CALLING ON UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL TO CHARGE IRANIAN PRESIDENT WITH CERTAIN VIOLATIONS BECAUSE OF HIS CALLS FOR DESTRUCTION OF ISRAEL -- (House of Representatives - June 18, 2007)
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(Mr. ROTHMAN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. ROTHMAN. I thank the distinguished gentlelady from California, who was also a former Ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia. Thank you for your leadership on this issue and on so many other issues.
To my dear friend, the ranking member of the International Relations Committee, the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Ros-Lehtinen), thank you for your strong support for this resolution and for countless other measures of importance to the world as well as to the United States of America.
Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of House Concurrent Resolution 21, a resolution that I was proud to author, along with Congressman Mark Kirk from Illinois.
Mr. Speaker, what do you do when you see injustice? What do you do when you see injustice? Well, as I told my children, you only have two choices when you see injustice. You do nothing, you walk away in the face of genocide, or someone else's torment or unjust, unfair treatment, do nothing, wear blinders like most of the world, or you do something, do something in the face of injustice.
Here we have the President of a sovereign nation, a Member of the U.N., Ahmadinejad from Iran, who says that a fellow nation in the world, a member of the U.N., the state of Israel, should be wiped off the face of the Earth, the people killed. Not only is that a violation of the U.N. Charter, which, not surprisingly, says one cannot, as a member nation, advocate the death and destruction of another member nation, it also violates the Geneva Convention rules against incitement to genocide.
Lest one think that Mr. Ahmadinejad, a twisted, backward, lunatic, be some nonthreatening individual crazy man who happens to talk about the death of millions of innocent people, this is the head of a nation, a sovereign nation with oil wealth and an army and with a stated goal of acquiring nuclear weapons to use to carry out his homicidal, genocidal, lunatic delusions of wiping out the State of Israel.
So we must take his threats seriously. Just as so many say in the history of the 20th century as we review it, we should have taken Hitler's threats more seriously and not just disregarded him as some lunatic who couldn't do anything about his threats.
So we have asked the United Nations, we are asking them through this resolution to enforce its own rules against the incitement of the destruction of a member nation of the U.N..
What is happening at the U.N.? Today you have Indonesia, unbelievably, standing in the way of a simple resolution, simple statement of condemnation against Ahmadinejad's genocidal statement to destroy Israel.
Why would Indonesia not support the rules of the United Nations? Why would not they not even stand silent, they are stopping the U.N. from announcing its resolution against Ahmadinejad's genocidal statements.
Why would Indonesia do that? Whatever the reason, my friends, it's wrong.
Unless Indonesia understands clearly that it will pay a price in world opinion and in economic matters and in political relations with the rest of the world, perhaps it won't move. But let Indonesia know that this United States House of Representatives, these Representatives of the 320 million American people, know what is wrong and what is right.
It is wrong to call for the death and destruction of a nation. It is wrong to call for the genocide of a people, and it is wrong for any other nation to stand in the way of justice, and we won't forget who helped us stop injustice and who prevented us from calling for the trial of Ahmadinejad before the international criminal court and sanctions upon Iran at the U.N.
Why is it important for the United States House of Representatives to speak? Because we will not be silent in the face of this lunatic madman who threatens us and threatens our allies.
By the way, if you read the history of the United States of America, we've been standing up for Israel since its founding. And in our founding, in the 1700s, if you read the history of all of our founders, they supported a Jewish homeland in Palestine. From the 1700s in America up until today, long before the Holocaust of the mid-20th century, back in the 1700s, Americans believed that the Jews should be returned to their homeland. And now this lunatic in Iran wants to wipe out this nation.
And Israel is not just a sentimental favorite. Israel happens to be America's number one strategic military, economic ally in the entire Middle East. People say, well, you know Iraq, and we won't get into that debacle at the moment, what it's costing us in troops and our military, 150,000 troops. If the state of Israel did not exist with its powerful, pro-Western military, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, tolerating all peoples in the region, how many more troops would we have to have in the Middle East if Israel didn't exist? Another 100,000, 200,000 Americans? We don't have to.
Our ally, the state of Israel, is there for America, as it has been ever since its founding: military, intelligence, economic.
So for so many reasons, legal, moral, military, national security for the United States, we cannot let this madman Ahmadinejad threaten America's greatest ally, the only Western democracy in the entire Middle East.
I urge my colleagues to support this resolution, and I urge Indonesia to do what is right and join with us.
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Mr. ROTHMAN. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
Mr. KUCINICH. Of course, I will yield to my friend from New Jersey.
Mr. ROTHMAN. My friend, you referred to a translation of a speech. The offenses of Ahmadinejad are many. And three separate remarks on three separate occasions calling for the destruction of the state of Israel, does the gentleman have translations of each of those three separate remarks calling for the genocidal destruction of the state of Israel?
Mr. KUCINICH. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Speaker, I have pretty thorough translations that I would like to proceed to speak to.
Mr. ROTHMAN. Do you have them, of all three?
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Mr. ROTHMAN. Will the gentleman yield?
Mr. KUCINICH. Yes.
Mr. ROTHMAN. First of all, a lot of these statements occurred in the capital of Iran during the World Without Zionism Conference. Zionism is a historic movement of returning the Jews to their Biblical homeland where they were expelled for thousands of years. So when they have a conference for a world without Zionism and in that conference say that the Zionist regime will be wiped off the map, one could reasonably understand that there would be no more Zionism, no Jewish state, because that is what Zionism is, no Jewish state in the Middle East. By the way, the Middle East, which is a sea of Islamic regimes. A sea of Islamic regimes. Israel's offense is having the nerve to exist as a non-Islamic regime.
But I ask the gentleman for translations of the other matters that came before the U.N. Namely, on December 12 of 2006, during a conference in Iran denying the Holocaust, Ahmadinejad said Israel would soon be wiped out. Not the Labor Government of Israel or the Likud Government of Israel, but Israel would be wiped out. And then again just a few weeks ago on Sunday, June 2, Ahmadinejad said the world would soon see the destruction of Israel. And I say to my friend from Ohio, I know you have the best intentions.
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Mr. ROTHMAN. Mr. Speaker, the gentleman is afraid that because at an anti-Zionism ``World without Zionism'' conference, Ahmadinejad said, ``Wipe Israel off the map.'' We are quibbling over whether he said on another occasion, wipe the Israel regime, Zionist regime off the map and on a third occasion said, the world would soon see the destruction of Israel. The gentleman thinks there is ambiguity there.
This is a regime in Iran sending troops and equipment, killing our soldiers in Iraq, building nuclear weapons, threatening to kill our number one ally, the State of Israel, and he doesn't want the U.N. to look into it to condemn them? I think the gentleman is wrong.
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