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What we are seeing in Gaza is a ‘repeat of Auschwitz’ says genocide expert

April 26, 2024 at 1:46 pm

Buildings are destroyed and surrounding buildings and vehicles were heavily damaged at al-Daraj neighbourhood after Israeli attack, in Gaza City, Gaza on April 22, 2024. [Dawoud Abo Alkas – Anadolu Agency]

What is happening in Gaza is a “repeat of Auschwitz” and a “collective white imperialist man’s genocide”, according to a prominent human rights activist and genocide scholar.

Maung Zarni, nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize this year for his life-long pro-democracy work and research on genocides, believes it is clear that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza.

The activist and scholar from Myanmar, who has studied genocides and Nazi concentration camps extensively, told Anadolu he has “paid close attention to what has been done by Israel, not just since Oct. 7 … (but) for decades.”

Genocide is simply the “destruction of a population or populations under occupation”, he explained in an interview with Anadolu.

“Palestinians have lived under Israeli Occupation for over 50 years,” said Zarni, who has been nominated for a Nobel by 1976 winner, Mairead Corrigan Maguire.

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“Not just in Gaza, but in all Occupied Territories … There are 3 million Palestinians in West Bank also under Occupation,” he added.

ICJ ‘was convinced by the evidence’

Referring to the case against Israel brought to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) by South Africa, Zarni said the Court normally makes “very conservative judgments or rulings”.

However, an “overwhelming majority of the judges on the ICJ decided that the case presented by South Africa met their bar of plausibility of genocide”, he said.

“The Court was convinced by the evidence presented,” he emphasized.

“On the face of the evidence presented in a single day, (the Court) was convinced that Israel is very likely, very plausibly violating its obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.”

Israel’s bombs are leaving Gaza’s children with life-changing injuries – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

‘Repeat of Auschwitz’

Zarni said what has been happening in Gaza for more than 200 days now “is only the latest episode” asserting that “Israel has institutionalised the destruction of the (Palestinian) population”.

“What we are seeing in Gaza is simply mass extermination without the gas chambers,” he said, referring to the brutal Nazi method of killing prisoners in concentration camps during World War II.

“You don’t need to destroy a population with gas chambers only. If you are able to carpet bomb … 80 per cent of the living space, the residential area, most schools, hospitals, you are destroying the population.”

Zarni also pointed out Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s statement that “no one in Gaza is innocent”.

“That’s 2.3 or 2.4 million Palestinian people, including infants. Half of the 2.3 million Palestinians are children and youth,” he said.

“So, what we are seeing is the repeat of Auschwitz in Gaza.”

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‘Collective punishment’

Zarni said he has visited Auschwitz four times for research on one of the biggest Nazi death camps, where some 1.5 million people were killed.

“I made a documentary for the Burmese about Auschwitz. In Auschwitz, the calorie intake was minutely calculated by the SS (Nazi elite death squads),” he explained.

When Jewish prisoners killed 4 SS officers and blew up a crematorium with the help of Polish workers from a nearby village, the Nazis “responded with collective punishment, killing the entire barracks of 500 Jewish inmates in Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest camp,” he said.

“That is what we are seeing today because Hamas resisters killed 1,000 civilian and Israeli soldiers in the areas where 11 original Palestinian villages were erased to the ground, and Zionists moved in and settled,” said Zarni.

“So, what did Israel, the IDF, and the Netanyahu government do? They adopted the SS strategy of collective punishment.”

‘White man’s genocide’

Zarni also emphasised the role of Western nations in the Gaza genocide, criticising their support of the Israeli government.

“This isn’t simply Israel’s genocide. This is a collective genocide,” he said.

“This is the white imperialist man’s genocide, the white man’s genocide. Just look at the amount of money and weapons provided to Israel, by firstly the US, second the UK and third Germany, and there were so many European states that have stood up for the Nazi-like Israeli government,” the rights activist added.

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The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.