Radical Islam’s Threat of Genocide Against the Jews
Read here the remarks by the Representative of Israel to the Fourth
Stockholm Conference on the Prevention of Genocide
excellency, the Prime Minister of Sweden, distinguished heads
of state and heads of government, esteemed heads of delegations,
We have gathered
here in Stockholm for the fourth time, since 1998, in order to
confront one of the greatest scourges to afflict humanity, namely
this conference as the representative of the Jewish people, whose
centuries of persecution and suffering reached their apogee during
the Shoah, the Holocaust; an event which led to the explicit coining
of the term "genocide", by the international jurist
this conference as the representative of the State of Israel,
which arose phoenix like from the ashes of the Shoah, and which
for most of its short history, has itself been threatened with
I also have
the honor to address this conference as the representative of
"Yad Vashem", Israel’s national institution for the
commemoration of the Shoah, which has played a leading role in
educating generations of teachers and historians; that the lessons
of the Shoah may be learned by all of mankind. Hence, our concern
with genocide and its prevention is not theoretical; it is an
issue which concerns us as a people and as individuals on a constant
records, mythically, the first murder in human history, that which
was perpetrated by Cain against his brother Abel. In that scenario
god asks Cain "where is your brother?" He concludes
his investigation with the thundering judgment "your brother’s
blood cries out from the earth." Truly this is the typology
is your brother?" We know that genocide occurs when the perpetrators
believe that no one is watching. That no one knows or cares about
that which has befallen "his brother". We also have
learned, in the course of the last 58 years that attempts to ignore
this phenomenon are futile. The blood of our brothers will continue
to cry out from the earth until the perpetrators of the crime
are brought to justice.
that confronts us is how to prevent conflicts from reaching the
genocidal stage to begin with and how to intervene effectively
when necessary. Experience has taught us that once the orgy of
violence and murder begins it may already be too late.
must recognize that words do matter. Before physical violence
begins, the stage is usually set by a constant verbal assault
on, and dehumanization of, the nationality, ethnic group or race
in which has been targeted. Nazi propaganda against the Jews was
predicated on this premise and sowed the seeds for mass murder.
Unfortunately, others have followed this paradigm in subsequent
years. This propaganda barrage is not a secret; it is orchestrated
in the media with incitement coming from the highest levels. It
is at this stage that firm intervention may prevent violence.
must be prepared to honestly report that which will become invariably
evident. States which respect themselves cannot and should not
evade the obvious by requiring field reports to be phrased euphemistically.
It is therefore imperative that an international warning mechanism
be in place, to report on activities which may constitute genocide
in an expeditious and forthright manner.
which are dispatched to guarantee the safety of endangered civilians
must be given the logistical and political support to accomplish
these goals. It must be made clear to the commanders in the field
that the success of their mission will be judged by the manner
in which atrocities are prevented and thwarted.
political and military leaders who instigate and supervise genocide
must be put on notice, at the earliest possible instance, that
they will be held responsible for their actions.
I wish to
return to the first point which I have made, namely that words
do matter. We in Israel have been concerned with an upsurge in
hate speech directed against Jews, over the last three years.
This phenomenon reached its apogee recently when the Syrian produced
television series "Al Shataat" (Diaspora) chose to resurrect
the evil, heinous, and false accusation of ritual murder which
has dogged the Jewish people since the middle ages. This television
series was carried by the Hezbollah TV. station, "Al Mannar",
which is broadcast from Lebanon and is readily accessible here
in Europe, through a European satellite service. Everyone in this
room knows the inevitable and tragic results of hate propaganda
such as this.
It is important
to realize that this despicable example of hate propaganda is
unfortunately not unique, nor did it occur in a vacuum. Hatred
such as this is not the exclusive provenance of known terrorists
such as Al-Qaida or Hezbollah. Allow me to quote from the sermon
of Sheikh Abd-el Rahman al-Sued, imam of the central mosque of
Mecca, who in may 2002 described the Jewish people thus: "(they
are) infidels, worshippers of calves, murderers of prophets, who
attempted to murder the prophet Mohammed."
He goes on
to say that the Jews "falsify prophecies, are the scum of
mankind, are corrupt, mendacious and treacherous."
He ended his
sermon with this plea for "brotherhood", beseeching
Allah that "the Jews along with all of the other idol worshippers
be utterly destroyed and that god use his sharp instruments upon
the words of one of the foremost Saudi clerics, spoken at a mosque
at the center of the Islamic world.
cleric, Mohammed Salah el-Munjeed, stated: "How can Moslems
not be joyful when in the killing of Jews and infidels? Allah
will surely gladden the hearts of his followers as they kill and
destroy all of them (the Jews)." Esteemed delegates, do not
think for a minute that such genocidal rantings target only the
Jews. There are reputable clerics in the Moslem world, such as
Sheikh Youssef Kardawi, who dream of "returning to Europe
others who condemn democracy as a heretical belief (with all that
this entails in the Islamic world). In their view democracy merely
enshrines the collective will of mankind, in opposition to Islam
which is God’s revealed truth.
I am sorry
to say that this is just a sample of some of the prevailing trends
in current Islamic theology.
Words do lead
to deeds! Is it any wonder that the world has to now confront
suicide bombers, who target Russians and Americans, Turks and
Australians, when these are the "spiritual teachings"
which have gained credence in the Islamic world.
be no excuse for this type of rhetoric; neither can there be any
understanding of the "underlying political causes" of
such murder inducing filth. If there is a message that should
go forth from this conference it should be that even in the realm
of an adversarial relationship between states and peoples, there
are lines which no one dares cross.
We all know
that freedom of speech is a basic human right. Yet this right
is not absolute, and it certainly doesn’t trump the most basic
of all human rights, the right to live. Many jurists now believe
that the decision of the united states supreme court, one of the
most zealous defenders of freedom of speech, in the 1969 landmark
case of Brandenburg versus Ohio which stated that free speech
was no defense in the face of "advocacy directed to producing
or inciting imminent lawless (violent) action", can be applied
against the terrorist threat.
We have seen
the deadly results of hate speech, in Auschwitz and in New York;
in Jerusalem and in Moscow; in Bali and in Mombasa. Those who
believed that the issue of political mass murder could be confined
to the so called Third World have been rudely awakened. The question
is, having been suddenly aroused from our slumber, are we prepared
to do what must be done to ensure all of humanity’s safety, security