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October 22, 2014 / 28 Tishri, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Arab Iranian’

After Annapolis: Israeli Rights, Arab/Islamic Anti-Semitism And International Law (Conclusion)

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

“This second part of the column by Professor Beres (“After Annapolis: Israeli Rights, Arab/Islamic Anti-Semitism and International Law”) continues his legal examination of Arab/Iranian anti-Semitism, with particular reference to pertinent norms under international law and to recommended strategies for authoritative enforcement of Israel’s fundamental human rights.”

Some years ago, following one of the devastating suicide bombings in which small Jewish children were blown to bits, prominent Palestinian columnist Fahd al-Rimawi – then writing with obvious approval of Nobel Peace laureate Yassir Arafat in Amman’s al-Majd newspaper, gleefully celebrated the monstrous act of terror: “Let us rejoice and applaud the operation with the sweetest of songs and ululations (sic). We greet that act of ingeniousness with the sweetest of chants and we bid farewell to our bold martyrs who have lit the night of Jerusalem…and given luster and meaning to Arab valor…. We will not apologize for the Jewish blood that will be spilt nor denounce the heroic actions of the Mujahideen who represent the soul of this nation and echo the pulse of the masses and the Palestinian people’s conscience….”

While most of the world still chooses to ignore such calls for international crime (the UN’s International Court of Justice at The Hague chose not to rule on the manifest illegality of Palestinian terrorism or Palestinian calls for genocide, preferring instead to consider the legality of Israel’s “fence” that is designed to prevent anti-Israel terror and genocide), international law has an unswerving obligation to act. Expressed by leaders of the major states in world politics, the relevant norms and principles of international law should be invoked in time – before calls for genocide against Israel’s Jews are allowed to become the materialized foreign policy of certain Islamic states and/or terror groups armed with chemical, biological or even nuclear weapons. Lest anyone be overly optimistic, the fusion of genocidal intent with genocidal capacity is now almost within reach of several states anxious to excise the “Jewish cancer” from the Dar al Islam, the world of Islam in the Middle East. Presently, there is a special and continuing urgency regarding Iran, which is making steady progress toward nuclear weapons capacity in spite of intermittent threats of sanctions from the United States and from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In this connection, the Iranian danger has recently been sharply exacerbated by the outrageously false U.S. National Intelligence Estimate (NIE). This Estimate declares, inter alia, that Iran is no longer interested in nuclear weapons. Alas, Israel must surely ask each day: “With friends like these”

Let us return to the “moderate” Palestinian Authority. The PA and its associates are distinctly obligated to refrain from incitement against Israel. Going back even to the legal antecedents of the current peace process, the Interim Agreement (Oslo 2) states, at Article XXII, that Israel and the PA “shall seek to foster mutual understanding and tolerance and shall accordingly abstain from incitement, including hostile propaganda, against each other….” In the Note for the Record, which accompanies the Hebron Protocol of January 15, 1997, the PA reaffirmed its commitment regarding “Preventing Incitement and Hostile Propaganda, as specified in Article XXII of the Interim Agreement.” Similar – if more general – reaffirmations can be found in the conveniently warmed-over Oslo Agreement (here my readers will recognize what I called a “cartography of lunacy” in certain earlier columns) now deceptively called a “Road Map.”

What has not yet been broadly acknowledged is that the Genocide Convention criminalizes not only the various acts of genocide, but also (Article III) conspiracy to commit genocide and direct and public incitement to commit genocide. Articles II, III and IV of the Genocide Convention are fully applicable in all cases of direct and public incitement to commit genocide. For the Convention to be invoked, it is sufficient that any one of the State parties call for a meeting – through the United Nations – of all the State parties (Article VIII). Although this has never been done, the United States should consider very seriously taking this step while there is still time. Israel, too, should be an obvious participant in this call, but it is unlikely that any government in Jerusalem, correctly aware of still-expanding global indifference to Jewish life, will seek formal redress under multilateral conventions. An alternative remedy would involve the issuance of specific criminal indictments for crimes against humanity by Israel’s Justice Ministry to the key Palestinian broadcasters and journalists now engaged in daily anti-Semitic harangues. Said heroic Israeli attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner back in February 2004: “Those who operate Palestinian television and radio stations and the printing presses engaged in hate speech should be arrested along with the other suspected killers.” Amen.

Any public trial before an Israeli tribunal would have grave geopolitical risks, to be sure. For one, as no Arab or Iranian authority could ever be expected to extradite alleged wrongdoers to Israel for trial, it would inevitably be up to Israeli military and police authorities to acquire custody over defendants. This is the case, although such expected Arab/Iranian disregard for Israeli extradition requests would be a manifestly serious violation of international criminal law. Even if an Israeli trial could afford opportunity for a direct evidentiary connection between Palestinian media incitement and Palestinian terrorism, much of the world would be focused instead on the means by which Israel took custody of the inciters. After all, when Israel captured major Nazi war criminal Adolph Eichmann in 1960, more states chose to condemn the abduction than to recall the prisoner’s role as murderer of 1,000,000 Jewish children. With regard to Israel and the Jewish People, there is nothing new under the sun.

The Genocide Convention, the London Charter and the December 2003 ICTR decision on Rwanda are not the only authoritative codifications that should now be invoked against relentless media and leadership calls for the mass killing of Jews. The 1965 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination should also be brought productively into play. This treaty condemns “all propaganda and all organizations which attempt to justify or promote racial hatred and discrimination in any form,” obliging, at Article 4(a) State parties to declare as “an offense punishable by law all dissemination of ideas based on racial superiority or hatred, incitement to racial discrimination, as well as all acts of violence or incitement to such acts against any race or group of persons.”

Article 4(b) affirms that State parties “Shall declare illegal and prohibit organizations, and also organized and all other propaganda activities, which promote and incite racial discrimination, and shall recognize participation in such organizations or activities as an offense punishable by law.” Further authority for curtailing and punishing Palestinian calls for genocidal destruction of Jews can be found at Article 20(2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: “Any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.”

The overriding point of the judgments at Nuremberg was to ensure that all future crimes against humanity be identified, prosecuted and punished. Fully aware of these judgments, the International Criminal Tribunal in Rwanda ruled in December 2003 that “mere words” can contain substantial criminal liability, and may warrant very severe punishments. Understood in terms of ongoing homicidal and genocidal Arab and Iranian calls for violence against Israel, it is essential that every state in the United Nations now be reminded of its binding obligation not to encourage another Holocaust. This is a fully legal obligation, and it must not be taken lightly.

Copyright © The Jewish Press, February 29, 2008. All rights reserved.

LOUIS RENÉ BERES was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971) and is the author of many books and articles dealing with genocide, terrorism, war and international law. Strategic and Military Affairs columnist for THE JEWISH PRESS, he is Professor of International Law at Purdue University.

After Annapolis: Israeli Rights, Arab/Islamic Anti-Semitism And International Law (Part I)

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

The recent Annapolis “peace” conference – and President Bush’s subsequent visit to the Middle East – shows that where Israel is concerned, there is still nothing new under the sun. Once again, fundamental Israeli rights were shamelessly subordinated to the presumed rights of all others, including even of openly Arab defiant terrorists now conveniently disguised as an “Authority.” Once again, it seems, Israel had been called upon to offer land for nothing.

There is another thick layer of irony here. As we all already know, each and every day, the Arab and Iranian media is filled with explicit calls for violence against all Jews. These grotesque entreaties are not “simply” inexcusable on moral grounds. They are also in stark and profound violation of codified and customary peremptory norms of international law. So, we might now inquire, where are the appropriate demands of the “international community” for cessation of invitations to murder?

The answer is clear. There will never be any such demands until Israel first begins to speak up far more forcefully for itself. It is time for Israel’s representatives in all international organizations and forums to remind the world of its own incontestable and settled rights to self-defense. International law is not a suicide pact. Israel is under no obligation to commit national suicide in order to satisfy the voluptuous cravings of systematized Jew-hatred in various portions of the Islamic world. For its part, the United States, finally, should cease prodding Israel toward complicity in its own explosive disappearance. We already well know Jimmy Carter’s base motives in the Middle East, and although George W. Bush may be substantially better intentioned toward Israel, he is nonetheless substantially prone to manipulation by his extraordinarily weak secretary of state.

Back in December 2003, international law dealt with a glaring juridical case of organized hatred involving Rwanda. Here, the particular venue was the International Criminal Tribunal in Rwanda (ICTR). More precisely, three African media executives were found guilty by ICTR of genocide, incitement to commit genocide and crimes against humanity. These guilty verdicts were based upon provocative reports and editorials that had been published in the early 1990s before and during orchestrated mass murder of the Tutsi Rwandan minority by Hutus (a genocide that managed to murder, mostly by machete, 800,000 people in 90 days). Significantly, the defendants were not convicted of any specific acts of violence, but only of a heinous abuse of words.

What, exactly, has all this to do with present-day Israel? For a very long time, certainly for the past eight years, specifically 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 altogether less than human, inherently degenerate and suitable only for sacrificial killing (see my earlier columns in The Jewish Presson terrorism as a form of religious sacrifice). Indeed, as these media now routinely remind all of their readers, the murder of Jews, children and infants included, is always a religiously meritorious act. Currently, there is precious little to distinguish the 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.

Genocide, as my regular readers are already well aware, has always been prohibited by international law. In the words of the Genocide Convention, a binding multilateral treaty that codified post-Nuremberg norms, and which entered into force in 1951, the sorts of murderous acts long advocated by Arab/Iranian leaders and Jihadist terror groups qualify very precisely as genocide. The “moderate” Fatah organization website still calls openly for the “eradication” of Israel. This call echoes earlier genocidal codifications in the still unchanged Palestinian National Charter, in Fatah’s ongoing calls for Inqirad mujtama (the extinction of Israeli society), and in the Charter of Hamas (“There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by Jihad…. I swear by that who holds in His Hands the Soul of Muhammad! I indeed wish to go to war for the sake of Allah! I will assault and kill, assault and kill, assault and kill.”)

Of course, war and genocide need not be mutually exclusive. Arab/Iranian preparations for a Final Solution for “The Jews” are not only for an “unavoidable” war, but also for the extermination of an entire People. Regarding ties with PLO, which still “lives” in a variety of other institutional incarnations, the Hamas Charter says the following: “The PLO is among the closest to the Hamas, for it constitutes a father, a brother, a relative a friend.” On the primacy of hatred toward Judaism, not Israel, the Charter states: “Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish, and of having a Jewish population, defies Islam and the Muslims.”

Under international law, all Arab/Iranian calls for the killing of Jews – whether indirectly in Jihad or directly through mass murder – constitute calls for genocide. Ironically, the national and terror group authorities that issue such calls are widely recognized by the “international community” as official emissaries of “peace.” It is time now for this international community to acknowledge that the same individuals who call for commission of the world’s most egregious crime cannot possibly be a proper source of partnership and reconciliation with Israel. At the same time, it is unlikely that such an acknowledgment will arise anywhere in Europe, where the view is now widespread that Israel – a state less than half the size of Lake Michigan – is the world’s second most dangerous country. In this view, the most dangerous, of course, is the United States.

As ruled explicitly by the ICTR, media and government calls for genocide are an egregious offense, and fully punishable under international law. Arab/Iranian media and pertinent leadership elites do not have protected speech in their calling for the mass murder of Jews. In the precise language of the ICTR’s 350-page decision, governments and authorities have a distinct obligation to restrict speech that advocates “national, racial or religious hatred, that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence.” This language, of course, is derivative from already-existing codifications of international criminal law, especially the Genocide Convention, the earlier London Charter of August 1945, which defined and criminalized crimes against humanity, and a number of other authoritative sources that will be discussed next week, in Part II of this column.

Copyright © The Jewish Press, February 22, 2008. All Rights reserved.

LOUIS RENÉ BERES was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971) and is the author of many books and articles dealing with genocide, terrorism, war and international law. Strategic and Military Affairs columnist for The Jewish Press, he is Professor of International Law at Purdue University.

What Islamic ‘Sacrifice’ Means To Israel (Part Two of Two)

Wednesday, December 29th, 2004

Ayatollah Khomeini, in the foreword to his book on Islamic government, offered remarks which are today still taken as the dominant and incontestable orthodoxy in Iran: “The Islamic Movement was afflicted by the Jews from its very beginnings, when they began their hostile activity….”

Continuing on “The Zionist Problem” in Al-Ahram, Dr. Yahya al-Rakhawi writes: “… we are all, once again, face to face with the Jewish Problem, not just the Zionist Problem. We must reassess all those studies which make a distinction between ‘The Jew’ and ‘The Israeli’…. and we must redefine the meaning of the word ‘Jew’ so that we do not imagine that we are speaking of a divinely revealed religion or a minority persecuted by mankind.”

Al- Rakhawi concludes: “…we cannot help but see before us the figure of the great man Hitler, may G-d have mercy on him, who was the wisest of those who confronted this problem… and who, out of compassion for humanity, tried to exterminate every Jew, but despaired of curing this cancerous growth on the body of mankind.”

It is with such rabid views in the mind of its many enemies that Israel faces a real threat of unconventional war and unconventional terrorism. This threat is enlarged, substantially, by evidence of Arab and Iranian “sacrificers.” Israel is faced with adversaries who are not only willing to die, but who actively seek their own deaths, because this death is presumed to yield personal immortality. Israel must now understand the critical tactical and strategic limits of deterrence. In the final analysis, as Israel’s policies of deterrence are contingent upon assumptions of rationality in world politics, these policies will be immobilized by self-sacrificing enemies.

The danger to Israel lies at two discrete but interrelated levels. First, it exists at the level of the individual human beings who choose martyrdom through a path of terrorism. Second, it exists at the level of states, the individual self-sacrificers in macrocosm, which may someday soon choose collective self-sacrifice through initiation of chemical, biological or even nuclear war against the Jewish state. Such a war would be fought not for traditional military purposes, but for “liquidation of the Jews.” Jurisprudentially, it would represent the unholiest of marriages between aggressive war and genocide as crimes under international law.

From the beginning, Israel has been identified as a “cancer” by the Arab world. The following quote from Cairo Radio of April 20, 1963 is still echoed daily in Egypt and throughout the Arab world: “Israel is the cancer, the malignant wound, in the body of Arabism, for which there is no cure but eradication. There is no need to emphasize that the liquidation of Israel and the restoration of plundered Palestine Arab land are at the head of our national objectives.”

Such longstanding Arab/Iranian references to Israel as a “cancer” are far more than a vile metaphor. They are profoundly theological characterizations of an enemy that must ultimately be excised, that is – “liquidated.” Where this unavoidable removal of Jews from “Palestine” would be accomplished by self-sacrifice, possibly even by a nuclear attack, it would be life-affirming for the aggressors. Because the use of unconventional weapons would signify not only self-destruction, but also perpetual deliverance, this exchange would presumably grant the aggressors eternal life. Of course, every Islamic government and movement would deny such eschatological thinking up front, but it operates nonetheless.

The root problem here is Arab/Iranian death fear and the consequent compulsion to sacrifice despised “others.” This compulsion, in turn, stems from a widespread and doctrinal belief that killing Jews, and being killed by Jews, is simultaneously a path away from cowardice and toward immortality. The pertinent Arab/Iranian unwillingness to accept personal death leads, then, to the killing of others to escape this death. The ironies are staggering, but the connections persist. For Israel, they must now be examined with great care.

Citing a well-known “hadith” (an Arabic term which refers to the oral tradition attributed to the prophet Mohammed), King Sa’ud once informed a British visitor to his court: “Verily, the word of G-d teaches us, and we implicitly believe it, that for a Muslim to kill a Jew, or for him to be killed by a Jew, ensures him an immediate entry into Heaven and into the august presence of G-d Almighty.” This doctrinal premise is very widely accepted by Israel’s Islamic state and nonstate enemies.

Significantly, although not well-known, is that Ibn Sa’ud’s remarkable hatred for the Jews paralleled the Christian core of anti-Semitism: “Our hatred for the Jews dates from G-d’s condemnation of them for their persecution and rejection of Isa (Jesus), and their subsequent rejection of His chosen Prophet.” In other words, Islamic hatred of Jews, which leads doctrinally to obligatory killing of Jews, is also tied to Jewish “interference” with promises of immortality.

For so many of Israel’s enemies, killing Jews is the optimal immunization against death. The death fear of the enemy “ego” is lessened by the killing, the sacrifice, of the Jew. Generically, this idea has been captured by Ernest Becker’s paraphrase of Elias Canetti: “Each organism raises its head over a field of corpses, smiles into the sun, and declares life good.”

The enemy of Israel that commits itself to mass butchery of Jews will not intend to do evil. On the contrary, this enemy will commit itself to meting out death for the sake of life, prodding the killing of Jews with utter conviction and purity of heart. A sanctified killer, this enemy will generate an incessant search for Jewish victims. Though mired in blood, the search will be tranquil and self-assured, born of the knowledge that its perpetrators are neither infamous not shameful, but sacrificial and heroic.

Let Israel take heed now, before it is too late.

LOUIS RENE BERES was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971) and publishes widely on world politics and international law. He is Strategic and Military Affairs columnist for The Jewish Press in New York City.

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