Iran Hosts Anti-Semitic Hatefest in Tehran
Background: Holocaust Denial in Iran
Posted: December 14, 2006
The 2006 Holocaust denial conference in Tehran is not the first time that Western Holocaust deniers have been brought to Iran to promulgate their hatred.
Since his election in August 2005, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has made no secret of his desire to wipe Israel from the map. Not coincidentally, he has also repeatedly denied the Holocaust.
In a despicable sequel to the Mohammed cartoon controversy, in which thousands of Muslims took to the streets in early 2006 in protest of cartoons in a Danish newspaper depicting the prophet Mohammed, the Iranian government sponsored a Holocaust cartoon "contest" that sought entries deriding Jews and mocking the Holocaust. First prize in the contest went to a Moroccan cartoonist for an image showing the Israelis building a wall around the Al Aksa Mosque in Jerusalem. Superimposed on the panels was an image of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz.
Holocaust denial is founded on attempts to distort the documentary record of World War II, and although it has been spreading throughout the Middle East since the 1980s, the main producers of Holocaust denial continue to be Westerners. For this reason, Ahmadinejad's effort to promote Holocaust denial has relied heavily on importing deniers from outside the Middle East. In late 2005 and early 2006, the semi-official Iranian Mehr News agency ran a series of interviews with Western Holocaust deniers. In March 2006, Australian Holocaust deniers Fredrick Toben and Richard Krege traveled to Iran to lecture on the Holocaust at three Iranian universities, and gave interviews to the Iranian radio network IRIB.
Ignoring the Balfour Declaration of 1917, the long history of Zionism, and the principle of Jewish self-determination, Ahmadinejad believes that Israel owes its continued existence to the guilt and sympathy the Holocaust invokes among the nations of the world. He believes that if he can prove that the Holocaust is a historical fiction, then not only will Israel's legitimacy disappear, but it will be revealed that Jews are frauds and imposters who tricked the world into giving them a state they did not 'deserve.'