Rep. Steve Israel of New York, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, introduced legislation to the House last week that calls for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to be arrested for incitement to genocide.
The symbolic resolution notes that Ahmadinejad has called for Israel to “be wiped off the map” and referred to Israelis as “bloodthirsty barbarians” and “fabricated people.” The Iranian president has also questioned whether Jews were actually killed in Nazi extermination camps.
The legislation accuses Ahmadinejad of violating United Nation’s Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which makes incitement to commit genocide a punishable act.
Israel’s resolution was introduced to the House just days after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said he would seek to have Ahmadinejad indicted if elected president.
“I’d make sure that Ahmadinejad is indicted under the Genocide Convention,” Romney said during the final presidential debate on October 23. “His words amount to genocide incitation. I would indict him for it.”
Israel previously called for the arrest and trial Ahmadinejad in September before the Iranian president addressed the United Nations. The congressman has compared Ahmadinejad to Jean Paul Akayesu, a Rwandan who was convicted of incitement to genocide for urging the elimination of the Tutsi ethnic group. He also called for Ahmadinejad’s arrest in 2010.
Eric W. Dolan
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