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John Mearsheimer: Israel’s Choice Between Apartheid and Ethnic Cleansing

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In a recent episode of The Bottom Line with host Steve Clemons, John Mearsheimer, a leading political scientist in the United States and professor at the University of Chicago, made a stark analysis of Israel’s war on Gaza.

Mearsheimer, who is also the author of “The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy,” asserts that Israel’s actions have far exceeded self-defense measures.

Background

The conflict in Gaza has escalated over the past 10 weeks, with Israel’s military campaign resulting in the death of nearly 1% of the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip. This is equivalent to the eradication of an entire state like Arkansas or Nevada. The majority of the victims are innocent civilians, including a significant number of women and children. The displacement rate is nearly 100%.

Mearsheimer’s Analysis

Mearsheimer argues that Israel’s actions are part of a “punishment campaign” aimed at the civilian population in Gaza. “When we talk about punishing the civilian population, we’re talking about killing, murdering huge numbers of civilians,” he said. He believes that the severity of the campaign is intended to drive the Palestinian population out of Gaza.

According to Mearsheimer, Israel is faced with a choice between apartheid and ethnic cleansing. The current campaign in Gaza, he suggests, is indicative of the latter. The international community, including the elites in the US, Europe, and the Arab world, have yet to take concrete steps to halt Israel’s bombing campaign.

The Biden administration’s response to the conflict has been largely muted. Mearsheimer suggests that this lack of action is due to the influence of the Israel lobby on US foreign policy. He calls for a more robust response from the international community, stating that the current situation “should be unacceptable to decent people all over the world.”

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