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Yad Vashem Warns Against Complacency in Face of Iranian Holocaust Denial

Chairman of Yad Vashem Avner Shalev: The international community must act to prevent genocidal intentions from becoming genocidal capabilities.

11 January 2006

Yad Vashem views with growing concern Iran’s continued Holocaust denial, and particularly its attempt to paint its radical agenda with a scholarly brush. Reports that the Association of Islamic Journalists of Iran is convening an international conference of Holocaust deniers to “examine in-depth this myth” illustrate how deeply entrenched Holocaust denial is in radical Islamist circles.

Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Avner Shalev warned against complacency in the face of Iran’s continued genocidal declarations. “Recent trends in Iran represent a clear feature of current antisemitism - the ties between Islamic radicals and Holocaust deniers. Iran has embraced such charlatans as David Irving, who was found by a British court to be an ‘antisemite’ and a ‘racist,’ whose ‘falsification of the record was deliberate,’ as well as Robert Faurisson and Roger Garaudy. These sham historians - totally discredited in the West - find a responsive audience in Iran, where senior officials have called the factual events of the Holocaust ‘a matter of opinion.’

“The UN, and through it most of the world, has recently recognized the importance of Holocaust remembrance as a safeguard against the breakdown of the basic human values that underpin our civilization. The dismissal of the veracity of the Holocaust and its legacy represents a clear rejection of those values. The international community must act to prevent genocidal intentions from becoming genocidal capabilities.”