Thursday, December 15, 2005

The President of Iran: Holocaust denier and anti-Semite

It figures. I write up a piece about the start of David Irving's trial for Holocaust denial for yesterday, and what gets widely reported on the very same day? The President of Iran calls the Holocaust a "myth":
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Wednesday that the Holocaust was a myth, ramping up his rhetoric and triggering a fresh wave of international condemnation.

Last week Ahmadinejad first aired his doubts on the veracity of the Holocaust, in which six million Jews were killed by the Nazis. His comments drew a rebuke from the U.N. Security Council.

"They have fabricated a legend under the name 'Massacre of the Jews', and they hold it higher than God himself, religion itself and the prophets themselves," he told a crowd in the southeastern city of Zahedan on Wednesday.

The speech was broadcast live on state television.

European countries called the remarks unacceptable and said they could undermine plans for talks with Tehran on its controversial nuclear program.

The United States condemned the comments as outrageous while Israel said they showed Iran's "rogue regime" was acting outside acceptable international norms.

Ahmadinejad, a former Revolutionary Guardsman who was elected president in June, said in October Israel must be "wiped off the map," provoking a diplomatic storm and stoking fears about Iran's nuclear ambitions.
If you want to see how Holocaust denial is based on anti-Semitism, you don't have to look any further than the President of Iran. Here's another example of his Holocaust denial, a direct quote:
Some European countries insist on saying that during World War II, Hitler burned millions of Jews and put them in concentration camps. Any historian, commentator or scientist who doubts that is taken to prison or gets condemned.
The above quote was before David Irving was arrested in Austria, but you can imagine how Irving's impending trial feeds the conspiracy-mongering. Unfortunately, such sentiments are rampant in the Arab world. For example, if you want to see the depths of the anti-Semitism in Iran, look at this lukewarm "criticism" of President Ahmadinejad's remarks from a reformist party in Iran opposed to him:
Iran's hardline press largely rallied round the president's first Holocaust remarks but the Islamic Iran Participation Front, Iran's leading reformist party, printed a critical statement in the liberal Sharq daily on Wednesday.

"Provocation...and starting this sort of talk, which benefits neither Iranians nor oppressed Palestinians, will only increase consensus on supporting the (Israeli) regime and will unify the approach against Iran," it said.
Note what they said. They didn't condemn their president for denying the Holocaust and preaching anti-Semitism; they criticized their president because they thought that his remarks will increase support for Israel and unify Iran's foes. They criticized him because he was embarrassing Iran. One can't help but conclude that the subtext is that they agree with their President that the Holocaust is a myth but just wish he wouldn't be so open about saying so. As Jonathan Freedland wrote in the Guardian:
Unfortunately, it doesn't end with Ahmadinejad, a man with no experience outside Iran, a hick who, Iranian analyst Dr Ali Ansari concedes, is a "monumental embarrassment". For he has given voice to a sentiment that runs deep in Iran and in the wider Muslim world.

Just look at this week's Iranian press. "Many revisionist historians believe the story of the Holocaust is fake and have proved it by much evidence and documents," says the conservative paper Resalat. Hardline Siyasat-e Ruz applauds the leader for "revealing the truth".

It's hardly a surprise. TV stations across the Muslim world have been running this garbage for ages, along with lurid anti-semitism. Jordanian TV's Ramadan special this year was Al-Shatat, a Syrian-produced series that speaks of a "global Jewish government" and depicts the ancient blood libel: the accusation that Jews use the blood of Christian children in preparing food for Passover. That was a follow-up to Egyptian television's Ramadan treat in 2002: Horseman without a Horse, whose central theme was the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the century-old forgery concocted by the Tsarist secret police which alleged a Jewish plot to take over the world.

We can deny it no longer: the virus of anti-semitism has infected the Muslim world. And virus it is, for Jew-hatred on this scale, as Christian Europe can testify, is a kind of sickness. This is one of the grossest legacies bequeathed by the west: that Muslims have taken to heart a form of anti-semitism alien to their own lands, borrowing a language and iconography that was made in Christendom. Blood libels and the Protocols were dreamed up in Norwich, Mainz or Moscow - yet now they breathe anew in Cairo, Riyadh and Damascus.
Holocaust denial derives from anti-Semitism, period, no matter how much Holocaust "revisionists" will try to convince you otherwise. Unfortunately, that particularly virulent form of anti-Semitism now has an influential voice in the president of Iran. Compared to the Iranian president, David Irving is strictly small fry.

7 example(s) of insolence returned:


At 12/15/2005 7:08 AM, Anonymous Flex said...

This is not a new phenomena, but rarely is this belief so obvious.

I recall having a long conversation about eight years ago with one of my co-workers, who is also an Iman, concerning the _Protocols_. He brought out all the usual canards, including invoking Henry Ford, and I countered with it's history as established through research.

Our converstation was entirely cordial, and I know that I didn't convince him. I only hope that he is a little more open to doubt than he used to be.

It's funny, but I don't recall hearing anything about the Holocaust or the Protocols when I was stationed in Turkey. Either I was oblivious or it just wasn't mentioned.

Cheers,

-Flex

 

At 12/15/2005 10:17 AM, Blogger Dr John Crippen said...

Writing from the UK can I say that David Irving has been around for years and is largely ignored. He should not be put in jail. He does not need lawyers. He DOES need skilled professional help, but from our profession. No one takes him seriously in the UK. He is put in the same category as the Flat Earthers and the Fundamental Creationists. His denial of Nazi atrocities is met with disbeleif, incredulity and, most of all, boredom. But we have free speech, and he is free to speak, but pardon me if I fall asleep.

I would not give him the benefit of rational discussion other than to discuss the kind of medication that might help.

 

At 12/15/2005 4:03 PM, Blogger MichaelBains said...

Dr Crippin, I really don't think that the medication has been discovered/invented yet which could help with such biological insanity. If he's causing any serious legal harm, an especially intense ECT may be in order (though I doubt that'd do a damned helpful thing either.)

I fight some crazy notions in my own mind but am both willing and (sometimes) able to adjust to reason over my life-long reasons for having those notions. I really do not know if I shall ever be free of them in my own mind though. I must consciously act upon what I know is true versus the constant and naggin' repetition of things which I emotionally incorporated into my world-view as I matured from child to adult. This, I say quite humbly and with understatement, completely freakin' sucks.

For people like Ahmadinejad & the US's own Chimperor, who are all but worshipped for their insanity, it must be essentially impossible to ever make them acknowledge reality.

 

At 12/16/2005 12:55 AM, Blogger Tim said...

I get occasional spam from some bunch of Neonazi idiots called the New Order. As you can imagine they sent out a post lauding the Iranian President's crap. Amazing what a bunch of hypocrits they are. Personally I'm tempted to write them back a letter one of these days telling them that Hitler would think they were a bunch of cowards for denying the Holocaust.

 

At 12/16/2005 6:37 AM, Blogger Dr John Crippen said...

One of the fascinations of blogging is coming across the endless multi-strands of thought across the world. As a wishy-washy liberal, I must lead too sheltered a life. Irving is of course bonkers. I had no idea that there was such an apparant industry of Holocaust deniers. It beggars rational belief. Last year, I went to Prague for the fist time and visted the Jewish section where, as many of you will know, there is a most dignified memorial listing the hames of Jews murdered by the Nazis. I was particularly trying to find the name of the family of a close friend whose grandparents (and indeed all his family of that generation) were killed. But his name is a common Jewish name. There were over 200 people mentioned with this name, so which was which? It was a desperately sad experience. But the memorial is there, and will be there for ever. Irving will not be. He will be quicly forgotten.

 

At 12/22/2005 5:49 AM, Blogger Anna in Portland (was Cairo) said...

Hi Orac,

I love this site and am especially interested in the stuffo n holocaust denial as I have researched it due to some Muslim holocaust deniers having a lot of currency in the Muslim world such as Roger Garaudy (who basically repeats stuff said by people like Faurisson and irving). But you do have an inaccuracy in this post. Iranians are NOT Arabs. They are Muslims but please do not conflate the two. Also be aware that the Muslim anti-Semitism is really connected to the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Iranians are sort of involved in that discourse but not as Arabs but as Muslims only. Any Iranian would be the first to tell you that he is NOT an Arab.

 

At 12/22/2005 7:31 AM, Blogger Orac said...

Actually, I am aware that Iranians are not Arabs, and, upon rereading my article I see how it might be interpreted as having lumped them together with Arabs. Nonetheless, the sentiments voiced by the President of Iran are indeed quite common in the Arab and Muslim world.

 

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