Gee, we can hardly wait for this one. From Reuters, Jan. 15:
TEHRAN – Iran is planning a conference to assess the scale of the Holocaust, which President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad rejects as a myth, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said on Sunday.
“Iran’s Foreign Ministry has decided to hold a conference on the Holocaust to assess its scale by scientific means and discuss its consequences,” Asefi told a news briefing.
He did not say when or where the conference would be held.
Ahmadinejad caused international outrage last month when he said the Holocaust — the killing of six million Jews by the Nazis and their allies between 1933 and 1945 — was a myth and suggested Israel be moved to North America or Europe.
“It is a strange world … It is possible to discuss everything but the Holocaust,” Asefi said, adding there were unanswered questions about the scale of Holocaust which Europeans should answer.
Ahmadinejad, a former Revolutionary Guardsman who was elected president by a landslide in June, said in October that Israel was a “tumor” that must be “wiped off the map”.
Analysts say Ahmadinejad’s anti-Israel rhetoric may be part of a strategy aimed at increasing his own legitimacy at home and Iran’s voice in the region.
We assume the guest list will include the usual gang of idiots.
See our last post on Iran.
Neda Institute for Scientific-Political Research
Ahmadinejad has been lauded (“a name that will go down in history”) by none other than Robert Faurisson, who has long-time links with Iran. There’s a shady outfit in Tehran called the Neda Institute for Scientific-Political Research, which has been promoting Holocaust denial for a while. I’ve done a bit of digging:
…as usual, Bartholomew. Some caution on “supposed persecution;” deniers have been subject to beatings and imprisonment, most prominently Ernst Zundel and David Irving:
Neither of which we condone in the least, despite how vile we find these Springtime-for-Hitler-esque charlatans. Note some of the information I cited is from IHR, and I have not tried to confirm it from other sources. That link also contains information about Faurisson and his interview with Iranian media.
An article in the JTA by Edwin Black, “Despite Holocaust denial, Iran seen to have worked with Nazis,” says:
I saw one article saying Israel Shamir might attend such a conference, but it sounded unconvincing, and I see that man of mystery has posted a denial at his website, http://www.israelshamir.net/:
Indeed. Amongst other noteworthy moves, Shamir published his Deir Yassin Remembered colleague Paul Eisen’s denial tome, practically a valentine to Zundel, called “the Holocaust Wars,” which concluded it didn’t really happen, and that Palestine solidarity activists should deny the Nazi Judeocide in order to liberate Palestine. The essay prompted a petition rejecting the idea, signed by numerous left-leaning Jews, and Naqba & transfer historian Dr. Nur Masalha, amongst others. A particular irony about Eisen’s essay is his dismissal of the reliability on eyewitness accounts of the Holocaust, since eyewitness accounts are vitally important to what we know about the Naqba, particularly the massacre at Tantura.
As for the UN Palestine-related org you cited that links to the Neda institute, it’s not clear to me how widespread Holocaust denial is amongst Palestinians. There appear to be two strains of thought on it. Various Arafat flunkies and half-wits have used denial because they think it undermines Zionism (according to the odious ZOA, as cited by the odious Zundel), while intellectuals have been outspoken in pointing out how damaging Holocaust denial is to the cause. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas wrote his doctoral thesis on the Holocaust, and has been widely accused of denial for citing historians who listed the number of dead as being between 1 and 12 million:
Palestinian literary figures Edward Said and Mahmoud Darwish were among 14 Arab intellectuals who helped torpedo a denier conference to have been held in Beirut a few years back. Prof. Joseph Massad calls Holocaust deniers “Zionists:”
Amongst these Zionists, according to Massad’s logic, was none other than the hardline Hamas leader Dr. Abdel-Aziz Rantissi, assasinated in 2004 by Israel:
Shamir, Eisen etc
Thanks for those refs (even to the Edwin Black piece, which was OTT). Actually, I’m on the petition you mentioned. I’ve also had some dealings of my own with Paul Eisen, and I even met him a couple of times before he went off the rails. It’s sad what he’s become, given his energies and intelligence – perhaps a warning to us all of where commitment to a cause can lead when it tips over into an obsession.
By the way, a new Shamir alias has emerged – Adam Ermash.