Friday, September 19, 2008

Christian Group: Indict Ahmadinejad for Threatening a Holocaust.

by Ze'ev Ben-Yechiel


As Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad plans to speak in the opening of the United Nations General Assembly in New York next week, a major international evangelical Christian group based in Jerusalem plans to send a petition to the U.N. Secretary-General calling for the arrest and indictment of Iran’s president on charges of incitement to genocide against Israel. The petition from the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem (I.C.E.J.) has gathered signatures from tens of thousands of Christians around the world, as the group joins the chorus of prominent voices from many countries demanding that Iran’s president be brought to justice.

“We feel a profound and telling moral duty to speak out against the growing Iranian nuclear threat to Israel,” said David Parsons, media director for the I.C.E.J.

"The silence of most Christian clergy in the face of Germany's horrific bid to annihilate European Jewry left a deep stain on the churches,” said the I.C.E.J.’s executive director, Rev. Malcom Hedding. “Yet from it has arisen a sense among multitudes of Christians today that we have an inescapable moral duty to earnestly speak out whenever another genocidal campaign threatens the Jewish people.

"Unfortunately, we are concerned that just such a genocidal campaign is taking shape in the form of Iran's repeated threats to eliminate the Jewish state, and its quest for nuclear means to carry out these threats," said Hedding.

'Hold Ahmadinejad Legally Accountable for Clear Calls to Genocide'
For several years Ahmadinejad, as president of the Islamic Republic, has repeatedly threatened to “wipe Israel off the map,” and has repeatedly denied the holocaust as a “myth.” Israeli Government officials and American legal experts say that such statements are a clear call to genocide and thus a  violation of the U.N. Charter Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, a treaty drafted by the U.N.’s High Commissioner for Human Rights and approved in 1948 by the General Assembly.

A week ago Israel’s Minister of Pensioner Affairs and former Mossad Agent and Nazi-hunter Rafi Eitan told a German magazine that capturing Ahmadinejad and sending him to the International Criminal Court in The Hague was a distinct possibility.

In 2006, following a Holocaust denial conference in Tehran sponsored by the Iranian government, and prior to Ahmadinejad’s visit to to the United Nations, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations convened to declare a legal battle against the rogue Islamic leader. Among the speakers at the event was Alan Dershowitz, perhaps America’s most well-known attorney, who argued the legal grounds for indicting Ahmadinejad. Since then, numerous Jewish and non-Jewish groups have called for the leader’s indictment. 

At another event, in Toronto, Dershowitz called Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the “Hitler of the 21st century…a dictator who denies one Holocaust in order to bring about another Holocaust.”

The latest shot in the battle has been fired by the I.C.E.J., who plan to deliver their petition, signed by more than 55,000 people in 128 countries, to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the eve of next week’s appearance by Ahmadinejad at the General Assembly. The petition reflects the sentiments of community leaders and government officials around the world, who are outraged that the U.N. has bestowed upon him the honor of addressing the Assembly on its opening, rather than pursuing his indictment for violating the Assembly’s very own charter and treaties.

The petition is called ‘Stop a Nuclear Iran’, and it points out that the Iranian president's statements that Israel should be "wiped off the map" and his denial of the Holocaust violate the U.N. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Particularly disturbing, as the I.C.E.J. points out, is the fact that Ahmadinejad’s Iran is developing the means to carry out its threat to commit genocide against the Jewish State.

Chilling Film Concludes with a Call to Action
A short film,produced by the the I.C.E.J., compares Hitler’s partly successful campaign to wipe out the Jewish nation with that of the Iranian leader.

“It was a crime of genocide, so enormous, so horrific, committed by men so sinister, with so many innocent victims, and so few rescuers, that it has it deserves its own name: the Holocaust,” the narrator begins.

“Nothing compares to the Nazi Holocaust against the Jews. Yet today, an alarming campaign to commit genocide, targets the same Jewish people.

“It is Iran’s call for wiping Israel off the map and its drive for the means to carry it out,” continues the narrator in the film, referring to Iran’s drive for nuclear weapons.

“We should take these threats seriously,” the voice in the film says, as direct quotes from Ahmadinejad’s speeches to cheering crowds appear on the screen:

Israel must be wiped of the map.”

“The elimination of the Zionist regime will be smooth and simple.”

The video shows Iran’s leader delivering a speech full of vituperative attacks on Jews, and the reaction of the crowd as it chants, repeatedly, “Death to Israel” with thousands of fists pumping in the air.

The film continues: “The Iranian president has violated an international treaty on incitement to genocide, yet the United Nations has yet to hold him to account or to take effective action against Iran’s nuclear threat.

As for the Holocaust, says the narrator, “he says it never happened.”

“We say, never again!” proclaims the film.

“Let’s be the rescuers of the day. Let’s stop Iran!” the film exhorts, as it presents a link to the I.C.E.J.  petition.

The petition adds that Ahmadinejad’s campaign “not only endangers Israel, but is also a threat to the peace and security of the world community."

The I.C.E.J.’s Hedding also slammed the leaders of certain Christian groups, among them the Mennonites and the Quakers, who plan to further honor Ahmadinejad by hosting him at a special reception during his visit to the U.S., in which the Christian leaders hope to engage in a “dialogue” with the threatening leader.

"These Christian leaders will forever be associated with the appeasement of wickedness,” said Hedding, bringing to mind the lasting condemnation of Western leaders for appeasing Hitler in the 1930’s.

Hedding explained to his fellow Christians that “Jesus did not talk with Herod because he represented a system that was corrupt and evil."

Rally at U.N. Plaza
David Parsons spoke to INN a day before his departure for a New York rally at the Dag Hammerskjold Plaza in front of the United Nations' world headquarters. He explained that the rally will be led Monday, on the eve of the annual fall opening of the U.N. General Assembly, at which Ahmadinejad will be invited to speak along with the leaders of other member states. The rally, organized by the National Coalition to Stop Iran Now, is sponsored by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, United Jewish Communities, U.J.A.-Federation of New York, and Jewish Council for Public Affairs."

The rally will repeat the message of the petition and demand that the U.N. bring the recalcitrant Iranian leader to justice.

“I think there are lessons we can take from Hitler,” Parsons said. “When someone develops a warped self-awareness, like Hitler had about being the ‘fuhrer’ of the fatherland, and makes threats against the Jews, and then develops the means to carry them out, we should take all this seriously.

“It looks like Ahmadinejad has all three—warped self awareness, threats and the means to carry them out.”

As Parsons discussed the Islamic Republic’s support for its leader's “radioactive rhetoric,” he could only speculate on the “dark religious reasons” of Iran’s Muslim clerics in pushing for nuclear weapons for the country.  Parsons also pointed out that “even [former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi] Rafsanjani, who is considered moderate, was the first to suggest nuking Israel 5-6 years ago.”

Rafsanjani said that Iran has nothing to fear from an Israeli retaliation, since “Israel in return could only hit a few Arab cities” and not Iran, according to Parsons.

“It’s not just a threat to Israel, it’s a threat to the whole world,” said Parsons of the Iranian menace. “So much more could be disrupted,” he explained, by the economic and political shockwave that would follow a physical blast from an Iranian warhead.  

Parsons offered words of warning to his fellow Christians: “The history is that Christian leaders were silent during the Holocaust, and we dare not be silent again in the face of another genocidal threat against the Jewish people.

“We feel a profound and telling moral duty to speak out against the growing Iranian nuclear threat to Israel.”

Ze'ev Ben-Yechiel


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

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