By William Blum
Once again, Western media including Democracy Now, AFP, Washington Post and New York Post, lie about what Iranian president Ahmadinejad said about the Nazi Holocaust.
In his September 22 address at the United Nations, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad mentioned the Nazi Holocaust just twice:
“Some European countries still use the Holocaust, after six decades, as the excuse to pay fines or ransom to the Zionists.”
“They threaten anyone who questions the Holocaust and the September 11 event with sanctions and military action.”
That was it.
By the term “questions the Holocaust” the Iranian president has made clear repeatedly over the years what he’s referring to. He has commented about the peculiarity and injustice of a tragedy which took place in Europe resulting in a state for the Jews in the Middle East instead of in Europe. Why are the Palestinians paying a price for a German crime? he asks. And he has questioned the figure of six million Jews killed by Nazi Germany, as have many historians and others of all political stripes who think the total was probably less. This has nothing to do with the Holocaust not taking place.
But, as usual, the Western media pretends that it doesn’t understand.
The New York Post (September 22) referred to the Iranian president as “the world’s foremost Holocaust denier, the would-be genocidist Ahmadinejad”.
Agence France Presse (September 22) stated: “The Iranian leader repeated comments casting doubt on the origins of the Holocaust.”
The Washington Post wrote of “Ahmadinejad’s speech suggesting larger conspiracies were behind the Holocaust and the Sept. 11 attacks caused delegates to walk out.” (September 23)
And Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! (September 23) included this amongst the radio program’s news headlines: “For the third straight year, Ahmadinejad sent delegates to the exits after questioning the Nazi Holocaust.”
Without further explanation of that incendiary term — and none was given — what can “questioning the Nazi Holocaust” mean or imply to most listeners other than that Ahmadinejad was questioning whether the Holocaust had actually taken place?
Once again I must point out that I have yet to read of Ahmadinejad ever saying simply, clearly, unambiguously, and unequivocally that he thinks that what we know as the Holocaust never happened. For the record, in a speech at Columbia University on September 24, 2007, in reply to a question about the Holocaust, the Iranian president declared:
“I’m not saying that it didn’t happen at all. This is not the judgment that I’m passing here.”
Indeed, I do not know if any of the so-called “Holocaust-deniers” actually, ever, umm, y’know … deny the Holocaust. They question certain aspects of the Holocaust history that’s been handed down to us, but they don’t explicitly say that what we know as the Holocaust never took place. (Yes, I’m sure you can find at least one nut-case somewhere.)
Another enduring lie about Ahmadinejad is that he has called for violence against Israel: His 2005 remark re “wiping Israel off the map”, besides being a very questionable translation, has been seriously misinterpreted, as evidenced by the fact that the following year he declared:
“The Zionist regime will be wiped out soon, the same way the Soviet Union was, and humanity will achieve freedom.” (Associated Press, December 12, 2006)
Obviously, the man was not calling for any kind of violent attack upon Israel, for the dissolution of the Soviet Union took place peacefully.
William Blum is the author of:
- Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War 2
- Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower
- West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir
- Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire
Portions of the books can be read, and signed copies purchased, at www.killinghope.org
Previous Anti-Empire Reports can be read at this website.