November 22, 2013His Excellency
Secretary-General of the United Nations
Honorable Ban Ki Moon,
Racist and Genocidal Remarks by Iran’s Head of State
I write to you on behalf of the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, a Category II NGO at the UN, whose members are lawyers, judges, judicial officers and academic jurists in over 50 countries.
I wish to communicate our members’ deepest anxiety and outrage at remarks made by the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei during a Nov 20th speech broadcast live on Iran’s Press TV, as well as content published subsequently on the Ayatollah’s Twitter feed.
During the speech, the Ayatollah described Israel (which he refers to as “the Zionist Regime”) as a “rabid dog” and said that “Zionist officials cannot be called humans, they are like animals…”. He also said “the Israeli regime is doomed to failure and annihilation”.
On November 21st, the Ayatollah’s Twitter feed displayed an image of what purports to be a dog employed by the Israeli military pulling at the arm of an Arab woman, with the caption in English: “Israel is the sinister, unclean rabid dog of the region”.
The Ayatollah’s depiction of Israeli Jews as sub-human, evil and dirty is a typical manifestation of anti-Semitism and racism in its vilest form and is reminiscent of the worst examples of such phenomena from the last century.
In addition, by directly and publicly inciting for the destruction, in whole or in part, of a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, the Iranian Head of State is guilty of incitement to the crime of Genocide under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide as well as under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
As an organization which was created, inter alia, to “reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small” (Preamble – UN Charter), it is incumbent upon the UN to respond forcefully and unequivocally in rejecting such rhetoric by the leader of one of its member states.
In the words of the Irish Statesman, Edmund Burke:
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Thus, we call upon His Excellency to condemn the abovementioned statements of Ayatollah Khamenei in the strongest terms and to publish the condemnation as widely as possible. We also urge His Excellency to raise the matter before the Security Council with a view to imposing possible sanctions and referring the charge of Incitement to Genocide to the International Criminal Court.
Irit Kohn, Adv.