Lisa Liel

Genocide, Amalek, and the Hague

The State of Israel is currently defending itself against absurd charges of genocide at the International Court of Justice in The Hague. Yet no nation on earth has ever had such a low percentage of collateral damage when operating in an urban battlefield. A battlefield chosen not by Israel, but by Hamas. This is the result of Israel going above and beyond what is required by international law when it pursues the goal of wiping Hamas out entirely, and rescuing our kidnapped citizens.

If the absolute number of dead seems shocking to people, they should consider the fact that some 2.5% of the Gazan populace are active Hamas combatants. In Israel, 2.5% of the population would be 234,100 people. In the UK, 2.5% of the population would be 1,683,250 people. In the US, 2.5% of the population would be 8,297,500, or approximately the entire population of New York City. It’s almost unthinkable. It should be unthinkable.

The question isn’t, why have so many people died in Gaza? The question is, what kind of people have 2.5% of the population actively engaged in crimes against humanity on a regular basis?

Since the IDF is objectively not committing acts of genocide, the entire case against Israel at the ICJ comes down to one of intent. Does Israel have genocidal intent?

Last night, I watched a video interview with Eylon Levy on Channel 4 News. The interviewer, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, harped at him over and over about Israelis comparing Hamas to Amalek ( from 2:22 onwards).

Well then address some of the points that South African has raised in its prosecution. One of the key ones is the statements by Mr. Netanyahu and other ministers, one that became very prominent yesterday was invocation of the biblical reference of Amalek, and sort of, the massacre that followed. I mean, why did Mr. Netanyahu invoke such a violent biblical tale if not to prompt a genocide?

Guru-Murthy beat this drum for several minutes, and it goes without saying that Levy did his usual masterful job of not rising to the bait, but I think we should address the reference to Amalek.

Amalek is genocide. South Africa likes to cite the story of King Saul destroying the Amalekites in the Book of Samuel, but the story doesn’t begin there. Amalek attacked Israel as we were leaving Egypt. It was a sneak attack. They intentionally attacked the weak and infirm. It was a genocidal attack. Is any of this ringing any bells? Hamas may as well have consciously modeled the October 7 atrocities on the story of Amalek attacking Israel.

Can you think of a more pertinent comparison?

But I want to point out something more. Nine minutes away from the International Court of Justice, in The Hague itself, is the Jewish Memorial. This memorial was “created to commemorate the more than 12,000 Jewish residents of The Hague who were deported and murdered during World War II. Before the war, The Hague was home to a flourishing Jewish community of around 17,000 people. The Hague comes second only to Amsterdam in terms of how many Jewish Dutch residents were deported and killed.” This, per the website of The Hague.

The Hague itself lists the Jewish Monument on its website as one of the “Highlights of The Hague”. Go to their site and take a look at the monument. There’s a plaque on the right side as you look at it. You may not be able to make out what’s inscribed on the plaque on this monument, so allow me to help:


.זכור את אשר עשה לך עמלק… לא תשכח

And translated into English: Remember what Amalek did to you… do not forget.

This comes from Deuteronomy 17-19. Verse 17 instructs us to remember what Amalek did to us as we left Egypt, verse 18 describes Amalek’s genocidal attack, and verse 19 ends with, “Erase the remembrance of Amalek from beneath the heavens; do not forget.”

Describing a genocidal foe as Amalek is correct. But Israel’s leaders have emphasized that this war is against Hamas. And it is Hamas to whom they are referring. And is Israel’s intent to erase Hamas? Yes. Yes, it is. Is that genocide? No. No, it’s not.

The ICJ at The Hague needs to decide who they are. Are they the people who memorialized the Jews of The Hague who were murdered because no one cared about genocide, or are they going to accept the scurrilous claims of South Africa, which defends genocidal chants such as “Kill all the Boers“, but then accuses the victims of Hamas genocide of intending to perpetrate it themselves?

It is the ICJ, and the international community itself, which is on trial right now.

About the Author
Lisa Liel lives in Karmiel with her family. She works as a programmer/developer, reads a lot, watches too much TV, does research in Bronze/Iron Age archaeology of the Middle East, and argues a lot on Facebook.
Related Topics
Related Posts