December 11, 2006


Holocaust deniers ban dissenting voice (Michael Theodoulou, 12/11/06, Times of London)

[Y]esterday Khaled Kasab Mahameed learnt from the Iranian Foreign Ministry — which had invited him to speak — that he would not receive a visa. [...]

“I’m bitterly disappointed,” Mr Mahameed, who studied at a British university, told The Times. He was seeking a personal audience with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian President, to tell him that denials or questioning of “such huge, monstrous horror” harmed the Palestinian cause.

Mr Mahameed lives in Israel, where he has established the Arab Institute for Holocaust Research and Education, the Arab world’s first Holocaust museum, in Nazareth. He believes that the “study, analysis and acknowledgement” of the Holocaust by Arabs is important for a durable peace between the Palestinians and Israel. “It’s not enough to curse these Holocaust deniers as foolish. We have to convince them the Holocaust did happen,” Mr Mahameed said.

MORE:,1518,453402,00.html>ANTI-SEMITISM AT GERMAN SCHOOLS: Insults Against Jews on the Rise (Björn Hengst and Jan Friedmann, 12/11/06, Der Spiegel)

[E]vents in Kreuzberg represent an especially drastic example, but they're not the exception. Berlin's state parliament lists 62 reported cases under the category "(right-wing) extremism" in its study "Indicators of Violence at Berlin's Schools, 2004/2005." That's a steep increase in comparison with the previous year, when only 39 cases were registered. The category "(right-wing) extremism" includes "anti-Semitic, racist / xenophobic and right-wing extremist remarks" by children and adolescents, in addition to remarks that "incite racial hatred or express fundamentalist / Islamist fundamentalist views."

One high school student in Berlin's Steglitz-Zehlendorf district said in class: "All Jews must be gassed." Students in the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district locked another student inside the chemistry lab and said: "Now we'll turn on the gas." A non-German child at an elementary school in Treptow-Köpenick insulted his teacher by calling her a "Jew," a "witch" and a "sea cow." When a teaching aid in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg tried to settle an argument between students, he was told: "Piss off, Jew!"

And the surge of anti-Semitism seems to be growing. In November, Berlin's public authorities had already registered more cases of anti-Semitism than during the entire previous year. A recent study by the European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) also criticized cases of anti-Semitism, racism and right-wing extremism at German schools.

This week, in the town of Grimmen in West Pomerania, right-wing adolescents mobilized against an exhibition on Anne Frank, disparaging her diary as a forgery. In October, several adolescents in Parey, a town in Germany's Saxony-Anhalt region, forced their 16- year- old classmate to walk across the school yard wearing a large sign during lunch break. The sign read: "In this town I'm the biggest swine / Because of the Jewish friends of mine." It's a phrase from the Nazi era, used to humiliate people with Jewish friends.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 11, 2006 8:57 AM

We have to convince them the Holocaust did happen.

Poor Mr. Mahameed. A visa is his for the asking, if only he'd get his tenses right.

(The Iranians are very punctilious about grammar.)

Posted by: Barry Meislin at December 11, 2006 9:25 AM

Mark Steyn characterized that whole place correctly: Wackistan.

Barry: Bravo Zulu.

Posted by: Lou Gots at December 11, 2006 10:44 AM

Are these the same Iranians OJ admires so much?

Posted by: Baha at December 11, 2006 11:52 AM

No, it's the nutjob we helped elect.

Posted by: oj at December 11, 2006 11:57 AM

How did we do that?

And are you saying he is the only Iranian at this conference?

Posted by: Baha at December 11, 2006 12:17 PM

The President encouraged Iranians to boycott the election, sort of like FDR telling Germans not to bother to turn out and vote against Hitler.

He is the conference.

Posted by: oj at December 11, 2006 12:19 PM

And the Iranians did what Bush told them to do? I had no idea Bush was so powerful and influential (and even admired) by Iranian voters so that they stayed away in droves and allowed I guy they really hate to be elected president.

What exactly was the voter turn out in the last Iranian presidential election, and how does it compare with previous elections? I'll let you know: it was over 60% - much higher than predicted and certainly much higher than the Bush administation wanted.

So how about we use Occam's Razor and simply conclude that this nut got elected by the majority of Iranians because the majority of Iranians agreed with him and shared his views?

He must be awfullly lonely being the only guy at the conference and without any other Iranians whatsoever sharing his views. Poor fellah.

Posted by: Baja at December 11, 2006 1:02 PM

".. is important for a durable peace between the Palestinians and Israel" He assumed that the Arabs wanted peace with Israel. The Arabs wanted to wipe Israel off the map. And that is "durable" peace for them.

OJ: I think you are too American-centric. American president ain't that powerful. I always laugh when it is said that the President of the United Staies is the most powerful man on earth. He isn't even the most powerful in the US. The US is Gulliver tied down by Lilliputians. He was powerful only if he managed to untie himself. So far, the US hasn't been able to untie itself.

Posted by: ic at December 11, 2006 1:51 PM

The American president matters more than the Israelis or Palestinians to the peace process.

Posted by: oj at December 11, 2006 3:13 PM

He doesn't matter at all to the Iranian elections.

So yeah, the majority of Iranians are as nutty as their president.

Posted by: Baja at December 11, 2006 3:16 PM

In part. Our part was intentional. Khamenei accidentally depressed turnout because he'd kept the prior reform government on too tight a leash. President Bush though made an unusual direct appeal to the Iranian people encouraging them to boycott. It was a powerful message because while we're generally popular in Iran we're especially so with the reformers, for obvious reason.

Khamenei had set up what he hoped would be a runoff between a genuine reformer, Moin, and a pet reformer, Rafsanjani, so he'd win either way. He blew it with out connivance. He's figured it out. We haven't.

Posted by: oj at December 11, 2006 3:21 PM

60% is a depressed turn out?

Facts just kinda bounce off you don't they?

Posted by: Baja at December 11, 2006 4:02 PM

We have low turnout because our elections don't matter--the two parties are so similar as to be indistinguishable. The failure of the Right to turn out in '92 gave us a Democrat more conservative than the Republican.

Iran's elections matter, so the depressed turnout by those who favor reform was disastrous.

Posted by: oj at December 11, 2006 5:44 PM

OJ: You really think that the words of Bush were the deciding factor?
Or is that some kind of euphemism for a more covert kind of influence; as we have done previously in Iran?
In addition, I would be interested if you can guide me towards some kind of source that corroborates your views on this matter.

Posted by: Macduff at December 11, 2006 6:38 PM

deciding? No. Just contributing.

Posted by: oj at December 11, 2006 7:08 PM