Simon Wiesenthal Center: Silence Of Arab And Muslim Countries Over Iran President?s Holocaust Denial ?Deeply Troubling?

December 15, 2005

SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER: SILENCE OF ARAB AND MUSLIM COUNTRIES OVER
IRAN PRESIDENT’S HOLOCAUST DENIAL ‘DEEPLY TROUBLING’

JEWISH NGO ALSO CONDEMNS LEBANESE UNIVERSITY FOR HOSTING HEZBOLLAH TV SYMPOSIUM CALLING FOR ISRAEL’S DEMISE

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, leading Jewish human rights NGO, criticized Arab and Muslim states for their failure to condemn Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s statement that the Nazi Holocaust was a “myth.”

“President Ahmadinejad’s genocidal threat against Israel and now denying the veracity of history’s greatest crime is a blow against hopes for Middle East Peace,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Center. “The failure of Arab and Muslim governments and leaders to condemn the promotion of the ‘big lie’ of Holocaust denial by the Iranian leader is also deeply troubling,” he continued.

“In our tradition, silence is admittance, and the silence of Arab and Muslim countries to Ahmadinejad’s scornful lies will only embolden the forces of terrorism and violence,” Cooper concluded.

In a related development, the Simon Wiesenthal Center called on the Lebanese government to denounce a Hezbollah/ Al-Manar TV Symposium on the Mideast conflict held at the Universite Libanaise, the country’s largest government-run university. The symposium was convened on November 29, the anniversary of the 1947 passage of the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine. According to translations provided by the Middle East Media Research Institute, symposium participants called for the demise of the state of Israel as the only solution to the conflict. One student remarked that, “Just like Hitler fought the JewsWe are a great Islamic nation of Jihad and we too should fight the Jews and burn them.”

In a December 14 letter to Farid Abboud, Lebanon’s Ambassador to the United States, Rabbi Cooper applauded the country’s efforts towards democracy and the right to free speech, but asserted that “it should be beyond the pale for a government-run institution of higher learning to play host to an entity that serves as a puppet for the terrorist interests of Syria and Iran and that echoes in work and deed the Iranian President’s violent opposition to the existence of the Jewish state.”

A copy of the letter was also sent to US Secretary of State Rice and the chairs of Foreign Relations in both the House and Senate.

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 OAS. 

For more information, please contact the Center's Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036, or visit
www.wiesenthal.com.