Monday, January 27, 2014

27-Jan-14: On Holocaust Memorial Day, a reminder of who still denies it happened, and why

In some parts of the world, mainly in Europe and the UK, January 27 is marked as Holocaust Memorial Day. Over on the website of The Commentator, they connect the day with some serious Holocaust denial being done by, and on behalf of, the Iranian government. The entire article is reproduced here.

Iranian supreme leader's Holocaust denial not a mistranslation
Iran's smiling, moderate, foreign minister, who just charmed the world at Davos, exposed as a liar about the lies of his Holocaust denying supreme leader. Would you trust these people?
The Commentator 26 January 2014 18:18

You can barely get into conversation with a Western peacenik or an Iranian diplomat on the subject of Iran without them trying to wriggle out of the extreme threats the regime has made to wipe out Israel or its vicious anti-Semitism by saying that this is all a mistranslation or it's been taken out of context.

This matters enormously because the premise of the latest moves in Western policy towards the Islamic repubic is that we can take Iran at its word. If a) all they're doing is lying to us and/or b) all the most damning charges against Iranian threats and rhetoric turn out to be true, we're heading into the abyss.

As many countries and international institutions mark Holocaust Memorial Day on Monday, it is perhaps fitting that one of those "mistranslation" dragons can now be slain.

It has now been definitively established that Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is a Holocaust denier and that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who charmed everyone at Davos a couple of days ago, has been lying through his teeth in saying that he is not.

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) did the hard work that Western media organisations have not done and on Sunday exposed Zarif for what he and his ultimate boss really are. Zarif had told ABC's George Stephanopoulos last September that reports Khamenei had openly denied the Holocaust were as a result of "bad translation" and were taken "out of context." According to MEMRI [here]:
"Despite Zarif's claim that Khamenei's statements had been mistranslated from the Persian, MEMRI found that not only does Khamenei's original Persian statement appear on his Persian-language website, but that the English version on his English-language website is indeed an accurate translation – he did indeed refer to the "myth of the Jewish slaughter known as the Holocaust".
MEMRI's translation from the original of Khamenei's statements on February 7, 2006 reads:
"A more important topic is one that shames Western culture in terms of freedom of speech... This same freedom of speech – which they [i.e. the West] constantly champion – does not permit anyone to question the topic of the myth of the Jewish slaughter known as the Holocaust. On this topic there is no freedom of speech!"
Khamenei has been denying the Holocaust ever since, and supporting and applauding others that do the same. This leaves us with a moral conundrum and an issue over present day policy, both of which overlap and can be formulated into two questions. First, who is worse, the liar about the Holocaust or the liar who lies about the lies of the liar about the Holocaust? Second, would you trust these people as far as you can throw them?

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