Holocaust justification consists of “explaining” that the Jews caused their enemies’ anti-Semitism and therefore were responsible for their own later destruction. The first part of this argument was prominent outside Nazi circles as well before World War II and occasionally returns nowadays.
Holocaust promotion is the encouragement of genocide against the Jews or against Israel, the Jewish state. Sometimes this is done explicitly by promoting the idea that Jews should be killed. On other occasions it is the logical outcome of proposed policies. Holocaust promotion typically results from perverse “ideological” positions. In the decades after World War II, the encouragement of the continuing murder of Jews came mainly from old Nazis, neo-Nazis, and some parts of the Muslim world. Holocaust promotion, however, remained a marginal phenomenon in the postwar period of the twentieth century.
Campaigning for the mass murder of Jews is often done without specific reference to the Holocaust. Although most current Holocaust promotion focuses on the destruction of Israel, it also at times aims at Jews elsewhere. Sometimes the perpetrators refer to Hitler or the Germans as having failed to complete the extermination of the Jews and say their activities should be continued. One prominent variant of Holocaust promotion is propagating the view that the Jewish state is illegal and has no right to exist. The only possible way of achieving its elimination is by genocide and mass murder, though this is rarely stated explicitly.
The Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the first head of state since World War II who regularly calls for actions that are tantamount to incitement of genocide. As such he is the prime contemporary example of a Holocaust promoter. His appeals of the last few years for the elimination of Israel-which is equivalent to mass murder-were preceded by those of Ayatollah Khomeini and several other Iranian leaders. Ahmadinejad has greatly increased the intensity of such calls.
Holocaust justification consists of “explaining” that the Jews caused their enemies’ anti-Semitism and therefore were responsible for their own later destruction. The first part of this argument was prominent outside Nazi circles as well before World War II and occasionally returns nowadays.
The historian Deborah Lipstadt says that
The first generation of post-war deniers…. justified Nazi anti-Semitism by asserting that the Jews were responsible for their own suffering, since they had caused Germany’s financial and political problems. Later deniers abandoned this line of argument, because they felt it undermined whatever credibility they had.1
The historian Sergio Minerbi mentions that the postwar German historian Ernst Nolte claimed that “the reason for the persecution of the Jews was the provocative declarations made by the Jews themselves.”
This is certainly not a new expedient-making the victim the guilty party is a well-known defamatory strategy. Nolte quotes the letter written by Chaim Weizmann in the British press in September 1939, in which he declared that in case of a future military conflict, the Jews would side with the democracies against Nazi Germany. Such an intention by a man, who did not even represent the majority of the Jews, seems sufficient to Nolte in order to justify the mass massacres committed in the second half of 1941 in occupied territories taken from the Soviet Union.
This is a baseless assertion. Not only was Weizmann a king without a kingdom at the time and could not commit all of the Jews, but he could not have any right to a war declaration, contrary to what Nolte writes.
Minerbi also notes that “the persecution of the Jews in Germany had commenced well before 1939.”2
A Variety of Postwar Hitler Supporters
Reporting on the 1961 Eichmann trial, the political theorist Hannah Arendt wrote:
The newspapers in Damascus and Beirut, in Cairo and Jordan did not conceal either their sympathy for Eichmann nor their regret that he “did not finish the job”; a radio broadcast from Cairo on the opening day of the trial even included a little sideswipe at the Germans, reproaching them for the fact that “in the last war, no German plane had flown over and bombed a Jewish settlement.”3
Since World War II some political leaders and others have expressed their sympathy for Hitler. On 11 September 1972, Ugandan president Idi Amin sent a telegram to UN secretary-general Kurt Waldheim in which he applauded the massacre of the Israeli Olympic athletes in Munich. Amin wrote that Germany was the most appropriate locale for this because it was where Hitler burned more than six million Jews. “It happened because Hitler and all of the German people knew that the Israelis are not a people who work for humanity and because of that they burned them alive and killed them with gas on the soil of Germany.”4
David Ahenakew, an aboriginal leader in Canada said in 2002 that “Jews were a ‘disease’ and that Adolf Hitler was trying to ‘clean up the world’ when he ‘fried’ 6 million of the ‘guys’ during World War II.” Initially Ahenakew was convicted of promoting hatred against an identifiable group, and had to pay a fine. He apologized but was stripped of the Order of Canada. The Saskatchewan court of appeals overturned the conviction, ruling that while the remarks about Jews were “shocking, brutal and hurtful,” they were not illegal.5
There are also those who think the Nazi government was a good one. In addition, there are moral relativists who argue that the Nazi government had its good sides. A 2001 poll of Germans aged fourteen to sixteen in former East Germany found that 15 percent thought the Nazi regime had been a good idea and 62 percent thought it “wasn’t all bad.” In a poll conducted by the Forsa Agency among 1,106 Germans in the 14-25 age group in 2001, 47 percent in former East Germany and 35 percent in former West Germany thought Nazism had its good points.6
In this cultural environment neo-Nazism is on the rise. The German Interior Ministry reported that in the first ten months of 2008, there were about twelve thousand incidents-the great majority not against Jews-by far-Right offenders, a 30 percent increase over the same period in 2007. Many believe that only a part of these hate-related offenses are recorded. A study found that in former East Germany prejudice against foreigners is over 30 percent, while in former West Germany it is 20 percent.7
Holocaust promotion is the encouragement of genocide against the Jews or against Israel, the Jewish state. Sometimes this is done explicitly by promoting the idea that Jews should be killed. On other occasions it is the logical outcome of proposed policies. Holocaust promotion typically results from perverse “ideological” positions.
Campaigning for the mass murder of Jews is often done without specific reference to the Holocaust. Although most current Holocaust promotion focuses on the destruction of Israel, it also sometimes aims at Jews elsewhere. At times the perpetrators refer to Hitler or the Germans as having failed to complete the extermination of the Jews and say their activities should be continued. One prominent variant of Holocaust promotion is propagating the view that the Jewish state is illegal and has no right to exist. The only possible way of achieving its elimination is by genocide and mass murder, though this is often not stated explicitly. In this context the perpetrators rarely use the word Holocaust.
In the decades after World War II, the encouragement of the continuing murder of Jews came mainly from old Nazis, neo-Nazis, and some parts of the Muslim world. Holocaust promotion, however, remained a marginal phenomenon in the postwar period of the twentieth century.
Nowadays calling for the murder of Jews has become more commonplace. An example was San Francisco State University in 2002. Prof. Laurie Zoloth wrote an email about the violent threats there that was widely circulated on the Internet. It mentioned a meeting organized by the Jewish student organization Hillel after which about fifty participants remained for afternoon prayers. Thereafter “counter demonstrators poured into the plaza, screaming at the Jews ‘Get out or we will kill you’ and ‘Hitler did not finish the job.'”8
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Calls for Genocide
The Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the first head of state since World War II who regularly calls for actions that are tantamount to genocide. As such he is the prime contemporary example of a Holocaust promoter. His appeals of the last few years for the elimination of Israel-which is equivalent to mass murder-were preceded by those of Ayatollah Khomeini and several other Iranian leaders.
Ahmadinejad has greatly increased the intensity of such calls. On 26 October 2005, he addressed the “World without Zionism” conference-which preceded the annual Al-Quds (Jerusalem) Day established by Ayatollah Khomeini-at the Interior Ministry in Teheran stating:
Imam [Khomeini] said: “This regime that is occupying Quds [Jerusalem] must be eliminated from the pages of history.” This sentence is very wise…. Today, [Israel] seeks, satanically and deceitfully, to gain control of the front of war…. If someone is under the pressure of hegemonic power [i.e., the West] and understands that something is wrong, or he is naïve, or he is an egotist and his hedonism leads him to recognize the Zionist regime, he should know that he will burn in the fire of the Islamic Ummah [nation]…. Oh dear people, look at this global arena. By whom are we confronted? We must understand the depth of the disgrace imposed on us by the enemy, until our holy hatred expands continuously and strikes like a wave.9
Other speakers at the event were terrorist leaders Hassan Nasrallah of Hizballah in Lebanon and Khaled Mash’al of Hamas, who lives in Syria. Before his statement, Ahmadinejad told the hundreds of students present to shout the slogan “Death to Israel.”10
On 28 October of that year, as is usual on the fourth Friday of the month of Ramadan, the annual Al-Quds Day demonstrations took place in Teheran, with Ahmadinejad’s participation. He rejected the West’s condemnations and repeated his words against Israel. State television showed him surrounded by demonstrators with signs saying “Death to Israel, Death to America.”11
The Iranian president has repeated his genocidal statements many times since. At the December 2006 Holocaust Conference in Teheran, Ahmadinejad said: “Just as the Soviet Union was wiped out and today does not exist, so will the Zionist regime soon be wiped out.”12
Other Iranian Leaders
With his calls for murder, Ahmadinejad followed in the footsteps of previous Iranian leaders including former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who held office from 1989 till 1997. He had said in 2002: “If one day…the world of Islam comes to possess the weapons currently in Israel’s possession [i.e., nuclear weapons]-on that day this method of global arrogance would come to a dead end. This…is because the use of a nuclear bomb in Israel will leave nothing on the ground, whereas it will only damage the world of Islam.”13 In 2000, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Muslim worshippers in Teheran, referring to Israel: “We have repeatedly said that the cancerous tumor of a state should be removed from the region.”14
Ahmadinejad’s genocidal remarks have drawn far more attention than those of his predecessors. One explanation may be that his statements are made more frequently. Also the statements of previous Iranian presidents had been much less watched in the West. Another factor is that-due to September 11 and terrorism-there is more sensitivity in the West to many problematic aspects of the world of Islam than there was ten years ago. Moreover, Ahmadinejad’s reiteration of his genocidal statements combined with the strong impression that Iran is on the way to develop nuclear weapons leads Westerners to observe his actions and statements.
Not only key Iranian leaders but also many lower-level officials call for genocide. For example, in June 2002, Iran held the “International Conference on Imam Khomeini and Support for Palestine,” in which Khamenei participated. “The Iranian organizer of the conference, Ali Akbar Mohtashemi-Pur, declared, ‘Israel is a cancerous tumor in the heart of the Muslim world which should be removed,’ and lauded the attacks carried out by Palestinian suicide bombers.”15
The leadership of the Iranian regime has encouraged a culture that stimulates calls for genocide. In fall 2005, Iranian state television broadcast a ten-minute animated film on a children’s program glorifying the actions of a boy who killed himself in a suicide action against Israel, as an example for other children to follow. When carrying out this action, the child shouts: “I place my trust in God. Allah Akbar.”16
Also in 2005, several commentators on Ahmadinejad’s statements noted that “a Shahab-3 ballistic missile (capable of reaching Israel) paraded in Teheran …bore the slogan: ‘Israel Should Be Wiped Off the Map.'”17
Ahmadinejad has not only repeated his genocidal statements many times. He also uses other terminology typical of Nazis. The latter often labeled Jews “vermin”; Ahmadinejad in early 2008 called Israel “a filthy germ.” A few days before he made this comment, a top commander in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards dubbed Israel a “cancerous germ” that would be wiped out by Hizballah.18
Visiting New York and the United Nations
Ahmadinejad has been widely condemned, mainly by Western leaders. Nevertheless he has been well received in many countries. In September 2007, he spoke at the General Assembly of the United Nations notwithstanding that he heads a country that aims to destroy another UN member state. He was even applauded by many present.
During that visit to the United States, Ahmadinejad also spoke at Columbia University, where part of the audience applauded. In his introduction to the event, the university’s president Lee Bollinger severely criticized Ahmadinejad. This does not change the fact that such speaking invitations legitimize a person who should have long ago been brought before an international tribunal.19 However, there is no country that presently intends to do this.
A few days later more than a hundred Christian leaders participated in an interfaith meeting with Ahmadinejad in New York. This gathering was organized by the Mennonite Central Committee. Among its endorsers were Pax Christi USA and the World Council of Churches Commission on International Affairs.20 Little if anything is known about criticism of Ahmadinejad by the Christian participants in this meeting.
Ahmadinejad also attended the Durban 2 review conference in April 2009, which was supposed to deal with the battle against racism. The EU representatives left the room in protest when he spoke. However, the Vatican, Swiss, and Norwegian representatives remained seated. Later Norwegian foreign minister Jonas Gahr Støre publicly criticized Ahmadinejad. Before the conference the Iranian president had been received by Swiss president Hans-Rudolf Merz.
Arab and Muslim Supporters
Ahmadinejad and his followers are driven by an apocalyptic vision of Islam. Hate propaganda, lies, violence, destruction, murder, and even genocide are tools to achieve their aims. Ahmadinejad’s genocidal calls against Israel have deep roots in fundamentalist Iran and many followers among radical Muslims in other countries.
There have been some condemnations of Ahmadinejad’s statements by Muslims, though the most important ones were not very explicit. In 2005, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Narnik Tan said: “It is naturally impossible for us to approve such a statement…. Turkey…believes that regional conflicts can only be solved…through dialogue and peaceful means.”21
Some Muslims supported Ahmadinejad when he made his initial genocidal statements. Farid Ahmad Pracha, a Pakistani parliamentarian, commented: “The words of Mr. Ahmadinejad are the heartfelt wish of all Muslims and are accepted by all Islamic entities around the world; we are in full support of the president and we back him up.”22
On 6 November 2005, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, the armed wing of the Fatah organization, became the first Palestinian group to openly support Iran’s genocidal call. They distributed a leaflet in the Gaza Strip that endorsed the Iranian president’s demand to wipe Israel off the map. It said: “We affirm our support and backing for the positions of the Iranian president toward the Zionist state which, by God’s will, will cease to exist.”23
There are many in the Arab world whose extreme verbal attacks on Israel go hand in hand with similar ones on Jews. This can be illustrated by examples from the Hamas Charter. Its article 7 lays the groundwork for an ideology of genocide:
Hamas has been looking forward to implement Allah’s promise whatever time it might take. The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said:
The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!24
One example of Palestinian calls for a genocidal war against the Jews came in 2004 from Dr. Ahmed Abu Halabiyah, rector of advanced studies at the Islamic University of Gaza. In a Friday sermon on PA TV, the official television of the Palestinian Authority, he said:
The Jews are the Jews…. They do not have any moderates or any advocates of peace. They are all liars. They must be butchered and must be killed…. The Jews are like a spring-as long as you step on it with your foot it doesn’t move. But if you lift your foot from the spring, it hurts you and punishes you…. It is forbidden to have mercy in your hearts for the Jews in any place and in any land, make war on them anywhere that you find yourself. Any place that you meet them, kill them.25
When Israel undertook excavations outside the Temple compound in Jerusalem in 2007, Muslims claimed that it might affect the foundations of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Egyptian parliamentarian Mohammed el-Katatny of President Mubarak’s National Democratic Party said, “Nothing will work with Israel except for a nuclear bomb that wipes it out of existence.”26
In 2007, the Anti-Defamation League criticized the Egyptian Press Syndicate for awarding its top honor to the columnist Ahmed Ragab. Earlier in the year, Ragab had published a column titled “Thanks to Hitler” in the government daily Al- Akhbar, in which he praised Hitler for the murder of six million Jews and said “revenge on them was not enough.”27
Even among Israeli Arabs there is only a small majority who believe Israel has the right to exist as an independent country. A study by the University of Haifa in May 2009 found that 54 percent of Israeli Arabs think so.28
Another indication of widespread criminal inclinations is that Hitler’s Mein Kampf enjoys popularity in many Muslim countries. It has, for instance, become a bestseller in Turkey where it can be bought in some of the largest supermarket chains and bookstores.29
The 2008-2009 Gaza War
Israel’s Gaza war at the end of December 2008 and beginning of 2009 brought Holocaust promotion and inversion into the public square of many Western cities. During anti-Israeli demonstrations there were often shouts of “Death to the Jews” or similar slogans. Several such protests turned violent. Holocaust inversion came to the fore through frequent equations of Israel with Nazi Germany.
After many decades, the slogan “Death to the Jews” returned to German towns, including Berlin. This time it was shouted mainly by Muslims.30 These murderous calls were sometimes accompanied by efforts to remove any sign of Jewish or Israeli identity from the public square. During a pro-Palestinian march in Duisburg, the German police removed two Israeli flags from the balconies of private apartments.31
Norway was the only Western country where a government minister, Finance Minister Kristin Halvorsen, leader of the Socialist Left Party, participated in an anti-Israeli demonstration where shouts of “Death to the Jews” were heard. This was initially largely ignored by the Norwegian media. An Israeli daily, however, published the story, also mentioning that the Israeli embassy had protested.32
In the Swedish town of Norrköping, a former Social Democrat party secretary, Lars Stjernkvist-who had also at one time been a parliamentarian-spoke at a demonstration where there was a Hizballah flag as well as swastikas in the background. A blogger captured this with his camera.33 The local Social Democrat newspaper Folkbladet criticized the blogger for making an issue out of it.34
In Amsterdam, two parliamentarians of the extreme-Left Socialist Party, Harry van Bommel and Sadet Karabulut, joined with other demonstrators in shouting “Intifada, intifada, free Palestine.”35 During that demonstration there were also shouts of “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas.”
More Anti-Semitic Slogans
On 14 January 2009, in the French town of Mulhouse in Alsace, slogans such as “Death to Israel,” “Long Live Palestine,” and “F–k France” were scrawled on the wall of the synagogue.36 In the Turkish capital Ankara, a basketball game between the Turk Telekom and Israeli Bnei Hasharon teams was canceled after Turkish fans stormed the court shouting “Allahu Akbar” and “Death to the Jews.”37
On 30 December 2008, at a busy intersection in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, a few hundred Palestinian supporters demonstrated against Israel. Besides the many inciting and aggressive hate manifestations, there were clear examples of the promotion of a holocaust against the state of Israel. One woman shouted “Nuke, nuke Israel” and also held up a sign with a similar message. Another woman shouted: “Go back to the oven…you need a big oven, that’s what you need.” At the end of the demonstration the participants knelt down on the street for a Muslim prayer.38
Eyewitnesses in various countries say that in some cases shouts of “Death to the Jews,” the burning of Israeli flags, and banners equating Jews with Nazis go unmentioned in the media. For instance, Levi Salomon, a representative of the Berlin Jewish community, has given examples of such deficient reporting.39
A derivative of Holocaust promotion are graffiti of swastikas and other Nazi symbols on Jewish institutions and cemeteries. One example among many: in May 2009 black swastikas were painted on tombstones in the old Sofienberg Jewish cemetery in Oslo. This cemetery had been in use until 1917 and is considered a heritage site.40
Palestinian Extremists and “Moderates”
The Palestinian incitement calling for genocide of the Jews goes back well before World War II. Haj Amin el-Husseini, the prewar mufti of Jerusalem, was the most prominent leader of the Palestinian Arab extremists before the War of Independence and supported Hitler’s actions against the Jews. In the late 1930s, he was financially and militarily assisted by Hitler’s Germany. As Matthias Küntzel put it: “a biography of the Mufti published in 1943 clarified the closeness in world view between National Socialism and Islamism from a German perspective.”41
For a long time the leader of the Palestinian Arab “moderates” was Ragheb bey el-Nashashibi, the mayor of Jerusalem, who also came out in favor of the mass murder of Jews. After the 1929 riots in Mandatory Palestine, the non-Jewish French writer Albert Londres asked him why the Arabs had murdered the old, pious Jews in Hebron and Safed, with whom they had no quarrel.
The mayor answered: “In a way you behave like in a war. You don’t kill what you want. You kill what you find. Next time they will all be killed, young and old.” Later on, Londres spoke again to the mayor and tested him ironically by saying: “You cannot kill all the Jews. There are 150,000 of them.” Nashashibi answered “in a soft voice, ‘Oh no, it’ll take two days.'”42
This reflected a much broader Arab mindset. It was most succinctly put by Azzam Pasha, secretary of the Arab League, who announced during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war: “This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades.”43
Arab Countries a Haven for Nazis
Many Nazis who escaped from defeated Germany found a new home in Arab countries. Alois Brunner, an Austrian Nazi war criminal and assistant to Adolf Eichmann, fled to Syria in the mid-1950s and acted there as a government adviser.
Egypt in particular became a haven for Nazis. There, they continued their anti-Semitic activities. Among them was Johannes von Leers, a Goebbels collaborator, who was brought to Egypt by el-Husseini after World War II. He converted to Islam, changed his name to Omar Amin, and became a political adviser to the Information Bureau of the Egyptian government.44
When in 1953 there was a rumor that Hitler was still alive, Anwar al-Sadat, later president of Egypt, wrote in deference to him: “I congratulate you wholeheartedly…. You can be proud of it that you will be the immortal Führer of Germany. We will not be surprised when we see you rise again or when after you a new Hitler emerges.”45
The historian Joel Fishman shows the important role of Nazi propagandists in transplanting their propaganda themes into the Middle East and particularly into the media war against Israel. He concludes: “If today’s Arab anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish propaganda strongly resembles that of the Third Reich, there is a good reason.”46
Reactions to Holocaust Promotion
Although earlier expressions of Holocaust promotion could often be ignored by the international community, those of Ahmadinejad could not. His de facto calls for genocide necessitated official reactions. These were almost all limited to verbal condemnations by, among others, the United Nations Security Council and the European Union. No concrete measures were taken against Iran or its president.
Among the early private initiatives against Ahmadinejad in the Western world one stands out. In Rome, on 3 November 2005, a torchlight march was held near the Iranian embassy. This protest was initiated by Giuliano Ferrara, editor of the conservative daily Il Foglio. An estimated fifteen to twenty thousand people took part in the demonstration, among them cabinet minister Roberto Calderoli, who said he represented both the government and his Lega Nord party.
Ferrara, when asked why he took an initiative that was unique in the world, replied: “I felt it a political, cultural, and civil duty to organize a protest against Ahmadinejad’s call for genocide. I wanted this demonstration to have a simple goal: to proclaim that we uphold Israel’s right to exist and object to a head of state who denies this.”47
As to the murderous shouts during anti-Israeli demonstrations at the time of the Gaza campaign, in some countries complaints were submitted to antiracism bodies. On 16 February 2008, the CCOJB, the umbrella body of Belgian Jewish organizations, made a formal complaint concerning racism, anti-Semitism, and xenophobia to the Center for Equal Opportunities and the Fight against Racism. The CCOJB made accusations against three of the Wallonian parties-the socialist PS, the Christian CDH, and the Green Ecolo-as well as trade unions and eighty-six NGOs that had organized the demonstration in question.48
In the Netherlands, well-known lawyer Bram Moszkowicz filed a complaint with the attorney-general against the parliamentarians Harry van Bommel and Sadet Karabalut for incitement to hate, discrimination, and violence. He said they were both leaders of the demonstration, where shouts of “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas” could be heard in the background. According to Moszkowicz, since the two parliamentarians did not dissociate themselves from these calls, they should be considered as identifying with them.49 Among the thirty bodies that had sponsored this demonstration were several Muslim organizations.
Using Legal Means
There are certain legal means that can be used against Holocaust promotion. However, courts often do not rule against such supporters of murder.
Kostas Plevris is a Greek Holocaust promoter. He has written a book, Jews: The Whole Truth, in which he calls Jews subhuman and says, “I constantly blame the German Nazis for not ridding our Europe of Jewish Zionism when it was in their power to do so.” As often happens, such perpetrators promote more than one Holocaust distortion. Plevris is also a Holocaust denier who wrote, “Free yourselves from Jewish propaganda that deceives you with falsehoods about concentration camps, gas chambers, ‘ovens’ and other fairy tales about the pseudo-holocaust.”50
In March 2009, a five-member appeals court in Athens acquitted Plevris of Holocaust denial. He had been convicted by another court in December 2007 and sentenced to fourteen months in prison and three years’ probation. In a press release the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece expressed its concern that “a self-confessed promoter of Nazism and racism remains unpunished though he not only distorts proved historical evidence, but even worse, uses his pen to incite hatred and provoke discrimination and violence against citizens of Greece and Europe.”51
Bringing Ahmadinejad before the International Court
In Ahmadinejad’s case, studies have shown that he could be brought before the International Court of Justice. Yet no nation, including those that always pretend to be in the forefront of human rights, has taken this initiative. Justus Weiner, who coordinated an analysis of Ahmadinejad’s incitement to genocide, writes that:
One of the relevant legal sources is the convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which came into force on 12 January 1951. This Convention is one of the most widely accepted treaties in the realm of international law, having been ratified by 138 states, including Iran.
The Genocide Convention defines the crime of genocide, and stipulates that certain acts related to genocide are punishable. One of these prohibited acts is incitement to commit genocide. By including this as a crime the drafters sought to create an autonomous breach of international law, which is an inchoate crime-a crime in the absence of any substantive offence having been committed or consummated. Thus, in order to succeed in a case of incitement, a prosecutor need not prove that genocide has in fact transpired. It is sufficient to prove that incitement to genocide has occurred.
In analyzing the Genocide Convention and relevant case law, it is indisputable that Ahmadinejad is engaged in and responsible for direct and public incitement to commit genocide. The challenge now is averting this imminent disaster. Sadly, the historical record shows that the international community has consistently delayed action until after thousands or even millions were already slain. This shameful record must be, and can be, improved upon, by implementing the existing international and/or national laws.52
The main way to fight Holocaust promotion is by exposing the perpetrators who then should be turned into the accused.
* * *
Publication of this issue was made possible in part by the support of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany (Rabbi Israel Miller Fund for Shoah Research, Documentation and Education) for the JCPA program on Contemporary Holocaust Distortion. This essay will be part of a forthcoming book on the abuse of Holocaust memory to be published jointly by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and the Anti-Defamation League.
1 Manfred Gerstenfeld, “Denial of the Holocaust and Immoral Equivalence,” an interview with Deborah Lipstadt, Post-Holocaust and Anti-Semitism, 11, 1 August 2003.
2 Sergio I. Minerbi, “Nolte and the Memory of the Shoa,” Jewish Political Studies Review, Vol. 14, Nos. 3-4 (Fall 2002).
3 Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem (Middlesex: Penguin, 1965), 13.
4 Times, 13 September 1972, as quoted in Arye Oded, “Israeli-Ugandan Relations in the Time of Idi Amin,” Jewish Political Studies Review, Vol. 18, Nos. 3-4 (Fall 2006).
5 Chris Purdy, “Ahenakew to Receive New Hate Crime Trial,” National Post, 14 January 2008; Betty Ann Adam, “Ahenakew Still Blames Jews for World War,” National Post, 27 November 2008; “Crown Won’t Appeal Acquittal of First Nations Leader for Anti-Semitic Remarks,” National Post, 24 March 2009.
6 Toby Helm, “Young Germans See ‘Good Side’ to Nazis,” Daily Telegraph, 19 June 2001.
7 “Germany Sees Rise in Far-Right Attacks,” Daily Telegraph, 29 December 2008.
8 John Podhoretz, “Hatefest by the Bay,” New York Post, 14 May 2002.
9 “Iranian President at Teheran Conference: ‘Very Soon, This Stain of Disgrace [Israel] Will Be Purged from the Center of the Islamic World-and This Is Attainable,'” Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Special Dispatch Series, 1013, 28 October 2005.
11 “Iran’s Foreign Minister: President’s Remarks Reflect Our Strategy,” Iran Focus, 29 October 2005.
12 Manfred Gerstenfeld, “Ahmadinejad, Iran, and Holocaust Manipulation: Methods, Aims and Reactions,” Jerusalem Viewpoints, 551, 1 February 2007.
13 “Former Iranian President Rafsanjani on Using a Nuclear Bomb against Israel,” MEMRI, Special Dispatch Series, 325, 3 January 2002.
14 “Iran Leader Urges Destruction of ‘Cancerous’ Israel,” CNN.com, 15 December 2000.
15 Yehudit Barsky, “Terrorism Briefing: Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine,” American Jewish Committee, 2002.
16 Toby Harnden, “Suicide Bombers on Iran Kid’s TV,” Sunday Telegraph, 6 November 2005.
17 Daniel Pipes, “Iran’s Final Solution Plan,” http://www.danielpipes.org/, 1 November 2005.
18 Reuters, “EU: Iran’s Remarks against Israel ‘Unacceptable, Uncivilized,'” Haaretz, 25 February 2008.
19 “Ahmadinejad Blasts Israel, Denies Existence of Iranian Gays during Columbia Speech,” Fox News, 24 September 2007.
20 “Mennonite Central Committee Hosts Dialogue between Iranian President and 100 Religious Leaders,” http://mcc.org/news/news/article.html?id=254, viewed 11 May 2009.
21 “Turkey Says It Cannot Approve of Iranian Call to Eliminate Israel,” AP, 28 October 2005.
22 www.kayhannews.ir/840811/2.htm. [Farsi]
23 Khaled Abu Toameh, “Aksa Brigades Endorse Iran’s Call to Eliminate Israel,” Jerusalem Post, 7 November 2005.
24 Raphael Israeli, Fundamentalist Islam and Israel (Lanham, MD: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, University Press of America, 1993), 132-159.
25 Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook, “Kill a Jew-Go to Heaven: The Perception of the Jew in Palestinian Society,” Jewish Political Studies Review, Vol. 17, Nos. 3-4 (Fall 2005): 127.
26 AP, “Egyptian MP: Nothing Will Work with Israel Except Nuclear Bomb,” Haaretz, 13 February 2007.
27 ADL, “ADL Calls Egyptian Press Syndicate Honoring of Anti-Semitic Columnist ‘Outrageous,'” Press Release, 31 May 2001.
28 Fadi Eyadat, “Poll: 40% of Israeli Arabs Believe Holocaust Never Happened,” Haaretz, 17 May 2009.
29 Rifat N. Bali, “Present-Day Anti-Semitism in Turkey,” Post-Holocaust and Anti-Semitism, 84, 1 September 2009.
30 “Antisemitismus in Berlin und Duisburg,” Kontraste, Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg, video, 15 January 2009, viewed 2 March 2009. [German]
31 Yassin Musharbash, “Police Remove Israeli Flag during Islamist Protest March,” Spiegel Online, 13 January 2009.
32 Itamar Eichner, “Geluchei rosh wesarat haotsar,” Yediot Achronot, 14 January 2009. [Hebrew]
33 Erik Svansbo, “Folkbladet uppmärksammar ‘bloggkupp,'” Svansbo, 14 January 2009, http://blogg.svansbo.se/. [Swedish]
34 “‘Extrema yttringar – tack vare Svansbo,'” Folkbladet, 14 January 2009. [Swedish]
35 Theo Koelé, “Van Bommel ergert Kant met oproep tot intifada,” 5 January 2009. [Dutch]
36 “Sarkozy: ‘Zero Tolerance’ for Anti-Semitic Attacks,” National Post, 16 January 2009.
37 Ehud Kohanim, “Turkish Fans Blow Israeli Team’s Game in Ankara,” Ynetnews, 7 January 2009.
38 “Pro-Hamas Demonstration Fort Lauderdale FL,” YouTube, video, 30 December 2008, viewed 17 May 2009.
39 “Berlin Arrests 8 in Israel Protest,” JTA, 4 January 2009.
40 “Jewish Cemetery Desecrated in Oslo,” European Jewish Press, 15 May 2009.
41 Matthias Küntzel, Djihad und Judenhass (Freiburg: ça ira, 2003), 35-46. [German]
42 Albert Londres, Le Juif Errant Est Arrivé (Paris: Arléa, 1997), 209. [French]
43 Howard M. Sachar, A History of Israel (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1979), 333.
44 Küntzel, Djihad, 50.
45 Ibid., quoting Robert Wistrich.
46 Joel Fishman, “The Big Lie and the Media War against Israel: From Inversion of the Truth to Inversion of Reality,” Jewish Political Studies Review, Vol. 19, Nos. 1-2 (Spring 2007): 70.
47 Manfred Gerstenfeld, “Marching for Israel against Ahmadinejad,” an interview with Giuliano Ferrara, in European-Israeli Relations: Between Confusion and Change? (Jerusalem: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 2006), 204.
48 Comité de Coordination des Organisations Juives de Belgique (CCOJB), “Dépôt de plainte pour la manifestation du 11 janvier 2009,” Press Release, 17 February 2009. [French]
49 “Moszkowicz doet aangifte tegen SP-Kamerleden,” de Volkskrant, 14 January 2009. [Dutch]
50 “Greek Neo-Nazi Acquitted of Holocaust Denial,” JTA, 29 March 2009.
52 Justus Weiner (principal author), Referral of Iranian President Ahmadinejad on the Charge of Incitement to Commit Genocide (Jerusalem: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 2007).
* * *
Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld is chairman of the Board of Fellows of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He is an international business strategist who has been a consultant to governments, international agencies, and boards of some of the world’s largest corporations. Among the fourteen books he has published are Europe’s Crumbling Myths: The Post-Holocaust Origins of Today’s Anti-Semitism (JCPA, Yad Vashem, WJC, 2003) and Behind the Humanitarian Mask: The Nordic Countries, Israel and the Jews (JCPA and Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies, 2008