Feb 142024

A Jan 26 2024 provisional judgement finding it “plausible” that Israel is violating the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide has unleashed yet another epistemological conflict in which the two sides of the debate have been polarized over the valid definition of a concept, in this case, the word “genocide.”

Rendered by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the judgement was made in response to an application filed against Israel by South Africa. Though the definition of “genocide” used by the ICJ is far broader and, to the minds of many, invalid relative to its long accepted “dictionary” definition, this objection fails to recognize the “rules of the game” that were accepted by each of its players long before the first move was made.

“It happens. That’s politics,” explains our guest Salim Mansur in describing the apparent injustice and unequal application of the rules to differing players in the game. As America and other nations escape judgment, Israel appears to be unduly targeted for “genocidal” activities no different from those nations with “veto” power.

In light of the fact that each of the governments involved are signatories to the conditions and definitions being adjudicated, it is important to understand the rules of the definition game in which they are engaged, before attempting to apply definitions and standards proven to be Just Right for most of us not playing games.

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