Watchmen from Jerusalem, Issue 1, 2009
The Prince of Persia Rises
A real concern is that Iran, who has drawn Hamas into her circle, is manipulating the situation in Gaza to divert attention from their nuclear weapons program. As Ashley Perry of Jerusalem Center for Public Affairsnotes, the war in Gaza has focused most of the world media, and all "major international organizations such as the UN, the EU and the Arab League" to discuss nothing else. "Perhaps this is the point of the whole conflict…"
Only weeks ago, "the world's spotlight" was on Iran's quest for nuclear weapons. "The situation has become so desperate that Arab nations had petitioned the UN to hold meetings on Iran. The five permanent members of the Security Council [UNSC] plus Germany agreed to discuss" Iran with these nations, which included Egypt, Jordan and Iraq. "One of the Arab attendees stressed there was a new 'understanding' about the threat Iran posed to the region and beyond…
"Lost amidst the smoke of battle in Gaza is a very important report released during the very last days of 2008 by the French Government," stating that Iran is a "short distance" from being able to make a nuclear warhead. The report's findings "were based only on facts acknowledged by Iranians themselves. This was to become a major tool in convincing the UNSC to impose the sanctions that many feel are necessary to bring Iran to heel…
"Many in the Arab world have been saying Iran is playing a major destabilizing role in the region for a while, but some in the West have refused to believe them." One Arab columnist wrote, Iran "does not intend through the $25 to $40 million it spends monthly in Gaza to support Palestinians, but rather to use them."
Perry: "Iran has a great vested interest in destabilizing the region and diverting attention from the real threat of its nuclear ambitions. It is incredulous [sic] that while the world is glued to a conflict involving a few hundred casualties, a threat to hundreds of millions, even to much of Europe, is being ignored." ("Is world being distracted?" Ashley Perry, Ynetnews Op-ed, 6 Jan. 2008)
Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amos Gilad of Israel's Defense Ministry, said, that "Israel could not be reconciled to a nuclear Iran - not only because it might press the button, but because the very fact of this regime having that weaponry would constitute an existential threat…Iran is controlled by an ideology and a regime that has set itself the goal to be rid of Israel." ("Defense Ministry's Gilad: We won't let Iran go nuclear," JP, 14 Nov. 2008)
Senior defense officials added, "A nuclear-armed Iran is an existential threat to the Jewish state, and is viewed by Jerusalem as a totally unacceptable outcome." ("Israel may attack Iran without US approval," Israel Today, 4 Dec. 2008)
Canadian MP and Law Prof. Irwin Cotler, on incitement to genocide, says, "The enduring lesson of the Holocaust and of the genocides that followed is that they occurred…because of state-sanctioned incitement to hatred…The Holocaust did not begin in the gas chambers; it began with words."
Cotler says, in "all other cases of state-sanctioned incitement to genocide" the Holocaust, the Balkans, Rwanda and Darfur, the genocides are already history. Only with Iran, "can we still act so as to prevent a genocide foretold from occurring."
Iran uses "incendiary, demonizing language," with metaphors similar to Nazi incitement.
"Ahmadinejad characterizes Israel as 'filthy bacteria,' 'a stinking corpse,' 'a cancerous tumor that needs to be excised,' while referring to Jews as 'evil incarnate,' 'bloodthirsty barbarians,' 'defilers of Islam' - the whole as prologue to, and justification for, a ME genocide…
"Iran has already committed the crime of incitement prohibited under the Genocide Convention…[The] threat of genocide is not a distraction from the nuclear issue; it is the terrifying and vilifying context in which the nuclear threat operates…
"What is so astonishing is this criminal incitement by a nuclear weapon-seeking Iran has yet to be addressed by any UN agency …What is no less disturbing, considering that indifference and inaction are also what made prior genocides possible - is that no state party has invoked any of these mandated initiatives."("Never Again?" I. Cotler, JP Op-ed, 4 Dec. 2008)