The group said in a statement that it was established at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs “in order to warn of the violations by the Iranian president of the 1949 Convention to prevent and punish the crime of genocide and to propose the initiation of legal proceedings against Ahmadinejad within the UN framework.”
Members of the group include Dr. Meir Rosenne, former legal advisor to the Foreign Ministery and Ambassador of Israel to the US and France; Dr. Dore Gold, former Israeli Ambassador to the UN and today President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs; lawyer Irit Kahan, former director of the International Affairs Department at the State Attorney’s Office; Eytan Bentsur, former director-general of the Foreign Ministry; attorney Justus Reid Weiner, former director of the American Law and External Relations Department of the Justice Ministry, and MK Danny Naveh.
“The Jerusalem Center’s legal group has determined that the Iranian president is in violation of the 1949 Genocide Convention, which outlaws incitement to genocide,” Dori Gold said.
'Mandatory moral obligation'
Eytan Bentsur added: It is inexplicable and inexcusable that the international community is not reacting vehemently to Ahmadinejad’s Nazi-style utterances. If there is no international uproar, he will be led to believe that he can get away with murder.”
Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz and Professor Irwin Cotler, a member of the Canadian Parliament and former justice minister of Canada, have also joined the group’s call as of late.
"It’s quite incredible that 70 years after World War Two the president of a member country of the UN is stating load and clear that his intention is to wipe the Jewish State off the map and to realize the indifference of civilized countries when such a threat is uttered against the Jewish people," Meir Rosenne said.
“Nobody will be able to claim that we did not know and therefore did not react.”
'A real threat to humanity'
The group said it believes that Ahmadinejad’s statements constitute “direct public incitement to commit genocide and participation in genocide” and that “the Iranian threat is not a potential or theoretical one. On the basis of international legal standards, the president of Iran has violated the explicit prohibition in the Charter on the prevention and punishment of crimes of genocide. This violation is punishable by the UN, its main bodies and judicial organs the international, regional and municipal jurisdictions.
“The request to expel Iran from the family of nations is not only legitimate, but is the mandatory moral obligation of all those who see themselves obligated to the peace of mankind. Iran today endangers the peace of the entire world. It is necessary to do everything to prevent the president of Iran from fulfilling his plans, which pose a real threat to humanity," the statement said.
“It is hard to believe that at a time when the president of Iran is making statements denying the Holocaust and does not hide his intention to erase Israel from the map, the enlightened world is planning to host Ahmadinejad at the opening of the General Assembly instead of evicting his country from the UN altogether."