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The Return By: P. David Hornik
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, September 18, 2008


Incitement to genocide is doing well these days. On Monday, September 22, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will be arriving to address the UN General Assembly for the third time. At least this time he won’t be an honored guest of Columbia University as well.

Since his last address to the world body, a year ago on September 24, Ahmadinejad has been adding to his genre—not only referring to Israel last May 8 as a “stinking corpse” that “should be wiped off the face of the earth” as Sarah Palin has noted. Six days later, for instance, on Israel’s 60th birthday, he said on Iranian state television that “The Zionist regime is dying. The criminals assume that by holding celebrations...they can save the sinister Zionist regime from death and annihilation…. Nations of the region hate this criminal fabricated regime and will uproot this fabricated regime if the smallest and briefest opportunity is given to them.”

Another example occurred just last August 20 when Ahmadinejad called Israel a “germ of corruption” that will be “removed soon” on his presidential website. The “penalty” for these statements, which lawyers and diplomats have called illegal under the UN’s own Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide? Another invitation to the General Assembly; business as usual; treatment as a respected world statesman.

Not everyone, though, is passively accepting the outrage. On September 23, the day after Ahmadinejad’s speech, several groups will be holding a protest conference in Washington. They include Genocide Watch, the International Association of Genocide Scholars, Yale University’s Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

Among the speakers will be U.S. diplomat Richard Holbrooke, Canadian MP and former justice minister and attorney-general Irwin Cotler, and Israeli former UN ambassador Dore Gold, as well as officials who have dealt with the atrocities in Bosnia, Rwanda, and Darfur. The conference will be called “State-Sanctioned Incitement to Genocide: What Can Be Done?” and will be viewable live at the Middle East Strategic Information website.

From the standpoint of Israel, the target of Ahmadinejad’s threats, another piece of relatively good news is the Bush administration’s decision to sell Israel bunker-busting bombs—which seems to contradict earlier reports that the administration had turned cool to the idea of a possible Israeli strike on Iran and was working to prevent it. The 1,000 GBU-39 smart bombs can penetrate underground bunkers and are the sort of thing Israel would need to hit Iran’s nuclear facilities. Each bomb weighs 113 kg but has the force of a 900-kg bomb, and their small size means an aircraft can carry more of them and use more of them in a sortie.

Meanwhile in a seminar on the global nuclear threat held Monday in Brussels, organized by the European Jewish Congress and the Interdisciplinary Center (Herzliya, Israel), a panel of experts on proliferation stated that “Only military action can stop Iran, or else Iran will acquire nuclear weapons to the great detriment of regional and even global stability.” They included Ian Anthony of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Alfred Pijpers of the Netherlands Institute of International Relations, and Uzi Arad of the Interdisciplinary Center.

In its closing statement the panel said that “the Iranian crisis has worsened to the degree that it may now be irresolvable.” They also said the situation regarding nuclear terrorism has worsened in all regards, that there is a real danger of terrorists obtaining nuclear weapons, and that the instability in Pakistan and potential instability in North Korea are linked to the peril.

“Hezbollah is an obvious worry,” they added, “especially with the recent news that Hezbollah groups have cells in North America and in the heart of Europe.”

Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, “deplored the fact that some 10,000 companies in Europe are still collaborating with Iran on the development of its gas and oil industry” and “estimated this industry to have a turnover of approximately $100 billion dollars,” adding that “The collaboration continues and even big European Union countries cannot stop their business community from investing in Iran’s proliferation process.”

One doesn’t have to be too subtle to see a connection between that and the fact that Ahmadinejad has so far got off scot-free and will once again be addressing a body established in the wake of World War II to promote international peace. In such a world, it’s a good thing Israel’s getting the bunker-busters.


P. David Hornik is a freelance writer and translator living in Beersheva. He blogs at http://pdavidhornik.typepad.com/. He can be reached at pdavidh2001@yahoo.com.


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