These guilty verdicts were based on provocative reports and editorials that had been published in the early 1990s, before and during the orchestrated mass murder of the Tutsi Rwandan minority by majority Hutus. This was a genocidal campaign that managed to murder, mostly by machete, 800,000 people in ninety days. These defendants, whose rate of killing was much faster than that of the Nazis during the Holocaust, were not convicted of any specific acts of authentic violence, but only of a heinous abuse of language.
What, exactly, has this to do with present-day Israel, the upcoming American election, and the Obama road map? For a long time, certainly for the past dozen years, anti-Jewish and anti-Israel diatribes have been standard fare on Palestinian Authority, Syrian, Egyptian, Saudi Arabian and Hizbullah television. As for the Arab print media, even in “moderate” Jordan the general and unrelenting theme remains that Jewish “infidels” are distinctly less than human; basically degenerate and suitable only for sacrificial (terrorist) killing.
As these media now routinely remind their readers, the murder of Jews, children and infants included, is always a religiously meritorious act. Currently, there is precious little to distinguish the literally blood-curdling anti-Semitic cries of Arab/Iranian television and newspapers from the Nazi propaganda of Der Stuermer, or from recorded Rwandan media exhortations during the frenzied 1994 genocide in that African country.
(Continued Next Week)
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.