Pastor Hagee Cites Int’l Law Against Ahmadinejad

and Ali Gharib

John Hagee’s Christians United For Israel (CUFI) has just sent out a petition demanding that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad be tried by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the crime of incitement to genocide.

“The next time that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appears before an international tribunal, it must not be as an honored guest at the United Nations General Assembly. It must be as a defendant in the dock of the International Criminal Court,” Hagee and his lieutenant David Brog wrote in a letter promoting the petition, for which they claim to have already gathered 75,000 signatures.

The fact that CUFI is endorsing the authority of the ICC and international law is a striking policy shift away from the views held by most right-wing supporters of Israel. Usually, these supporters spurn international laws and the institutions that enforce them because Israel often ends up on the receiving end of international legal criticism.

For instance, settlements in the West Bank violate the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits military occupiers from transferring their own populations into occupied lands. 

It’s unclear how Hagee will bring together the contradictory positions taken by his endorsement of international law while, at the same time, funding illegal West Bank settlements.

Hagee, who is no stranger to controversy and believes that the founding of the state of Israel set a countdown clock for the apocalypse, has advocated for a territorially maximalist Israeli state and the destruction of Islamic shrines and mosques which are currently on the site of the Temple of Solomon.

CUFI’s brand of Christian Zionism has long focused on Iran, though perhaps for questionable reasons. Ali reported on the Iranian focus at the 2008 CUFI summit, where neocons like Patrick Clawson, Cliff May and Frank Gaffney pushed their own hawkish prescriptions for Iran on Hagee’s flock.

The full e-mail petition to charge Ahmadinejad in the ICC is pasted below the fold.

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is expected to address the United Nations General Assembly the week of September 13.  Once again, this Holocaust denying tyrant will be welcomed as an honored leader by most of the international community.

We have a different welcome in mind.  We want to greet him with a petition signed by over 100,000 Americans demanding that he be tried by the International Criminal Court for the crime of  incitement to genocide.  Over 75,000 people have already signed this petition to date. Please click here to help us reach 100,000 by September 13, 2010.

International law criminalizes not only the act of genocide, but also the direct and public incitement to commit genocide. This is an extremely important legal provision. The only way that the international community can stop genocide is if it prevents the acts that make it possible: namely the provocation of and preparation for such atrocities by people in positions of authority.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s repeated threats to destroy Israel present a clear case of incitement to genocide. He has made these threats explicitly, publicly, and repeatedly. His pursuit of nuclear weapons and long range missiles, as well as his ongoing support for Hezbollah and Hamas, demonstrate that these threats are by no means idle.

The next time that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appears before an international tribunal, it must not be as an honored guest at the United Nations General Assembly. It must be as a defendant in the dock of the International Criminal Court.  For the sake of those who died in the Holocaust he denies, and for the sake of those who would die in the Holocaust he threatens, please sign the petition today and pass it on to as many of your friends as you can.

Blessings to you and those you love,

Pastor John Hagee
National Chairman
Christians United for Israel
David Brog
Executive Director
Christians United for Israel
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Eli Clifton

Eli Clifton reports on money in politics and US foreign policy. Eli previously reported for the American Independent News Network, ThinkProgress, and Inter Press Service.