Iran's Holocaust-denial conference is over. MEMRI President and Founder Yigal Carmon explained the real purpose of the conference: The Role of Holocaust Denial in the Ideology and Strategy of The Iranian Regime:
In order for Ahmadinejad to bring his plans [of eliminating Israel] to fruition, however, he has to demonize the Jews and the State of Israel. Demonization is a necessary precondition for genocide. As we well know, Hitler first engaged in a major campaign of demonization of the Jews before actually murdering them en masse. Ahmadinejad and the Iranian regime are taking the same path, and are conducting a similar virulent, antisemitic campaign of demonization.
To this end, Iranian state-controlled television produces various TV series dedicated to the demonization of Jews. These include classic blood libels, depicting Jews as using the blood of non-Jewish children to bake their Passover matzos, and as kidnapping non-Jewish children to steal their body parts. Jews are reduced to sub-human levels, depicted as pigs and apes. They are accused of persecuting the Prophet Muhammad in voodoo ritualistic scenes, and as tormenting a historic figure reminiscent of Jesus on the Cross. All these TV series exist alongside others that deny the Holocaust.
Again, it should be stressed that all these phenomena are interrelated, and are state-directed at the highest level. It is most indicative that Ahmadinejad's first public appearance after coming to power was made before television producers.
All this is done in order to achieve the goal of demonization of Jews and Israel, which, as I mentioned earlier, is vital for their elimination. However, it is not possible to demonize a people as long as it is viewed as a victim of the Holocaust. Therefore, as long as the Jews are perceived as victims of the Holocaust, this demonization cannot take root. Holocaust denial is thus vital, in order to wipe out the image of the Jews as victims.
This is the reason why these three elements - Holocaust denial, the elimination of the State of Israel, and demonization of the Jews - are constantly present in statements by Ahmadinejad and other senior Iranian officials.
You can also see such demonization in the finalist cartoons in Iran's Holocaust cartoon context (see examples within this post). Accompanying the CNN story is a photo of Ahmadinejad shaking hands with an Orthodox Jew, which seems to contradict the idea that anti-Semetism is a factor. But look again at how Jews are consistently depicted in the Iranian contest cartoons and throughout the Middle East, and it becomes clear that the photo is just that: a photo op.
MEMRI's Carmon explains:
First and foremost is their explicit opposition to Israel's existence. This is why members of the anti-Zionist Jewish sect of Neturei Karta were invited, following the ongoing, strong ties maintained by the Iranian regime with them. Then comes the demonization of Jews in order to justify the agenda of elimination. Thus the invitation of Holocaust deniers, such as Frederick Toben, who not only denies the Holocaust, but also claims that the Jews intentionally spread the AIDS virus in the U.S.
Apparently members of the Neturei Karta see the existence of a Jewish state as more evil than genocidal anti-Semitism. Ahmadinejad is more than glad to exploit them for his own agenda, and they in turn have allowed it. Of course Ahmadinejad will shake hands with Jews -- the ones who are useful and know their place.
Western leaders today who say they are shocked by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's conference this week denying the Holocaust need to wake up to that reality. For the majority of Muslims in the world, the Holocaust is not a major historical event that they deny. We simply do not know it ever happened because we were never informed of it. ...
What's striking about Ahmadinejad's conference is the (silent) acquiescence of mainstream Muslims. I cannot help but wonder: Why is there no counter-conference in Riyadh, Cairo, Lahore, Khartoum or Jakarta condemning Ahmadinejad? Why are the 57 members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference silent on this?
Could the answer be as simple as it is horrifying: For generations, the leaders of these so-called Muslim countries have been spoon-feeding their populations a constant diet of propaganda similar to the one that generations of Germans (and other Europeans) were fed — that Jews are vermin and should be dealt with as such? In Europe, the logical conclusion was the Holocaust. If Ahmadinejad has his way, he shall not want for compliant Muslims ready to act on his wish.
UPDATE -- Dec. 26: More on Neturei Karta at FoxNews: Ahmadinejad Handshake Leaves Rabbi's Neighbors Crying Foul.
The group denies that they are "a small sect or an extremist group of 'ultra-orthodox' Jews," but rather are "fighting the changes and inroads made by political Zionism during the past 100 odd years," according to the site.
"Zionism is a fundamentally heretical movement which denies the Divine imperative that Jews remain in exile until the day when all mankind will be miraculously redeemed,” Weiss told a gathering of protesters in New York City in November.
The Neturei Karta's U.S. branch is based in a sprawling but dilapidated tenement in Monsey, a village ringed with strip malls boasting clothing bargains and fast-food shops that offer kosher pizza and falafel.
It's Jewish small-town America.
At a time when most Americans prepared to celebrate Christmas, menorahs twinkled from the tops of minivans as men dressed in black with long, curly side locks hitched rides home and bicyclists, their prayer-shawl tassels twisting in the wind, raced home for Hanukkah celebrations.
Rafael, a nearly 20-year resident of the community, said Neturei Karta has only a handful of members. He, along with other residents interviewed by FOXNews.com last week, declined to give their full names, fearing reprisals within the community.
"[Weiss] definitely does not represent any part of the Jewish community except for his little hole in the wall," Rafael said. "I really believe he should be considered a traitor to the country.
"This is a very, very good country and I think that someone who goes ahead and does what he does — hugs and kisses the enemy of the world — should be considered a traitor. Revoke his citizenship."
Weiss and his group have made headlines with protests in Washington and in photo opportunities with the Palestine Liberation Organization.
"Nobody embraces him," said Simon, a 10-year resident of Monsey who declined to give his last name. "The blood pressure goes up."
Posted by Forkum at December 17, 2006 05:43 PM