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Littman: Address to UNHRC on Hate Speech

Now that Geert Wilders has been summoned to appear and to defend himself in court for the "crime" pointing out the hate speech and the evident actions on that speech rampant in the Muslim world and rapidly spreading throughout the Western workd as well, we thought it appropriate to remind our readers there are others who defend common sense, even in the halls of the United Nations. Below are two speeches delivered by David Littman to the UN Human Rights Council on Oct. 27, 2009.

 
ASSOCIATION FOR WORLD EDUCATION
WORLD UNION FOR PROGRESSIVE JUDAISM
 
UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL (2nd Session: 19 to 30 October 2009)
Ad Hoc Committee on the Elaboration of Complementary Standards
President: Ambassador Idriss Jazaïry (Algeria)
 
STATEMENT: Representative David G. LITTMAN – Tuesday (@ 4:30pm) 27 October 2009
 
Hate teaching: racism in modern information and communications technologies
(racial cyberspace); racial & religious hate crimes; genocide, etc.
Proposals on the format and nature of possible complementary standards to be elaborated
 
(Summary drafted from notes used to deliver a 3rd oral statement on 27 October)
         [Documentation provided below in [ ] brackets or notes were not pronounced in the 2 minutes statement]
 
Hate Speech / Press / TV / Teaching in School Textbooks
 
Thank you, Mr President.
 
I am again taking the floor on behalf of both the Association for World Education (AWE) and the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ).
 
I take note of what the President said earlier – that ‘hate speech’ is not appreciated at this meeting. Sir, let me say – on behalf of our two NGOs representing up to 2½ million people – that hate speech, hate teaching and a ‘culture of hate’ is what must be shamed and denounced publicly wherever and whenever possible, here at the UN – and especially at this Ad Hoc Committee which is expected to address such matters. Those school books, press articles, using the web, and on private and State TV in many countries are well-known to many delegates here, who deplore such a culture of hate. I need not name names of those responsible States and organisations for it is commonplace knowledge.
 
We listened attentively to the statement by the delegate of Pakistan – speaking on behalf of the OIC – especially when he referred to a current “impunity for hate crimes”. Indeed, this is exactly the point we wish to make. We agree totally with the Canadian and USA delegates, and others, regarding the importance of each State having a regular review of the curriculums in their national school textbooks. It is, of course, an excellent idea to provide an official ‘human rights education’ in schools, but it is should be based on the International Bill of Human Rights – and on nothing else!
We have stressed the importance of examining as CMIP1 is doing all Middle East school textbooks. [CMIP is now called Impact-SE; see for Saudi Arabia,2  Syria,3 Palestinian Authority and Hamas,4 Egypt5, Iran6, Tunisia7, Israel.8

One should also consult the indispensable translations [from Arabic] in the media and TV programmes by MEMRI [The Middle East Media Research Institute] and PMW [Palestine Media Watch], which provide irrefutable evidence how this culture of hate is being perpetrated and propagated non-stop in the Middle East. Let us have less talk & more action by UNESCO, the Council & its Ad Hoc Committee.
Thank you, Sir.



 
------------------------------------
1. The Centre for Monitoring the Impact of Peace (now called IMPACT-SE – Institute for Maintaining Peace & Cultural Tolerance in School Education) examines primary, preparatory & secondary state schools in the Middle East in accordance with UNESCO criteria.
2. The West, Christians and Jews in Saudi Arabian Schoolbooks (2003); A Research Update (July 2008) ‘The Culture of Hate in Saudi Arabian Textbooks and Growing Arab Reactions’: E/CN.4/Sub.2/2005/NGO/3 (Joint written NGO statement: AWE, AWC, IHEU).
3. Jews, Zionism & Israel in Syrian School Textbooks (2001);
4. Palestinian Authority Teachers Guides (2000); Jews, Israel & Peace in the Palestinian School Textbooks (2000-2001 and 2001-2002); Jews, Israel and Peace in the PA Textbooks and High School Final Examination” (2002); Jews, Israel and Peace in the Palestinian Authority Textbooks, the New Textbooks for Grades 3& 8 (2003); Palestinian Schoolbooks: An Updated Conclusion (2009)
5. Jews, Christians, War and Peace in Egyptian School Textbooks (2004); ‘The Culture of ‘Jihad Martyrdom’ in Egyptian School Textbooks’: E/CN.4/Sub2/2005/NGO/2 (Joint written NGO statement by the AWE, AWC, IHEU)
6. The Attitude to the ‘Other’ and to Peace in Iranian School Textbooks and Teachers’ Guides (2006).
7. The Attitude to the ‘Other’ and to Peace in Tunisian School Textbooks: A Preliminary Report (October 2006).
6. Arabs and Palestinians in Israeli Textbooks (2000); Arabs, Palestinians, Islam and Peace in Israeli Textbooks (2002)

****

And another speech delivered on the same day:

Incitement to Genocide and Judeophobia

Thank you, Sir.
 
I am speaking on behalf of both the Association for World Education (AWE) and the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ), with over two million members worldwide.
 
We wish to endorse what was stated by the representative of the USA in regard to the lack of a political will to act in application of the 1948 Genocide Convention [Convention on the Prevention and the Punishment of the Crime of Genocide], under its article 3, recommending an early warning system as well as national mechanisms to be created for that purpose. As we have stated many times over the years at the Commission and the Council, article 3 (c) states that: “Direct and public incitement to commit genocide” is punishable under item 4, and article 8 allows any State Party to call upon the competent organs of the UN to act in the prevention & suppression of all acts referred to in article 3. This could have been done for Rwanda in 1994 after the broadcasts from ‘Mille Collines’ had begun.
 
We also noted the remarks by the delegate of Algeria, who referred to the statement by Pakistan’s delegate   (for the OIC countries) on the subject of racial and religious defamation, recommending an “international framework” to control such acts. The Nigerian delegate referred to this also, speaking about the ‘gaps’ in the international system. Unfortunately, there is a tendency to overlook what is blatant and we wish to give one example here.
 
Blood-Libel accusation against Jews in Hellenistic times [Alexandria], which was resuscitated in England in 1144 (Norwich) and elsewhere in Europe, especially with Simon of Trent in 1475, and the Damascus Blood-Libel of 1840, led to genocidal crimes against Jews over the centuries. The ‘Damas Affair’ Blood Libel was even resuscitated here in 1991 at the Commission on Human Rights when Syria’s delegate urged delegates to read a book by Syrian Defence Minister General Mustafa Tlass The Unleavened Bread of Zion “that demonstrates unequivocally the historical reality of Zionist racism …those who read the book…would clearly understand those masked realities in Zionism.”
 
[See UN summary record: 8 February 1991: E/CN:4/1991/SR.18 and “Letter dated 19 Feb. 1991 by Syrian Permanent Representative to the UN Office at Geneva, addressed to the Centre for Human Rights” E/CN.4/1991/80). This was after  
we quoted Tlass’s words in his book on The Unleaavened Bread of Zion : “The Jew can … kill you and take your blood in order to make his Zionist bread… I hope that I have done my duty in presenting the practices of the enemy of our historic nation. Allah aid this project.”  (French translation is from the Arabic original in, Le Matin, Paris, 19 August 1986)]  
 
This book and others like it– such as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Hitler’s Mein Kampf are sold in the tens of thousands in the Arab-Muslim world, propagating a general hatred against Jews, Judaism and Israel – and do incite to genocidal tendencies and Jihadist hate crimes worldwide.
 
Mr President, it is time to recognise this general Judeophobia / Antisemitism incitement to hate that has already led to genocide and act now in this and other cases which are often ignored at UN bodies.

Thank you, Sir.
 

For more documentation, see UN General Assembly / Human Rights Council NGO written statement A/HRC/10/NGO/29:
Defamation of Judaism & Jews by ISESCO (OIC), prepared by Littman for the Association for World Education (AWE) and the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) in March 2009 just before Durban II Conference at the UN in Geneva, see here.