Feb
02
2009

Self-Defense as a Rationale for Genocide

Reading the Electronic Intifada's report on how U.S. corporate media coverage of Gaza "blindly asserted Israel's right of self-defense regardless of what was happening on the ground" reminded me of a passage in the book I'm reading, Jared Diamond's The Third Chimpanzee. Diamond argues that the ability to exterminate other groups of our own kind is something that we share with our closest animal relatives, pointing out that genocide in human history is not as uncommon as you'd like to think. He identifies three mechanisms by which genocide is justified by groups that claim to subscribe to a universal code […]