Sunday, December 30, 2007

Antisemitism, and Alternative History - Part III

3rd of 3 parts

Weapons in the War against the Jews

Anti-Semitism targets the Jews as a group for physical extermination

By Moshe Sharon


Ahmadinejad dreams of genocide and the reaction of the "guardians" of human rights

The most recent pronouncements of vicious, blatent antisemitism and the call for genocide against Israel and its Jewish people has been issued by Mahmud Ahmadinejad the Iranian president. He has not missed any occasion to call for the annihilation of the Jewish state and makes no secret of his intention that when Iran succeeds in acquiring nuclear weapons it will use them to get rid of Israel and the Jews in it. This would be instant genocide: No need for Nazi-style concentration camps or crematoriums (which Ahmadinejad denies).

But as much as the intentions of the the Iranians president are alarming, no less frightening is the reaction of those who represent all the "guardians" of human rights in the United Nations, who, according to its own decisions, should at least have ostracized the head of a member state who calls for the annihilation of another state and denies the Holocaust.

On September 14, 2006, the "Holocaust and the United Nations" outreach program organized a round table discussion under the theme, "Remembrance and Beyond: The United Nations and the Response to Genocide" at the UN Headquarters in New York. The Iranian president's call for a new Jewish Holocaust, while denying the Nazi holocaust, was one of the main items of the discussion. A question was directed to all the panelists about the attitude that should be taken towards the Iranian intentions particularly in view of the fact that nuclear weapons were involved.

Dr. David Hamburg, Chair of the Secretary-General's Advisory Committee on Genocide Prevention, was the only panelist willing to answer. "The matter is very serious," he said. "The president of Iran has repeatedly and explicitly called for genocide against Israel. Since Hitler, said Dr. Hamburg, it was hard to think of someone who so repeatedly and explicitly called for genocide. Ahmadinejad is determined to get nuclear weapons. Here is a man calling for genocide—repeatedly and explicitly against one group—with nuclear weapons. Ordinarily we don't discuss these two issues in the same basket. But now we have the possibility of instant genocide. Even if Israel has its own nuclear weapons, this would be of little use if the president of Iran believes in martyrdom. Given this conjunction -- the explicit call for genocide and nuclear weapons, this matter has to be seriously discussed."

But Dr Hamburg was not joined by the others on the panel. Moreover, Craig Mokhiber, the New York representative of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights held back from specifically condemning Ahmadinejad's incitement to genocide and his denial of Holocaust—despite questions from the moderator and from a member of the audience—but he finished the event by implicitly equating Iran and Sudan with Israel and the United States. At the end, as the last speaker he found his chance to strike back against what he called "partisan or parochial arguments" about human rights violations concerning "my people" or "those people." The international human rights movement, Mokhiber lectured the audience, was above all that.

He then began to expound, sharing his deep human rights sensibilities with the world. "If you think that a state is a good guy, you're making a mistake. With all due respect, there are 192 states in the UN system that have serious human rights problems. And if you're taking the position of one state as against another, or one state as against a certain group of peoples and trying to make arguments about what's important…we're missing the point altogether." In other words, all countries are the same -- those who incite genocide are the same as the targets of that incitement. Those who practice genocide are the same as those who are the leading voices in seeking to prevent it.

In case his audience missed it, Mokhiber now showed his ability to get very specific if and when he so desired. (Previously during the discussion he refused to go into details and even claimed, once, that he did not understand a certain question that could not have been clearer). Individuals should be protected from crimes carried out by all states, Mokhiber said, but as specific examples, cited only four: "the government of Sudan or the government of Iran, or the government of Israel or the government of the United States."

Iran is the same as Israel, Sudan the same as the United States! The New York representative of High Commissioner of Human Rights, Louise Arbour, not only refuses to condemn President Ahmadinejad, but insists that the world's leading anti-Semite is no different than the objects of his hatred.

This is the one of most modern examples of revised and alternative history in the making. (Based on see full video report in

Moshe Sharon

Professor (Emeritus) of Islamic History and Civilization

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

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