Is Israel engaged in genocide against Palestinians or is it ethnic cleansing? Since the same question comes up with Rohingyas & Kashmiris, the real question is, how the hell can we tell the difference? And is it a difference worth defining? Some scholars call it incremental or slow genocide against Palestinians & also Kashmiris. Kashmiri activists & the Rohingya International Tribunal on Human Rights Crimes straightened me out on this question & demolished all the equivocations & classifications written into international law.
As Kashmiri Mohamad Junaid has written, it is the oppressed who define what is happening to them, not legal scholars with a vested interest in parsing & equivocations to justify the UN standing by & doing nothing. Does that demean the importance of genocide as compared to ethnic cleansing? Is the human suffering any less? Are the scale or violence of the crimes any less? Has designating something a genocide ever prompted the UN to action to prevent or stop the violence? Has designating something an ethnic cleansing prompted them to action? So what is the legal point of such distinctions when they have no bearing on action?