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Statements

Statement on US Actions in the UN Security Council, including the Potential US Draft Resolution Related to a Ceasefire In Gaza

22 February 2024

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention condemns the Biden Administration’s third veto of a UN Security Council (UNSC) ceasefire resolution for Gaza on 20 Feburary 2024 and outlines the pattern of delay demonstrated by two prior US vetoes at the UNSC, which position the United States as an outlier in the international community and violate US humanitarian and legal obligations. The Lemkin Institute also notes the shift in the Biden Administration’s language around Israel’s conduct and expresses support for this course correction should the US make good on its word to introduce and vote for a US-drafted ceasefire resolution to prevent escalation in Rafah. The Lemkin Institute demonstrates why this action must be taken quickly and concludes with a call for lasting peace, a release of captives, and prosecutions for violations of international law.

Statement on the Biden Administration’s Complicity in Genocide against Palestinians

13 February 2024

As Israel attacks Rafah, the Gaza city where an estimated 1.3 million Palestinians are seeking refuge, most of them internally displaced, the Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention reiterates that the Biden Administration is complicit in genocide and must take immediate steps to prevent further destruction, loss of life, and displacement in Gaza and the West Bank.

The stakes of Biden’s complicity extend well beyond the Palestinians currently suffering through horrifying and unconscionable atrocities perpetrated by the Israeli army. In normalizing genocide, and indeed, in attempting to hide genocide in plain view, Biden is jettisoning international law and laying the groundwork for a world in which genocide and other forms of mass atrocity become a legitimized form of foreign and domestic policy, including in the US. Without an immediate shift in direction, the long-term consequences of Biden’s foreign policy decision-making since October 7 will be disastrous for all humanity.

Statement on the Ongoing Anti-Government Protests in Tel Aviv

February 12, 2024

The Lemkin Institute affirms its unwavering solidarity and support for individuals worldwide who courageously resist and condemn genocide. On January 19, a few hundred protesters gathered in Tel Aviv to call for a ceasefire. On February 3rd, 2023, thousands of protesters gathered in Habima Square in Tel Aviv to denounce Netanyahu and call for an end to the war. The protesters have called for the dissolution of the Israeli government, the resignation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the initiation of new elections. Additionally, the protesters advocated for the release of over 130 hostages that have been held in Gaza for the last 120 days, expressing concern amid indications that ceasefire negotiations are likely to fail.

The Lemkin Institute strongly supports the Israeli people’s brave acts of protest against Netanyahu’s government. In an ongoing genocide, all those who can stand up to genocidal powers must do so, but it is particularly daunting to stand up to one’s own government.

Statement on the Evidence of Sexualized Violence Against Israeli Women During Hamas' Attack on October 7, 2023

February 9, 2024

The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention condemns gender-based violence in any form, including wartime rape. We underscore the need for uniform investigation and reporting strategies in situations of armed conflict, as well as worldwide training of emergency response personnel to document the evidence of sexualized violence in extreme situations. Nowhere is the need for these things more apparent than in the case of sexualized violence against women during Hamas’s October 7 attack on southern Israel. Accurate reporting on gender-based violence committed by Hamas militants has been hampered by the failure of
emergency response personnel to document evidence of sexualized violence in the wake of October 7. Accurate reporting has been further hampered by the efforts of the Israeli state to use sexualized violence in a politicized manner to justify the genocide it is committing in response to Hamas’ attacks. Both of these hindrances have led to a situation where the reliability of evidence of sexualized violence on October 7 is either overstated or belittled.

Statement on Recent Threats to UNRWA and the Shift between Potential Complicity and Direct Involvement in the Crime of Genocide against Palestinians by Several Nations

January 31, 2024

The Lemkin Insitute for Genocide Prevention is deeply concerned by the decision of a coalition of several nations – the United States and Germany, in concert with Australia, Austria, Canada, Estonia, Finland, France, Iceland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Romania, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom – to suspend funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). This is a serious escalation of the crisis in Gaza and follows the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) first ruling in Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in the Gaza Strip (South Africa v. Israel), which many hoped would slow the genocide. Further, it represents a shift by several countries from potential complicity in genocide to direct involvement in engineered famine. It is an attack on what remains of personal security, liberty, health, and dignity in Palestine.

Statement on the US-UK Bombing of the Republic of Yemen

January 19, 2024

The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention condemns the ongoing bombing by the United States and the United Kingdom of over 60 Ansar Allah targets at 16 locations in Yemen, which began on 12 January 2024. US and UK military engagement is a dangerous escalation of violence in the Middle East that risks drawing in increasing numbers of parties. The US government’s redesignation of the Houthis as a terrorist organization similarly threatens to increase support for extremism across the region and to jeopardize humanitarian aid to Yemenis. We urge the United States and the United Kingdom to focus on their responsibilities under the 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, push for a permanent ceasefire in Israel-Palestine, and work with partners in the Middle East to create the conditions for enduring peace and security for all peoples affected by the crisis.

Statement on the Attack on the Armenian Quarter of Jerusalem

January 8, 2024

The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention strongly condemns the recent brutal attack on the Armenian Quarter in East Jerusalem by armed mobs associated with an Israeli-Australian businessman Danny Rubenstein. We reiterate the call from our previous statement to protect the cultural heritage of the Armenian Quarter and respect the will of its residents, who continue to resist the forcible development of their land.

Statement on Why We Call the Israeli Attack on Gaza Genocide

December 29, 2023

The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention, increasingly concerned about the deteriorating
humanitarian situation in the territory of the State of Palestine (including Gaza and the West
Bank), which has already resulted in the death of at least 21,636 Palestinians, including at
least 8,276 children, and injuries to an additional 59,403, according to the latest estimates, is
issuing the present statement to explain the reasons why we believe the Israel-Palestine
situation constitutes an instance of genocide.

Statement on Threats to the Ethnic Russian Identity in Ukraine

December 23, 2023

During a meeting with the EU Ambassador to Ukraine on November 9, 2023 Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Olha Stefanishyna stated that the issue of Russian language rights in Ukraine is not raised during negotiations with the EU on minority rights because “there is no Russian minority in Ukraine. It does not exist! There is not a single legally registered community that identifies itself as a Russian minority.” The Lemkin Institute is alarmed by such rhetoric emanating from Ukrainian government officials. To deny the existence of Russian minorities in Ukraine as a mechanism to avoid discussing their rights compromises democratic institutions and mirrors Putin’s genocidal rhetoric denying the existence of a Ukrainian national identity.

Statement on the Biden Administration’s Complicity in Genocide in Gaza

December 20, 2023

The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention is deeply distressed by the continued complicity of the United States in the ongoing genocide in Gaza being committed by US ally Israel. The administration of President Joe Biden shares responsibility for the nightmarish loss of Palestinian life and property in Gaza due to the indiscriminate nature of Israel’s air and ground operations. While members of the Biden administration and the President himself have made public comments that distance the United States from Israel’s ongoing extremist response to Hamas’s October 7 attack, the United States continues to facilitate Israel’s destruction of the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank with its unwavering diplomatic, financial, and military support.

Statement on Significance of the Armenian Quarter in East Jerusalem

December 12, 2023 The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention is deeply concerned by threats to the integrity of the Armenian Quarter in East Jerusalem. We call on the United States and other close allies of Israel to take it upon themselves to guarantee the Armenian community due process in this land dispute. The global Armenian community has already lost one important historical land this fall — Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), which was forcibly depopulated when Azerbaijan invaded, massacred Armenians, and terrorized almost the entire Armenian population into fleeing. The Armenian people cannot lose another.

Statement Deploring the Inaction of the International Community to Stop Genocide in Gaza, with Special Reference to the Role of the United States

December 8, 2023

The Lemkin Institute regards with dismay and sorrow the inaction and apparent powerlessness of the “international community” towards the ongoing genocide of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. In complete darkness, without food and water, sheltering from falling bombs and missiles, the people of Gaza cry out to the world for help only to be abandoned by the powerholders who could make a direct and immediate difference. This is a failure of humanity of the highest order and sharp indictment of the current global system. The Lemkin Institute calls for a thorough rethinking of global institutions and of the world’s clearly broken genocide prevention protocols in the face of the Western abrogation of all commitments to a rule- and law-based international order.

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