By Jonathan Benedek/TPS
Jerusalem (TPS) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu personally asked US Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday night to condemn the Holocaust cartoon contest held over the weekend in Iran, Netanyahu said on Sunday, while accusing of Iran of “preparing another Holocaust.”
“I think that every country in the world must stand up and fully condemn this,” Netanyahu said. “This is what I told US Secretary of State John Kerry last night in my conversation with him.”
Netanyahu’s conversation with Kerry preceded the US secretary of state’s scheduled meeting on Sunday in Saudi Arabia with Saudi King Salman on the conflicts in Syria, Yemen, and Libya.
The Holocaust cartoon conference in Iran over the weekend was not directly sponsored by the Iranian government though it was organized by the Owj Media & Cultural Institute and the Sarcheshmeh Cultural Institute, two non-governmental organizations with reported ties to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif denied the existence of any support from the Iranian government to the cartoon contest in an interview with the The New Yorker last month.
Iranian leaders, however, have a long history of Holocaust denial. Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei released a video on his official website in January doubting whether the Holocaust is “a reality or not.”
“While it is not clear whether the core of this matter is a reality or not. Even if it is a reality, it is not clear how it happened,” Khamenei said in the video.
Netanyahu stressed the the problematic phenomenon of Holocaust revisionism in Iran, which held an international conference in December of 2006 that challenged the objective account of the Holocaust.
“We raise this here because it must be understood what our problem with Iran is,” said Netanyahu.
“It is not just its policy of subversion and aggression in the region; it is the values on which it is based,” continued Netanyahu. “It denies and belittles the Holocaust and it is also preparing another Holocaust.”