A second genocide may be in store for the Jews if Iran decides to explode a nuclear weapon in Israel, despite the risk of its own destruction.
That was a warning that Charles A. Small, director of the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism, gave during a talk Monday at UJA Federation of Northern New Jersey in Paramus.
Asked after his talk how likely it is that Iran would attack Israel, considering that Israel or the United States might then retaliate, Small replied, “When a regime is opposed to the existence of another state, in its very ideology, and has been claiming for 30 years that Israel does not have a right to exist, and has been building a nuclear weapon and threatening to use it to eradicate Israel, we must take the threat very seriously.” (The current Iranian regime is 30 years old.)
|Yale Prof. Charles A Small speaks Monday night at UJA-NNJ. Miriam Allenson|
Small had quoted Eli Wiesel, the writer and Nazi concentration-camp survivor, as fearing that a second genocide might occur in his own lifetime if Iran decides to become “a national suicide bomber.”
During his talk, Small called upon the United States and other nations to enforce the United Nations convention that sanctions any country that incites genocide, as Iran has been doing.
He also questioned why President Obama “has remained so silent” about Iran. “Obama and some of his representatives don’t seem to grasp that they should be in the forefront of those condemning the Iranian regime.” (But on Tuesday, Obama said the United States was “appalled and outraged” by the events in Iran.) Small, who has a background in human rights, stressed that his views are not formed by the political right.
Asked what Americans do can to combat a rise in anti-Semitism, Small mentioned boycotting or picketing Shell Oil because of its cooperation with Iran’s military forces, and communicating with the media.
He also called upon Americans to educate themselves and others as to the nature of the threat. Many people don’t even know what a “fatwa” is, he said, and aren’t aware that the charter of Hamas, the Iranian-backed party that controls much of Gaza, calls for the destruction of Israel. (A “fatwa” is a religious ruling, and may be a death sentence.)
The Yale professor gave various examples of growing anti-Semitism in the world, such as “anti-apartheid” anti-Israel rallies on college campuses and a recent march in Sydney, where 2,000 supposed feminists declared “We are one with Hamas.” “Absurd,” Small called it.
The current trend, he went on, is for Israel to be not just “delegitimized,” but “dehumanized.” And he reported that the old forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, has become a best-seller in various Arab countries. It’s second only to the Koran in Iran, and 12 editions have been published in Turkey. (The book claims that Jews are conspiring to take over the world.)
The recent demonstrations in Iran, Small went on, may herald a change in the current regime, with its “cult of death” and its perversion of the religion of Islam, “which has contributed so much to the world.”
The Yale Initiative is apparently the first and only center at a Northern American university dedicated to research into anti-Semitism.
The program was sponsored by UJA-NNJ and StandWithUs, in coordination with the federation’s Jewish Community Relations Council and Israel Programs Center.