Global Independent Analytics

Israeli Leader: Iran Mocks WWII Holocaust, Prepares Another

Benjamin Netanyahu lashed out at Iran for staging a Holocaust-themed cartoon contest and said the Islamic Republic was busy planning for another one

VOANews reports: Iran has long backed armed groups committed to Israel's destruction and its leaders have called for it to be wiped off the map. Israel fears that Iran's nuclear program is designed to threaten its very existence. But Netanyahu said that it not just Iran's belligerent policies that Israel opposed, but its values.

Condemning the Holocaust-themed cartoon contest that mocked the Nazi genocide of six million Jews during World War II Netanyahu said: "It denies the Holocaust, it mocks the Holocaust and it is also preparing another Holocaust."

State Department spokesman Mark Toner, who accompanied Secretary of State John Kerry in his trip to Saudi Arabia, assumed that the U.S. was concerned the contest could "be used as a platform for Holocaust denial and revisionism and egregiously anti-Semitic speech, as it has in the past."

"Such offensive speech should be condemned by the authorities and civil society leaders rather than encouraged. We denounce any Holocaust denial and trivialization as inflammatory and abhorrent. It is insulting to the memory of the millions of people who died in the Holocaust," Toner added.

Genocide has always been a poignant question in the Middle east, where it was either denied or questioned: many regard it as a pretext Israel used for its creation and to excuse its actions toward the Palestinians.

"Holocaust means mass killing," said contest organizer Masuod Shojai Tabatabaei. "We are witnessing the biggest killings by the Zionist regime in Gaza and Palestine."

He said the purpose of the Tehran event was not to deny the Holocaust but rather to criticize alleged Western double standards regarding free expression and particularly as a response to depictions of the Prophet Muhammad by the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and others.

 

By Stefan Paraber for GIA.

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