The Iranian organizers of the Second International Holocaust Cartoon Contest, a twelve-day exhibition of anti-Semitic artwork to be displayed in Tehran in May, have announced that they have already received more than 800 submissions for display, according to the semiofficial Fars News Agency.
Fars reported that the contest and exhibition were “aimed at testing the West’s tolerance towards the Holocaust,” because of “the West’s double standard behavior towards freedom of expression as it allows sacrilege of Islamic sanctities…but prevents research on the Holocaust due to the Zionist regime’s steadfast opposition.”
The winning cartoonist will receive a $12,000 grand prize. Entries from the first contest, which was held in 2006, were received from across the Middle East, Europe, and North and South America.
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, denied the Holocaust in a public address last year, saying that “the Holocaust is an event whose reality is uncertain and, if it happened, it’s uncertain how it happened.”
When confronted on the issue of official governmental Holocaust denial in an interview last September with Christiane Amanpour of CNN, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani refused to even say the word “Holocaust”—despite earlier reports to the contrary, which were based on an erroneous translation by CNN. After Amanpour and others reported that Rouhani’s statement, which seemed merely to accept the historic facts of the murder of six million Jews, was evidence of his “moderate” nature, Rouhani’s advisor, Mohammad Reza Sadeq, quickly walked back the president’s supposed statement.
“Mr. Rouhani did not at all used the word Holocaust even a single time all throughout his five day visit to New York that he was posed to the reporters questions and when they talked about the incidents in the World War II,” Sadeq told FNA Saturday night. “Mr. Rouhani never used the word Holocaust,” he reiterated.
Last October, Tehran hosted the three-day “New Horizons” conference, which convened several Holocaust deniers, 9/11 conspiracy theorists, and the anti-Semitic French comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, whose shows have repeatedly been banned in France for anti-Semitic hatred. The goal of the conference, in the words of the state-run Press TV, was to “unveil the secrets behind the dominance of the Zionist lobby over US and EU politics.” The conference featured panels on topics such as “Mossad’s Role in the 9/11 Coup d’Etat” and “The Gaza War & BDS Movement Strategies against the Zionist Regime.”
[Photo: Maziyar Bizhani]