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Holocaust Denial Won’t Help Iran—Or Palestine

[Originally published in Turkish Daily News] Iranian leaders apparently think that they are doing their nation a favor nowadays by hosting anti-Semitic ideologues such as David Duke, the leader of Ku Klux Klan, for a conference which challenges the truth of the Jewish Holocaust. Are they right? First, one should recall what Holocaust denial, or as its proponents call it, "Holocaust Revisionism," is. It is a fringe movement that started in the 60's by the French historian Paul Rassinier's "The Drama Of The European Jews" and American historian David Hoggan's "The Myth of the Six Million." In the 70's a few other historians like Arthur Butz, David Irving and Robert Faurisson joined the line. In 1979 the Institute for Historical Review (IHR) was founded in California, which became, and still acts as, the headquarters of the "revisionist" movement. Those in the movement might have different tones and shades, however their basic argument is the same: Although many Jews did suffer and die during World War II, there were no specific measures to exterminate them, such as the horrific gas chambers of Auschwitz, Belzec or Treblinka. All the evidence pointing to the Nazi Final Solution - which, according to mainstream historians, resulted in the extermination of six million Jews, along with millions of Gypsies and Slavs, and many communists and homosexuals - is, according to these "revisionists," fake or somehow exaggerated. They argue that there was indeed an American, British and Jewish conspiracy to make Jews look like victims and to demonize Nazi Germany. Of course such a reading of history makes the Nazis look much nicer then they have been seen up to now. Therefore it is no accident that some of the leading figures in "Holocaust Revisionism" are Nazi sympathizers and neo-Nazis. Other fascist groups like the Ku Klux Klan are also enthusiastic supporters of Holocaust denial. The Iranians, who accuse the Israelis for using the Holocaust propaganda to serve their political causes, need to see the irony here: "Holocaust Revisionism" is a political tool, too, which is used to whitewash the Nazis. And it is not only morally corrupt but also politically unwise to try to help the Palestinian cause by forming an alliance with the latter day saints of Nazism. President Ahmedinejad will serve his nation better if he realizes that the anti-Semitism of the Nazis incorporated a deep hatred towards not only Judaism, but also its theological legatees, i.e. Christianity and Islam. Actually if the Iranians, and other Muslims nations, really want to help Palestinians, they can do this not by objecting to but by empathizing with the Jewish Holocaust. Then, they can, for example, challenge the Israelis for imitating the brutality of the Wehrmacht with their bloody incursions in Palestine and Lebanon. It is a pity that for the current conference in Tehran, the mullahs didn't consider inviting Khaled Mahameed, the Palestinian peace activist who opened a Holocaust institute in Nazareth last year, to help his fellow Arabs understand, not deny, the Holocaust. Such guests would bring more honor to the land of the Persians then the Ku Klux Klan leaders.
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