Iran’s annual international cartoon contest, which trivializes the Holocaust and compares Israel’s treatment of Palestinians to the horrors of the Nazi regime, perpetuates antisemitic stereotypes, B’nai Brith Canada says.
The contest, which began May 14, runs for two weeks and has already received 150 entries from over 50 countries.
“Iran’s continued hostility and threats against the Jewish state are rarely challenged in global forums,” Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith, said in a statement. “Calling this ‘concerning’ is an understatement. The Islamic regime’s almost daily calls for the destruction of Israel clearly define Iran’s motives and utter lack of credibility as a partner on the international stage.
“Iran has not only breached the P5+1 nuclear agreement by test-firing a nuclear-capable missile, but is the world’s leading state-supporter and purveyor of terrorism. By intentionally ignoring its international commitments, Iran continues to show that it is a threat not only to Israel, but to the entire world.
“This contest must be wholly condemned by the global community as it will only serve to encourage incitement against Jewish communities around the world.”
The Iranian Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance organizes the annual cartoon contest competition. Entrants must obtain permission of the Ministry before they are allowed to participate. The winners of the competition are awarded a cash prize sent to them via government channels.
The Foreign Ministry of Germany issued a statement of condemnation, suggesting that the contest sows hatred and deepens division in the Middle East. During a February visit to Tehran, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the competition must not take place any more. Today, he was quoted as saying, “The murder of 6-million men, women and children during the Holocaust, for which we Germans bear guilt and responsibility, must not be abandoned to ridicule.”
In a tweet this week, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion said: “I am appalled by the annual Holocaust Cartoon Contest in Iran. This is antisemitism, not humour.” In a second tweet this week, Dion said: The murder of over 6-million Jewish people is a historical fact. Holocaust denial is antismetimism.”
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