Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Endorse this resolution by the International Association of Genocide Scholars (SPME)

The following resolution was issued by the International Association of Genocide Scholars earlier this year. A companion statement was jointly issued by faculty & staff at the Unit of Occupational & Environmental Medicine and Center for Injury Prevention/Genocide Prevention Program at the Hebrew University/Hadassah School of Public Health.

Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME) is circulating a petition endorsing these statements. I've signed it, and I urge you to consider doing likewise, if you haven't done so already. I don't agree with every detail in these statements, but I think their central thrust is correct and deserves support. Both statements can be read below. To sign the petition, go to: http://www.spme.net/cgi-bin/display_petitions.cgi?ID=1&Action=Sign

--Jeff Weintraub

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International Association of Genocide Scholars

Resolution Condemning Iranian President Ahmadinehad's Statements Calling for the Destruction of Israel and Denying the Historical Reality of the Holocaust; and Calling for Prevention of Iranian Development of Nuclear Weapons

We, the leadership and membership of the International Association of Genocide Scholars, a world-wide professional association of experts on genocide, express profound alarm at openly aggressive statements made by the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, calling for Israel to be "wiped off the map" and inciting students to scream "death to Israel" at a government sponsored conference on 26 October 2005.

On 14. December 2005, President Ahmadinejad publicly denied the Holocaust and declared it a "myth" created by Europeans to justify creation of a Jewish state in the heart if the Islamic world. The International Association of Genocide Scholars repudiates Holocaust denial.

Since President Ahmadinejad took office, Iran has refused to heed calls by the International Atomic Energy Agency to re-establish full suspension of its uranium enrichment activities, and has re-started programs to develop Iranian capacity to enrich uranium that could be used for nuclear weapons. Iran has missiles that could carry nuclear warheads to destroy Israel.

Iran's president has thus not only called for the destruction of a national and religious group, the Jews of Israel. But has authorized creation of the materials needed to build the weapons to carry out his genocidal intent. Iran does not yet have such weapons, but is likely to develop them in the near future unless its nuclear weapons program is stopped.

Early warning signs of genocide include open expressions of an exclusionary ideology (hate speech), denial of past genocide (Holocaust denial), authoritarian government that represses dissent (arrest of Iranian moderates), organization of fanatical militias (Revolutionary Guards) and programs to develop weapons of mass destruction ( the Iranian nuclear program.) All of these early warning signs of genocide are evident in Iran today.

Direct and public expression of genocidal intent by a national leader coupled with a clear and present danger that genocidal acts will be committed is incitement to genocide. The risk of genocide against Israel is not yet imminent, but once Iran has nuclear weapons, it will be. When genocidal intent is openly expressed, and means to commit genocide are being prepared, the Precautionary Principle places the burden of proof on those who deny that genocide will be committed. Urgent preventive activities should be taken.

We therefore call upon the United Nations Security Council to determine that Iran's nuclear program poses a threat to international peace, and to take the following diplomatic and economic actions under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter:

1.Direct the International Atomic Energy Agency to demand immediate and continuing IAEA inspections of all Iranian nuclear facilities;

2. Require Iran to suspend its programs to develop facilities to enrich uranium; and

3. Prohibit transfers to Iran of all equipment, materials, and technological assistance that could be used to enrich uranium, or manufacture nuclear weapons.

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We the Undersigned Professors and Scholars Endorse the Following:
Unit of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
and Center for Injury Prevention-Genocide Prevention Program

The Center for Injury Prevention at the Braun Hebrew University- Hadassah School of Public Health and Community Medicine has recently founded a program for the prevention of genocide and notes with alarm the recent openly aggressive policy declarations of the President of Iran.

Genocide is the foremost cause of preventable death and suffering in the last hundred years. Governmental incitement and use of hate language is a recognized predictor of genocide, and incitement to commit genocide is a crime in violation of the Genocide Convention. Indifference to incitement and inaction by the outside world are recognized predictors and risk factors for genocide. Denial of previous genocides is another risk factor contributing to future genocides.

The declarations by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran, that Israel "should be wiped off the map" and his incitement of students to scream "death to the Jews," at a government-sponsored conference called the "World without Zionism" (Oct 26 2005) are not only openly stated declarations of aggressive intent in violation of Art. 2 (4) of the UN Charter, but direct and public incitements to commit genocide, in violation of the Genocide Convention and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Articles 6 and 25 (3)(e). President Ahmadinejad's attempted "clarification" that he merely advocates the "transfer" of Jews in Israel to German and Austrian provinces, is itself advocacy of forced deportation, another crime against humanity, and is contradicted by his own actions and long-term Iranian policy.

The Iranian government has supported, financed, armed, and trained Hezbollah terror cells against Israel and global Jewry for two decades. For eighteen years, Iran has been deceiving the International Atomic Energy Agency in its progress towards becoming a nuclear power. Iran already has developed long-range missile delivery systems capable of carrying nuclear warheads, which can reach Israeli population centers. The enriched uranium that Iran is currently pursuing can only be utilized either in high speed reactors or nuclear weapons. Since 1985, it possesses blackmarket uranium metal casting and machining technology, and IAEA inspectors have found traces of enriched uranium at Natanz. IAEA inspections of Iranian nuclear facilities have recently been blocked while the Iranian government has publicly renewed the conversion of uranium. 40 tons of UF6 have already been produced to extract enriched uranium, according to public reports.

In three months, Iran will become an independent nuclear power, possessing advanced missile delivery systems. Iran has never renounced its government's public aggressive and genocidal aims against the Jews of the State of Israel and global Jewry. The unprecedented threat of nuclear genocide necessitates an urgent response. The lead time between early warnings of genocide and action to carry it out would be precariously brief. As Israel is smaller than New Jersey, densely populated, and home to the largest number of Holocaust survivors in the world, time is of the essence.

The ethical principle that guides our statement is that the protection of human life is the most fundamental human right, overriding the sovereignty claims of any government whose actions demonstrate genocidal intent. We call for the application of the Precautionary Principle that states that when there is uncertainty concerning potentially catastrophic effects upon human health, the risks of inaction far outweigh those of preventive action - which in this case means imposition of effective sanctions to prevent Iranian development of nuclear weapons. The Precautionary Principle should become the legal basis for the analysis, prevention, and management of risks of genocide. The Precautionary Principle shifts the burden of proof from those warning of a risk of a catastrophic event to those denying this imminent risk.

We call for immediate implementation of the following actions:

1. The United Nations Security Council should refer Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran, to the International Criminal Court for indictment for incitement to commit genocide. Legal precedents for indicting the President of Iran on charges of incitement to commit genocide are found in numerous cases decided by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. (Please see the Appendix.)

2. The U.N. Security Council should direct the International Atomic Energy Agency to demand that Iran cease its programs to enrich uranium, impose immediate and continuous IAEA inspections of all Iranian nuclear facilities, and confiscate all technology, equipment, and nuclear material that could be used by Iran to manufacture nuclear weapons.

3. We call upon the UN and its member states and organizations, notably the European Union, to foster the development and application of a code of ethics and standards for diplomacy, law, finance and the media that would outlaw incitement to hate, harm or exclude minority communities, including the State of Israel, Israelis, or Jews across the globe, as well as actions based on such incitement.

We call for the development of political safeguards to eliminate the possibility of a "Second Holocaust" to be inflicted upon Israel, a sovereign member of the United Nations. The total population of all Jewish communities today, at 13 million people, has just now reached the pre-World War II level. (stat. JPPPI 2005). President Ahmadinejad's declaration is a direct threat to this slow and painful recovery. This requirement is in keeping with the second principle of the Stockholm International Forum on the Prevention of Genocide (Jan 28 2004): "the responsibility to protect groups identified as potential victims of genocide."

The 2005 World Summit stated that no nation in our globalizing world can stand alone. No nation or "global minority" community should have to be exposed to 50 years of persecution from an entire regional bloc, especially in its own region. Failure to enforce this World Summit principle now would undermine the stature, authority and credibility of proponents of international democratization, especially the UN and the European Union. We call upon the UN and European Union to apply these standards to the work, funding, and statements of the UN, EU agencies, and EU-funded NGOs.

4. We call upon Juan Mendez, Special Advisor to the Secretary-General of the UN on Genocide Prevention, to establish a Genocide Prevention Network, an international surveillance network and ongoing database based on models for the surveillance of early warning signs of reportable epidemic disease.

Such a network should monitor the production and dissemination of all internationally-distributed media and internet materials relating to Israel, the global Jewish community, and other threatened populations. Holocaust, genocide, and hate group experts should be organized to set up this network.

We present these recommendations for action because history shows that genocidal threats by heads of state signal genocidal intent. The Iranian government has developed missile delivery systems that reach Israeli population centers. It has been covertly developing a weapons-grade nuclear program for 18 years, and possesses blackmarket technological knowledge to produce nuclear weapons. The case for immediate prevention derives from the fact that in three months, the Iranian government will establish an independent nuclear capacity to produce enriched uranium to act on that threat.

Center for Injury Prevention, Braun Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Public Health & Community Medicine, POB 12272, Jerusalem, Israel. tel: +972-2-6758147 (Prof. Richter) or +972-2-6757148 (Dr. Blum)

* Elihu D Richter MD, MPH, Director, Occupational & Environmental Medicine; Director, Center for Injury Prevention elir@cc.huji.ac.il
* Rony Blum, PhD, Visiting Research Scholar, Co-founder Genocide & Violence Prevention Program. +972-2-6757553 or +972-2-6757148 and email
roblum@cc.huji.ac.il

Co-authored with:

Gregory Stanton, PhD, JD, President, Genocide Watch, 1-703-448-0222; POB 809 Washington 20044 DC genocidewatch@aol.com
Israel Charny, PhD, Executive Director, Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide, Jerusalem Editor-in-Chief Encyclopedia of Genocide Tel & Fax: 972-2-6720424 encygeno@mail.com

***

David Bankier PhD, Chief of Research, Yad Vashem, Jerusalem david.bankier@yadvashem.org.il
Zvi Eisikovits, PhD, Dean, Social Welfare and Health Studies; Director, Minerva Center for Youth Studies, University of Haifa zvi@soc.haifa.ac.il
Edward Beck, Ed.D., CCMHC, NCC, LPC, Walden University, President, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East Alvernia College & Susquehanna Institute
Theodore Tulchinsky, MD, MPH, Associate Professor, Braun Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Public Health & Community Medicine tedt@hadassah.org.il
Frances Raday, JD, Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Law, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

***

Appendix

Legal precedents for indicting the President of Iran on charges of incitement to genocide are found in numerous cases decided by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda:

#ICTR-97-23: Jean Kambanda, former PM of Rwanda, sentenced to life imprisonment, appeal denied.
#ICTR-96-11: Ferdinand Nahimana, Prof. of History and Director of RTLM and ORINFOR, sentenced to life imprisonment, on appeal.
#ICTR-97-19: Jean Bosco Barayagwiza, Director of Political Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a founder of RTLM, and Pres. of CDR, sentenced to final 27 yrs, 3 m., 21 days (with 7 years prison credit), on appeal.
#ICTR-97-27: Hassan Ngeze, owner and Chief Editor, Kangura newspaper, sentenced to life imprisonment, on appeal.
# ICTR-96-14: Eliezer Niyitegeka, Minister of Information and former journalist, sentenced to life imprisonment. Appeal denied.

#ICTR-96-32: George Ruggiu, journalist RTLM, sentenced to 24 years in prison, 12 for direct and public incitement to genocide. Early release application denied.

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