Wednesday, December 13, 2006

More Hate and Holocaust Denial from Iran 

Ahmadinejad at Holocaust conference: Israel will 'soon be wiped out'
By Haaretz Service and Agencies
Wed., December 13, 2006 Kislev 22, 5767

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday told delegates at an international conference questioning the Holocaust that Israel's days were numbered.

Ahmadinejad, who has sparked international outcry by referring to the systematic murder of six million Jews in World War II as a "myth" and calling for Israel to be "wiped off the map", launched another verbal attack on Israel.

"Thanks to people's wishes and God's will the trend for the existence of the Zionist regime is [headed] downwards and this is what God has promised and what all nations want," he said.

"Just as the Soviet Union was wiped out and today does not exist, so will the Zionist regime soon be wiped out," he added.

His words received warm applause from delegates at the Holocaust conference, who included ultra-Orthodox anti-Zionist Jews and European and American writers who argue the Holocaust was either fabricated or exaggerated.

The White House on Tuesday condemned the gathering of Holocaust deniers in Tehran as "an affront to the entire civilized world as well as to the traditional Iranian values of tolerance and respect."

A statement from White House Press Secretary Tony Snow noted the meeting coincided with International Human Rights Week, which renews the pledges of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights drafted in the wake of World War II atrocities.

"The Iranian regime perversely seeks to call the historical fact of those atrocities into question and provide a platform for hatred," Snow said.

He said the United States will continue to support those in Iran and elsewhere who seek to promote human rights "and will stand with them in their efforts to overcome oppression, injustice and tyranny."

On Monday the U.S. State Department dismissed the conference as "just awful."

Participants at the conference praised Iran's hard-line president Tuesday, saying the gathering gave them the opportunity to air theories that cast doubt on the Nazis' attempt to eradicate the Jewish people, something that is banned in parts of Europe.

The government-sponsored conference in Tehran, which has drawn Holocaust deniers from around the world, has continued to be the focus of international condemnation.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair called the conference "shocking beyond belief" and branded it "a symbol of sectarianism and hatred."

He said he saw little hope of engaging Iran in constructive action in the Middle East, saying, "I look around the region at the moment, and everything Iran is doing is negative."

Ahmadinejad initiated the two-day gathering in an attempt to bolster his image as a leader standing up to Israel, Europe and the U.S. - an image he has used to whip up support at home and abroad.

"Ahmadinejad's Holocaust comment opened a new window in international relations on this issue. Twenty years ago, it was not possible to talk about the Holocaust and any scientific study was subject to punishment. This taboo has been broken, thanks to Mr. Ahmadinejad's initiative," Georges Theil of France told conference delegates on Tuesday.

Theil was convicted earlier this year in France for "contesting the truth of crimes against humanity" after he said the Nazis never used poison gas against Jews.

Michele Renouf, an Australian socialite supporter of "Holocaust skeptics," called Ahmadinejad "a hero" for opening a debate about the Holocaust. Renouf, a blonde former beauty queen, addressed the audience wearing a green robe and Islamic headscarf, abiding by Iranian law requiring women to cover their hair.

The 67 participants from 30 countries - who include some of Europe's most prominent Holocaust deniers - were expected to meet Ahmadinejad later Tuesday.

"This conference has an incredible impact on Holocaust studies all over the world," said American David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader and former state representative in Louisiana.

"The Holocaust is the device used as the pillar of Zionist imperialism, Zionist aggression, Zionist terror and Zionist murder," Duke told The Associated Press.

In Germany, Austria and France, it is illegal to deny the Holocaust or question some aspects of it, and several of the Tehran conference participants have been prosecuted. They and the conference organizers have touted the gathering as an expression of academic free speech.

Participants milled around a model of the Auschwitz concentration camp brought by one speaker, Australian Frederick Toben, who uses the mock-up in lectures contending that the camp was too small to kill mass numbers of Jews. More than 1 million people are estimated to have been killed there.

Toben, who was jailed in Germany in 1999 for questioning the Holocaust, has toured Iranian universities in the past, delivering lectures.

Also among the participants are two rabbis and four other members of the group Jews United Against Zionism, who were dressed in the traditional long black coats and black hats of ultra-Orthodox Jews. Members of the delegation, representatives of the Neturei Karta group, say the existence of the state of Israel violates Jewish law and argues that the Holocaust should not be used to justify its founding.

Many of the speakers at the conference insisted the extent of the Holocaust had been largely exaggerated, some contending Jews had exploited it to win backing for the creation of Israel.

In response to the forum, the Vatican issued a statement calling the Holocaust an "immense tragedy before which we cannot remain indifferent ... The memory of those horrible events must remain as a warning for people's consciences."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, "we reject with all our strength the conference taking place in Iran about the supposed nonexistence of the Holocaust."

"We absolutely reject this; Germany will never accept this and will act against it with all the means that we have," Merkel said at a news conference alongside visiting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

The gathering coincided with an independently convened academic conference on the Holocaust in Berlin, Germany, where historians affirmed the accuracy of the Nazi genocide data and questioned the motives of those behind the Tehran forum.


Pols Blast Iran Holocaust Forum.

Ahmadinejad event a ‘platform for hatred,’ says White House.

James D. Besser - Washington Correspondent
Thursday, December 14, 2006 / 23 Kislev 5767

This week’s Holocaust denial festival in Tehran, sponsored by the Iranian government, has provoked strong reactions in Washington, as well as naturally fierce denunciation from Jewish groups around the world.

On Monday the White House got into the act, calling the conference a “platform for hatred” and an “affront to the entire civilized world, as well as to the traditional Iranian values of tolerance and mutual respect.”

In Congress, lawmakers last week passed a resolution strongly condemning the week’s “Review of the Holocaust: Global Vision” conference.

The resolution also condemns “all vile anti-Semitic statements made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other Iranian leaders,” and calls on the United Nations to “publicly repudiate all of Iran’s anti-Semitic statements made at such conferences and hold accountable United Nations member states that encourage or echo such statements.”

And the lawmakers called on the Security Council to “strengthen its commitment to taking measures necessary to prevent Iran from possessing nuclear power.”

The measure was sponsored in the House by Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.), who said that “The Iranian regimes’ public anti-Semitic, anti-U.S. and anti-Israel policies underscore the threat posed by a nuclear Iran.”

The Senate quickly passed its own version of the bill, authored by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.).

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad insists his only goal is to promote debate on the subject, but the cast of characters who turned up in Tehran this week suggested darker motives.
Attending were Holocaust denial enthusiasts from around the world, as well as assorted neo-Nazis and a fringe Jewish sect that rejects Israel.

David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan leader and politician, said in a speech to delegates that the conference “shall one day deem as one of the most important of the 21st century.”

Duke praised Ahmadinejad for having “the knowledge, the foresight and the courage to convene this conference to offer free speech for the world’s most repressed idea, Holocaust revisionism.”

The text of the speech was posted on Duke’s Web site—which also features stories such as Duke’s “Is Russia the Key to White Survival?”

Also appearing at the conference: representatives of the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta sect.

Rabbi Aharon Cohen, a leader of the ultra-Orthodox group, did not deny the Holocaust in his address to delegates, but said that it has been used as “one of the pillars of justification for Zionism,” which the group rejects.

This week Jewish groups were intensifying their public relations campaign against the conference and its claims.

On Thursday the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations scheduled a public event featuring a team of diplomats and legal experts to counter the claims at the Iran conference.

Scheduled to appear are outgoing U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, former Canadian Attorney General Irwin Cotler and former Israeli UN ambassador Dore Gold.

The panel will call on the UN International Court of Justice to charge Ahmadinejad with inciting genocide through his threats to the United States and Israel and for policies resulting in discrimination against Jews and Christians.


New UN chief denounces Iran for denying Holocaust, threatening Israel

By Reuters
Thu., December 14, 2006 Kislev 23, 5767

UNITED NATIONS - Incoming United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told Iran on Thursday it was unacceptable to deny that the Holocaust took place or to call for Israel to be wiped off the map.

Ban was responding to a question asked at a news conference about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who since coming to power in August last year has caused an outcry by terming the Holocaust a "myth" and calling Israel a "tumor" in the Middle East.

Ahmadinejad just ended a two-day international conference on the Holocaust that was dominated by speakers who questioned the extermination of 6 million Jews by the Nazis in World War Two.

"Denying historical facts especially on such an important subject as the Holocaust is just not acceptable," Ban said.

"Nor is it acceptable to call for the elimination of states or people," Ban said. "I would like to see this fundamental principle respected in both rhetoric and practice by all the members of the international community."

A former South Korean foreign minister, Ban spoke to reporters after he took an oath of office in the UN General Assembly as secretary-general to succeed Kofi Annan. He assumes his post on January 1.

Ban left open the possibility of visiting Tehran on a series of issues.

"Whenever and when the situation requires me to do, I am prepared to engage in dialogue with the Iranian people," he said.

But he avoided commenting on questions about Iran's nuclear ambitions, now the subject of a resolution before the UN Security Council.


Satmars: Hasidim who attended Shoah denial conference are 'reckless outcasts'

By Shlomo Shamir
Sun., December 17, 2006 Kislev 26, 5767

NEW YORK - Leaders of New York's ultra-Orthodox Satmar community vehemently denied any connection with the Hasidim who participated in the Holocaust denial conference held in Tehran last week and met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

New York Satmar leaders, who usually avoid all contact with members of the media, on Friday took the unusual step of issuing a press release slamming the "reckless outcasts" who took part in the Tehran gathering. The statement said that through their participation these individuals turned themselves into Holocaust deniers and joined those who dismiss the extent of the murder and cruelty and diminish the number of the victims who were murdered because they were Jewish.

A separate press release issued by the Satmar Congregation Yetev Lev in Brooklyn took pains to establish that those who participated in the Iran conference do not belong to their community.

It is a big mistake, the statement continued, to call them rabbis or Hasidim just because of the way they dress.

The position of the Jewish delegates, the Satmars said in the unusual press release, "is contrary to the teachings of our venerated Grand Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum, the founder and leader of the Satmar movement."


Why Deny the Holocaust?
Iran views Holocaust denial as a strategic propaganda tool.

by Caroline Glick
27 Kislev 5767 / 18 December 2006

There is something terribly confusing about Iran's penchant for denying the Holocaust. Given Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's stated desire to see Israel wiped off the map, it would seem more reasonable for Iran to be celebrating the Holocaust than denying it.

But Ahmadinejad is slicker than that. He embraces not the Holocaust but the nation that pulled it off. In his August missive to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, he referred to the German nation as "a great contributor to progress in science, philosophy, literature, the arts and politics" who have had a "positive influence in international relations and the promotion of peace." These lines of course are open to interpretation. He could be referring to Goethe and Schiller and he could be referring to Heidegger and Goebbels. So why is the guy who is gunning for a new Holocaust belittling the last one?

First of all, by doing so he empowers those Germans and friends of Germany who carried it out. By denying the Holocaust Ahmadinejad turns the Nazis into victims and so provides a space for them to express themselves after a 60-year silence. Indeed, in Germany neo-Nazism is a burgeoning political and social force that proudly parades its links to Iran.

The German fascist party NPD's followers demonstrated in support of Iran at the World Cup in Germany last spring. This week, Der Spiegel reported that attacks against Jewish children have increased markedly in recent years. Jewish children and their non-Jewish friends have been humiliated in anti-Semitic rituals unheard of since the Nazi era. "Jew" has become one of the most prevalent derogatory terms in use in Germany today.

Iran's adoption of Holocaust denial as an official, defiant policy gives legitimacy to this striking phenomenon. This is especially the case since Iran is blaming the Jews for silencing these poor fascists. In his same letter to Merkel Ahmadinejad wrote, "The perpetual claimants against the great people of Germany are the bullying Zionists that funded the Al Quds Occupying Regime with the force of bayonets in the Middle East."

Ahmadinejad of course does not limit his efforts to the Nazis. He is also setting the cognitive conditions for the annihilation of Israel for the international Left by presenting Israel's existence as a direct result of the Holocaust. As Iran's Foreign Minister Manoucher Mottaki said this week, "If the official version of the Holocaust is thrown into doubt, then the identity and nature of Israel will be thrown into doubt."

In short, Iran views Holocaust denial as a strategic propaganda tool. By downgrading the Holocaust, Iran mobilizes supporters and paralyzes potential opponents. Its coupling of the last Holocaust with the one it signals daily it intends to carry out wins it support among the Nazis and the Sunnis alike. Its presentation of the Holocaust as a myth used to exploit Muslims wins its support in the international Left which increasingly views Israel as an illegitimate state. So by denying the Holocaust Iran raises its leadership profile both regionally and globally.

Indeed, even if the Left doesn't buy into Holocaust denial, it can still agree with Iran's conclusion that Israel has no right to exist. As Mottaki explained, "If during this [Holocaust denial conference] it is proved that the Holocaust was a historical reality, then what is the reason for the Muslim people of the region and the Palestinians having to pay the cost of the Nazis' crimes?"

So from Mottaki's perspective, Israel is illegitimate whether the Holocaust happened or not. In making this point, Mottaki closed the gap between Iran and a loud chorus of voices in both Europe and the US who claim that Israel was established only because of European guilt over the Holocaust and consequently the Jewish state has no inherent legitimacy. This is a view that even Jewish leftists like Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen and New York University Professor Tony Judt have expressed.

Inevitably, those who hold this view come to believe that Israel has no right to defend itself. After all, if Israel is but an illegal European colony on stolen Arab lands, then any act of self-defense that Israel takes is by definition an act of aggression. So from this perspective, all Israel can do is give away land and accept that it must pay for all the pathologies of the Arab world.

The view that every problem in the region is somehow or other bound up in Israel's stubborn refusal to disappear is clearly reflected also in the policy prescriptions of the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group, in former president Jimmy Carter's anti-Semitic attacks against Israel and in the position paper authored by professors Steve Walt and John Mearsheimer about the so-called "Israel Lobby" (which is due to be published as a full-length book ahead of the 2008 presidential elections).

And so, by framing its Holocaust denial around an interpretation of the Arab world's war against Israel propounded by radical leftists and foreign policy "realists" of the soft-Right, the Iranians enable them to find a comfort level with what Iran is doing today. This comfort was displayed by the new US Defense Secretary Robert Gates in his Senate confirmation hearing where he justified Iran's nuclear weapons program by claiming that it was a deterrent measure in response to the fact that Pakistan, Russia, the US and Israel all have nuclear weapons. Gates of course served on the Baker-Hamilton commission and no doubt supports its recommendation that Israel be forced to give the Golan Heights to Syria and Judea and Samaria to Hamas.

Not only does Iran's Holocaust denial attract potential supporters, it also confuses and so neutralizes potential opponents who neither like nor dislike Jews and are too confused to understand the threat Iran poses to the US.

Although it has not for a moment desisted from its calls of "Death to America," its vision of a world without America or its threats to attack Europe, Iran has made Israel the focus of its propaganda. In so doing it has provided cover for "realists" like Mearsheimer, Walt and James Baker who claim that the war is really just between Israel and the Muslims and that the only reason that the US finds itself caught in the middle is because of its support for Israel. That support, in turn, is the result of Jewish subversion of Washington through the so-called all powerful "Israel lobby," which Carter claims, as he sells his latest screed, no politician will risk bucking up against.

This view, now emerging into the mainstream political debate in the US, has already won the debate in most of Europe. There the view is that European Muslims are only attacking their non-Muslim countrymen because states like the US and Micronesia have yet to abandon Israel.

For Merkel, the centerpiece of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's trip to Germany Tuesday was her furious denunciation of the Iranian conference. "I would like to make it clear that we reject with all our strength the conference taking place in Iran.... Germany will never accept this and will act against [Holocaust denial] with all the means that we have."

Merkel's breathless furor is an example of the final problem that Ahmadinejad has created for his opponents by adopting Holocaust denial as a central plank of Iran's foreign policy. Bluntly stated, he gives people a way to be perceived as being against Iran without actually doing anything to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons.

Merkel and her fellow Germans have spent an inordinate amount of time over the past three years condemning the Nazi Holocaust. This week they even organized a special Holocaust-condemning conference in response to the Iranian Holocaust-denying conference.

Yet over the same time period, they have conducted negotiations with Teheran as part of the EU-3 that have enabled Iran to continue its nuclear progress; obstructed US efforts to levy sanctions on Iran; and maintained active trade relations with Iran. Merkel's government has continued the practice of providing loan guarantees to German firms doing business with Iran. In 2005, German-Iranian trade stood at about $5 billion.

Now, after three years of disastrous negotiations with the mullahs, Germany has finally come around to supporting the European draft sanctions resolution against Iran being debated in the UN Security Council. The problem is that the proposed sanctions are so weak that they will have no impact on Iran's ability to move on with its nuclear bomb program.

The obvious fact that the sanctions will have no impact on Iran has not made a dent in Merkel's refusal to support military action against Iran under any circumstances -- a refusal she reiterated while standing next to Israel's prime minister on Tuesday.

Were Israel to base its diplomatic, military, informational and economic policies on a single-minded commitment to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear capabilities, it would succeed. Unfortunately, under the Olmert government Israel is doing nothing of the kind on any level.

On the public diplomacy level, were Israel to take concerted action against Iran's Holocaust denial program, it could destroy the program and so enact a positive change in the public discourse on Iran. Merkel's stated refusal to support military action against Iran's nuclear facilities was an ideal opportunity to launch such action. If Olmert had reacted in disgust to Merkel's statement and announced that it was unacceptable, he would have stood the Iranians' propaganda on its head.

Imagine what the impact would have been if Olmert had rejoined, "Excuse me, but it is quite possible that at the end of the day a military strike against Iran will be the only way to prevent Iran from acquiring atomic bombs and so committing another Holocaust. Given this, your blanket opposition to the notion of military strikes constitutes Germany's effective acceptance of another Holocaust. Shame on you, Angie. Shame on Germany."

Such a statement would have changed the entire dynamic of the international discourse on Iran.

If we are willing to do what is necessary, Israel can prevent the next Holocaust.

This article originally appeared in the Jerusalem Post.


Indict Ahmadinejad

by Jeff Jacoby
3 Tevet 5767 / 24 December 2006

Iran's intentions are nakedly, malignantly clear. What is not clear at all is what the civilized world will do about it

Simon Bikindi was once the most famous musician in Rwanda. Twelve years ago he was also the most lethal.

In 1994, as Hutu militants slaughtered more than 800,000 of Rwanda's minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus, it was Bikindi's inflammatory songs that dominated the country's airwaves. Radio Milles Collines, which egged on the death squads and coordinated their attacks, "played Bikindi's music constantly during the 100 days of killing," the New York Times recalled in 2002. "In Rwanda, almost no one reads newspapers or owns a television, and radio is king. According to eyewitness reports, many of the killers sang Bikindi's songs as they hacked or beat to death hundreds of thousands of Tutsis with government-issued machetes and homemade nail-studded clubs."

Today Bikindi is being tried by the international tribunal created to bring Rwanda's accused war criminals to justice. The central charge against him is that he incited genocide with his songs. He is not the only Rwandan to be put on trial for incitement. Among those already convicted are a founding director of Radio Milles Collines and the one time editor of Kangura, a virulently anti-Tutsi newspaper.

Words can be deadly, opening the door to murder on a vast scale. That is why the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide unambiguously makes it as much of a crime to incite acts of genocide with words as to physically commit them with weapons. And if that is true of words uttered by a singer or an editor, surely it is even truer of exhortations to mass murder by a head of state .

So if Simon Bikindi has been charged with incitement to commit genocide, why hasn't Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?

In New York last week, a number of prominent lawyers and diplomats -- including John Bolton, the outgoing American ambassador to the United Nations -- called for making the indictment of Ahmadinejad an international priority. The gathering was organized by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, which issued a brief setting out in detail the legal case for prosecuting the Iranian president and the regime he represents.

There is nothing cryptic about Iran's genocidal intentions. Ahmadinejad has called openly for Israel to be "wiped off the map." In 2005 he hosted a conference anticipating "The World Without Zionism"; last week he convened another to deny that the Nazi Holocaust ever took place. He vows that Israel "will be purged from the center of the Islamic world" and that "the elimination of the Zionist regime will be smooth and simple." He demonizes Jews as "bloodthirsty barbarians" and "very filthy people" who have "inflicted the most damage on the human race." In August he warned: "They should know that they are nearing the last days of their lives."

These are not the ravings of some obstreperous politician whom Iran's clerics would be wise to muzzle. Ahmadinejad's words echo genocidal threats made at the highest levels of the Tehran regime.

"There is only one solution to the Middle East problem," declares Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, "namely, the annihilation and destruction of the Jewish state." Former president Hashemi Rafsanjani, routinely described in the West as a "moderate," explains the asymmetrical advantage of a nuclear attack on Israel: "The use of a nuclear bomb against Israel will leave nothing on the ground, whereas [any Israeli retaliation] would only damage the world of Islam." Iran is aggressively pursuing nuclear weapons; it already has the long-range missiles needed to launch them. When those missiles are paraded behind signs reading "Israel must be uprooted and erased from history," it requires willful blindness not to perceive what Ahmadinejad and the mullahs have in mind.

For many months preceding the Rwandan genocide, there was similar incitement to mass-murder. Yet international authorities did nothing to silence the inciters -- with catastrophic results.

The situation in Iran today is frighteningly similar. But as the JCPA brief, which was written by human-rights scholar Justus Reid Weiner argues, there is one critical difference: "While the Hutus in Rwanda were equipped with . . . machetes, Iran, should the international community do nothing to prevent it, will soon acquire nuclear weapons." At that point Tehran would be poised to commit the first "instant genocide" in history.

At the New York symposium, Ambassador Bolton remarked that historians looking back at horrific acts of evil often wonder how responsible officials at the time didn't see them coming. "How was it that they missed . . . clear signals from the people who were about to commit acts of great barbarity and atrocity -- who never made any effort to conceal what their intentions were?"

Iran's intentions are nakedly, malignantly clear. What is not clear at all is what the civilized world will do about it. An indictment of Ahmadinejad under the Genocide Convention would not, by itself, eliminate the threat of a second Holocaust. It would, however, make a good first step.

Author Biography:

Jeff Jacoby is a columnist for The Boston Globe. To see a month's worth of his recent columns, please visit www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/jacoby/


Prominent lobbyist Perle: U.S. will attack Iran if it obtains nukes

By Yossi Melman and Mazal Mualem, Haaretz Correspondents
Tue., January 23, 2007 Shvat 4, 5767

President George Bush will order an attack on Iran if it becomes clear to him that Iran is set to acquire nuclear weapons capabilities while he is still in office, Richard Perle told the Herzliya Conference on Sunday. Perle is close to the Bush administration, particularly to Vice President Richard Cheney.

The leading neoconservative and fellow at the American Enterprise Institute addressed the session on Iran's nuclear program. He said that the present policy of attempting to impose sanctions on Iran will not cause it to abandon its nuclear aspirations, and unless stopped the country will become a nuclear power.

A less decisive opinion was expressed by Dr. Robert Einhorn, who until 2001 was senior advisor to the secretary of state on nuclear nonproliferation, chemical, biological and missile delivery systems. Einhorn told the conference that of all available options, including the military one, he preferred continued pressure on Iran that would force its leadership to pay a political, economic or other price and conclude on its own that its nuclear aspirations were harming its interests.

Einhorn emphasized, however, that the military option still exists and can be carried out on short notice. Natanz, the nexus of Iran's uranium enrichment program, would be a major target of such action.

Dr. Gary Samore, Director of Studies at the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations, told the Herzliya Conference he believed Iran was still years away from attaining nuclear weapons capability, He admitted that at this stage it would be difficult to judge whether Iran has a second, secret nuclear program parallel to its declared one. Samore said that even if it this is the case Iran still cannot yet create enough fissionable material to make its first nuclear bomb.

Dr. Eli Levita, deputy director of Israel's Atomic Energy Commission, did not discuss the Israeli position. Instead, he emphasized that since 1989 the world has been in what he called the "third nuclear age." He said this age, which would continue until approximately 2011, was characterized by destabilization of the nuclear order and the appearance of new nuclear powers. The war in Iraq, Levita explained, was the first war to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The next age, the fourth age according to Levita, could see the rise of Iran as a nuclear power, the disintegration of Pakistan as a result of its possession of nuclear weapons, serious consequences resulting from the continuing crisis in North Korea and the danger of nuclear weapons finding their way to terror groups.

Opposition head Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the Iranian nuclear threat extensively in his speech at the conference. According to Netanyahu, the threat should be countered with a series of steps to explain the situation in the international arena, as well as with economic sanctions.

He proposed starting with a divestment by major U.S. pension funds of companies doing business in Iran.

"I call on the world that did not stop the Holocaust to stop investing in Iran to prevent genocide," he said, recommending garnering international support to bring Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to trial for genocide.

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Add things to your sidebar here. Use the format:
  • Link Text
  • +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ -->