Ethnic cleansing

Ethnic cleansing is the systematic forced removal of ethnic, racial, and religious groups from a given area, with the intent of making a region ethnically homogeneous. Along with direct removal, extermination, deportation or population transfer, it also includes indirect methods aimed at forced migration by coercing the victim group to flee and preventing its return, such as murder, rape, and property destruction.[2][3][4] It constitutes a crime against humanity and may also fall under the Genocide Convention, even as ethnic cleansing has no legal definition under international criminal law.[2][5][6]

Refugees at Taurus Pass during the Armenian genocide. The Ottoman government aimed to reduce the number of Armenians to below 5–10% of the population in any part of the empire, which necessarily entailed the elimination of a million Armenians.[1]

Many instances of ethnic cleansing have occurred throughout history; the term was first used by the perpetrators as a euphemism during the Yugoslav Wars in the 1990s. Professor Ilan Pappé developed it to make sense of the Palestinian Nakba. In his book the Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, Pappé provides a clear description of the expulsion of more than 700.000 Palestinians from their lands and homes and the destruction of the Palestinian society by the Israeli settler regime. His book also explains the mystery of denying the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the erasure of this crime from the global public memory. Despite its euphemistic character and its origin in the language of the perpetrators, 'ethnic cleansing' is now the widely accepted scholarly term used to describe the systematic and violent removal of undesired ethnic groups from a given territory.}}

Since then, the term has gained widespread acceptance due to journalism and the media's heightened use of the term in its generic meaning.[7]

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