WASHINGTON (JTA) — Christians United for Israel has garnered more than 130,000 signatures on a petition calling for the indictment of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for incitement to genocide.
The petition makes its appeal to the United Nations and the United States. It is to be presented to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Susan Rice, the U.S. envoy to the United Nations.
"We, the undersigned, urge you to immediately call upon the United Nations Security Council to refer the case of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, to the International Criminal Court for prosecution of the crime of incitement to genocide," the petition says. "Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has a clear record of incitement to genocide as defined under the Genocide Convention and its application to date. He has sought to dehumanize Israelis and demonize Jews. He has repeatedly called for Israel’s destruction in direct and stark terms. He is getting close to acquiring the nuclear arms with which to make good on this genocidal threat. And, through his active support of Hezbollah and Hamas, he has clearly demonstrated that he is prepared to turn his talk of killing Israelis into deadly action."
The petition, launched last year, had reached 133,000 by Wednesday.
In his Sept. 23 speech to the U.N. General Assembly in New York, Ahmadinejad accused the United States of staging the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks as a means of protecting Israel.
CUFI had garnered close to 100,000 signatures by last week, and pushed the campaign forward with a video appeal on its website, using Ahmadinejad’s speech as a spur.
"Incitement to genocide is a crime under international law,” CUFI founder John Hagee said the day Ahmadinejad spoke. “Ahmadinejad’s statements and threats constitute a clear pattern of incitement to genocide against Israel. The time has come for the international community to act to stop this tyrant before he is able to fulfill his threats."
Joining CUFI’s call for indictment in the video appeal were Elie Wiesel, the Nobel peace laureate and Holocaust memoirist; U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.); Alan Dershowitz, the constitutional lawyer; and Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice-chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the Jewish community’s foreign policy umbrella.