An anti-Israeli cartoon contest in Iran mocks the Nazi genocide of six million Jews while Teheran plans another Holocaust, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on May 15.
The contest, which Iran’s government allegedly distanced itself from, has 150 entries from 50 countries and was launched on the eve of the Palestinian Authority (PA) commemoration of “nakba”, which means catastrophe in Arabic, marking the 1948 creation of Israel.
The contest “denies the Holocaust, it mocks the Holocaust and it (Iran) is also preparing another Holocaust,” Netanyahu said at his weekly Cabinet meeting. “I think that every country in the world must stand up and fully condemn this.”
Iran fully supports and funds terrorist organizations that are committed to Israel’s destruction and Teheran’s leaders have called for Israel to be wiped off the map.
U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner, traveling with Secretary of State John Kerry in Saudi Arabia, said the United States was concerned the contest could “be used as a platform for Holocaust denial and revisionism and egregiously anti-Semitic speech, as it has in the past.”
“Such offensive speech should be condemned by the authorities and civil society leaders rather than encouraged. We denounce any Holocaust denial and trivialization as inflammatory and abhorrent. It is insulting to the memory of the millions of people who died in the Holocaust,” Toner said.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the cartoon contest was organized by a non-governmental organization without any support from the authorities.
In an interview published by The New Yorker magazine in April Zarif, when asked why Iran allowed the contest to go ahead, said: “Why does the United States have the Ku Klux Klan? Is the government of the United States responsible for the fact that there are racially hateful organizations in the United States? Don’t consider Iran a monolith. The Iranian government does not support, nor does it organize, any cartoon festival of the nature that you’re talking about.”
Contest organizer Massoud Shojaie Tabatabaie aid the exhibition was a rebuttal to the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed by French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, which was attacked by Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) terrorists last year.
“We are not seeking to confirm or deny the Holocaust,” Tabatabaie said, adding that the best cartoon will be awarded $12,000.
Israel marked Holocaust Remembrance Day earlier this month as well as the 68th anniversary of its foundation.