How better to cause the greatest hurt and to speak the gravest criticism than to deny or minimize that the Nazi atrocities and slaughter ever took place, and then to suggest, that if they did, the people reborn of that fire have descended morally to the same moral level as their former tormenters?
For some in the Arab world, anti-Semitism – and, by extension, Israel hatred – is still the stupid answer for why things go wrong in the world. It is a worldview that creates conspiracies as a way of explaining the unfolding of historical events; it is a pessimistic and frantic outlook, characterized in 1964 by historian Richard Hofstadter as “the paranoid style” of politics, which shifts responsibility from the self to sinister, omnipotent others – typically and historically the Jews.
The overarching objective of Iranian-sponsored Holocaust-themed conferences, cartoon exhibits, student-produced hate literature – of deniers in general – is to expose this vast conspiracy that only they see and once and for all show how, in a fraud perpetrated over the course of some 60 years, the “Zionist regime” has duped the world with a hoax of such perfidy that it has helped create an “immoral” state of Israel at the expense of Arab states and the ever-victimized Palestinians.
They yearn to peel away Jewish “deceit” and rewrite their own history – this time with themselves, not Jews, as the victims, and no longer made to pay the price of Nazism’s treachery by having to define themselves in the mirror of another people’s own tragic history.