Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
I read something from Iran that truly jolted me. That says a lot because one would think that a Jewish American is already inured to the never-ending stream of vile hatred and incitement that is part of the DNA of ayatollah-led Iran. The sad thing about hatred is that you can sometimes become immune to it.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other Iranian leaders have threated the American people in general, and the Jewish people in particular, with death and annihilation so many times that one instinctively begins to roll one’s eyes. Mind you, it’s important not to do so and to remember that genocidal incitement is expressly prohibited by the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide to which the United States and nearly every country on earth is signatory.
But what made today so much worse was the use, by Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s brazen foreign minister, of the post-Holocaust mantra “Never Again” to justify Iran’s murderous activities. Writing in a Washington Post
op-ed, Zarif defended the regime’s missile and nuclear program by saying they are part of “indigenous defensive capabilities... The words ‘Never again’ resonate with Iranians, too.”
Iran denies the Holocaust. So what does he mean by “Never again” resonates with Iranians? Didn’t the Jews manufacture the Holocaust as a way of gaining sympathy from the nations in order to steal Palestinian land? Much more important, this vile comparison of Iran’s bloodthirsty support of international terrorism with the indiscriminate murder of 6 million Jews, including 1.5 million children, represents a new low even for the contemptible Zarif.
Zarif is the Iranian propaganda master who serves as a thin veneer covering the mullahs’ bloodthirsty brutality. Educated in the West and a master of using Western language to mask the regime’s crimes, Zarif was granted international legitimacy by Barack Obama and John Kerry in negotiating, and concluding, a nuclear agreement with the West. The administration’s legitimization of Iran gave the ayatollahs license to threaten the Jews with annihilation without suffering any consequence. That was bad enough. But now we have Zarif coopting the sacred language of the martyred 6 million to justify Iranian nuclear terrorism.
And he has done so not in some cheap Iranian publication but in the most prestigious newspaper of the US capital.
Let’s be clear.
The slow and gradual erosion of shock at genocide – both of the past and those that are being planned – is what allows mass murder to take place. When the world loses its capacity to be sickened by the wholesale slaughter of innocents, it opens the door for it to happen again. That’s Iran’s intent. Threaten genocide enough times, or deny its occurrence repeatedly, and the world will allow you to build the weapons for the next one without raising an eyebrow.
We now see Iran engaging in a calculated three-step process. First, deny that the Jews were ever gassed.
Second, threaten to destroy them again and get the world accustomed to the incitement. Third, cheapen the only defenses in the English language for its recurrence.
Presto, you’ve set the stage for another Holocaust, and not only do people not object, they will pay you $150 billion just to sign on the dotted line.
This is the world that Obama has wrought. The president never once warned the Iranians that nuclear negotiations would cease pending their cessation of genocidal threats, against both his own country and Israel. He never told them once that threatening a nation that lost one third of its people just 70 years ago to mass shootings and poison gas is forbidden. He never told Khamenei and Zarif that the United States would stand by the commitment of the UN Genocide Convention to stop all genocidal incitement once and for all.
And now we see the consequences. Even the words “Never again” have been defiled and made inconsequential.
Last week I was invited to an event at the Harvard Club in New York City with Sen. Ted Cruz, a great friend and defender of Israel. Cruz spoke about the Iran nuclear agreement as an embarrassment and a travesty. But whether people agree with him or not, support him or not, the very next night another travesty occurred when it was reported that Mohammad Zarif spoke at the very same club, bearing the name of America’s most prestigious academy of higher learning.
In the world that President Obama leaves us, it is perfectly acceptable to defile the memory and language of the Holocaust all while threatening a renewed effort at Jewish extinction, and to do it in America’s most prestigious forums.
My God, my God, what have we come to? Rabbi Shmuley Boteach is the founder of The World Values Network and is the international best-selling author of 30 books, including his forthcoming
The Israel Warriors Handbook. Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.