Iranian Cartoon Contest Results Promote Anti-Semitism, Holocaust Denial
New York, NY, November 2, 2006 … As Iran's Culture Ministry announced winners of a cartooning contest that sought entries deriding Jews and mocking the Holocaust, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called the affair "an exercise in bigotry" and said the prize-winning entries serve to promote the Iranian regime's hateful anti-West, anti-Israel and anti-American worldview.
"The winning entries do more than push the envelope or test the limits of free speech. They offer a profoundly disturbing portrait of anti-Semitism and a rogue's gallery of bigotry, prejudice and hatred," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.
In a despicable sequel to the Mohammed cartoon controversy, in which thousands of Muslims took to the streets earlier this year in protest of cartoons in a Danish newspaper depicting the prophet Mohammed, the Iranian contest drew to a close, with first prize going to a Moroccan cartoonist for an image showing the Israelis building a wall around the Al Aksa Mosque in Jerusalem. Superimposed on the panels is an image of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz.
"The vicious anti-Semitic imagery and stereotypes, Holocaust denial and comparisons of Jews and Israelis to Nazis promoted through this contest were unsettling, but not surprising," said Mr. Foxman. "The effect was to make Jews and Israel the scapegoat for the West's supposed transgressions against Muslims. This plays into the message of the Iranian regime, whose president has repeatedly called for Israel to be 'wiped off the map.'"
Iran continues to promote Holocaust denial. The Institute for Political & International Studies (IPIS) in Tehran is planning a December 2006 international conference titled, "Review of the Holocaust: Global Vision."
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.