Director of Center for the Study of Antisemitism, Yale University, Initiates Call to Action

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Dr. Charles Small, Director of the Yale University Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism (YIISA), has issued a statement today advocating the arrest of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the occasion of the invitation of Ahmadinejad's visit to Columbia University.

Dr. Charles Small, Director of the Yale University Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism (YIISA), has issued a statement today advocating the arrest of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the occasion of Ahmadinejad's visit to Columbia University.

Dr. Small cites the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which states that "Direct and public incitement to commit genocide" is a punishable offense (Article 3). Small maintains that "Columbia University's invitation to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in the name of freedom of speech, and the subsequent debate regarding the merits of the lecture, obscure the real issue. The real issue is that Ahmadinejad has consistently advocated the destruction of the State of Israel and the wiping out of its inhabitants. He freely uses the most pernicious forms of classic genocidal antisemitism."

Dr. Small further stated: "Given Mr Ahmadinejad's consistent statements over the years, and in accordance with the Convention, he ought to be arrested and given due process as stipulated in the Convention. This clearly overrides any question regarding free speech. It is myopic to remain focused on some domestic philosophical debate when the facts on the ground violate international law in a flagrant manner. In terms of freedom of speech, Ahmadinejad has conducted many interviews with American and Western media outlets over the years. Unlike in Iran, it is easy for people in the U.S. to access such interviews and video footage of speeches, as well as the text of his policy positions."

YIISA (http://www.yale.edu/yiisa) is the only institute based at a North American university that is dedicated to the study of antisemitism, and fulfills the need for a high-caliber, interdisciplinary, nonpartisan, scholarly institute. Students and faculty can engage these issues fully in the forum provided by the center. Dr. Small is available to consult with the media, and Yale University has studio resources that can be made available for television and radio interviews.

You can contact Dr. Charles Small at:
YIISA
77 Prospect St.
New Haven, CT 06515
Tel.: (203) 606 5252
Email: charles.small @ yale.edu

http://www.yale.edu/yiisa

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CHRISTINE THOMPSON
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