Iranian anti-Semitism

No one has really taken a closer look at the Iranian cartoon “contest” regarding the Holocaust. This is what they say:

“We don’t intend retaliation over the drawings of the prophet. We just want to show that freedom is restricted in the West,” said Davood Kazemi, who has been cartoon editor at the paper since 1992 and is executive manager of the contest.

To be clear: As a reaction to a Danish — non-Jewish — newspaper publishing cartoons of the Muslim prophet Mohammed, the Iranians are holding a contest for cartoons that satirize the Holocaust.

Let me repeat that: Cartoons that satirize the Holocaust. Because, gee, the Holocaust is such a funny issue to begin with, what with its destruction of two-thirds of European Jewry, and hey, it’s not like the Muslim world doesn’t use Nazi and Holocaust imagery in their viciously anti-Semitic cartoons on a daily basis.

The hypocrisy of this contest is simply mind-boggling, but even more mind-boggling is that the media presents it in such a way as to give it more importance (and less context) than it deserves. And the AP takes special note to add to the Iranian conflation of the two issues.

The contest comes in the wake of widespread Muslim fury over the drawings of the Prophet Muhammad and a few months after hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad provoked outrage in Europe for saying Israel should be “wiped off the map” and that the Holocaust was a “myth.”

The drawings of Islam’s most revered figure – including one that depicts the prophet wearing a turban shaped like a bomb – first appeared in a Danish newspaper in September. They were recently reprinted in several publications in Europe, the United States and elsewhere in what publishers said was a show of solidarity for freedom of expression.

Islam widely holds that representations of the prophet are banned for fear they could lead to idolatry.

You see that the context of the Mohammed cartoons is properly set. The next paragraph does not say “Holocaust imagery is used throughout the Muslim world in viciously anti-Semitic cartoons, usually about Israel.” However, we do get this:

“We expect those papers who published the cartoons (of Muhammad) to reproduce the cartoons which will be selected during our competition,” Kazemi said. “Even Israeli cartoonists could send their works to the contest.”

[…] Kazemi noted that the Iranian paper would not accept any “insulting” cartoons. He did not elaborate.

Once again, let us note the logic here:

1. A Danish newspaper calls for cartoonists to draw pictures of Mohammed as an exercise in freedom of expression
2. The Muslim world gets enraged, riots, protests, calls for the death of the cartoonists
3. Almost nobody else publishes the cartoons, but everywhere they do, Muslims protest
4. Iran, a nation without a free press , via its major newspaper (which is controlled by its president), calls for a contest of Holocaust cartoons to prove the Western values of freedom of expression are selective, and insists that if the entire Western media do not publish the cartoons, the West is hypocritical

It is the logic of a twelve-year-old, but apparently, radical Islamists fit right into that Mad Hatter logic.

The response to this is utterly predictable. (Well, except for this: An Israeli anti-Semitic cartoon contest.) I expect to see the cartoons in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and of course, in AP and Reuters. I doubt I will be disappointed. But that isn’t the point.

The real logic behind the cartoon contest is the Iranian push to diminish the Holocaust. They are holding a Holocaust “conference” in which they intend to take a “scientific look” at the Holocaust — as if it hasn’t already been documented to death — in another attempt to prove that the Holocaust didn’t happen. The news media have been printing and reprinting the Iranian president’s lie that the Holocaust was a “myth.” The AP repeats it at any given moment, and has published it dozens of times since Ahmadinejad made it, and puts it into its Iran stories as a boilerplate now. The statement is repeated. And repeated. And repeated.

This is the true Iranian purpose behind the Holocaust cartoon contest. They don’t care about the freedom of expression issue. What Ahmadinejad wants, and what radical Islam wants, is to delegitimize Israel. They are working under the assumption that Israel only exists because Europe and America felt guilty about the Holocaust. They ignore the 3,500-year history of Jews in Israel, because it doesn’t fit into their worldview. Jews, frankly, do not fit into the Islamist worldview, in spite of their protestations that they are not anti-Semitic, only anti-Zionist. (There is no difference. If you are against the establishment and continuance of the state of Israel, the only Jewish state in the world, you are an anti-Semite.)

Make no mistake. The Iranians have a plan. They know what they are doing. As far as I can see, the world media is falling into step, either in ignorance or willingly, and the message is getting out: “Those damned Jews, always so pushy. Maybe the Iranians are right, maybe the Holocaust wasn’t such a big deal. Maybe we’ve been lied to all these years. There are books out there that say so, right? And don’t they keep on throwing those guys in jail, the ones who say the Holocaust was a hoax?”

The message is getting out. The virus is spreading. The denials follow every insane lie from Ahmadinejad, but his lies get published throughout the world. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this contest is something to laugh about or overlook. It is deadly serious, and is part of a chain of consequences that could be extremely deadly for Jews — especially those in Israel.

Iran is close to getting a nuclear bomb. Iran has missiles that can reach Israel.

This Holocaust cartoon contest is no joke.

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12 Responses to Iranian anti-Semitism

  1. Tom Frank says:

    If the Western media isn’t actively anti-Israel, here’s what they’ll do with this opportunity.

    Imagine a full page in the NYT – on the left side, the Danish cartoons; on the right side, the Iranian ones. At the bottom of the left column, it will say “resulted in rioting and killing around the globe, and the boycott of Danish goods”. In the right column, it will say “resulted in minor note of diplomatic protest from Israel”.

    Even the most clueless readers of the MSM will see the irony.

    On the other hand, if they don’t provide this level of context, then one may draw other conclusions about their agenda.

  2. Rahel says:

    And what if such an ad were sponsored by pro-Israel bloggers?

  3. Jack Rich says:

    I agree with your logic, but it is a waste of effort. Islamists do not, can not, respond to logic.

    The problem is Islam itself, which, in its Iranian manifestation, sees a chance to rid the world of us Jews.

    They’d also like to convert or kill Christians, but there’s far too many.

    Enough. We should bomb their nuclear sites; at least set them back in their attempt to complete the Shoah which they denied happened in the first place.

  4. aunursa says:

    On a lighter note … one more month until IEAFPD4

  5. jonny says:

    Freedom of Expression in the Iranian press?

    Does anyone remember Zhara Kazemi, the Canadian photo journalist who was brutally raped and murdered for trying to take photographs at a womens prison in Iran?


    or how about this, on the left side cartoons from the Iranian press that were critical of the Iranian government and on the right side cartoon from the US press that were critical of the US government. At the bottom of the left column it will say “resulted in torcher and execution of cartoonists” and at the bottom of the right column it will say “resulted in cartoonists finding more employment”.

  6. scottage says:

    This is a classic win-win situation for Iran. Either the West could publish the articles, which would allow Iran to further promote its perspective that the Holocaust was a myth and Israel should not exist, or it gives Iran an excuse to start another whole set of protest around the world, which may be close to his overall goals. A nuclear weapon in this guy’s hands is a very scary concept, indeed!

  7. Robert says:

    I agree with your sentiment, however, in most European countries it really is illegal to publish anything denying or ridiculing the Holocaust. What the Muslims are in effect saying is that if one segment of the population doesn’t agree, it’s illegal, however, attacks on their religion is legal. In some European countries, hate speech can put you in prison. We in America do not have such hypocritical laws, and as much as I am choking on the concept, I have to agree that the European concept of “free speech” is fundamentally flawed.

  8. jonny says:

    We laugh at the killers they laugh at the killees.

  9. Tony says:

    Right on Meryl.

    And all the “liberal” media and blogs think that they should publish whatever dreck the Iranians put out – to show that “we all believe in freedom of speech, y’know”!

    What’s even more concerning is that some conservative blogs (e.g. Tim Blair) have said “bring it on, we’ll publish whatever cartoons you print”. This is a dangerous approach unless handled with great care – freedom of speech has to be anchored in individual responsibility.

    If (as predicted) the cartoons are Jew-hate pictures, then thinking media should decline to publish them, on the grounds of decent people’s distaste for hate literature. After all, the mainstream media declines to publish a lot of stuff – everyday. And anyway, there’ll always be the fringe media, who’ll publish anything sensational if they think it’ll make them a dollar.

    And as several of your posters have pointed out the whole cartoon cycle is a fraud – Danish media upsets Muslims (by portraying Mohammed) who respond with violence and fatwas, so Muslims feel they have a reciprocal right to defame Jews in response, attempt to undermine their status in Western countries, and deny Israel’s legitimacy by lampooning the Holocuast.

    That seems a fair tit for tat (not!).

    PS. There’s a reason that European countries and Israel have laws against Holocaust denial – it’s because all have been affected by the scourge of the swastika and, as extermination of the Jews saw a central plank in Nazi ideology, Holocaust denial was viewed by democratically elected Parliaments in Europe as a short step away from Nazi resurgence. So they passed a law against it – as well as against neo-Nazi parties, regalia, salutes etc.

  10. Shtetl G says:

    I’m with Tim Blair and the Israelis’ that are starting there own Anti-Semetic cartoon contest. Bring it on! I like to have my anti-semites right where I can see them. Sunlight is the best disinfectant (though not so good for wine stains).

    Everone always says the main lesson of the Holocaust is never again. Thats great but never again seems to happen way to often. My main lesson from the Holocaust is I’m not going out like punk. I got a .357 magnum for any anti-semite that wants a piece of me. As I said, bring it on.

  11. Daled Amos says:

    Another angle to all of this is the part that Iran played in the Holocaust itself. For starters, there is an article by Edwin Black (IBM and the Holocaust): Denial of Holocaust nothing new in Iran–Ties to Hitler led to plots against British and Jews

  12. Tony says:

    Thanks for the link Daled. Valuable reminder about the role of Iran (Farsi for “Aryan”!) before and during WW2.

    For a further perspective on the Iran Holocaust cartoon “competition”, Sarah Honig at JPost has a worthwhile article:

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