Iran announced this week that authorities are hosting a state-sponsored contest to see who can create the best Holocaust denial cartoon. The grand prize has been boosted this year to $50,000, up from $12,000, according to reports.
Tehran will host the Holocaust denial cartoon event in June 2016, after gathering an expected hundreds of submissions from the Islamic world. Last year, Iran received 839 anti-Semitic cartoons for consideration.
The state-sponsorship of this event by the Tehran municipal authority is a new development this year, the reports said. And organizers say the competition was created to highlight the West’s supposed double-standard when its citizens draw Muhammad, who is not allowed to be caricatured in Islam.
Danny Danon, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, has contacted United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, calling for the international body to condemn the grossly anti-Semitic, state-sponsored contest.
“This anti-Semitic act represents the pure evil of the Iranian regime,” Danon expressed. “Denying the Holocaust is one of the most powerful expressions of anti-Semitism, which legitimizes the deaths of millions of Jews,” he added, reminding the UN leader that International Holocaust Remembrance Day is right around the corner, on January 27.
“While the world will remember the atrocities of the Holocaust which are still fresh in our collective memory, one member state will be hosting a contest which desecrates the memory of the 6 million Jews murdered in the Holocaust,” Danon wrote. “The United Nations must resolutely stand up against this hatred and harshly condemn this heinous act.”
The speaker of Israel’s parliament (Knesset), Yuli Edelstein, was in Italy Friday to meet with his counterpart in Rome. He called for the Italian government to cancel Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s invitation to the country on January 25. “A man who denies and ridicules the Holocaust does not deserve to enter Europe,” Edelstein said.
In a separate letter to the UN Secretary-General, Edelstein wrote: “words cannot describe the revulsion and protestation of the state of Israel and many across the world at the recurring proof that Iran continues in its policy of Holocaust denial.”