Advocating For Genocide

Thoughts from Eugene Volokh.

The problem to me is that we’ve overbroadened the definition of genocide to the point that it’s lost useful meaning. I don’t agree that simply killing large numbers of an ethnic group justifies being called that. While what the Japanese did in Manchuria was atrocious and horrific, and clearly a war crime, I don’t think that it was genocide, because I don’t think (correct me if I’m wrong historians) that it was done with an intent to wipe an ethnicity off the face of the planet. Similarly, while what we did in Dresden and Tokyo and other cities was arguably a war crime, it was not genocide. But what the Nazis did clearly was, and what Hamas is calling for, and those college students are supporting (“gas the Jews”) clearly is.

4 thoughts on “Advocating For Genocide”

  1. Well, yeah, but what’s magic about the term “genocide”? If the students were shouting, “Gas some Jews” or “Gas lots of Jews” would that be a smaller threat to Jews on campus?

  2. I recently posted a question on the Nextdoor app (for Boulder CO) asking for recommendations for a good local breakfast restaurant, that knew how to make old fashioned bacon, eggs & hashbrowns. I was besieged by messages from the usual suspects, decrying the “genocide” of chickens and swine.

    I guess I’m troubled by the genocide of the English language and the digital demise of dictionaries.

    1. I am outraged that such noble lifeforms that can create their own nourishment from the soil should be discriminated against by those special interest groups that only fight for the rights of creatures that derive their energy not from the Sun as the most virtuous do, but rather consume those that do as well as precious Oxygen to RELEASE CARBON DIOXIDE into our already overburdened atmosphere! Shame, shame on all the vegibigots.

  3. More on topic, perhaps the real difference between advocating attack and advocating retaliation is in the legality. I think that advocating illegal actions should not be permitted in general.

    So for Palestinians, they could advocate “genociding” Jews as part of a declared war, but doing it as a surprise attack or outside of a declared war should not be allowed.

    But limiting speech is problematic. And to be honest, I don’t think the speech is critical – the problem is that it went beyond speech in many cases, and the incidents were not stopped. Even at MIT, when the attacking students were given suspensions it was overruled because “they would have lost their visas”

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