web analytics
September 16, 2014 / 21 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Iran’s Unhidden Plan For Genocide: A Legal Assessment (First of Three Parts)

Louis Rene Beres

Louis Rene Beres

Every year Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad instructs the UN General Assembly that Israel is a defiling historical error, a hideous mistake bound to be rectified. Sometimes he goes cheerfully beyond such a narrowly predictive denunciation and proceeds to offer an alleged rationale for Israel’s “disappearance.”

What has yet to be examined, however, in any serious and systematic fashion, is whether the Iranian president has actually been urging genocide, and whether, in aptly defensive response, the Israeli prime minister has a verifiably legal right to strike first.

Under international law, genocide has a very precise jurisprudential meaning. This specific content is most plainly and authoritatively defined at the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. According to this 1948 treaty, which entered into force in 1951, and is also binding upon non-signatory states as customary international law, pertinent violations are not confined to specific enumerated acts “committed with “intent to destroy….” They also include “conspiracy to commit genocide,” and even “incitement to commit genocide.”

Now, in what amounts to a conveniently mobilizing mantra, one which the regime in Tehran repeats incessantly, as if it were a religious incantation, Ahmadinejad speaks of winning a divinely-mandated war against the “Zionist regime.” In law, significantly, war and genocide are not mutually exclusive. Genocide, unlike earlier Nuremberg-defined crimes against humanity, which must take place “before or during the war,” is not linked to belligerency. Rather, it is an egregious crime that can be carried out “in time of peace, or in time of war.”

War can even be the preferred means used to implement genocide. History, especially during the twentieth century, makes this clear. Often, in fact, war has been selected as the optimum core strategy for most efficiently destroying selected populations of despised “subhumans.”

International law is not a suicide pact. No state is ever obliged by contemporary legal rules to passively await an expected infliction of genocide. This principle, peremptory because it is fundamental and overriding, includes those exterminatory belligerencies that conveniently masquerade as war.

Under both codified and customary legal rules, every state ultimately maintains an inherent right to individual or collective self-defense.

In express violation of the 1948 Genocide Convention, President Ahmadinejad’s ongoing calls for Israel’s “disappearance” are not simply sinister cartographic fantasies, they are also determinably genocidal under law. Further, in view of Iran’s corollary unwillingness to abide by its obligations under both the UN Charter and the 1968 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), Ahmadinejad also chooses to willfully disregard the always binding norms of more general international human rights law. These complementary jus cogens violations (the formally correct terminology for peremptory rule-breaking under international law) are enlarged by Iran’s unhidden support of Hizbullah and other major terrorist groups.

Iran is now finalizing its construction of a nuclear weapons capability. Openly, the Tehran regime regards nuclear weapons as an acceptable means to create a world without Zionism. As for any sort of reconciliation with Israel, Iran’s president has triumphantly declared: “Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation’s fury; any Islamic leader who recognizes the Zionist regime means he is acknowledging the surrender and defeat of the Islamic world.”

Let us not be disingenuous. This declaration is not hard to decipher. Israel likely faces a zero-sum game with Iran, a life-or-death contest in which one state’s ultimate victory will require the other’s total defeat. Very soon, therefore, Israel’s leaders will have to make unprecedented final decisions on launching defensive first strikes.

Could such strikes be legal? Is the case for legality strengthened by Iran’s willingness to go beyond aggression to genocide? Does the Genocide Convention address itself to the vital issue of anticipatory self-defense?

To be sure, at less than half the size of a county in California, Israel’s “wiggle room” in such matters of strategic survival is very limited.

Ironically, over the past several years – though Israel has never directly threatened Ahmadinejhad with preemption (that is not the purpose of setting “red lines”) – Tehran has nonetheless extrapolated such a threat from an introspective awareness of its own first-strike intentions. Cleverly, perhaps, knowing Israel has the most to fear from Tehran’s unhindered nuclear program, Iranian leaders now ritualistically complain that it is the “Zionists” who are preparing for aggression.

About the Author: Louis René Beres, strategic and military affairs columnist for The Jewish Press, is professor of Political Science at Purdue University. Educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971), he lectures and publishes widely on international relations and international law and is the author of ten major books in the field. In Israel, Professor Beres was chair of Project Daniel.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Iran’s Unhidden Plan For Genocide: A Legal Assessment (First of Three Parts)”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
A scene from the opera "Death of Klinghoffer." Protests at Lincoln Center start Sept. 22, at 4:30.
Klinghoffer: Pretending Art Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry
Latest Indepth Stories
Donny-Fuchs-medium

Originally scheduled to be held elsewhere, the hotel canceled, pressured by local missionary groups

syria_stratfo

It’s likely that some of the rebel factions, including US clients, have indeed made pacts with ISIS

Phyllis Chesler

Imam Tafsirli of the Harlem Islamic center: “You cannot be a Muslim without believing in Jesus”

Gas Pump

If simple fuel choice were implemented, the power of petroleum and those who sell it would cease.

Value of IS: It enables people to see the place to which all other Islamist fascism is headed.

“When Frank does something he does it well and you don’t have to worry about dotting the i’s or crossing the t’s.”

President Obama: “ISIL is not Islamic. No religion condones the killing of innocents”

he time of the Uman pilgrimage is upon us, and we dare not ignore the opportunity to highlight the danger.

Healing requires that the victim be validated for being harmed and the guilty assume responsibility.

During the war, not once was Hashem’s name mentioned to the nation by Israel’s PM or gov’t officials

How many illegal Arab structures are there in the city? Why are they not being destroyed?

We did not win the war in Gaza because we are still captive to the concept of the 2 state solution.

Trapped in a false notion of power, America will lose the battle in the same way Israel now loses.

It’s a cliché, but nonetheless true that 9/11 changed my life. There is evil in the world. Our grandparents were right.

More Articles from Louis Rene Beres
Louis Rene Beres

President Obama’s core argument on a Middle East peace process is still founded on incorrect assumptions.

Louis Rene Beres

Once upon a time in America, every adult could recite at least some Spenglerian theory of decline.

President Obama’s core argument is still founded on incorrect assumptions.

Specific strategic lessons from the Bar Kokhba rebellion.

Still facing an effectively unhindered nuclear threat from Iran, Israel will soon need to choose between two strategic options.

For states, as for individuals, fear and reality go together naturally.

So much of the struggle between Israel and the Arabs continues to concern space.

An undifferentiated or across-the-board commitment to nuclear ambiguity could prove harmful to Israel’s’s overall security.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/louis-bene-beres/irans-unhidden-plan-for-genocide-a-legal-assessment-first-of-three-parts/2013/03/20/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: