire ethnic population, and confines them to an extensive “open air prison,” is by definition an apartheid state. And this is precisely what Israel has done to the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip. It has imprisoned  over two million ethnic people while maintaining control over the air, land, sea, and everything that comes in and out of Gaza.

Three of the leading human rights organizations have all issued extensive reports demonstrating conclusively that Israel is indeed an apartheid state: Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and B’Tselem.  B’Tselem, it should be noted, is an Israeli human rights organization.

These reports are not using the term “apartheid” in a non-technical way to suggest that Israel is trending in the general direction of becoming an apartheid state sometime in the future. Rather, their research demonstrates that Israel is already an apartheid state in the legal sense of the term, and accordingly their treatment of the Palestinian people rises to the level of a “crime against humanity.”

In addition to the accusation of apartheid, some are calling Israel’s actions in Gaza genocide. Indeed, Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, the first Palestinian-American woman to serve in congress, has just narrowly avoided censure by the House of Representatives on November 1 for accusing Israel of genocide.

In March of this year, Michael Barnett, Professor of International Affairs and Political Science at George Washington University, asked the question, “Is Israel on the Precipice of Genocide?”

Barnett stressed that the “current situation is alarming. Israel’s control over the territories has already produced a long list of alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes, but the current atmosphere has upped the ante and could be the progenitor of crimes against humanity and even genocide.”

The UN’s report on atrocity crimes lists eight risk factors for genocide, and according to Barnett, “Israel ticks all the boxes.” Keep in mind, Barnett is writing back in March 2023. One has to wonder what he would say now.

The Genocide Convention defines genocide as the “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such.”

Recently, a group of 1076 Jewish Canadians, and 412 non-Jewish Canadians, have signed a letter calling for their government “to act immediately to stop the siege and starvation in Gaza, cease the bombing of the civilian population, address the catastrophic humanitarian situation, negotiate an immediate ceasefire and the return of all the Israeli hostages.”

The authors of this letter are cautious in their language, but they maintain that this moment in history is “a moment of life-and-death,” and they refer to Israel’s actions in Gaza as a “genocide-in-the-making.”

Since October 7, Israel has embarked on a scorched earth campaign killing more than 9000 Palestinian civilians with half of these deaths being woman and children. Many throughout the world are saying that Israel has the right to defend itself. Of course, no one is disputing this claim.

The question isn’t whether or not Israel has the right to defend itself. The question is how should Israel exercise that right. It’s difficult to conceive how the indiscriminate slaughter of defenseless women and children can be construed as self-defense.

According to Middle East Eye, former right wing MP Moshe Feiglin, said that the only solution to the present crisis is the “complete destruction of Gaza… destruction like in Dresden and Hiroshima, without a nuclear weapon.”

Distel Atbaryan, a member of the ruling Likud party recently posted on Facebook that Israel should invest all its energy in one thing, “Erasing all of Gaza from the face of the earth.” “Gaza,” said the former minister, “needs to be wiped out.”

So, if Israel is not yet committing genocide in Gaza, it is using genocidal rhetoric, and the reality on the ground is getting dangerously close to matching the bombast in the media.

Furthermore, there is mounting evidence that Israel is planning a forced expulsion of all Palestinians from Gaza.

Wikileaks reported that, “Israel’s Ministry of Intelligence issued a secret ten-page document, just one week after the October 7 attacks, outlining the expulsion of the Palestinian population of Gaza to northern Sinai, in Egypt.”

Wikileaks released the document on its website, and stated that the “document has been verified by an official from the Ministry of Intelligence, according to the Hebrew website Mekomit which originally published the document.”

According to Wikileaks the document outlines a four point plan for the ethnic cleansing of Gaza. First, Palestinian civilians would be instructed to evacuate north Gaza prior to the commencement of land operations. Second, land operations would begin in the north and push southward in Gaza. Third, the routes leading to the Rafah border with Egypt would be left clear to create a corridor for expulsion. Fourth, tent cities would be erected in the northern Sinai to resettle Palestinians in Egypt.

What’s more, John Swartz, from the “Intercept,” reports that the MISGIVE Institute, an Israeli think tank, published a paper stating that because of the October 7 attack “There is currently a unique and rare opportunity to evacuate the entire Gaza Strip.”

According to Swartz, under this scheme Israel would ethnically cleanse Gaza and pay Egypt to take all the refugees. Also, there are rumors the US is attempting to persuade Egypt by offering them debt forgiveness in exchange for Egypt taking the refugees.

President Sisi of Egypt has thus far resisted attempts by Israel and the US to persuade him to take Palestinian refugees stating: “Egypt rejects any attempt to resolve the Palestinian issue by military means or through the forced displacement of Palestinians from their land.”

Of course, if Sisi were to agree to such a proposal it would most certainly cause mass demonstrations throughout Egypt, and the entire region.

Nevertheless, it looks like Israel is planning to cleanse Gaza one way or the other.

Based on the above findings, we can answer the first accusation in the affirmative. Israel is an apartheid state. Concerning the second accusation we say that Israel is on “precipice of genocide.” And regarding the third accusation we can conclude that Israel has a plan for the ethnic cleansing of Gaza.

Jim Fitzgerald is a minister in the Presbyterian Church in America and a missionary in the Middle East and North Africa. His articles have appeared in American Greatness, American Thinker,, and the Aquila Report.

9 thoughts on “Accusations of Apartheid, Genocide, and Ethnic Cleansing by Israel: Do They Have Merit?”

  1. A very timely article Mr. Fitzgerald. Nov 3, 2023 Israel’s Goal Was Always Ethnic Cleansing

    Israel’s goal was always ethnic cleansing. Their latest massacre in Gaza is just their attempt to finish what they started 75 years ago. BT’s Kei Pritsker shows how the Zionist movement has talked about expelling the Palestinians from their homeland for 100 years.

  2. “ There is currently a unique and rare opportunity to evacuate the entire Gaza Strip.”

    Choice of word to convey that they do the Palestinians a favor. The plan is not new.

    It would not stop with Gaza. The second stage ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem and the west bank then the greater Israel.

      1. There are in fact some Zionists who openly state they want Lebensraum from the entirety of the Sinai to Iraq, although without having declared its borders for all we know Benny MadeUpCosplayName might consider everything from Morocco to Hong Kong to be his.

  3. Reading Minister Fitzgerald’s argument I wasn’t struck by it’s validity but the humorous irony of it’s timing and the clarity there’s no war act Israel can take – except nuclear one hopes – that will not be justified. No amount of condemnation will put Israel the defendant inside an ICC court.

    Fitzgerald’s affirmative argument appeared in the media the same day legal scholar, preeminent international law expert and Director of Scalia Law School’s Center for the Middle East Professor Eugene Kontorovich appeared on JNS (Jewish News Syndicate) TV’s Top Story with Jonathan Tobin making the opposition argument.

    Having watched it shortly before reading Fitzgerald the David and Goliath contrast was striking. Professor Kontorovich is compelling even when his legal analysis is accompanied by an all-knowing smirk of arrogant superiority. The Zionists were working their ethnic cleansing project before the Balfour Declaration; they are well prepared undoubtedly with an abundant stable of Professor Kontoroviches.

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