Incitement to genocide

Crime under international law

Incitement to genocide is a crime under international law which prohibits inciting (encouraging) the commission of genocide.

ExamplesEdit

The HolocaustEdit

 
Joseph Goebbels speaks at a Nazi rally
  • "If international finance Jewry inside and outside Europe should succeed in plunging the nations once more into a world war, the result will not be the Bolshevization of the earth and thereby the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe!"
    • Adolf Hitler, 30 January 1939, quoted in Herf, Jeffrey (2005). "The "Jewish War": Goebbels and the Antisemitic Campaigns of the Nazi Propaganda Ministry". Holocaust and Genocide Studies 19 (1): 51–80. DOI:10.1093/hgs/dci003.
  • "A punitive expedition must come against the Jews in Russia. A punitive expedition which will provide the same fate for them that every murderer and criminal must expect. Death sentence and execution. The Jews in Russia must be killed. They must be exterminated root and branch."
  • "[If the British won the war] the German people, man, woman, and child would be exterminated [ausgerottet]. . . . The Jew would be wading in blood. Funeral pyres would be built on which the Jews would burn us... we want to prevent this. Hence it should be rather the Jews who fry, rather they who should burn, they who should starve, they who should be exterminated."
  • "Who should die, the Germans or the Jews? You know what your eternal enemy and opponent intends for you. There is only one instrument against his plans for annihilation."
  • By unleashing this war, world Jewry completely misjudged the forces at its disposal. Now it is suffering a gradual process of annihilation that it had intended for us and that it would have unleashed against us without hesitation if it had had the power to do so. It is now perishing as a result of its own law: An eye for and eye, and a tooth for a tooth. In this historical dispute every Jew is our enemy, whether he vegetates in a Polish ghetto orscrapes out his parasitic existence in Berlin or Hamburg, or blows the trumpets of war in New York or Washington. Due to their birth and race, all Jews belong to an international conspiracy against National Socialist Germany. They wish for its defeat and annihilation and do everything in their power to help bring [them] about.
    • Goebbels late 1941, quoted in Herf p. 37
  • Comrades, believe me. I’m not painting too grim a picture. It is bitter for me, bitterly serious. The Jew is the great danger to humanity. If we don’t succeed in exterminating him [ihn auszurotten], then we will lose the war. It’s not enough to bring him someplace [ihn irgend wohin zu bringen]. That would be as if one wanted to lock up a louse somewhere in a cage. (Laughter) They would find a way out and again they come out from under and make you itch again. (Laughter) You have to annihilate [vernichten] them you have to exterminate them [for what] they have done to humanity . . . (interrupted by ongoing applause).
    • Robert Ley, 10 May 1942. Quoted in Herf, p. 58
  • If we lose the war, you [Germans] will be annihilated [vernichtet]. . . . This is not the Second World War. This a great race war. It’s about whether the German and Aryan will survive or if the Jew will rule the world, and that is why we are fighting abroad.
  • "[W]e had the moral right vis-à-vis our people to annihilate this people [the Jews] which wanted to annihilate us."

Rwandan genocideEdit

  • These people called Inyenzis are now on their way to attack us.... I am telling you, and I am not lying, it is...they only want to exterminate us. They only want to exterminate us: they have no other aim... Are we really waiting till they come to exterminate us?
  • I think we are fast approaching what I would call dawn … dawn, because—for the young people who may not know— dawn is when the day breaks. Thus when day breaks, when that day comes, we will be heading for a brighter future, for the day when we will be able to say “There isn’t a single Inyenzi left in the country.” The term Inyenzi will then be forever forgotten, and disappear for good.

HamasEdit

  • "The day of judgment will not come until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jews will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say ‘O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.'"
  • [The Jews] suffer from a mental disorder, because they are thieves and aggressors.… They want to present themselves to the world as if they have rights, but in fact, they are foreign bacteria – a microbe unparalleled in the world. It’s not me who says this. The Koran itself says they have no parallel: “You shall find the strongest men in enmity to the believers to be the Jews.” May He [Allah] annihilate this filthy people who have neither religion nor conscience. I condemn whoever believes in normalizing relations with them, whoever supports sitting down with them, and whoever believes they are human beings. They are not human beings. They are not people. They have no religion, no conscience, and no moral values.
  • Why did France, in 1253, expel and uproot the Jewish entity, which was represented by the ghetto? Why did they expel them? Because they sucked the blood of the French, because they shed the blood of the French, slaughtered them, stole their money, and conspired against them. At the end of the day, the French had no choice but to expel them in 1253. [Al-Zahar goes on to make the same assertion about the expulsion of Jews from other medieval European countries, from ancient Egypt, and from Germany under Hitler]... The series of expulsions continues to this day. Blood continues to be shed, martyrs continue to fall, our sons continue to hoist the banner high, and Allah willing, their expulsion from Palestine in its entirety is certain to come. We are no weaker or less honorable than the peoples that expelled and annihilated the Jews. The day we expel them is drawing near.... We have learned the lesson—there is no place for you among us, and you have no future among the nations of the world. You are headed to annihilation.
  • The [Jews] are brought in droves to Palestine so that the Palestinians—and the Islamic nation behind them—will have the honor of annihilating the evil of this gang.... All the predators, all the birds of prey, all the dangerous reptiles and insects, and all the lethal bacteria are far less dangerous than the Jews.... In just a few years, all the Zionists and all the settlers will realize that their arrival in Palestine was for the purpose of the great massacre, by means of which Allah wants to relieve humanity of their evil.
  • Child host (Rawan): “Tulin, why do you want to be a police officer? Like who?”
  • Girl (Tulin): “Like my uncle...”
  • Child host: “OK, so what does a policeman do?”
  • Nahul (adult in giant bee costume): “He catches thieves and people who make trouble.”
  • Child host: “And shoots Jews. Right?”
  • Girl: “Yes.”
  • Child host: “You want to be like him?”
  • [Girl nods]
  • Child host: “Allah willing, when you grow up.”
  • Girl: “So that I can shoot Jews.”
  • [Nahul the bee cheers]
  • Child host: “All of them? All of them?”
  • Girl: “Yes.”
  • Child host: “Good.”
    • Al-Aqsa TV children's program, 2 May 2014, quoted in Spoerl
  • "[G]o out and slaughter and kill Jews... [Palestinians] must attack every Jew who exists in the globe, slaughter and kill them."

Islamic StateEdit

  • Upon conquering the region of Sinjar in Wilāyat Nīnawā, the Islamic State faced a population of Yazidis, a pagan minority existent for ages in regions of Iraq and Shām. Their continual existence to this day is a matter that Muslims should question as they will be asked about it on Judgement Day.
    • Islamic State propaganda, quoted in Cheterian, Vicken (2019). "ISIS genocide against the Yazidis and mass violence in the Middle East". British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies: 1–13. DOI:10.1080/13530194.2019.1683718.

ContestedEdit

  • Israel "must be wiped off the map"
    • Mahmoud Ahmadinejad—disputed if this is incitement to genocide, although Gordon argues that it is (Gordon, p. 285)

AboutEdit

In generalEdit

  • We know that the harming or killing of men and women is wrong, and we are reluctant consciously to do what we know to be wrong. But when particular men and women [and we must add, sadly, children] are thought of merely as representatives of a class, which has previously been defined as evil and personified in the shape of a devil, then the reluctance to hurt or murder disappears.
  • It was impossible that hundreds of thousands of people should commit so many crimes unless they had been incited to do so .... He asked how, in those circumstances, the inciters and organizers of the crime should be allowed to escape punishment, when they were the ones really responsible for the atrocities committed. The peoples of the world would indeed be puzzled if the Committee, basing its decision on purely political arguments of doubtful validity, were to state that the instigators of genocide, those who incited others to commit the concrete acts of genocide, were to remain unpunished.
  • Genocide is the foremost cause of preventable death and suffering in the last hundred years. Governmental incitement and use of hate language is a recognized predictor of genocide, and incitement to commit genocide is a crime in violation of the Genocide Convention. Indifference to incitement and inaction by the outside world are recognized predictors and risk factors forgenocide. Denial of previous genocides is another risk factor contributing to future genocides.
  • [F]ree speech doctrine seeks to protect individuals against state repression, but incitement to genocide is speech in the service of the state, since genocide is a major organizational feat that so far has generally been carried out by state employees, albeit often aided by civilians.
    • Benesch p. 495
  • Speakers charged with international speech crimes have generally articulated the most extreme animus and conscious intent to harm, and gone beyond mere insult, libel and slander to incite others to commit mass atrocities. Moreover, their utterances usually occur in a context of an armed conflict, genocide and a widespread or systematic attack on a civilian population.
    • Wilson, Richard Ashby (2017). Incitement on Trial: Prosecuting International Speech Crimes. Cambridge University Press. p. 2. ISBN 978-1-107-10310-8. 

The HolocaustEdit

  • The propagandists who lent themselves to this evil mission of instigation and incitement are more guilty than the credulous and callous minions who headed firing squads or operated the gas chambers.
    • Drexel A. Sprecher, Nuremberg prosecutor. Quoted in Gordon, page 29
  • Hitler's "prophecy" of January 30, 1939, comprised the core of Nazism’s narrative of World War II. A historical subject called "international Jewry" had launched World War II with the intent of bringing about the "Bolshevization" of the world. It would fail. Instead, Nazi Germany would retaliate for this aggression and annihilate the Jews. It would wage a "war" against the Jews in response to the "war" the Jews had started. This reversed logic of self-righteous retaliation constituted the core of Nazi antisemitic propaganda between 1939 and 1945.
  • The Nazis were explicit about the status of their victims. They were Untermenschen— subhumans— and as such were excluded from the system of moral rights and obligations that bind humankind together. It’s wrong to kill a person, but permissible to exterminate a rat… . Jews were the main victims of this genocidal project… . Jewish people posed a deadly threat to all that was noble in humanity. [These] putative enemies of civilization were represented as parasitic organisms— as leeches, lice, bacteria, or vectors of contagion… . Sometimes the Nazis thought of their enemies as vicious, bloodthirsty predators rather than parasites.

Otto Dietrich caseEdit

 
Dietrich in the dock at the Ministries Trial, back row in front of the column
  • It was Dietrich, the Poisoned Pen, who led the press propaganda phases of the program which incited hatred and conditioned public opinion for mass persecutions on political, racial, and religious grounds. Heretofore, Dietrich’s role has been ignored by historians, but actually he, more than anyone else, was responsible for presenting to the German people the justification for liquidating the Jews.
    • Alexander Hardy, quoted in Gordon, Gregory S. (2017). Atrocity Speech Law: Foundation, Fragmentation, Fruition. Oxford University Press. p. 115. ISBN 978-0-19-061270-2. 
  • It is thus clear that a well thought- out, oft- repeated, persistent campaign to arouse the hatred of the German people against Jews was fostered and directed by the press department and its press chief, Dietrich… . The only reason for this campaign was to blunt the sensibilities of the people regarding the campaign of persecution and murder which was being carried out…
[The] clear and expressed purpose [of this speech] was to enrage Germans against the Jews, to justify the measures taken and to be taken against them, and to subdue any doubts which might arise as to the justice of measures of racial persecution to which Jews were to be subjected. By them Dietrich consciously implemented, and by furnishing the excuses and justifications, participated in, the crimes against humanity regarding Jews …

Rwandan genocideEdit

  • The eighth commandment’s dictate, “Hutus should stop having mercy on Tutsis,” was explained in graphic terms by one of the authors of this poisonous creed, Leon Mugesera, a friend of [Rwandan President Juvénal] Habyarimana: “We the people are obliged to take responsibility to wipe out this scum".
    • John Shattuck, quoted in Gordon p. 48

Bosnian warEdit

  • The propaganda campaign achieved its goals with respect to both the Bosnian Serb and the [non-Serbs]. While influencing the Bosnian Serb population to perceive and treat the non-Serb inhabitants as enemies and preparing the Bosnian Serb population for the crimes that were committed later, it also instilled fear among the non-Serb population and created an atmosphere of terror, which contributed to the subsequent mass exodus of non-Serbs.
    • Prosecutor v. Brđanin judgement, quoted in Gordon pp. 44–45

See alsoEdit

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