1990s-2001: Normalizing Denial
Since the mid-1990s, English-language reporting on the Arab-Israeli conflict and peace process has increased dramatically. Several independent organizations have begun to monitor peace-related developments throughout the region, including the statements, policies, and attitudes of regional governments, politicians and media. The close coverage provided by the Middle East monitoring organizations shows that Holocaust denial is popular in Arab media throughout the Middle East and the Palestinian Authority. This is true even in Egypt and Jordan, the two Arab countries that have taken steps to normalize relations with Israel. Among the newspapers that have consistently featured Holocaust denial are the Jordanian daily,
Al Arab Al-Yom, the Syrian daily, Teshreen, the English-language Iranian Tehran Times, and the Palestinian Authority's
Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda. Several noted religious leaders in the region have also rejected the facts of the Holocaust, including Sheikh Mohammad Mehdi Shamseddin of Lebanon, Sheik Ikrima Sabri of Jerusalem and Iranian religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
On July 4, 1998, for example, the establishment Jordanian newspaper Al-Arab Al-Yom told its readers that "most research prepared by objective researchers" has "proven in a manner beyond the shadow of a doubt" that the Holocaust is "a great lie and a myth that the Zionist mind spread in order to lead the world astray." Earlier that year (April 27, 1998), the same newspaper had published an article claiming that "there is no proof" that the Holocaust occurred, except for "the conflicting testimonies of a few Jewish 'survivors.'" On July 14, 1998, the Egyptian newspaper,
Al-Akhbar, stated that regarding the crematoria remaining at Buchenwald and Auschwitz, "even if these crematoria operated day and night, it would take dozens of years to burn six million people and not merely three years." A Lebanese politician, Dr. Issam Naaman wrote in a London-Arab newspaper on April 22, 1998, that "Israel prospers and exists by right of the Holocaust lie and the Israeli government's policy of intentional exaggeration." Other significant contemporary examples of Holocaust denial in the Middle East can be found in the Appendix.