Wiesenthal Center: Ahmadinejad Holocaust Denial and Genocidal Threat to Israel Panders to Muslim Extremists and Mocks Any Notion of a Productive Dialogue with Obama

September 18, 2009

WIESENTHAL CENTER: AHMADINEJAD HOLOCAUST DENIAL AND GENOCIDAL THREAT TO ISRAEL PANDERS TO MUSLIM EXTREMISTS AND MOCKS ANY NOTION OF A PRODUCTIVE DIALOGUE WITH OBAMA

On the eve of the Jewish New Year, the Simon Wiesenthal Center condemned statements by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made today during Al Quds (Jerusalem) Day, the day when many Muslims express solidarity with the Palestinian people. In his televised speech, Ahmadinejad heightened his rhetoric of Holocaust denial, saying that it was a false pretext “for the creation of the Zionist regime,” and for the end of the Jewish state’s existence. “Our belief and creed ... remain that Israel is an illegal entity, a cancerous tumor, that must cease to exist,” he said, flanked by officials from Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Wiesenthal Center officials say his renewed threats against Israel carry extra significance as the world prepares to gather at next week’s opening of the new session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York and the anticipated face-to-face talks between the U.S. and Iran.

“The fact that Ahmadinejad launched this tirade on the eve of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, surrounded by leaders from Gaza is an uncomfortable signal to President Obama and other world leaders trying to fast-track Israeli/Palestinian peace talks that there is no chance for success as long as Hamas controls Gaza and opposes PA President Abbas,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center. But beyond that conflict, said Cooper, “Ahmadinejad’s performance dashes the Obama Administration’s hopes that dialogue with this regime would yield practical results in the efforts to thwart Iran’s pending nuclearization or signal any moderation in the regime’s rhetoric.”

“We can only hope that President Obama will use the bully pulpit at the upcoming UN General Assembly to publicly embrace the people of Iran whose recent Twitter Revolution against Ahmadinejad’s phony reelection,” Cooper concluded.

On Wednesday, September 23rd, the eve of Ahmadinejad’s scheduled address to the UN General Assembly, the Wiesenthal Center will be hosting Iranian dissidents at its New York Tolerancenter, a short distance from the UN Headquarters The Center will also co-hosting a rally outside the UN to protest Ahmadinejad’s speech. For more information on these events, please contact the Center’s NY office, 212-370-0320.

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, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

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