ADL Outraged At Report That Swiss Foreign Ministry Floated Idea Of Holocaust Seminar With Iran
New York, NY, May 31, 2007 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed outrage at a report that the Swiss Foreign Ministry proposed a seminar "about different perceptions about the Holocaust" during talks with Iran over its nuclear program last year.
The idea was reportedly floated by Switzerland's President, Micheline Calmy-Rey, during a working visit with the Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister on December 21, 2006, shortly after the Iranian government sponsored its Holocaust denial conference in Tehran. Word of the proposed Swiss seminar emerged this week in written proceedings of the meeting obtained by the weekly Zurich-based newspaper, Weltwoche.
"We are outraged that the Swiss government could have pitched the idea of a seminar on the Holocaust to -- of all countries -- Iran," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and a Holocaust survivor. "The Swiss government owes an apology to all Holocaust survivors."
According to the report in Weltwoche, minutes from the diplomatic meeting indicated that Ms. Calmy-Rey had proposed "that a seminar about different perceptions of the Holocaust could be organized in one of the Geneva centers."
Mr. Foxman said: "Any seminar on so-called perceptions of the Holocaust, especially one that would possibly include Iranian participants, would be tainted because it would aid and give comfort to the anti-Semites and the deniers who call the fact of the Holocaust into question."
The article notes that there has been no follow-up on the seminar since it was first proposed at the meeting, and that Ms. Calmy-Rey, through a spokesman, indicated that she made clear to her Iranian counterpart that the Holocaust was historical fact.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.