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Petition charges Ahmadinejad with inciting genocide

While Iranian president speaks before UN General Assembly a coalition of legal experts, activists, diplomats signs petition in Washington calling on public to recognize him as war criminal rather than legitimate leader

WASHINGTON – As the UN General Assembly welcomes Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in New York, a petition fighting to bring him to justice for incitement and genocide is being prepared in Washington.


The petition was reared by the head of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Dr. Dore Gold.


Gold met with a coalition of legal experts, anti-genocide activists, governmental officials, and diplomats in Washington Tuesday in order to commence a public attempt at converting Ahmedinejad’s image from that of a legitimate leader to that of a war criminal.


During the conference, former US Ambassador to the UN Richard Holbrooke called for the annulment of Ahmedinjad’s statements.


"Words matter," Holbrooke said. "When people say, 'Don't pay too much attention, they don't mean it' - it reminds me of my grandfather in Hamburg, who read Mein Kampf. He took it seriously, but many other people didn't.


"Because everyone takes Ahmadinejad's statements on Israel for granted, people take for granted that it's a kind of unique danger for Israel, because of the specific threats to another country."


Holbrooke and Gold, who both served in the UN during the 90’s, rejected the notion that Russia and China would allow the Security Council to decide on whether or not to dub Ahmadinejad a “war criminal.”


“Even when you lose in a diplomatic process you can win by providing explanations to world leaders. I can definitely say that Israel is not alone," Gold told Ynet.


"Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said he supports the idea and noted that his country is assessing the issue. We are aware of the Canadian Prime Minister’s stance who adopted the position that Ahmedinejad violated the treaty against genocide,” he added.


During the meeting in Washington, a Sudanese parliament member and a survivor of the Rwandan genocide both bore witness to the incitement which preceded the genocide in their countries. They then added their signature to the petition, which was drawn up by former Canadian Minister of Justice, Attorney General Irwin Cotler.


Other signatories on the petition include former Swedish Deputy Prime Minister Per Ahlmark, who is considered an expert on genocide, and Professor Gregory Stanton, who heads the Cambodian Genocide Project at Yale University.


The petition, which spans 70 pages, presents statements made by the Iranian president, the legal justification to bringing him to justice on incitement to genocide and the measures the Security Council, the European Union and other countries should take against him.


פרסום ראשון: 09.24.08, 00:12
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