Iran plans conference to “assess” Holocaust

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.

    1. Good 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:

      WASHINGTON, Dec. 19 (JTA) — Iran’s president has shot to the forefront of Holocaust denial in recent days, but it may seem more like self-denial: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad need only look to his country’s Hitler-era past to discover that Iran and Iranians were connected to the Holocaust and the Nazi regime, as was the larger Arab and Islamic world under the leadership of the mufti of Jerusalem.

      Iran’s links to the Third Reich began during the pre-World War II years when it welcomed Gestapo agents and other operatives to Tehran, allowing them to use it as a Middle East base for agitation against the British and the region’s Jews. […]

      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,

      Press Release

      We received many requests and enquiries regarding the alleged historians’ conference in Tehran, and Israel Shamir’s participation in it. Let it be known that Israel Shamir received no invitation, official or unofficial to a conference in Iran; we have no knowledge whether such a conference will take place at all. We have no idea what is the basis for these rumours, and obviously we took no decision, positive or negative, regarding this hypothetical event. If and when such an invitation will materialise it will be considered carefully.

      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:

      “I have no desire to argue with the figures,” he told the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz.

      “The Holocaust was a terrible, unforgivable crime against the Jewish nation, a crime against humanity that cannot be accepted by humankind. The Holocaust was a terrible thing, and nobody can claim I denied it.” (UK Guardian, May 29, ’03)

      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:”

      It is often pointed out by Zionists and their supporters that holocaust denial in the Arab world is the major evidence for “Arab anti-Semitism”. I have written elsewhere how any Arab or Palestinian who denies the Jewish holocaust falls into the Zionist logic.

      While holocaust denial in the West is indeed one of the strongest manifestations of anti-Semitism, most Arabs who deny the holocaust deny it for political not racist reasons. This point is even conceded by the anti-Arab and anti-Muslim Orientalist Bernard Lewis. Their denial is based on the false Zionist claim that the holocaust justifies Zionist colonialism. The Zionist claim is as follows: Since Jews were the victims of the holocaust, then they have the right to colonise Palestine and establish a Jewish colonial-settler state there. Those Arabs who deny the holocaust accept the Zionist logic as correct. Since these deniers reject the right of Zionists to colonise Palestine, the only argument left to them is to deny that the holocaust ever took place, which, to their thinking, robs Zionism of its allegedly “moral” argument. But the fact that Jews were massacred does not give Zionists the right to steal someone else’s homeland and to massacre the Palestinian people. The oppression of a people does not endow it with rights to oppress others. If those Arab deniers refuse to accept the criminal Zionist logic that justifies the murder and oppression of the Palestinians by appealing to the holocaust, then these deniers would no longer need to make such spurious arguments. All those in the Arab world who deny the Jewish holocaust are in my opinion Zionists. (Al-Ahram, Dec. 2004)

      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:

      “The Jews are worse than Hitler. I believe the Nazis did not break the bones of children with rockets. I believe Hitler wouldn’t bulldoze homes on civilians when they were screaming inside. It’s impossible to say that Hitler would do that. I believe that more than fifty percent of the world doesn’t believe in the Holocaust, and I am one of them. The Israelis practice terror against our people and say to the world that we are terrorists. I believe that they did the same thing to Hitler. The Germans were the victims of the Jews.

      1. 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.