SWC: Arab And Muslim Denunciation Of Iran's Holocaust Denial Conference Would Boost Chances For Middle East Peace

December 12, 2006

WIESENTHAL CENTER: ARAB AND MUSLIM DENUNCIATION OF IRAN’S HOLOCAUST DENIAL CONFERENCE WOULD BOOST CHANCES FOR MIDEAST PEACE

The Simon Wiesenthal Center urged moderate Arab and Muslim leaders to break their collective silence and join with Western leaders in denouncing the Iranian regime’s Holocaust conference, which included former KKK leader David Duke and convicted Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson. The conference, organized by the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, comes a year after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denounced the Holocaust as a ‘myth.’

“Since taking office, President Ahmadinejad has cynically leveraged Holocaust denial and genocidal threats against Israel to help catapult himself into the top tier of the Muslim world,” said Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, founder and dean and associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center, respectively. “Now is the time for moderate leaders to denounce his bigotry and to signal the people of Israel that they are committed to a peaceful future with the Jewish state,” Hier added.

To counter the gathering in Tehran, the Wiesenthal Center yesterday held the “Witness To the Truth” videoconference which brought together over 50 Holocaust survivors to give accounts of what they had to live through and what they saw under the Nazi regime. They were linked by videoconferencing between the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles and Tolerancenter in New York and the Canadian Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Toronto. In addition, the Center received scores of survivor testimony via fax and e-mail.

“It wasn’t enough that their loved ones were murdered in the death camps, now they have to prove to Ahmadinejad they are not liars,” said Rabbi Hier. “As one of today’s survivors put it, ‘If the Holocaust was a myth, where is my six year-old brother?’” Hier added.

The Wiesenthal Center has plans to make yesterday’s video testimonies available on DVDs to be distributed to schools in the U.S. and the world over. For more information, go to
www.wiesenthal.com.
        
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, and the Council of Europe.

For more information, please contact the Center's Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036.