Iran and the Holo­caust de­niers

The Washington Times Weekly - - Editorials -

In De­cem­ber, Ira­nian Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ah­madine­jad hosted a con­fer­ence in Tehran to pro­mote the cause of Holo­caust de­nial. Sixty-seven per­sons from 30 coun­tries at­tended the In­ter­na­tional Con­fer­ence on Re­view of the Holo­caust: Global Vi­sion,” which had two main aims: to deny that the Holo­caust or­dered by Ger­man dic­ta­tor Adolf Hitler killed 6 mil­lion Jews, or as a fall­back po­si­tion, to min­i­mize Nazism’s hu­man toll; and to deny the in­ter­na­tional le­git­i­macy of Is­rael. Par­tic­i­pants in­cluded for­mer Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke; and some of Europe’s most prom­i­nent Holo­caust de­niers, in­clud­ing French Pro­fes­sor Robert Fau­ris­son, who has ques­tioned whether Nazi gas cham­bers re­ally ex­isted. At the con­fer­ence hall, there were pic­tures, CDs and posters, all of them deal­ing with some as­pect of Holo­caust de­nial. Th­ese in­cluded pic­tures of Holo­caust sur­vivors lib­er­ated from Nazi death camps; the pic­tures were falsely la­beled as pho­to­graphs of ty­phus pa­tients who had been quar­an­tined to pre­vent the spread of the dis­ease. (Visit

A re­cur­ring theme at the Tehran con­fer­ence was the con­nec­tion be­tween Holo­caust de­nial and the de­struc­tion of Is­rael. “Just as the Soviet Union was erased from [the map of] the world, so will the Zion­ist en­tity soon dis­ap­pear,” Mr. Ah­madine­jad told con­fer­ees. Ira­nian For­eign Min­is­ter Ma­muchehr Mot­taki de­clared that “an of­fi­cial study of the Holo­caust will also lead to the na­ture of the Zion­ist regime’s ex­is­tence be­ing ques­tioned.” Mr. Duke, who de­nied that gas cham­bers were used to kill Jews, said “the Zion­ists have used the Holo­caust as a weapon” to con­ceal Is­raeli crimes.

Con­fer­ence par­tic­i­pants agreed to es­tab­lish an in­ter­na­tional in­sti­tu­tion to study the Holo­caust, and ap­pointed Mo­ham­mad Ali Ramin, an ad­viser to Mr. Ah­madine­jad, as gen­eral sec­re­tary. Mr. Ramin says that, through­out his­tory, Jews have “in­flicted the most dam­age on the hu­man race,” and that some Jews have en­gaged “in plot­ting against other na­tions and eth­nic groups to cause mal­ice, cru­elty and wicked­ness.” Mr. Ramin has also sug­gested that the Holo­caust was a myth con­cocted by the United States and Great Bri­tain to weaken Ger­many by falsely de­pict­ing it as a “hu­man­burn­ing na­tion.”

Such state­ments, while dis­turb­ing enough in and of them­selves, must be viewed in the larger con­text of Ira­nian sup­port for ter­ror­ist groups tar­get­ing Is­rael, along with the fact that Mr. Ah­madine­jad has mis­siles ca­pa­ble of reach­ing Is­rael and is work­ing to de­velop nu­clear weapons. When you add it all up, the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists ar­gues per­sua­sively in a new re­port is­sued in con­junc­tion with the Jerusalem Cen­ter for Pub­lic Af­fairs, Mr. Ah­madine­jad is ac­tively at­tempt­ing to in­cite geno­cide against Is­rael. In its re­port, which is en­dorsed by Holo­caust sur­vivor Elie Wiesel, the as­so­ci­a­tion notes that all too of­ten, the civ­i­lized world, when con­fronted with lead­ers bent on mass mur­der, “has con­sis­tently de­layed ac­tion un­til af­ter thou­sands or even mil­lions were al­ready slain.” In Rwanda, for ex­am­ple, the 1994 mas­sacre of 800,000 Tutsi tribes­men was pro­ceeded by years of pro­pa­ganda in­cite­ment against them by the Hutu ma­jor­ity and re­ports that death squads were be­ing formed. In Bos­nia, there was am­ple warn­ing that Serb Pres­i­dent Slo­bo­dan Milo­se­vic was pre­pared to slaugh­ter his neigh­bors, but the world re­fused to act un­til 200,000 Bos­ni­ans were killed. With Tehran de­ter­mined to ac­quire nu­clear weapons, the fail­ure to act could be far more costly this time.

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