Hate speech to blame for massacre

Israel and Western allies must campaign to charge writers, leaders who incite violence

Mourning the Toulouse shootings 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Mourning the Toulouse shootings 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The pogrom against Toulouse’s Jewish school didn’t come out of nowhere. A daily diet of hateful propaganda had its intended effect.
Only one nation on this planet is regarded as virtually having no civilians: the Jewish State. Back in the 1970s, international law expert Yoram Dinstein argued that according to UN definitions, terrorism and incitement against Israel and the Jews constituted genocide.
Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote that it was words, not machinery, that produced Auschwitz. Today the call for Jews’ destruction echoes through schools and mosques, textbooks and newspapers, TV series and pseudo-documentaries. And not only in the Arab world.
Do you remember “Trifles for a Massacre” by Louis-Ferdinand Céline? The genius of French literature in 1939 published this call for Jews to disappear from France: “We will finish off the Jews, or we will die because of the Jews." A couple of years later the gas chambers began to liquidate Judaism. Céline was later condemned for “collaborationism,” and his pamphlet is still banned throughout Europe.
But most people forget about Jean-Paul Sartre, the incarnation of French cultural engagement, the guru who turned down a Nobel Prize for literature. When 11 Israeli athletes were butchered at the 1972 Munich Olympics, he wrote “terrorism is a terrible weapon, but the oppressed poor have no others.”
The lessons from Céline and Sartre are urgent after Toulouse. Namely, the appeal of Jihadi totalitarianism and Palestinian terrorism to our new Western intellectuals. When legions of “Palestinian martyrs” started blowing themselves up in the streets of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, how many European intellectuals expressed this Sartrian, lame empathy for the murderous rage?
Take Tom Paulin, the Irish poet laureate who recommended that “Brooklyn-born settlers be shot dead." In Judea and Samaria his words had a special meaning for dozens of Jewish families. For good measure Paulin added: “I never believed that Israel had the right to exist at all."
Take Zygmunt Bauman, one of the world’s most influential sociologists, who in a recent interview with the Polish weekly Politika compared the Israeli anti-terror fence to the Warsaw Ghetto, from which 400,000 innocent, peaceful Jews were deported to Treblinka’s gas chambers.
Take the prominent French sociologist Edgar Morin, who dubbed Israel “a cancer."
Today, anti-Semitism no longer shocks people and Hamas’ leaders are welcomed at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Israel must not accept this horrible status quo. David Ben-Gurion’s famous statement “Oom, Shmoom,” meaning “The UN - who cares?” sums up Israel’s history of indifference to world opinion.
It has been a failed policy, as Israel’s enemies are using any global means at their disposal to undermine the Jewish State and demonize Jews all over the world. Hate material such as “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” was promoted by Iran at the latest Frankfurt Book Fair. School maps without Israel are being disseminated in mainline churches. European politicians declare that Israel’s existence is “racist” and akin to “apartheid.”
Comparisons are drawn between Israel and the Nazis in the Western newspapers. World Jewry is collectively being held responsible for the actions of Israel. Rabbi Jonathan Sandler and his two children paid for this criminalization. Other Israeli civilians will pay for this monstrification.
The legal basis for a new anti-genocide campaign is the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, ratified in 1951. In 2003, the World Union for Progressive Judaism asked UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the UN Human Rights Commission to condemn the Hamas’ charter as a violation of the Convention against Genocide. Israel and its Western allies must launch a campaign to charge organizations, writers and leaders who commit incitement, enlisting the help of attorneys and journalists to testify on the endless litanies of paranoia and genocidal perversion.
Irwin Cotler, Canada’s former minister of justice and attorney general, suggested that Iran’s Ahmadinejad and other incitement leaders should be placed on a “watch list” by Western countries preventing their entrance as “non grata persons.” Such people risk their careers and lives daily by denouncing the blood libels, and Israel should support them.
Moreover, human rights groups should be bombarded with the untold Israeli statistics: The 17,000 people wounded in terror attacks; the 1,600 civilians killed; the 15,000 rockets fired on southern Israeli cities; the fact that some 40% of wounded Israelis will remain with permanent disabilities. This is an historical battle that Israel can win with the support of Westerners who still care about the fate of their civilization.
To the Spanish fascists who were saying “Viva la muerte!” (Long live death!), the Republicans replied: “No pasarán.”(They shall not pass.) We should offer the same response to contemporary death cultists. As history has taught us, while it begins with Jews, it does not end with Jews. It’s time to stop the new trifles for a Jewish massacre.
The writer is the author of The Untold Story of Israel’s Victims of Terrorism and a columnist for Yedioth Ahronoth and Israelnationalnews. His new book about Israel and the Vatican will be released later this year.