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United States must stop genocide in Middle East

Joseph Stein Berkeley
Thursday April 18, 2002

To the Editor: 


Article II of the United Nations Convention on Genocide defines "genocide" to include any of the following acts "committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group": killing members of the group, causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group, deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.  

As a former resident of Israel, it grieves me to state the obvious: at this very moment Israel is committing genocide on the Palestinian people.  

The United States has a clear moral and, as a signatory of the U.N. Convention, legal obligation to "prevent and punish" genocide. Our Government shirked these responsibilities in Europe in the 1940s, in Cambodia in the 1970s, in South Africa in the 1980s and in Rwanda in the 1990s.  

No more.  

American must take immediate action to stop the genocide in the Occupied Territories by, as a first step, halting all military and economic aid until Israel withdraws from the Territories. We owe this to the World Community, to ourselves and, most importantly, to the innocent children, men and women who are being victimized. 


- Joseph Stein