Genocide and Democracy

  • A world united by Democracy is an ideal.
  • Democracy will not allow Genocide.
  • In an emergency where there is anarchy even a democracy may become a dictatorship.

The border clash between Armenia and Azerbaijan reminds the world about the Armenian Genocide which occurred in 1915.  The Genocide was a systematic mass murder of 1.5 million ethnic Armenians by the Ottoman authorities after they were defeated in World War I.  The awareness of modern civilization about the dangers of Genocide were awakened in World War II by the holocaust where 6 million Jews were brutally killed in German Concentration camps. The memory of the holocaust has great meaning to instill in the world a desire to prevent genocide in the future.

The Armenian Genocide occurred in 1915 after World War I when in the end of the Ottoman Empire were killed or displaced over 1.5 million Armenian Christians.

The democratic world continues to try to prevent genocide but there are still places in the world which are not connected to democracy and allow genocide. Assad of Syria has committed war crimes defending his regime against the Syrian rebels. He has gassed his own people with Sarin and makes airstrikes and bombardments in rebel controlled territories killing innocent civilians. Syrian refugees number 3 million in neighboring countries and the UN has identified 13.5 million as displaced persons, requiring humanitarian assistance.

The Chinese Communist Party is imposing brutal population control campaign on Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities. Thousands of women of these minorities have been forced to sterilize. The government police make door to door inspections in these minority communities to locate illegal pregnancies and children. Communist totalitarianism has killed over 100 million people in gaining power. In 1999 in China was the persecution of Falon Gong as part of an antireligious campaign. Hundreds of thousands even millions of Falon Gong practioners were detained in prison camps for refusing to renounce their spiritual practice.  The Falon Gong massacre was considered by many to be considered a genocide.

Genocide was committed during the Middle Ages by the Byzantine Empire in their campaign called the Crusades and in the Spanish Inquisition. Genocide goes even further back to Biblical times in the formation of the Biblical State of Israel. Genocide was even committed amongst Jews in the battle over the kingship of Israel when King Saul massacred thousands of priests in the city of Nob and their families.  Babylon, Rome, Assyria committed genocide causing the destruction of the two temples in Jerusalem and the slaughter of millions of Jews.

Genocide is defined as mass destruction of racial and national groups. The motive of genocide can be national religious or both. After the holocaust the awareness of the evil of genocide and to prevent genocide has become a world pursuit of democracy. The political ideal of democracy which recognizes and defends human rights is the vessel to end Genocide. America leads the world in the campaign for freedom and today is joined by many other nations in the world. Preventing Genocide and defending human rights is the main vessel for World Unity and Peace.

In China there is persecution of religious sects like these Muslim children.

Genocide was considered permissible when nationalism developed in the world. Nations developed as the world became populated.  Each national movement was devoted to its own cause of nationalism which meant to conquer and settle land on the planet earth.  Each nation then had the job of defending its nation, its people and its borders. Without World Unity each nation was independent to defend its own sovereignty without having to consider life or death of its enemies.

The Holocaust has brought an end to national and religious genocide. Hitler the leader of Nazi Germany attempted to spread his fascist regime to the whole world. Hitler was defeated after died over 40 million people in World War II. Communism remained after fell Fascist Germany and continued to abuse human rights and committed genocide in the name of Communist idealism. The USSR fell in 1991 which gave strength to democracy and opposition to Genocide.

The Middle East conflict between Palestinians and Jews continues to remind the world of the dangers of genocide. The State of Israel was established after World War II as a democratic nation. Although Israel is a democratic nation, it is born from a history of a nation the Biblical Nation of Israel which committed genocide. Islam has also a religious idealism which encourages genocide. This makes the solution of the conflict in the Middle East between Israel and its neighbors more difficult. Iran preaches destruction of Israel which will result in genocide. Extreme militant factions amongst the Palestinians also preach destruction of the Jewish State.

Democracy has been born out of frustration of civilization recognizing the atrocities of genocide which were committed in the past. Genocide was committed in the name of nationalism, religion or both. The ideal of democracy replaces the idealism which permits genocide. When nations will unite together with the cause of democracy, the world may eventually be free of genocide. Today, there are still places in the world which have not accepted democracy so Genocide is still a problem.

Corona has weakened the idealism of America. President Trump and Mike Pompeo continue their campaign to spread freedom the ideal of America. However there is a question if America is behind President Trump. The people have shown a dissatisfaction with the American ideals demonstrating against a strong America causing damage to monuments which represent the American ideal. Trump continues to blame China for the virus even if it came from China to the world unintentionally it has weakened American National Unity. Without National Unity America is crippled to do its important work to stop abuses of human rights and fight against genocide. What China was not able to do to weaken America, Corona has succeeded. The whole world is in a crisis not only America and each nation has to make its own people their first concern. Until the world is united by Democracy, it will be impossible to prevent genocide.

Democracy also has a problem when the people becoming discontent with their government, and peaceful demonstration lead to violent demonstration and anarchy.  At the time of National emergencies, civil war which are a threat to national security, democracies form emergency governments to put down these rebellions or to fight a war.  During World War II, the Japanese were forced by President Franklin Roosevelt relocation and incarceration in concentration camps in the western interior of the country about 120,000 people 62% were US citizens.  World Unity and Peace is a goal of mankind, a world without genocide which may never be possible.

The Universal Faith Baha”i or Progressive Jewish Spirituality where all the three major religions Judaism, Islam and Christianity are united together in prayer is an ideal but it cannot replace religion. In the Universal Faith freedom is united with religion. In religion freedom is suppressed, the Messiah is on the way but has not yet arrived or returned.  In the Universal faith where there is freedom; there is also the Messiah. When there is freedom; there is no longer genocide. When there is anarchy comes the need for an emergency government which is called by rebels’ genocide.

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David Wexelman

Rabbi David Wexelman is the  author of five books on the topics of World Unity and Peace, and Progressive Jewish Spirituality. Rabbi Wexelman is a member of the American Friends of Maccabee, a charitable organization helping the poor in the United States and in Israel.  Donations are tax deductible in the USA.

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