Murders in Toulouse, incitement in Geneva
On March 19th, a hate-filled Islamist murdered Jewish children in Toulouse, invoking his “Palestinian brothers and sisters,” while a craven U.N. in Geneva hosted a Hamas terrorist parroting anti-Israel libels
At first glance, a side-meeting of the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland on Monday, March 19th, and the barbaric massacre of a Rabbi and three schoolchildren that same day in Toulouse, France, would seem utterly unconnected beyond the coincidence of the calendar.
Yet there is a connection – not directly causal, but certainly moral.
For those two events of March 19th starkly reveal, on the one hand, how the U.N. and like-minded “human rights” activists furnish a global megaphone for Islamic extremism and anti-Israel falsehoods, and on the other hand, how extremists motivated by such falsehoods target innocent Jews across the globe.
At the Geneva meeting, co-sponsored by the U.N. Human Rights Council, a welcome platform was extended to Ismail al-Ashqar, a leader of the Hamas terrorist organization. In a U.N. lecture hall, Al-Ashqar denounced Israel for “kidnaping” (read: arresting) Hamas leaders and “violat[ing]” Palestinian “democracy".
Hamas’s founding Charter explicitly declares its goal as the destruction of Israel; equates Zionists with Hitler; claims that Jews control the world’s media; and blames the Jewish people for causing – and profiting from – the two World Wars.
Since Hamas violently took over Gaza in 2007, it has launched over 8,000 rocket and mortar attacks on Israeli town squares, schools, and hospitals. Meanwhile Hamas’s own kindergartens and summer camps train toddlers and children to become suicide bombers – that is, mass murderers of Jewish civilians.
Hamas is thus a blatant violator of the U.N.’s 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, which in Article III declares as crimes under international law, attempt to commit genocide and public incitement to commit genocide.
That any branch of the U.N. – especially its Human Rights Council – would roll out the welcome mat to a leader of a genocidal terrorist organization is truly scandalous. Still, if this were an isolated incident, it might not warrant such attention.
But far from isolated, this incident is part of a long series of U.N. incitements, all falsely accusing Israel of crimes against Palestinians, while implicitly approving violence against Israelis. Such as:
– The 1974 speech by Yasir Arafat – draped in fatigues and holster – to a cheering U.N. General Assembly, calling for Israel’s destruction, lying about Israel’s history, and declaring Israel an inherently racist state.
– The U.N.’s 1975 passage of the notorious “Zionism equals racism” resolution, which despite its 1991 repeal, helped spawn a still-flourishing cottage industry among universities, NGO’s, and trade unions to boycott and delegitimize Israel.
– The new, “reformed” U.N. Human Rights Council, which between 2006 and 2010 passed 27 resolutions condemning Israel – far more than the sum total of all resolutions against other countries – and which has yet to pass one resolution against terror attacks by Hamas/Hezbollah, or against the extreme religious and gender discrimination across the Arab Middle East.
– The General Assembly’s shameful 1982 endorsement of “anti-colonial” violence in Resolution 37/43 – still on the books – which “[r]eaffirmed the legitimacy” of “armed struggle” by victims of “colonial and foreign domination and . . . occupation.” The Resolution specifically commended such efforts by “the Palestinian people,” at a time when the PLO was committing terrorist attacks in Israel.
Think about that: a U.N. resolution implicitly declaring it’s not terrorism when Palestinians slaughter Israelis.
A similar phenomenon occurs in Europe, where anti-Zionist incitement is on the rise, amidst efforts to deny or minimize a growing wave of anti-Semitic threats and violence.
In 2002, the European Union commissioned an extensive anti-Semitism study, which found that violence targeting Jews was "often committed by young Muslim perpetrators," frequently in connection with controversies and protests about Palestine.
The study’s sponsor, the European Monitoring Center on Racism, refused to publish the study, fearful of its “inflammatory” conclusions. Copies were eventually obtained and published by others.
Similarly, in 2003-2004 the Inspector General of the French Education Ministry, Jean-Pierre Obin, commissioned a study of French public schools in districts with large immigrant and minority populations. The “Obin Report” found militant Islamization, rampant Judeophobia, and extensive violence against girls, Jews, and teachers.
The French Education Ministry refused to release the report, but a copy was eventually leaked to the public.
In 2006 a French Jew, Ilan Halami, was kidnaped and slowly, horrifically tortured to death by an Islamist gang. The kidnapers made repeated ransom calls to a Rabbi and the victim’s family, declaring "we have a Jew, the family has to pay,” while Halami screamed in agony in the background.
The French police claimed there was no anti-Semitism involved.
Against this background, the stark juxtaposition of March 19th rings all too familiar: a hate-filled Islamist murders Jewish children in Toulouse, invoking his “Palestinian brothers and sisters,” while a craven U.N. in Geneva hosts a Hamas terrorist parroting anti-Israel libels.
The Israeli historian and terrorism scholar Barry Rubin succinctly described this reality that cries out for change, with these searing words:
“Jewish children are deliberately murdered by a terrorist in the midst of France . . . Yet at the exact same time as the bullets are entering the children’s bodies, as the victims fall to the ground, as the ambulance sirens sound, the incitement and the lies and the slanders continue, laying the groundwork for more hatred and more murder.”
For every leader who claims to oppose violence against Jews, here is a test: will you merely condemn the violence, and return to business as usual? Or will you take the hard but needed steps, and confront the growing wave of anti-Zionist/anti-Semitic falsehoods that incite the hatreds and violence? And will you publicly challenge those who promote these toxic hatreds?
Henry Kopel is an attorney with the US Department of Justice in Connecticut. The views here are his own, and do not reflect the views of the Justice Department
We are wholly dependent on the kindness of our readers for our continued work. We thank you in advance for any support you can offer.