Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently slammed Iran for holding a Holocaust cartoon contest, which he says Iran denies and mocks the Holocaust while it plans another Holocaust against the Jews.
Iran holds an international Holocaust cartoon contest, which some claim denies that the Nazi genocide of millions of Jews ever happened. According to the Times of Israel, the contest shows 150 cartoons mocking the Holocaust from 50 countries. The contest began on Saturday and will last for another two weeks.
Artists can enter the contest under the caricature section or the cartoon section. In the caricature section, the first place winner will receive a cash prize of $7,000. The winner of the cartoon section will receive $12,000.
Many of the cartoons have depicted Netanyahu as the equivalent to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. Others depict the suffering of the Palestinians to that of the Jews held in torture camps run by the Nazis.
This contest centered around the Holocaust sees its second run. The first contest was 10 years ago in response to Charlie Hebdo depictions of the prophet Muhammad. Now the contest is to supposedly bring awareness to the plight of the Palestinians under a Zionist regime.
The second edition of the contest was organized by Iran's House of Cartoon and the Sarcheshmeh Cultural Complex. It will run until May 30, according to the Tehran Times.
During his weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu was clear about his thoughts on the contest, which questions the legitimacy of the Holocaust.
"It denies the Holocaust, it mocks the Holocaust and it is also preparing another Holocaust. I think that every country in the world must stand up and fully condemn this."
The contest organizer, Masoud Shojaei Tabatabaei, has denied that the contest denies the Holocaust happened or that it mocks the Holocaust, but he did equate the horrific genocide of the Jews with Israel's treatment of the Palestinians.
"Holocaust means mass killing," said Masoud Shojaei Tabatabaei. "We are witnessing the biggest killings by the Zionist regime in Gaza and Palestine."
He said that the purpose of the contest is to highlight perceived western double standards when it comes to free expression.
Some accuse Israel of using the Holocaust as a means to deflect or to detract from the suffering of the Palestinians.
According to the Guardian, U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the U.S. was worried that the Holocaust cartoon contest could start a fervent Holocaust denial and hate speech "as it has in the past."
Toner went on to say, "Such offensive speech should be condemned by the authorities and civil society leaders rather than encouraged. We denounce any Holocaust denial and trivialization as inflammatory and abhorrent. It is insulting to the memory of the millions of people who died in the Holocaust."
In the Middle East, it is common for some to question or flatly deny that the Holocaust happened. The people who do not believe that the Holocaust happened believe that Israel was formed on the pretext of the Holocaust.
Masoud Shojaei Tabatabaei asked why the Palestinians should "pay the price" for the sufferings that occurred under the atrocities of the Holocaust.
The situation is not seen that way by Netanyahu. Iran denies and mocks the Holocaust while it plans another, warns Netanyahu, and he insists that the world should join him in denouncing the contest.
Time will only tell when the next edition of the Holocaust cartoon contest will occur or if it will occur at all. Knowing that the Holocaust contest disturbs the leaders of the Western world and Israel's Prime Minister, it is likely that Iran will not give up the Holocaust cartoon contest that brings attention to its people or its concerns.
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