Iranian Holocaust denial must be taken seriously

As Israel prepares to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day, the German scholar Matthias Kuentzel warns chillingly that Iranian Holocaust denial, a central plank in an Islamist looking-glass world where reality is myth and myth is reality, will lead to total war – unless it is taken seriously. (Via Engage)

“My first proposition is the most obvious: Holocaust denial is motivated by antisemitism and its direct purpose is to contribute to the destruction of Israel. The Iranian leaders, however, do not at all regard themselves as antisemites. “We are friends with the Jewish people”, stated Ahmadinejad when he spoke at Columbia university last year. Moreover, the 25,000 or so Jews in Iran represent the largest Jewish community in any Muslim country.

“Anyone who looks closer, however, will soon discover that Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric is steeped in an antisemitism not found in any state leader since World War II. Ahmadinejad does not say “Jews” are conspiring to rule the world. Instead he says, “Two thousand Zionists want to rule the world.” “The Zionists have imposed themselves on a substantial portion of the banking, financial, cultural, and media sectors.” “The Zionists” fabricated the Danish Muhammad cartoons. “The Zionists thrive on war and hatred. Everywhere they exist there is war.” The pattern is familiar. He invests the word “Zionist” with exactly the same meaning Hitler poured into “Jew”: the incarnation of evil. Anyone who makes Jews – whether as “Judas” or as “Zionist” – responsible for all the ills of the world is obviously driven by antisemitism. He must want to eliminate Israel, as the “germ of evil”, in order to “save” the world.

“In this regard, in his opening speech to the conference, Iranian Foreign Minister Manucher Mottaki left no doubt: if “the official version of the Holocaust is called into question,” Mottaki said, then “the nature and identity of Israel” must also be called into question. If, however, the Holocaust did occur after all, then – per Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric – Israel has even less of a reason to be in Palestine, but should be transplanted instead to Europe. One way or another, the result is the same: Israel must vanish.

“The elimination of Israel, the demonisation of Jews and Holocaust denial – these are the three elements of an ideological constellation that collapses as soon as one of the elements is removed. ”

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