Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Iranian Leader Lashes Out At Israel—Again

Incitement To Genocide

If there is any doubt of the Iranian leader's malicious and malevolent intentions, these should now be put to rest. In an article ("Ahmadinejad: 'Black stain' of Zionism must be removed") in Ynet News, Dudi Cohen writes of the speech that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivered last Friday denouncing Israel. The Iranian leader said: "The very existence of the Zionist regime is an insult to humanity":
Massive rallies commenced in Tehran and throughout the Islamic Republic to mark al-Quds Day in support of the "Palestinian resistance to the Israeli regime."

Demonstrators waved Palestinian flags and held signs bearing slogans such as "Down with the US" and "Death to Israel" at the rallies the Fars New Agency reported. Hezbollah flags were also waved during the rallies alongside pictures of Iranian leaders Khamenei and Khomeini.

"The Zionist regime is a malignant cancer, if even one cell remains on Palestinian land, the current situation will continue in the future," the president said and warned: "Zionists want to spread."

Ahmadinejad added that al-Quds Day is the day of unity among all human beings to remove the "Zionist black stain" from the human society," Iran's PressTV reported.

“Today, countering the Zionist entity and the fabricated Zionist regime safeguards rights of all human beings, defends human dignity and paves the way to save humankind from arrogance, poverty and misery,” Ahmadinejad said in his address.

He added that "Zionist presence on even one centimeter of Palestinian land was dangerous. That's my personal understanding. Don't blame me later, this is how I see things."
The speech was well reported, yet very few nations other than the United States and France spoke out against it. This itself is troubling. The Iranian people live under a repressive regime and have been acutely and painfully aware of its harshness and inhumanity for more than 30 years. The speech is calculated to focus the Iranian people elsewhere. Some Iranian apologists will say, however, that this speech is mere political rhetoric and bluster; this conjecture, however, is doubtful as it is disingenuous, since this is the latest in a number of similar speeches that the Iranian leader has made over the years.

Without any doubt, this is hate speech and incitement to genoicide, which goes against the provisions of the United Nations Charter: it states that "all members must refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state." The U.N.'s response is captured in the brief and anemic statement of Ban Ki-moon: "The secretary-general is dismayed by the remarks threatening Israel's existence attributed over the last two days to the Supreme Leader and the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran," the U.N. press office said. "The secretary-general condemns these offensive and inflammatory statements."

Yet there is more that can be done; there are provision within the U.N. Charter and in international law that Israel can exercise and which can be endorsed by the international community of nations, notably the G8 and G20 members, to make it legally clear that such language of incitement to genocide must not continue unabated [prohibited under the U.N.'s Genocide Convention; article III (1948)]; the Iranian leader must be held accountable. The sooner the better for humanity's sake.

An example of such an outstanding legal effort is the "Responsibility to Prevent Petition," a coalition chaired by MP Prof. Irwin Cotler of Canada. The Coalition includes some 100 leading scholars, jurists, former government leaders, parliamentarians and Iranian activists who have endorsed a 200-page International Report. As the son of a Holocaust survivor, I am painfully reminded of the past: The international community cannot repeat the mistakes of 1938.

You can read the rest of the article, including an open letter to President Shimon Peres at [Jerusalem Post]