One definition of genocide given by the United Nations is “a proven intent on the part of perpetrators to physically destroy a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.” Hamas wants to wipe Israel’s Jews off the map and have Islamic control “from the river to the sea,” a slogan both sides have previously recognized as a genocidal statement.
But is Hamas ever accused of genocide in the mainstream news? Terrorism, yes, but rarely genocide, a term coined by Polish lawyer Raphael Lemkin to describe the Holocaust.
On the PBS show Amanpour & Co., hosted by international journalist Christiane Amanpour, “genocide” has been used to describe the actions of Israel far more often than it has been used against Hamas.
A cursory examination of the coverage during the period from October 7 -- when Hamas launched the war with the massacre of Israeli civilians, through November 17 -- suggests Israel was accused of “genocide” or being “genocidal” 13 times on Amanpour during the period, compared to only 3 similar accusations against Hamas, even though Israel’s counterattack on Hamas is nothing close to “genocide” against Palestinians.
That 13-3 figure includes guests who termed what Israel or Hamas were doing amounted to “genocide,” in addition to Amanpour hosts/reporters quoting other sources accusing Israel of “genocide.” Notably, those 3 Hamas descriptions all came from a single guest who also suggested Israel was close to being guilty of “genocide.”
Besides the predictable Palestinian guests who made the “genocide” slander, Amanpour herself also forward the smear over tax-funded airwaves. On the show’s PBS airing November 16, Amanpour quoted United Nations “experts” warning Palestinians in Gaza were at "grave risk of genocide." She asked Brown University Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies Omer Bartov, “And what do you make of the killings in Gaza, which so many people are now beginning to talk about it as a genocide against Palestinians?”
Bartov, who recently signed an open letter criticizing Jews for invoking the Holocaust over the October 7 atrocities committed against Jews by Hamas, said of Israel’s counterattack against Hamas:
So, you have no over 2 million people being cramped into southern part of the Gaza Strip without any infrastructure to sustain that. That and statements which are being made about possibly moving the population entirely out of the Gaza Strip, that can eventuate in genocide.
Bartov also said, albeit in hedging fashion:
Additionally, if you think about the Hamas charter and what it has been saying, Hamas wants to replace Israel as a state with an Islamic Palestinian State. That could be defined also as a genocidal aim. If you accept that, then you might say that that attack on October 7th also had genocidal aspects to it….
On that same show, Amanpour hosted Palestinian American journalist Laila El-Haddad, who accused Israel of “genocide” three times for sympathetic interviewer Hari Sreenivasan. Sreenivasan then went to bat for the notorious, Hamas-linked Islamic pressure group Council on American Islamic Relations, which “had put out some information that is quite distressing…they've received more than 1,200 calls for help….Essentially, people are calling into this organization talking about anti-Arab bias in their lives….”
On the PBS show airing November 17, Amanpour invited on Yale professor Jason Stanley to define “genocide.” Stanley argued it was wrong for Israel to call Hamas’s action “genocide,” because Hamas was a “much weaker opponent,” though oddly, Stanley had just called Hamas a “violent terrorist, genocidal, murderous organization.”
So Amanpour spent two consecutive shows hosting guests trying to define “genocide” while strongly hinting Israel might be guilty of it.