Respectful Insolence

A while back, I commented on the infamous Iranian “Holocaust Cartoon Contest,” which Iran sponsored in response to the Danish cartoon imbroglio in which cartoons featuring the Prophet Mohammed triggered violent protests among Muslims last winter. Their stated goal, was to try to draw some sort of equivalency between their offense at having Mohammed mocked and what they expected would be the West’s offense at having the Holocaust or attitudes towards the Holocaust mocked. The result, as I mentioned, was underwhelming; with a few exceptions, the contest didn’t cause much reaction. Even Rabbis yawned when a Danish newspaper reprinted some of the entries, and the contest even led to a humorous Jewish contest to outdo the Iranians in making tasteless and anti-Semitic Holocaust cartoons.

As I also pointed out, the entries to the Iranian contest consisted by and large of the usual vicious anti-Semitic stereotypes (the hook nose, the greed, the Jew portrayed as a “vampire”) and the equating of Israel in particular and Jews in general with Nazis. Indeed, only a very few of the 228 entries that I forced myself to wade through and that are available on the cartoon website dealt with anything resembling the Iranian pretext for the contest of making fun of the West’s supposed double standard when it comes to the Holocaust.

I bet you wonder who won. Well, wonder no more:

Iran’s best-selling newspaper, Hamshahri, launched a competition in February to find the best cartoon about the Holocaust, in which 6 million Jews were killed by the Nazis.

The contest was a retaliation for last year’s publication of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad in Danish and other European newspapers that angered Muslims worldwide.

Presenting a prize to a representative of Moroccan cartoonist Abdellah Derkaoui, Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister Mohammad Hossein Saffar-Harandi praised Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who has described the Holocaust as a “myth”.

“Our president was the brave and freedom-seeking person who started this debate without being concerned about its consequences,” Saffar-Harandi said.

Derkaoui’s cartoon shows a crane with a Star of David sign, putting up blocks making a wall separating the Muslim shrine, the Dome of the Rock, from Jerusalem. The wall has a gate, shown in the distance, that looks like one at the Auschwitz concentration camp, where Jews were incarcerated and killed.

“The taboo is broken now. People should not think that by questioning the Holocaust, they are committing a crime,” the minister said. The Moroccan cartoonist won $12,000.

I agree. By “questioning” (in reality denying) the Holocaust, people shouldn’t think they are committing a crime. They may be spouting anti-Semitism and idiotic lies, but they shouldn’t be thrown in jail for being worthless, racist idiots prone to anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, an inability to critically evaluate the massive evidence for the historicity of the Holocaust, and just plain credulity. People should be free, for the most part, to make utter fools of themselves, and Holocaust deniers are no exception. In fact, they did it in spades with this Iranian cartoon contest.

Let’s take a look at the winning entry, shall we? Here it is:

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Gee. Imagine my surprise. It’s a cartoon equating Israel with the Nazis using an image of Auschwitz-Birkenau. How original. How “brave.”

Here’s the second prize winner:

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Surprise, surprise! It’s another cartoon comparing Israel to the Nazi regime and Palestinians to the Jews killed in the Holocaust.

Perhaps the most unintentionally hilarious entry is this other second prize/honorable mention winner:

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Representing Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson‘s work as somehow “toppling” the “myth” of the Holocaust is so hilarious that one has to wonder if it was chosen as a joke. If you want to get a taste of Faurisson’s arguments debunked, see this deconstruction of his claim that Ann Frank’s diary is a forgery, courtesy of the Holocaust History Project. Faurisson was also one of the deniers who procured the services of self-styled Mr. Death Fred Leuchter to “prove” that the gas chambers at Auschwitz were never used to kill humans, and is on record as saying some utterly ludicrous things about the capture of Rudolf Höß. In addition, both Holocaust Controversies and Flavor Country have also written about Faurisson’s lies and pseudoscholarship, as has Nizkor.

The rest of the “winners” of this vile contest are here. Note that only one of them seems to address the claimed “purpose” of the contest, namely to mock the West’s supposed “double standard” about the Holocaust. The rest are just the usual collection of “Jew”/”Israel” = “Nazi” tripe, some of them laden with some blatantly anti-Semitic caricatures.

Pathetic. But did anyone really expect otherwise?

Comments

  1. #1 epador
    November 4, 2006

    This is not pathetic, it is very scarey.

    A small portion of the future that is yet to be acknowledged.

  2. #2 David Bomse
    November 4, 2006

    Ironic to see the Holocaust deniers using concentration camp images to illustrate their crackpot messages.

  3. #3 sam
    November 4, 2006

    I find myself looking through these cartoons and wondering what most of them are supposed to mean. I did find an interesting quote in the comments that I feel could apply to many people throughout the world, “there will be no peace until the Palestinians love their children more than they hate us” Take away the word Palestinians and substitute pretty much any other culture or country, and it loses none of its value. The commenter’s signed as merely “Jew” so I can’t credit it to anyone other than that.

  4. #4 Amy Alkon
    November 4, 2006

    That quote was from the late Israeli prime minister Golda Meir.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golda_Meir

  5. #5 TheProbe
    November 4, 2006

    “”Our president was the brave and freedom-seeking person who started this debate without being concerned about its consequences,” Saffar-Harandi said.”

    What is scary is that this brave guy wil lnot worry about the consequences when he has nukes.

  6. #6 Brendan
    November 4, 2006

    Relative to the cartoons I’ve seen thus far, the winning one’s pretty good, but I think the contest’s intended message was missed by putting the Dome of the Rock behind the wall, rather than some easily recognizable Jewish icon. It might have been an interesting commentary then. As it stands, it’s just a confusing visual diatribe.

  7. #7 William The Coroner
    November 4, 2006

    Free Speech is good. It helps you identify the idiots.

  8. #8 Hyperion
    November 5, 2006

    In much of the Arab world, the wall is a recognizable Israeli icon, I believe that the author is making a reference to the wall that Israel is building along the West Bank, which would effectively seal off Jerusalem and the Temple Mount from the Palestinian territories completely.

    The irony, of course, is that there is already a wall built by the Jews that separates the Dome from the rest of Jerusalem, but as it was built roughly 2,500 years ago, ironically with the assistance of Darius of Persia (now Iran), I highly doubt that it was a part of the message that the author intended to send.

  9. #9 Anna in Portland (was Cairo)
    November 5, 2006

    These cartoons are not denying the holocaust at all. How weird. I thought the contest was supposed to be denying the holocaust and that was the point of it.

    Seems to me the point they are trying to make is not that the holocaust occurred, but that current Israeli policy is comparable to it. These two propositions may both sound outlandish to Americans, but in no way are they equal or even similar enough to be a question of degree.

  10. Edit, “is not that the Holocaust occurred” s/b “is not that the Holocaust did not occur”

  11. #11 Dianne
    November 6, 2006

    If I’d seen one of these cartoons without context, I would have thought the message was “Be aware of what you do lest you find yourself turning into your own worst enemies.” The Israeli treatment of the Palastinians isn’t anywhere near the Nazi treatment of European Jews. But the possibility that it could go that way exists and will exist until the Palastinians are considered equals in the land of Israel. Low level persecution of Jewish people went on in Europe for hundreds of years prior to the Holocaust and Germany wasn’t by any means the worst country in that regard prior to the 1930s. No matter how democratic and humanistic Israel is, until they stop thinking of Palastinians as “the enemy”* the possibility of their becoming the Nazis will exist.

    What I can’t understand is how these cartoons can make any sense if the Holocaust didn’t happen. What is the point of comparing the current situation to an imaginary event? I suppose I’m not the intended audience, so my reaction doesn’t matter, but I’m still confused.

    *Yes, yes, I know that many Palastinians have committed terrorist acts, supported terrorists, or celebrated terrorist acts. I’m not saying that they’re innocent by any means. Nonetheless, just because a group contains a large number of criminals, that doesn’t mean that the entire group is criminal and treating it as such only further isolates those who would like to live in peace. I think.

  12. #12 Kiwiwriter
    November 6, 2006

    The funny thing is that the two winners don’t deny the Holocaust, or its horror…they merely show an irony in comparing Israel’s behavior today with Nazi behavior 60 years ago. Which is not new. Real ground-breaking stuff here. Yawn.

  13. #13 manfred
    November 6, 2006

    Funny thing is
    that there is more freedom of speech in Iran (dubbed a rogue state by Jewish neo-cons hellbent on luring the US and her allies into yet another Middle Eastern war – by the way, Israel has nukes since the late 1960ies, yet nobody cares) than in say, Austria or Germany.

    I also liked the notion “making fun of the West’s SUPPOSED double standard when it comes to the Holocaust” in the article (emphasis added) – as if there were no double standards! Orac, for instance maybe you want to post something about the horrifying ethnic cleansing against Germans that took place after WWII in Eastern Europe, where millions perished. Or what about the red holocausts in Soviet Russia or Cambodia? But likely the suffering of gentiles is of no concern. Or maybe a piece about denial of the red holocaust? (A lot of European leftist intellectuals in the 1950ies and 1960ies denied the Gulag system in the USSR.)
    Your whole blog is riddled with double standards, as evidenced above. I also vividly recall your disgusting smear piece on PRUSSIAN BLUE and your outrage about 13year old girls expressing pride in their heritage. Needless to say, are not outraged by gangsta rappers and their anti-white hate lyrics.
    Yeah, double standards!

  14. #14 Thursday
    November 7, 2006

    I find the funniest thing about the contest is that these cartoons aren’t that exceptional compared to the vitrol that normally appears in most arabic papers – well, in their cartoons, at least: I’m not going to pretend that I can read arabic!

    But the three samples above are actually quite mild. You’ll excuse me if I don’t bother wading into the cesspool to compare the rest, I hope. Instead, I’ll thank you for doing so!

  15. #15 Kiwiwriter
    November 8, 2006

    And note that Manfred is so proud of his position and his standing up for his “race” and the “truth” that he keeps his e-mail location and address a secret.

    13 year old girls expressing pride in their heritage? Pride in Hitler? I have news for neo-Nazis…Hitler was not interested in protecting the “white race.” He butchered vast numbers of them, and treated the rest, including his own German people, with contempt.

    As for the “Red Holocausts,” by that logic, we should not prosecute Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, and other serial killers. It’s a “Red Herring.”

  16. #16 manfred
    November 9, 2006

    If you had read my post attentively, you would have noticed that I did not write anything about the Third Reich’s racial policies. The sole point of my post was to point out double standards.
    Regarding “butchering vast numbers of them” – I am aware of the harsh occupation policy and brutal reprisals in the occupied European countries, which proved to be a disaster for the Germans themselves. However do not forget that the advancing Wehrmacht was initally greeted by the Ukrainian and Russian population as liberators from the Communist yoke. Even after the attitude changed, thousands of Russians volunteered as “hiwis” (auxiliary personel for the Germans) in the WLASSOW army and other units. And what about the hundreds of thousands of European volunteers for the Waffen SS – Wallonians, Flemes, Dutch, Frenchmen, Danes, Norwegians, Italians, Hungarians, Croatians and Brits (British Free Corps). So indeed the Germans must have been immensly unpopular during the War!
    Regarding the red holocausts: No need for ironic quotation marks! And do refrain from comparing the likes of Stalin or Pol Pot from Ted Bundy or Jeffrey Dahmer, as you are minimizing Communist genocide, will you?
    Regarding PRUSSIAN BLUE: Give me a break, you can not compare them to hatecore groups. Let’s take a look at their musical record, shall we? Here is a sample of their music: they sing about love (HEY HEY or SKINHEAD BOY, a love song, despite the title), traditional German folk songs, SISTERS (from the motion picture WHITE CHRISTMAS), GREEN FIELDS OF FRANCE (a ballad about the death of a soldier in World War ONE, which I readily admit always moves me to tears) and THE STRANGER (based on the Rudyard Kipling poem of the same name). Now has it come that far with the political correctness insanity that a song, which lyrics are a verbatim rendition of a poem, written by Rudyard Kipling (nobel prize for literature 1901) is considered hateful, while gangsta rap lyrics glorifying anti-white violence is not?
    As I already mentioned there are indeed ALWAYS double standards at play concerning these issues. Mr. AHMADINEJAD
    was spot on.

  17. #17 Ahmad Rashed Al-haroun
    November 11, 2006

    Yes well, Golda Meir also said “We shall not forgive the Arabs for making us hate them” and was an all round nasty piece of work.

    The way I interprete the winning cartoon is not just an apt comparision with the way the Nazis ghettoized Jews and the way Israel ghettoizes Gaza. Rather it refers to how Israel has used the socalled Holocaust to deprive Palestinians of their patrimony and bar them from access to their lands.

    As far as the picture goes – it displays Birkenau. Birkenau. Birkenau was, until recently, supposed to have been the site of four gigantic crematoria that are collectively supposed to burnt 1 million Jews so that no trace remains.

    Recently, unfortunately for some folks, these alleged crematoria have been shown to be crude and unworkable forgeries. In particular the site of the alleged crematoria ovens and the alleged smoke stack are supposed to have been connected by underground flues – flues that are depicted on blueprints that were presented on film to the Nuremburg tribunal by the Soviets

    Extensive examination of the site, including probing the soil have indicated conclusively that these underground flues do not exist. It can reasonably the concluded from this that both the alleged plans and the alleged site of the crematoria are rather crude and unconvincing forgeries.

    Quite where that leaves the Palestinians is anybody’s guess.