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Yad Vashem Statement on Iranian Holocaust Cartoon Exhibit

15 August 2006

The current exhibition of Holocaust cartoons in Tehran, Iran, a nation that aspires to nuclear capabilities, and whose president has made genocidal statements against Israel, is a flashing red light signaling danger not only to Israel, but to all enlightened nations.

“The alarming silence of the world indicates that the West has not yet understood that what is taking place is an attack on Western values and civilization. History has demonstrated that silence in the face of evil statements, begets evil actions. Iran has said the cartoon exhibit is a ‘test of western tolerance’. The West must stand up, and say clearly: ‘This we will not tolerate’, ” warned Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate.

Shalev also calls on all institutions and organizations that deal with Holocaust remembrance to condemn the exhibition and the attitude that stands behind it. Shalev added that the passivity of most of the world’s leaders to the looming Iranian threat illustrates the need to continue and expand Yad Vashem’s work around the world in fostering understanding and educating about the Holocaust.

Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council Joseph (Tommy) Lapid added: “The exhibit not only is horrific propaganda that supports Holocaust denial, it also paves the road to justifying genocide of the Jews in Israel. Nazi propaganda was employed to persuade Germans that destroying the Jews was their duty; from that point to the ‘Final Solution’ the distance was short, and this is the path on which Ahmadinejad is headed.”