Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

Mass murder and war crime or also genocide?

Efraim Zuroff says mass killing at Srebrenica was a war crime but not genocide because women were spared; Menachem Rosensaft disagrees.” Who’s right?

It is a mistake to think that, because women were spared, this was not genocide. I’ll explain.

No doubt, the mistake by the esteemed Nazi fighter must find its origin in his over-familiarity with the Nazi definition of race, which rooted in genetics. The Nazis were eugeneticists. They assumed that Jews were a genetic entity and anyone with one Jewish grandparent was inferior.

So he must have conclude that if they killed the boys and the men and let girls and women live, they were not out to exterminate the whole group. With all due respect, the fault lies in misunderstanding genocide.

Genocide is an attempt to end a culture, identity. That could be a tradition with religion embedded, as with the Jews, or one of a common history or language or dialect. It has nothing to do with DNA per se.

Immigration policy for the State of Israel is also based on genetics, because the Home State of the Jewish Nation wants to be a safe haven for Jews fleeing anti-Semitism like the Nazis.

But there is a second pillar defining Jews, one carried by the Jewish religion. A Jew is someone born from Jews or who converted to Judaism. In the end of the day, Jews are not a race but a cultural conglomeration.

True, the Jewish tradition explains that us “lying under a Jewish heart,” Jewish mothers, is more important than stemming from Jewish fathers, for passing on the right character traits for a Jew – another analogy that may have tripped up the distinguished Nazi researcher and hunter. Yet, such inheritance only seems hereditary. In the final analysis, character traits and knowledge can be worked for, as our proselytes prove so well.

Since in Muslim life, men clearly form the learned heads of the family and the scholarly leaders of the community, separating the females and killing the males is not “just” mass murder and a war crime but genocide too; an attempt to stop the passing on of Islam to a next generation. Just like Pharaoh found it sufficient to only kill the boys (Exodus 1:22).

This was mass murder, a war crime and also, if not especially, genocide.

Disclaimer: My four grandparents were gassed in Auschwitz as part of the Holocaust. My two parents survived the Dutch Camp Westerbork.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a vegan for 8 years now. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach and lehavdiel bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, GLBTQAI, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quit a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500st blog post with the ToI. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having a peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. To see other blog posts by him, a second blog - under construction - can be found by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture.
Related Topics
Related Posts