Thursday, March 02, 2006


Simon Wiesenthal Center:

The Iranian government’s Holocaust denial campaign intensified this week with the publication of a book that gives an academic’s justification for its anti-Jewish stance as well as the first postings of cartoons submitted to a Holocaust cartoon contest launched by the Tehran Municipality’s newspaper, Hamshahri, in wake of the Mohammed cartoon controversy.

A website posting the cartoons states, “Liberty of _expression... Why should the "Palestinian people" pay for the ‘holocaust’ story?”

The website asserts that the contest attracted submissions from individuals in 22 countries (including Brazil, China and India) and the Palestinian Authority.

In a related development, the website Iran Focus ( reports that an Iranian government agency published, The Place of the Holocaust in the Zionist Project Fact or Myth? - a book that gives academic support for the regime’s official position that the Holocaust was a fabrication meant to justify the State of Israel’s existence. Excerpts published in the hard-line newspaper Kayhan, repeat old canards that insist that victims of the Nazi concentration camps were in fact victims of typhoid, but that “Zionist circles began to spread rumours that the Jews had been exterminated by Nazis using special weapons called gas chambers. Thus a new phenomenon called the Holocaust, or the massacre of the Jews, came into being.”

“The goals of this disgusting and cynical campaign are clear. These latest developments underscore the fact that Ahmedinejad has fully embraced Holocaust denial as statecraft, and is utilizing all means at his disposal to spread this ‘big lie,’” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. “For Jew-haters like him, deconstructing civilization’s collective memory is a necessary step to pave the way for another genocide.”

“The Iranian regime is using every opportunity to try to harness its antisemitism to the widespread Moslem anger over the Danish cartoons,” Cooper continued.

Rabbi Cooper added, “We need to look no further than the recent Arabic language cartoon (seen at right) carried by IRNA, Iran’s official news service, depicting the Danish cartoonist as the Devil wearing a blue and white Star of David armband and saying, ‘I don’t accept the limits of freedom of speech except the Holocaust.’ “Unless and until there are real and measurable consequences for Ahmadinejad’s Nazi-style propaganda campaign, there is no doubt he and his lackeys will continue to intensify their anti-Jewish campaign,” Cooper concluded.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS and the Council of Europe.

For more information, please contact the Center's Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036, or go to:


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