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A. Dirk Moses (Frank Porter Graham Distinguished Professor of Global Human Rights History at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is the author and editor of books and essays on genocide and intellectual history, and is senior editor of the Journal of Genocide Research)
Genocide scholar Dirk Moses (Frank Porter Graham Distinguished Professor of Global Human Rights at the University of North Carolina), outlined the case for why genocide is a problematic concept in international law. The term began to trouble him as an Australian who pondered whether to define the victimization of its indigenous population as genocide but found the concept too narrow to fit the crimes of its colonial government. Given the Holocaust as the paradigmatic case, very few events actually meet the genocidal standard despite many episodes of civilian destruction on a mass scale. To illustrate the point, Moses highlighted the fate of a Yemeni family killed by a Saudi missile attack. According to legal rationales, the members of this Yemeni family were collateral damage of a military objective and not genocide victims because the intent was to defeat rather than to destroy their community.