ISRAELI Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu linked an international Holocaust cartoon contest staged in Iran with Tehran’s nuclear programme to claim yesterday that the Islamic republic is planning another Holocaust.
The nuclear-armed military superpower purports to fear that Iran’s civil nuclear programme could develop a military profile and threaten its existence.
“[Iran] denies the Holocaust, it mocks the Holocaust and it is also preparing another Holocaust,” the prime minister told the weekly meeting of his cabinet.
“I think that every country in the world must stand up and fully condemn this.”
US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said that Washington was concerned that the contest could “be used as a platform for Holocaust denial and revisionism and egregiously anti-semitic speech, as it has in the past.
He added: “We denounce any Holocaust denial and trivialisation as inflammatory and abhorrent.
“It is insulting to the memory of the millions of people who died in the Holocaust.”
Contest organisers said that the exhibition was designed to highlight Israel’s misuse of the Holocaust for political ends and the “new Holocaust” which it is committing against the Palestinians.
“Holocaust means mass killing. We are witnessing the biggest killings by the zionist regime in Gaza and Palestine,” said organiser Masuod Shojai Tabatabaei.
He said that the purpose of the Tehran event was not to deny the Holocaust but to criticise Western double standards regarding freedom of expression.
The cartoon contest opened on Saturday on the eve of Nakba (Catastrophe) Day, which marks the displacement of the Palestinians that accompanied Israel’s creation.
It has been organised by non-governmental bodies with strong support from religious hardliners.
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