U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon must publicly condemn and directly address Iran’s Holocaust denial, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein wrote in a letter to Ban on Wednesday.
The letter came in light of an international Holocaust cartoon contest, sponsored by the Tehran Municipality.
The winner of the competition will receive a $50,000 cash prize. The event is expected to draw participants from 50 countries, according to Iran’s semiofficial IRNA news agency.
Edelstein expressed his outrage about the contest, writing: “There are no words strong enough to describe the contempt and profound disdain of the State of Israel, the Israeli people and many others the world over, to Iran’s insistent Holocaust denial... despite its false facade of tolerance toward Iranian as well as world Jewry.
“The current president of Iran does not differ from his notorious predecessor, [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad, and, like him, does not even attempt to conceal Iran’s intent to eliminate the State of Israel,” he wrote.
Edelstein also pointed out that Iran sponsors acts of terrorism across the world.
“As head of an organization that in 2005 adopted the brave resolution to establish January 27 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day, I ask that you exert your moral authority through public condemnation of the Iranian policy and by addressing this matter directly with Iran, as well,” Edelstein wrote to Ban.
Edelstein also wrote to all 120 MKs, asking them to join a coordinated social media campaign on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, to express their disgust at Holocaust denial.
The Knesset speaker asked lawmakers to post a photograph from the time of the Holocaust and write about what remembering the Holocaust means to them.
“We see repeated anti-Semitic phenomena around the world,” he wrote. “At this time, there will be an international contest with prizes for caricatures meant to deny and ridicule the Holocaust.”
Edelstein also instructed Knesset staff to set up a photo exhibit on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
“The age of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Der Strumer is over. The Jewish people and its leaders must counterattack against the lies.
We cannot be quiet in light of increasing anti-Semitism and trends of hatred toward the Jewish people,” Edelstein said.
Last week, Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon sent a formal letter to Ban, demanding that he condemn Iran’s anti-Semitic cartoon competition, scheduled for June.
Danon called the event “an anti-Semitic act” and said Iran is “evil incarnate.”Danielle Ziri contributed to this report from New York.