Meeting of Ahmadinejad and Palestinian President Haniyeh reminds of the meeting between Hitler and the Palestinian Mufti in 1941
Iran opened a conference on Monday to question whether the Holocaust ever took place, despite widespread condemnation by Western countries, including Germany. The conference will question whether gas chambers were used to exterminate six million Jews. The Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly questioned the truth of the Holocaust, at one point describing the event as a "myth" and casting doubt on the scale of the killings.
A controversial conference got off to a start in Iran to deliberate on whether the Holocaust happened and whether Nazis indeed used gas chambers to kill Jews.
Attending the Conference
The two-day conference, 'Review of the Holocaust: Global Vision', officially organized by the Iranian government, is being attended by some 60 participants, including people from Britain, the United States and Germany, besides Iran.
Three Jewish rabbis, belonging to the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta faction, were present at the event. Israeli officials now consider boycotting those rabbis. A U.S. academic and former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke is among those attending the conference.
French writer Georges Thiel, who has been convicted in France for spreading revisionist theories about the mass extermination of Jews, said the Holocaust was "an enormous lie. Jewish people have been persecuted, that is true, they have been deported, that is true, but there was no machinery of murder in any camp - no gas chambers," he said.
Also taking part is Fredrick Toeben, a German-born Australian who is well known for denying the scale of the Holocaust and has spent several months in a German jail for inciting racial hatred.
On the contrary, Khaled Mahameed, a Muslim lawyer who last year opened a Holocaust museum geared to Arab audiences in the racially mixed town of Nazareth, said he tried to attend the event and debate those who deny Nazi Germany slaughtered 6 million Jews, But he said his visa application was turned down.
In August 31, 2006 the President of the Auschwitz International Committee and Holocaust Survivor Noah Flug sent a letter to the Iranian President and invited him to visit Auschwitz to see if there was no holocaust. He also requested that the Iranian authorities allow him to participate in the conference, but did not get an answer. Yesterday Mr. Flug, who is in Berlin at the moment, tried to contact the Iranian Ambassador to Germany, but was once again rejected.
An Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson said 67 researchers from 30 countries are attending the conference.
Iran's foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki, opening the conference at the Iranian foreign ministry's Institute for Political and International Studies, said the event is held not to deny or confirm the Holocaust, but to afford an opportunity for thinkers who cannot express their views freely in Europe about it.
Germany and several European countries, which have made it a crime to deny the Nazi killing of several millions Jews during 1933-45, have condemned the conference. Several survivors of the Holocaust, Jewish organizations and human rights groups too condemned Iran for the initiative.
Iran, Hezbollah & Hamas
Iran is actively supporting anti-Israel terrorism through Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah.United in their militant rejection of Israel and in pursuing the end of the peace process, Hamas and Iran had strengthened their ties. In meeting with Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh (Hamas) in Tehran on Saturday, he added, "The popular government of Palestine should not recognize the occupying regime of the Qods and must support the continuation of Palestinian resistance which will finally lead to the victory for the nation."
This meeting between the two anti-Israeli leaders only two days before the conference reminds of another meeting, in 1941, between the Palestinian leader of that time, the Mufti of Jerusalem Hajj Amin al-Husseini, and Adolf Hitler and other Nazi leaders. He wanted to persuade them to extend the Nazis' anti-Jewish program to the Arab world.
Hitler said on that meeting: 'Germany stood for uncompromising war against the Jews. That naturally included active opposition to the Jewish national home in Palestine....Germany would furnish positive and practical aid to the Arabs involved in the same struggle....Germany's objective is...solely the destruction of the Jewish element residing in the Arab sphere....In that hour the Mufti would be the most authoritative spokesman for the Arab world'. The Mufti thanked Hitler profusely.
Reaction in Israel
Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs: The Government of Israel strongly condemns the shameless initiative taken by the Iranian Government to convene an international conference for the denial of the Holocaust, the so-called "International Conference Review of the Holocaust: Global Vision."
The Holocaust has been ridiculed in Iran by a "Holocaust Caricatures Contest" and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who continuously calls for the destruction of Israel, has compared Auschwitz to Israel, thus falsifying past and present. Read More...