An anti-Semitic cartoon displayed at a contest in Iran.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Individuals from fifty countries are scheduled to participate in the Second International Holocaust Cartoon Contest to be held in Iran in early May, according to multiple Iranian media outlets.
On Monday, the Islamic Republic’s FARS news agency reported that some 839 pieces of “artwork” making light of the Holocaust had been sent to contest officials, many of which will be displayed in the 12-day exhibition held in the Iranian capital beginning on May 9.
A total of 312 “artists” will be involved in the event, most of whom hail from Iran itself, but many will also come from France, Indonesia and Turkey, Iran’s state IRNA news service reported.
Asked about the purpose of the contest, Shojayee Tabatabayee, the contest’s secretariat, said the event’s goals are to highlight the West’s alleged double standard concerning freedom of expression in which disrespect for Islam is allowed and tolerated while other subjects, such as the Holocaust, are made taboo.
In January of 2015 Islamist gunmen attacked the Paris offices of the Charlie Hebdo magazine, killing 11, including editors, cartoonists and a police officer who responded to the scene.
The terrorists claimed that their attack was a response to the magazine’s sacrilegious portrayal of the prophet Muhammad.
In a letter to UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon, Israel's chief ambassador the the UN, Ron Prosor, urged Ban as well as the international community to condemn the event.
“If the UN wishes to remain loyal to its founding principles and values in which it believes, it is incumbent upon it to speak loudly against anti-Semitism,” Prosor penned.
“This contest legitimizes Holocaust denial and encourages Holocaust deniers to continue their incitement,” Prosor said. “It ridicules one of the darkest events in human history, and it cheapens the death of millions of Jews who were murdered. The horrors of the Holocaust are still fresh in the collective memory.”
“The cartoon exhibition runs in contravention to the international community’s decision to perpetuate the memory of the Holocaust and to internalize its lessons,” the envoy wrote.
In 2006 Iran hosted a similar cartoon contest and invited individuals to review the historical and scientific accuracy of facts surrounding the Holocaust.
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