Genocide is neither “linear nor inexorable.” It is, rather, predictable and preventable, so long as you recognize the universal signs. And Iran, in its language and action, has taken six of the eight steps on the path to genocide, according to Dr. Gregory Stanton, the world’s foremost expert on the matter.
Stanton, the founder and director of Genocide Watch, the world’s first organization to deal exclusively with this issue, and the author of an historic two-page paper on the nature of genocide, spoke at the Hebrew University medical school last week. He called for an international campaign to abolish the recurring crime of genocide and for the world to take action, as Canada has, to ostracize Iran and curb its genocidal intent.
Talk of genocide, Stanton said — of removing a cancer or crushing a cockroach — is never just talk. “One of the best predictors of genocide is incitement to genocide,” he said, “and I believe that is exactly what Iran is doing today.”
Encouraging genocide is a crime. The UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide was signed in 1948 and fathered by Raphael Lemkin, a Jewish Polish lawyer who studied the genocide of the Armenians and invented the term in 1943 – “genos” meaning race or people and “cide” to kill. The Convention states that incitement “with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group” is illegal.
Late last week, on precisely those grounds, Canada severed its ties with Iran. John Baird, the minister of foreign affairs, announced that the Iranian regime “engages in racist anti-Semitic rhetoric and incitement to genocide.”
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