Monday, January 12, 2009

Irwin Cotler on the Gaza Crisis

From the Jerusalem Post:
While the rejection by Hamas of any peace with any Israel - or the existence of Israel itself - is a foundational root cause, there is a much more pernicious and sinister one that is all but ignored in the fog of war. This is the public call by Hamas, in its charter as well as its contemporary declarations, for the destruction of Israel and the killing of Jews wherever they may be.

Jews everywhere - not just in Israel - are referred to as inherently evil, as responsible for all the evils of the world, as defilers of Islam, and, repeatedly during these hostilities, as the "sons of apes and pigs." This genocidal anti-Semitism - and I do not use these words lightly or easily, but there are no other words to describe what is affirmed in these genocidal calls, covenants and declarations - this culture of hatred, this is where it all begins.

In the words of Prof. Fouad Ajami following the 2002 terrorist massacre of Israeli civilians in Netanya sitting down for their Passover meal: The suicide bomber of the Passover massacre did not descend from the sky; he walked straight out of the culture of incitement let loose on the land, a menace hovering over Israel, a great Palestinian and Arab refusal to let that country be, to cede it a place among the nations.

The bomber partook of the culture all around him: the glee that greets those brutal deeds of terror, the cult that rises around the martyrs and their families.

MOREOVER, Iran not only joins in these genocidal calls, but has become the epicenter of calls for Israel to be "wiped off the map." In Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Iran, one finds the toxic convergence of the advocacy of the most horrific of crimes embedded in the most virulent of hatreds and propelled by the avowed intent of Iran to acquire nuclear weapons for that purpose. Iran is not just a bystander to the conflict, but an actor and choreographer involved in the training, supplying, financing, harboring and promoting of Hamas.

The Iran "connection" to the present hostilities is too often ignored or sanitized. As a senior commander of Hamas has said, "Iran is our mother. She gives us information, military supplies and financial support." It is all the more tragic that innocent civilians are dying in Gaza because of hostilities supported by Iran, whose criminal accountability is marginalized.