Iran Looms Over U.N. Holocaust Day

UN Watch in the News

Iran Looms Over U.N. Holocaust Day

The Jewish Week, February 2, 2007

As the United Nations observed its international Holocaust commemoration Monday, 33 human rights groups called on officials to publicly rebuke denial of the Shoah.

“If not on the U.N.’s day of Holocaust commemoration, then when?” asked Hillel Neuer of UN Watch.

In a letter to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other officials, the coalition wrote: “The ongoing racist campaign by Iran must be combated and publicly repudiated at each and every incident.”

Earlier in the month, Iran’s ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Council justified his country’s Holocaust denial conference in December as legitimate, citing “serious opposing ideas over the issue.”

But in a move to reject the event, some 100 Iranian scholars, writers and activists living at home and abroad honored Holocaust victims and excoriated Iran’s government for denying the genocide.

A petition appearing in the latest New York Review of Books calls the Nazis “Final Solution” and campaign of genocide “undeniable historical facts,” deplores the Iranian regime’s use of Holocaust denial as “a propaganda tool” and says “the new brand of anti-Semitism prevalent in the Middle East today has no precedent in Iran’s history.”

International Holocaust Day was also commemorated at an unlikely venue — a café in Mumbai, India, formerly named after Adolf Hitler.

The Cross, which changed its name some months ago following complaints from the Jewish community, hosted some 65 people at Sunday’s event, which included a screening of a documentary on a Japanese diplomat who saved some 2,000 European Jews and the Mourner’s Kaddish. Filmmaker Richard Young organized the event with the Jewish community and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.

Copyright 2007, The Jewish Week

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