Thursday, December 14, 2006

The “logic” of Iran’s Holocaust denial

The following are excerpts from an excellent speech (December 14) by Yigal Carmon, founder and president of the Middle East Media Research Institute. If you have time, please read the entire speech at the MEMRI website. Otherwise, read the excerpts below:

"When we, at The Middle East Media Research Institute, collect and analyze the statements made by Ahmadinejad and others in the Iranian regime, we can distinguish two major goals, both of which lead to the same conclusion: the Iranian regime's Holocaust denial is not a manifestation of irrational hatred, but a premeditated and cold-blooded instrument to achieve its goals."

"The first of these goals is the attempt to deny any legitimacy to the creation and continued existence of the State of Israel as a safe haven for the Jews after the Holocaust. In order to achieve this goal, he proclaims that no Holocaust occurred, and that if Jews were indeed harmed in World War II - a claim that requires thorough and "objective" research - this was no different than the experience of others in World War II. At any rate, Ahmadinejad and other top Iranian officials claim that this "myth" cannot justify the establishment of Israel in Palestine."


"The second goal is - as often proclaimed by Ahmadinejad - to "wipe Israel off the map." His Holocaust denial is therefore planned, intentional, and premeditated. He is aware that as long as the world remembers the Holocaust, it will resist any new attempt to perpetrate another genocide against the Jews."


"In order for Ahmadinejad to bring his plans to fruition, however, he has to demonize the Jews and the State of Israel. Demonization is a necessary precondition for genocide. As we well know, Hitler first engaged in a major campaign of demonization of the Jews before actually murdering them en masse. Ahmadinejad and the Iranian regime are taking the same path, and are conducting a similar virulent, antisemitic campaign of demonization."


"To this end, Iranian state-controlled television produces various TV series dedicated to the demonization of Jews. These include classic blood libels, depicting Jews as using the blood of non-Jewish children to bake their Passover matzos, and as kidnapping non-Jewish children to steal their body parts. Jews are reduced to sub-human levels, depicted as pigs and apes. They are accused of persecuting the Prophet Muhammad in voodoo ritualistic scenes, and as tormenting a historic figure reminiscent of Jesus on the Cross. All these TV series exist alongside others that deny the Holocaust."


"However, it is not possible to demonize a people as long as it is viewed as a victim of the Holocaust. Therefore, as long as the Jews are perceived as victims of the Holocaust, this demonization cannot take root. Holocaust denial is thus vital, in order to wipe out the image of the Jews as victims."

"In essence, the speech made by Ahmadinejad at the Holocaust denial conference best illustrates the role of Holocaust denial in the ideology and strategy of the Iranian regime. He begins his speech by addressing the Holocaust deniers participating in the conference: 'Iran is your home, and here you can express your opinions freely, in a friendly manner and in a free atmosphere.' Then, without batting an eyelid, he adds: 'The life-curve of the Zionist regime has begun its descent, and it is now on a downward slope towards its fall… I tell you now… the Zionist regime will be wiped out, and humanity will be liberated."

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