Statement on Israeli Violence in Jerusalem
May 8, 2021
The Lemkin Institute believes the violence in East Jerusalem is genocidal.
The Iraq Project for Genocide Prevention most strongly condemns the grotesque brutality shown by the Israeli Defense Forces, Israeli civilians, and Israeli settlers against Palestinian Muslims at the Al Aqsa Mosque/Temple Mount on Friday, May 7, the last Friday of prayers during the holy month of Ramadan. According to international news sources and video footage making the rounds on social media, Israeli forces, many of them made up of heavily armed civilians, trapped hundreds of Palestinian worshippers in the Al Aqsa Mosque and then proceeded to attack them outside and inside the Mosque with tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets, and stun grenades.
Efforts by Palestinian officials at Al Aqsa Mosque to plead for calm from Israeli forces were in vain. The Red Crescent was forced to open a field hospital near the Mosque in order to treat the wounded, which now appear to number over 200 persons. The Israeli police were preventing medics from entering the city to aid the Red Crescent.
Tonight’s violence being committed against Palestinians must be understood within the context of relentless ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem that has not stopped since 1948. In recent years, the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has further supported the illegal expansionist policy of Israel and the slow destruction of the Palestinian identity. In the past year, Palestinians in East Jerusalem have been harassed and terrorized by an uptick in arrests, home demolitions, and displacements. These acts include the “legal” expropriation of the homes of dozens of Palestinian families by Israeli courts, who plan to give these homes to Jewish settlers. Any demonstration of resistance or protest by Palestinians to these immoral and unjust evictions is met with maximum brutality. On April 22, 2021, hundreds of Jewish extremists marched through East Jerusalem proclaiming “Death to Arabs,” while being protected by Israeli police.
The Iraq Project for Genocide Prevention believes the violence shown last night against Palestinians is genocidal. It is a red flag for possible international crimes. We call on the world to denounce and properly address the actions of the Israeli government - without fear of ad hominem accusations of antisemitism – as they are reflected in the tragic escalation and radicalization in its rhetoric, policy, and practice towards the Palestinian people over the past months, especially in East Jerusalem.
Israel appears to be implementing an eliminationist ideology that has grown from the systemic and structural violence against Palestinian life that has marred the nation since its founding in 1948.
If the world continues to buckle under Israel’s current extremist and genocidal governmental policies, the result will be not only more conflict, but very likely also the further radicalization of conflict into catastrophe for Palestinians and Jews alike.