“But how can anyone weigh the costs and benefits of incommensurable goods like lives and military advantage? In practice, militaries like those of the U.S. and Israel follow procedures that are supposed to anticipate damage in advance and try to keep it within reason. This effort captures Michael Walzer’s observation that it is not enough to not intend to target civilians; one must also intend not to target them—by making efforts to avoid their death…. Determining whether a given act of violence constitutes genocide… turns on the intent of the actor: Was it meant to destroy a group, in whole or in part?… Israel has declared the war objective of eliminating Hamas, which is a military-political organization, not a whole people…. As for Hamas, its 1988 charter called for the liberation of Palestine and for Muslim sovereignty over the entire land… and does not expressly specify the destruction of Israelis in whole or in part.
The upshot is that charges of genocide, made in either direction, likely do not satisfy the legal definition of genocide, certainly not as it would be adjudged by any international tribunal today….”