This article by Dr.Gerstenfeld was first published at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA) and republished here with the author’s consent.
PROMOTION OF MURDER AND GENOCIDE MATTERS
In civilized societies there is a broad consensus that all lives matter. From this it should follow that also all those who want to take lives should matter and action should be taken against them. Civilized societies should not be silent about those who have intentions to murder let alone commit genocide. A short analysis shows that this is not the case among many Western politicians and other important societal figures.
In the non-Western world there are many people who feel no inhibition to openly or indirectly say that they are in favor of committing murder and would do so if they had the occasion. This can best be seen where the potential victims are Jews. One country whose leaders have frequently expressed their desire to commit murder is Iran. Its supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has found a special verbal formula for the destruction of Israel. That is something which cannot be achieved without mass murder.
Earlier this year he commented on a poster published on his website that used the words “final solution” in calling for Israel’s destruction. Khamenei said: “Eliminating the Zionist regime doesn’t mean eliminating Jews. We aren’t against Jews. It means abolishing the imposed regime and Muslim, Christian and Jewish Palestinians choose their own government and expel thugs like [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu.”1
Over the years Khamenei has spoken of Israel as a cancerous tumor. For instance in 2018 he tweeted: “Israel is a malignant cancerous tumor in the West Asian region that has to be removed and eradicated: it is possible and it will happen.”2 Also other leading Iranian figures have spoken in favor of the destruction of Israel, some explicitly mentioning destroying cities.3 Nevertheless, Iran is allowed to remain an unhindered member of the United Nations.
The Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas – elected as the majority party by the Palestinians in 2006– also calls for genocide against Jews. This was very clear in in its original charter which states: “Hamas has been looking forward to implementing 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!’” 4
Occasionally, senior Hamas officials call publicly for the murder of Jews. For instance, in 2019, Fathi Hammad, a member of the Hamas Politburo urged members of the Palestinian Diaspora to kill Jews around the world. Hammad said: “You have Jews everywhere and we must attack every Jew on the globe by way of slaughter and killing if God permits.”5
The Palestinian Authority (PA) provides generous financial payments to terrorists and their families. It thus creates a huge incentive for Palestinians to murder Jews in Israel. The pensions are not limited to the murderers. If these are killed in action the financial benefits go to terrorists immediate family members.6 This system, which is public, is often called ‘pay for slay.’7 In other words ‘promoting murder.’ In 2019, the PA spent NIS570 million (about $160 million) on rewards to terror prisoners.8 By August 2019 the terrorists who in 2001 killed 15 Israeli civilians – about half of them children –and wounded many more in the Jerusalem Sbarro restaurant had received more than $900 000 from the PA..9
The leader of the Lebanese Hezbollah terror organization, Hassan Nasrallah, said about the creation of Israel in May 2020: “The establishment of this virus of an entity, this cancerous tumor amidst our umma.” He added: “Israel has no legitimacy to exist at all and must be destroyed.”10
Beyond that, there are calls for the extermination of Israel or Jews by clerics and other influential figures within the Muslim world. These are not always preachers speaking at an isolated mosque. For example, in 2012 the cleric Futouh Abd Al-Nabi Mansour prayed at a nationally televised service at the Cairo el-Tenaim Mosque. It was attended by then Egyptian President the late Mohamed Morsi. The cleric said: “O Allah, destroy the Jews and their supporters – O Allah, disperse them and rend them asunder, O Allah, demonstrate your might and greatness upon them.” Morsi can be seen saying Amen.11
There is also prominent support for murderers elsewhere in parts of the Muslim world. On November 18, 2014, two Muslim terrorists from East Jerusalem murdered four people in a Jerusalem synagogue and a heroic Israeli Druze policeman. The terrorists were killed.12 The next day Jordanian parliamentarians held a moment of silence for the murderers and read Koran verses aloud – “to glorify their pure souls and the souls of all the martyrs in the Arab and Muslim nations.” The Jordanian Prime Minister, Abdullah Ensour, sent a condolence letter to the families of the terrorists stating; “I ask God to envelope them with mercy and to grant you with patience, comfort and recovery from your grief…”13 14
There are also neo-Nazis and other extreme rightists who publicly call for ‘death to the Jews.’ The possibility for them to realize their murderous wishes, however horrible, can be at most local. Yet they are dangerous as was seen in the murders in two US synagogues. In another case only a strong door stood between the Jews in the German Halle synagogue on Yom Kippur and the man who came to murder them in October 2019. Yet these murderous individuals are not in the same criminal league of danger as Muslim countries and major terrorist organizations that promote murder.
Furthermore, there are those who finance the promoters of murder. Iran and Qatar make money available to Hamas or to the Gaza population. The latter enables Hamas to use money for its own operations which it otherwise would have to make available to the population.15
Several Western and other donor countries pay money to the PA. They fund a murder promoting body. These foreign hypocrites claim that their money is not being used to pay the pensions of terrorists or their families. The availability of these funds however means that the PA can use its own funds for paying the pensions to the terrorists.
In the Western world there is a variety of attitudes of considering officially or defacto that this promotion of murder or genocide doesn’t matter. One category consists of those who promote the interests of the murderers. One of these is former UK Labour party leader, Jeremy Corbyn. He welcomed representatives of Hamas and Hezbollah to the House of Commons. Corbyn called them his “friends” and “brothers.” 16
Others include former US President Jimmy Carter and Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. In 2014, they co-signed an op-ed in The Guardian suggesting that Europe and the US should recognize Hamas as a political movement. They failed to mention that it is a would be genocidal organization. This was a showcase of senior human rightists promoting the interests of would be genocidal murderers.17 Rock musician Roger Waters on Hamas television that Zionism is ‘an ugly stain’ which ‘needs to be gently removed.’18
The Dutch government advisory body, Adviesraad Internationale Vraagstukken (AIV) – Advisory Council of Foreign Affairs, is in the same category. The AIV issued a report in 2013 recommending contacts between the EU, the Netherlands and Hamas.19 The Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) then wrote to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to disband the AIV as it recommended developing closer ties with the terror organization, Hamas, at the expense of Israel.20 21 The AIV’s recommendations were not accepted, nor was the organization disbanded.
There are also those who consider that one has to live with the policy of the murderers. One of these is Josep Borrell, the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. He said in an interview: “Iran wants to wipe out Israel, nothing new about that, you have to live with it.”22
Yet another category – a major one — are those who express their opinions on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and criticize Israel, but do not mention the huge criminality of the major Palestinian bodies including their promoting genocide or murder. If they criticize the Palestinians at all, they do so superficially and focus on other issues.
One important example of a person who does this is US Senator Bernie Sanders who was a leading contender in the US Democrat presidential primaries and is Jewish. When he spoke in his campaign about the Palestinians, he referred to their dignity.23 The Israeli government, though, he called “racist.”24
If one were to screen parliaments of European countries, one could count the parliamentarians who look away from would be Palestinian genocide and murder while expressing criticism of Israel. In the Netherlands this is the case for at least one third of the 150 parliamentarians. In the Swedish and Norwegian governments the percentage is probably higher.
There are also people who unintentionally help the would be genocidal murderers. In 2015 then US President Barack Obama initiated the extremely flawed Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreement with Iran. This agreement enabled the Iranians to develop additional weaponry and undertake major terrorist activities in the Middle East.25
In the context of this analysis one should also look at what is often called ‘Holocaust inversion.’ These are the people who believe that Israel intends to exterminate the Palestinians and/or that Israel is like the Nazis. In 2020, the Hungarian Action and Protection League commissioned a report by Hungary’s Inspira Ltd. They interviewed representative samples of the adult population between the ages of 18-75 in sixteen European countries. Twenty-four percent thought that Israelis behave like Nazis towards the Palestinians.26
The main representative study before Inspira was carried out by the University of Bielefeld on behalf of the German Social Democratic Friedrich Ebert Foundation. It was published in 2011.27 Their research was undertaken in seven European countries. The interviewers polled one thousand people per country — over the age of 16 — in the fall of 2008. One of the questions asked was whether they agreed with the assertion that Israel is carrying out a war of extermination against the Palestinians. The lowest percentages of those who agreed were in Italy and the Netherlands, with 38% and 39% respectively. Other figures were: Hungary 41%, United Kingdom 42%, Germany 48%, and Portugal 49%. In Poland, the figure was 63%.28
What is exposed above is not only an indictment of part of Europe’s leaders. It also shows the profound moral decay of substantial segments of this continent’s population.
3 www.timesofisrael.com/top-iranian-general-we-can-destroy-israel-in-three-days/; www.i24news.tv/en/news/international/middle-east/1588584294-top-iran-official-threatens-to-destroy-israeli-cities-amid-simmering-row-with-us
4 Raphael Israeli, Fundamentalist Islam and Israel (Lanham, MD: JCPA, University Press of America, 1994), 132-159.
26 Action and Protection League, “Number of anti-semitic incidents hate crime Incidents per Year”, Report prepared by Inspira.
28 Ibid pg. 57