Iran’s Incitement To Genocide Is A Crime

The fabled Natan Sharansky says Iran is committing a “punishable offense” under Article III of the Genocide convention.

Sharansky fought the Soviets from the inside, enduring lengthy imprisonment. He escaped when the USSR collapsed, and we owe to him our understanding of how fear states work. After many years as an Israeli minister, he’s now chairman of the Institute for Strategic Studies at the Shalem Center.

Although I suspect he sees war as inevitable, he’s still suggesting ways in which that might be avoided, starting with a diagnosis of:

…the quantum leap anti-Semitism itself has taken. It has leapfrogged from isolated attacks against Jews to incitement to genocide – the actual elimination of the Jewish state.

This shift has come in the form of a pincer movement. On one side, we have the Iranian regime, which is denying the Holocaust and calling for Israel to be “wiped off the map” while racing to develop the physical means of doing so. On the other side, we have what is, in effect, international silence in response, coupled with growing willingness to discuss Israel’s existence as a mistake, an anachronism, or a provocation.

We must recognize the fact that though sympathy for Iran’s expressed goal of Israel’s destruction is hardly mainstream, the idea of a world without Israel is more acceptable in polite company, the media and academia today than Hitler’s expressed goal of a Europe without Jews was in 1939.

One of his suggestions is:

…every country that is party to the Genocide Convention should be called upon to fulfill its obligation under that treaty and seek an indictment of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the charge of incitement to genocide, which is a “punishable offense” under Article III of that treaty.

The Genocide Convention has teeth – it was used to convict some of the Rwandan leaders of genocide. So our pols should heed Sharnsky’s call – putting the Mullahs in jail has to be vastly preferable to the deaths of hundreds of millions in an existential war.


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